Akron, Ohio is a city just about an hour South of Cleveland. It’s main claim to fame recently is that NBA superstar, LeBron James hails from there. Lately though an influx of young professionals is making their home in this fair city to enjoy everything it has to offer. Not only is there affordable housing, great higher learning at Akron University, but business is thriving, which means that the bar scene is improving every year. People like to have a kick back place to have a couple of drinks after work, or relax at on the weekends so the bars cater to a low key crowd. It’s not dressy, high pressure place at all. Friendly and accessible are two words that describe the scene there. Here are the 16 best bars in Akron, Ohio for 2016.

 

1.       Best Wine Bar: 750ml Wine Bar

This establishment is named after the size of an average wine bottle. The owners have a good sense of humor about wine, so this isn’t a stuffy place. It’s moderately priced wine with good small plate food, in an ambiance that is relaxed and welcoming.They have over 800 bottles of wines to choose from, so you are bound to find a favorite among the bunch. Or a few favorites if you are a wine fan. If you aren’t, they do offer craft beer as well as a different drinking option. Open Monday through Saturday from 11-10 during the week, and midnight on the weekends.

750ml Wine Bar

2287 West Market Street

Akron OH 44313

330-794-5754

Yelp 4 Stars, 26 Reviews

 

2.       Best Beer Bar: 69 Taps 

The name says it all here because they have an extensive menu of draft beer available on tap. Many people find this the preferred method of drinking this bubbly brew. 69 Taps is open 7 days a week, from 4:00 pm to 2:30 am for late night fun. They do have a bar menu that features typical bar fare like burgers and wings. Their daily Happy Hour from 4-7 is quite popular with drink specials that cater to a hard drinking but fun loving crowd. The patio has a vast view of downtown Akron, so it’s the choice place to be during the warmer summertime months. The bartender staff is super accommodating and good looking too!

69 Taps

370 Paul Williams Street

Akron OH 44313

330-253-4554

Yelp: 3 Stars, 17 Reviews

 

3.       Best Sports Bar: Dante’s Gameday Grille 

This place has everything a die hard sports fan would want. Great wins, beer on tap, large televisions in every direction to see all the major sporting events, and attentive servers who will keep you happily drinking during all your favorite games. Open 7 days a week with closing time not being until 2:30 am each night.

Dante’s Gameday Grille

1019 North Main Street

Akron OH 44311

330-922-8344

Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 12 Reviews

 

4.       Best Whiskey Bar: Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar

If you like a good strong whiskey drink, this is the place to find it. They have a variety of the dark spirit to tickle your fancy. They have over a 100 different types of whiskey from 15-year-old single barrel, Balvenie to a 25-year-old Chivas Regal. Connoisseurs and novices will be able to test out some of the best whiskey in the area here. If you don’t enjoy that, then you can have a variety of beer on tap or other feel good spirits like vodka or gin.

Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar

79 Springside Dr

Akron OH 44333

330-664-1782

Yelp: 3.5 Stars, 12 Reviews

 

5.       Best After-Work Drink Spot: Frank’s Place

Considered one of those bars that caters to regular customers, it’s the perfect place to stop on your way home from a hard days work to grab a drink, and chat with the locals. It’s super casual here, a place to loosen your tie, have a shot and a beer to relax. They are open 7 days a week until 2:30 am. The Akron Beacon Journal voted it the #3 Neighborhood Bar in Akron.

Frank’s Place

549 W. Market Street

Akron OH 44303

Yelp: 3.5 Stars, 15 Reviews

6.       Best Dive Bar: Annabell’s Lounge

Old school “Rock and Roll” lounge that isn’t fancy one bit. In fact, it’s the best dive bar by far in the Akron area. Open everyday from noon to 2:30 am for late night drinks with your best pals. The variety of people that hang out here definitely makes for some interesting people watching. Suits to hippies, this place caters to everyone in a very low key way.

Annabell’s Lounge

784 West Market Street

Akron OH 44333

330-535-1112

Yelp: 4 Stars, 22 Reviews

 

7.       Best Cocktails: Blu Jazz

As a newer venue in Akron, this place has a stellar lineup of live jazz musicians that play nightly. The food is upscale American, but it’s the cocktails that are the star of the show. Try their “Maiden Lane” a bourbon concoction that has lemon, honey, rhubarb bitters, blackberry, and sage. For $9 it’s a mighty tasty beverage with some bite. That’s just one of their many customized cocktails that their very talented staff of mixologists have come up with.mixologists have come up with.

