From cool vibes to tasty libations, these watering holes have it all. Here are some of our favourite bars to hit up when you’re in town.

Corktown Pub

175 Young Street East

Corktown Pub

Hamilton’s oldest licensed establishment earns itself a top spot. This legendary Irish pub has hosted tens of thousands of musicians from Blue Rodeo to Tom Wilson and features live music almost every day of the week. Hear the fiddle flyin’ on Fridays as the East Coast Kitchen Party plays a medley of East Coast and Irish music.

Must-try: Visit for a few pints and a hearty, classic meal like bangers and mash or chicken pot pie.

Uno Mas

150 James Street South

Uno Mas

Uno Mas is in the bar-friendly neighbourhood of James Street South and Augusta Street under big brother restaurant, Mezcal TNT. Expect loud music and a menu of upscale tacos and European tapas. Drinks include fun cocktails and a large selection of tequila and Mezcal.

Must-try: The Bad and Boujee Margarita is made with fresh lime, Cointreau, and agave. The main ingredient? House infused jalapeno Tromba Blanco for something spicy and/or the Sombra Joven Mezcal for something smoky – your choice.

Toast Wine Bar

10 John Street North

Toast Wine Bar

If you’re feeling fancy, share a bottle over charcuterie and signature toasts at this sultry wine bar, featuring a DJ every other Friday. They serve local and international wines so the list is always changing. Food is shareable and includes both sweet and salty options like chocolate bark and soft pretzels. Follow them on social media for neat events like psychic readings and book club meetings.

Must-try: Get a taste of multiple wines and then pick your favourite. (Wednesdays are $10 mystery flights and $5 off bottles).

Gown and Gavel

24 Hess Street South

Gown and Gavel

Located in historic Hess Village, Gown and Gavel has Hamilton’s largest outdoor patio between its two adjoining Victorian buildings. The bar features domestic and imported beers on tap, DJ dance parties, and a menu of burgers, apps and bottle service.

Must-try: Try the Creemore Springs paired with the house-made popcorn. In the summer, the refreshing sangria pitchers can’t be beat.

The Brain

199 James Street North

The Brain

Look for the bright yellow facade and picture of a brain on James Street North and you’ve landed at the right spot. Colourful, cool and comfortable, The Brain is open until 2 a.m, seven days a week! Pop by for a chalkboard full of beer options, cocktails, board games, and snacks.

Must-try: Try a local beer from Collective Arts or Fairweather Brewing or a house-made cocktail. There’s also whiskey, wine, coffee, paninis and sweet pies!

Arcade

107 George Street

Arcade

This retro arcade bar lets you escape from adulting into the land of Pinball, Ms. Pac Man and Super Mario Bros. The Hess Village bar is open every day until 2 a.m. giving you just enough time to beat your high score. Find live music and DJs on select nights.

Must-try: Get the shot and a can of beer combo for $8 every Sunday and Monday. They also have a build-your-own nacho menu where you can choose a base of tortillas, kettle chips or tater tots!

The Capitol Bar

973 King Street East

The Capitol Bar

This cozy east-end bar has over 100 whiskeys to choose from, live music every Friday and Saturday, plus a popular roast beef dinner every Sunday with all the trimmings. They also offer craft beers, fine wines, cocktails and a carefully curated food menu.

Must-try: Sip on a Bourbon Sour flavoured with lemon, simple syrup, egg white, and bitters.

Bar Sazerac

278 James Street North

Bar Sazerac

This downtown New Orleans-style cocktail and oyster bar is something unique. The space is long and narrow – putting patrons in close proximity to the self-proclaimed cocktail nerds behind the bar.

Must-try: In keeping with the New Orleans theme, The Old Quarter is a mix of Canadian Club Rye, Gautier Cognac, Cinzano Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud’s Aperativo, and Angostura Bitters, aged for 14 days.

Augusta’s Winking Judge

25 Augusta Street

Augusta’s Winking Judge

Over 785 different beers have been served here over the years. There is always 22 taps of local craft beer available and the only cask beer engine in town. Make new friends over parlour games (including darts) on the second floor and munchies that hit the spot.

Must-try: Brews rotate, but try to get your hands on something local from The Hamilton Brewery or Shawn and Ed Brewing Co.