Discover Ames

Best bars and nightlife in Ames

April 19, 2024

Thanks to Iowa State University, Ames is known for being a bustling college town. Although we know not every visitor or local is looking for an action-packed night, we’ve compiled a list of the best bars in Ames based on the atmosphere. No matter what type of night you’re looking for, you’re sure to have fun in Ames. Here’s our list of some of the best bars and nightlife in Ames.


The college experience

There’s a reason Welch Avenue is in the heart of Campustown. Loved by many college students, this street is full of food vendors, restaurants, and bars that are a guaranteed fun time.

Cy’s Roost – With an outdoor patio, free popcorn, and hotdogs, this is a must-go for all Cyclone fans!

BNC – By day, BNC is a relaxed sports bar used to watch the game and eat chicken wings. By night, a lively dance floor and DJ booth are the center of attention.

Es Tas Bar and Grill – Not only an amazing place for drink specials, Es Tas also serves a full Tex-Mex menu until 2 a.m.

Mickey’s Irish Pub – If you’re looking to dance the night away, this Irish-themed pub is sure to please with their downstairs dance floor.

Sips – This (usually) packed bar is an Ames favorite with a dance floor, games, and delicious drinks.


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Chill vibes

Aside from the packed bars with affordable drinks, Ames has a variety of nightlife options for a more relaxed atmosphere. Beat the crowd with these laid-back options.

London Underground – Enjoy delicious beers and a welcoming atmosphere at this British Pub in Downtown Ames.

Inside Golf & Games – In addition to a fully stocked bar, Inside Golf & Games has axe throwing, gold simulators, and more!

The Sportsman – Kick back with a pint and cheer on the Cyclones or enjoy a game of shuffleboard.

Whiskey River – A wide variety of local brews on tap, specials every night of the week, and delicious food served until 2 a.m.!

london underground


Don’t miss these hidden gems

Cellar 626 Speakeasy – This gem really is hidden! Head over to Cyclone Liquors and find the correct cooler door to reveal an open bar and event space.

Time Out – Karaoke, classic arcade games, and a heavy pour; what else do you need?

Welch Ave Station – Right on the edge of Welch Avenue, this local bar is the best place to play pool and enjoy a fresh slice of pizza.

Della Viti – This self-service wine bar has over 100 types of wine, whiskey, and beers! For extra fun, you can join their wine club for exclusive offers and tastings.


Two guys in a game of pool at Welch Ave. Station.

Eat while you sip

Sweet Caroline’s – This pub has delicious homestyle cooking and drinks done the right way. (Oh, and a beautiful patio and game loft)!

Boulder Tap House – Home to a wide variety of locally crafted beer and a large menu of specialty burgers, wings, and more.

The Mucky Duck Pub – This British Pub has authentic cuisine and has one of the only dog patios in Ames.

Dublin Bay – There are no strangers at this Irish Pub! With authentic food and drinks, you’re sure to find something you love.

Wallaby’s Bar & Grille – For sports fan and food enthusiasts, look no further than this sports bar with an amazing rooftop bar.


Grab a drink on a budget with our guide to Happy Hour in Ames!


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