An unmitigated carnival of pure underground talent, the Reading Rooms is the doyen of the Dundee music scene. This hip industrial-retro space shed its hushed library days in exchange for a chameleon coat of non-commercial club nights showcasing the best of Dundee and Scotland’s music promoters. Music spans from funk and soul, to dubstep, reggae, electro, hip hop and rockabilly, while the D&B sound system is legit. This is what it’s all about.
DUSA The Union
The Dundee University Students Association or DUSA really can do no wrong. These guys host one epic club night after the next. And they do it flawlessly time and time again. A student party playground, The Union is voted Scotland’s best student union, securing its reputation as one of the greatest nightlife spots in the UK. From themed nights to wild raves, and confetti-covered DJ sets, it’s always party o’clock at The Union.
DUSA The Union, Airlie Place, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 386060
A popular haunt close to the main uni campus, Braes is a little bit of everything rolled into one. Stylish Scandi-esque touches create an effortless ambience, while the drinks menu takes centre stage, with fun cocktails ranging from refreshing classics like Long Island Iced Tea and Sex on the Beach, to fresh alternatives like the Dr Pepper-infused Dr Meister. Plenty of group tables set the scene for friend-filled banter sessions and the multiple plugs are a godsend for self-confessed tech addicts.
Braes, Perth Rd, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 226344
A tried and true gem in its own right, there’s always something happening at Artbar. Woven into the cultural fabric of Dundee, this cosy hole in the wall boasts first-class drinks, a constant sea of friendly faces and an outdoor area perfectly suited to sunny conversations. With its focus on good music and an authentic lively ambience, entering Artbar is like coming home.
Artbar, 140 Perth Rd, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 227888
Clarks On Lindsay Street
Loved for its live music and extra late nights, Clarks on Lindsay Street is a staple in Dundee’s party scene. This dynamite bar hosts a string of local acts showcasing a wealth of musical prowess from rock to jazz. Punters can take their pick from the enjoyable drinks menu, cocktails included, while soaking up the atmosphere. The elevated pub grub adds another string to the already appealing bow.
Clarks On Lindsay Street, 80 N Lindsay St, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 224925
The Wine Press
Those always up for sharing platters and wine will fall head over heels for this jewel of a wine bar. A fabulous grape-infused hotspot filled with all the favourites, The Wine Press caters to all taste desires. Separating it from the rest is the surprising selection of craft beer, moreish nibbles and trendy outdoor patio, all from a prime waterfront location a stone’s throw from the V&A and Slessor Gardens.
The Wine Press, 16 Shore Terrace, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 204444
Judging by the booze selection alone, Duke’s Corner falls into the category of bar royalty. Staying true to its motto of ‘Beers. Eats. Tunes’, this bustling drinking den delivers all that with a cherry on top. The unrivalled drinks menu spans the whole beverage gamut, especially when it comes to original craft beers. Asides from taking pub grub to new heights, Duke’s patio takes the crown as Dundee’s best beer garden. Add the live music and bbq and you’ve got a winning combination.
Duke’s Corner, 13 Brown St, Dundee, Dundee City, Scotland +44 1382 205052
An intimate sweat box of an institution, Kage Nightclub is like that friend who never runs out of side-splitting jokes. There’s something soothingly familiar and you always want more. When mainstream becomes too much and all that will suffice is time warp tunes and an appreciation for all things counter-cultural, consider this wee firecracker of a club the spiritual home of alternative nights out in Dundee. Appealing drinks prices, rocking tunes and cheerful faces — the kind of place you want to let loose.
Banging beats and otherworldly concoctions are just two of the ingredients that place Jam Jar in a league of its own. Going above and beyond the ordinary in both flavour and ingenuity, the cocktails are mixed like magic. And for such a cosy compact spot, the choices are endless. Suave and effortless, the dimmed lighting and chic décor help set the mood, the DJs make every day a party and the contemporary takes on classics always welcomed.
Jam Jar, 2b Whitehall Cres, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 225023
Jute Café Bar
You can’t contemplate Dundee’s nightlife without giving Jute much-deserved recognition. Forever the life and soul of the party, this café come bar serves up the perfect blend of fun and ingenuity come day or night. Housed within the ultra-hip Dundee Contemporary Arts, Jute boasts an impressive drinks list covering all the classics to the more unique, including an extensive array of Scottish gins and malts. The signature Toblerone Martini cocktail — Frangelico, Kahlua, Baileys, Chocolate, honey and almond syrup — is a dream come true.
Jute Café Bar, 152 Nethergate, Dundee, Scotland +44 1382 909246