Berkeley has a reasonable range of pubs and bars ranging from homely pub like places to neon lit sports bars to classy cocktail joints. Most bars are reasonably priced and filled with studenty clientele. IPAs and craft beers are the preferred local drink.
Celia’s is infamous for their deceptively potent margaritas, and Daily Pint is a fun, laid back spot with good trivia.
The Bear’s Lair near Telegraph and Bancroft offers cheap beer and is famed for ‘beat the clock’ on fridays, where drink prices increase every hour but start very cheap. However, this can get very crowded and is mostly an event for undergraduates.
Tap Haus is a fun German bar on Durant with excellent German beer, sausages, jenga, connect four and billiards. Conveniently located next to a Smokes’ poutinerie for the Canadian in all of us.
Henry’s on Durant is the classiest place on Southside. It is the bar for an upmarket hotel above it, and is particularly good fro sporting events because of its vast number of flatscreen TVs.
Kips is infamous among Berkeley students as the worst bar in Berkeley. It is very cheap, serves liquor, and is where most undergraduate parties end up after midnight. It has a large dance floor, is open till 2am, and is packed most nights of the week. For the party-inclined, midnight is known as Kips o’clock.
Pappy’s basement is similar to Kips, but is a nice sports bar upstairs.
Cafe Durant, a Mexican bar above a Korean restaurant on Durant, is probably the cheapest place on Southside. It also has a huge sun terrace overlooking Durant, which makes up for its terrible beer selection.
Downtown certainly offers a wider selection of bars than southside, but can be pricier.
Jupiter on Shattuck has great pizza and an incredible selection of beers (especially their ‘nitro’ beers!). The atmosphere is always great, being somewhere between a pub and a restaurant, and table service is a plus. The garden is also wonderfully decorated. Jupiters can get very busy, so make sure to get a table early.
Sliver serves the same pizza as the famous Cheeseboard down the street, paired with great craft beers and live jazz.
Tupper & Reed is an old-style classy bar with an impressive cocktail list, bartenders dressed in tuxedos and a lovely ambiance.
East Bay Spice Company is another hip cocktail bar with Indian tapas, a great date spot.
Eureka has a great selection of beers and some of the best burgers in town, notably the bone marrow.
Triple Rock on Shattuck brews their own beer, has a fun rooftop patio and just finished a renovation which added a new, modern section open to the street.
Bobby G’s is also a pizza place, with a good beer selection.
Spat’s, newly opened next to Triple Rock, is known for good wing prices and slow service.
Comal serves bougie Mexican food and delicious tequila and mezcal drinks.
Many cafes on Shattuck also serve alcohol.
The Albatross on San Pablo, further West than Shattuck, is a pub like place, with a pretty wide beer selection (especially their bottled beers), and 6 darts lanes! A nice escape from the student dominated places nearer campus.
Missouri Lounge is a small, fun place to go dancing with a picnic table patio.
The Graduate (accessible by the 51B bus from campus or Shattuck) is a lively cramped bar with insanely cheap low quality beer. It also has free popcorn!
Rare Barrel is known for having some interesting sour beers.