Burlington isn't quite the city that never sleeps, but it suffers no shortage of nocturnal activities. Want to catch some live music, a game or simply chill out with a perfectly mixed martini? Head to one of our favorite nighttime haunts, listed here.
Winooski is the Williamsburg to Burlington's Manhattan. It's increasingly up-and-coming, especially in terms of food and nightlife. The hippest joint in the Onion City, the Monkey House features cozy couches, pool tables, and the most consistently excellent lineup of local, regional and national indie music this side — or that, really — of the Winooski River. It's also often 18+, especially during the week.
Higher Ground boasts a constant stream of big-name acts on the palatial Ballroom stage. The adjacent Showcase Lounge features rising talent.
Iconic hot spot Nectar's — aka the House That Phish Built — has live music seven nights a week. Upstairs at Club Metronome, DJs reign most nights, including at the ever-popular retro weekend dance parties. 18+ on weekdays.
If venues such as Nectar's and Higher Ground are the lifeblood of the local music scene, this cozy hipster haunt is its beating heart. The tiny Bean is Burlington's musical melting pot.
Bands play almost nightly at this hip club and its adjacent alley. DJs take over after midnight most nights. Check out the Blue Room for bumping EDM on weekends.
Hidden in a Main Street alley with no sign marking its door, this recording-studio-cum-live-music-speakeasy hosts heavy-hitting musical acts both imported and domestic.
Folk music and crêpes — what's not to love? Get some of each most Thursday through Saturday nights. And don't miss Josh Panda's acoustic soul residency on Wednesdays.
We almost feel bad for including the Needs here. Really, it's a cut (or two) above most college bars. But as the block-long line of students outside the bar most weekends indicates, it's hugely popular with the academic set. And with good reason. It's got great beer, lively pool tables, a unique vibe and an enormous outdoor patio. Swing by at 4 p.m. on weekdays for $1 drafts during Duff Hour.
This classic college-town watering hole — with pool, darts and sports — was your older brother's favorite bar when he was in school here. It might become yours, too.
Frequented by St. Mike's students, this traditional tavern boasts a long, wooden bar; a large, outdoor deck; nightly drink specials; and flat screens as far as the eye can see double.
An upscale beer list, live music and DJs make this longtime BTV staple a solid weekend destination. Philadelphia Eagles fans flock here Sundays during football season.
Grab a beer and sit outside to watch drivers royally misunderstand Winooski's traffic circle at this St. Mike's haunt. The weekly drink specials are crucial.
DJs play this popular college hangout three nights a week. Pool and TVs entertain anyone who doesn't feel like dancing. It's 21+ on the weekend.
Sports bar by day, sweaty dance club by night. Try the food — e.g., 40-cent wings every day of the week. You'll be surprised. In a good way.
The OP is the crown cubic zirconium of Burlington dives. It features drink specials every day of the week — we're partial to PBR pitchers on Tuesdays — and one of the more competitive pool tables in town. The music is random and usually loud. Don't complain. Just enjoy it, ideally at a seat by the open garage-door window facing the street.
Townies, punks and hipsters coexist peacefully around Burlington's most awkwardly placed pool table. Home of the PB Army.
Pool tables, dartboards and TV screens abound at this lively locals' hangout. But it's far enough from campus that you'll need a designated driver or cab fare handy. Live music and karaoke on weekends.
If it's karaoke you seek, look no further. This classic dive serves up wannabe rock stardom at least three nights a week.
This little hole-in-the-wall pub is a gem hidden in plain sight of the Church Street Marketplace. It's the perfect spot for a quiet drink — and a slice from the adjoining pizzeria.
Owner Bob Beauvais describes this true neighborhood watering hole as "the best damn make-you-feel-at-home-bar."
This Old North End staple has the distinction of being the only bar in town with a view of a cemetery. So that's something.