Blu Jazz

47 East Market Street

Akron OH 44308

330-252-1190

Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 15 Reviews

 

8.       Best Live Music: Ripper’s Rock House

One of the best live music venues in the city, Ripper’s Rock House has a name that details exactly what goes on there. Great rock music. This isn’t a fancy place, but it’s perfect to settle in, bob your head, and swing your hips to some cool tunes. They have a full menu of American favorites to nosh on if you get hungry while listening to some great music. Open everyday from noon til 10:00pm and until midnight on the weekends.

Ripper’s Rock House

2727 Manchester Road

Akron OH 44319

234-208-9014

Yelp: 3.5 Stars, 36 Reviews

 

9.       Bar with the Best Outdoor Space: The Lockview 

The Lockview is an upscale bar and restaurant that has a gorgeous patio that overlooks the city. The menu is eclectic and unique with items like gourmet grilled cheese, and fish tacos. The cocktail menu is vast with many different drink and beer selections. Open until midnight during the week, and 2:30 am on the weekends.

The Lockview

207 South Main Street

Akron OH 44308

330-252-5128

Yelp: 4 Stars, 166 Reviews

 

10.   Most Expensive and Worth It: DBA 

DBA is “Dante Boccuzzi Akron” and what that means is that this place is owned and run by Dante one of the best chef’s in the midwest with a few different restaurants scattered over the area. The bar is elegant and spacious with decorative touches that lend a modern vibe to the place. Try the small plate appetizers alongside their delicious cocktails and extensive wine list. A great place to take a business associate you want to impress.

DBA

21 Furnace Street

Akron OH 44308

330-375-5050

Yelp: 4 Stars, 64 Reviews

 

11.   Best Local Joint: Baxter’s Bar 

“Where everybody knows your name” might as well be the refrain of this place. It’s a local joint that the same groups of people show up to hang out in weekly. As a neighborhood joint it ranks high on the comfort scale, so you feel like you belong. Easy to have a few drinks, play a game of pool, or darts and chat among the locals.

Baxter’s Bar

205 South Main Street

Akron OH 44308

234-678-0761

Yelp: 4 Stars, 53 Reviews

 

12.   Best Day Drinking Spot: Louie’s Bar and Grill

Open in the morning each day right at 11 am will set you up right if you want to drown your day in a few brews. The bartenders are friendly and welcoming here, so as long as you keep tipping they won’t judge your early daytime drinking. If you feel yourself getting a little too buzzed, then try to fill up your tummy with one of their excellent burgers. People say they are the best in the city.

Louie’s Bar and Grill

739 East Glenwood Ave

Akron OH 44310

330-535-5030

Yelp: 4 Stars, 39 Reviews

 

13.   Best First Date Bar: Crave

A cool place with eclectic food and an awesome vibe. This is the perfect first date spot to impress someone you are highly interested in. The bar is spacious with an extensive drink selection of hip cocktails. Have a sorbet float with sparkling champagne and raspberry lambic for something different.

Crave

57 East Market Street

Akron OH 44308

330-253-1234

Yelp: 4 Stars, 166 Reviews

 

14.   Best Juice Bar: West End Blenz

Best Bars in Akron Ohio

Source:Flickr.com

 If drinking hard alcohol or beer isn’t your thing, you teetotaler you, then you might want to check out West End Blenz. They offer a variety of tasty juices that are fresh pressed, and blended smoothies that will satisfy your health kick.

West End Blenz

1947 West Market Street Suite 101

Akron, OH 44313

330-835-3793

Yelp: No Stars Yet, No Reviews Yet

 

15.   Best LGBT Bar: Square Bar and Nightclub 

The Square Bar and Nightclub is anything but “square.” mainly because it caters to the LGBT crowd, but if you are straight, don’t let it stop you from going there. This local bar is loads of fun. Dance the night away with your pals to endless loops of electronica, and popular dance music.

Square Bar and Nightclub

820 West Market Street

Akron OH 44303

330-374-9661

Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 17 Reviews

16.   Best New Bar: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse 

Word of mouth has been very good on the opening of this brand new pub. It’s spacious with a menu variety that is hard to top. They have everything from burgers, to nachos, and everything in between. The beer list is extensive so if you are looking for something special they probably have it on tap.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

3265 West Market Street

Akron OH 44333

330-576-9480

Yelp: 3.5 Stars, 39 Reviews