The 10 Best Bars In Columbia, Maryland

Photo of Chrissy Pak
9 February 2017

Columbia is a good sized suburban town with a surprisingly robust nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a brewery specializing in craft beers, an upscale bar with creative and classic cocktails, an elegant winery, or simply a casual sports bar in which you can catch the latest game, Columbia has you covered. Read on for our 10 best bars in this thriving neighborhood of Maryland.

The Ale House Columbia

Despite its name, The Ale House offers cocktails and live entertainment as well as craft beers. With three indoor bars featuring over 30 big screens to watch your favorite teams, as well as a spacious outdoor patio, The Ale House is perfect for a private party, a solo excursion, or a fun adventure with friends. Executive chef Chris Morris serves freshly made food and expertly crafted drinks. With over 50 craft beers as well as the house brand, Oliver Breweries, the choices are dizzying as well as friendly on your wallet. After 10pm, you can get 16 ounce beers for just four dollars.

Craft beer | © Uri Tours/Flickr

Victoria Gastro Pub

A family owned pub with a warm and inviting atmosphere, the Victoria Gastro Pub serves sophisticated and innovative twists on classic pub fare. This is topped off by an eclectic beer and wine list, which offers tempting options such as the unoaked chardonnay. They have an amazingly wide selections of beers and even offer membership in a beer club.

Wine Bottles | Courtesy of Victoria Gastro Pub

Pub Dog

Specializing in craft beers and gourmet thin crust pizzas, Pub Dog is for the discerning soul who enjoys the simpler pleasures in life. It offers shuffleboard, happy hour on weekdays, and friendly staff. Its microbrews come highly recommended, including the combination/mixed breed drafts, which are all named after dogs. Their beer comes served in two smaller glasses of eight ounces rather than the traditional large pint, which makes mixing and matching between their wide beer range easier. They also offer a dog deal, which consists of two mugs of the house craft beer.

© Goiwara/Pixabay

Seasons 52

Offering a seasonal menu that changes according to the fresh ingredients available, Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that focuses on health and wholesomeness. With two wine rooms, one named Sonoma and the other named Napa, the seating is relaxed and spacious, with beautiful and elegant décor throughout the restaurant. For those who like a bit of food to accompany their wine, which can come in a glass or in a flight, there’s no need to worry about counting calories; each dish at Seasons 52 clocks in at under 500 calories. With a live pianist in the the bar area and an international selection of 100 wines, Seasons 52 is perfect for an elegant, healthy night out.

Cucumber Basil Smash | Courtesy of Seasons 52

Sonoma’s Bar and Grille

With live music almost every weekend as well as poker nights, sports events, corn hole, and karaoke, Sonoma’s Bar and Grille is a bustling hub of casual entertainment that offers a bit of everything. Numerous flat screen televisions and big game specials ensure sports fans’ loyalty. Cash prizes and beer pitchers entice patrons to participate in live trivia games, while an outdoor patio provides a smoker’s haven. Happy hour offers two dollar pints for domestic beers and a dollar off international beers, as well as special prices on the bar menu. With seating for over 250 people, Sonoma’s Bar and Grille is the place to be on any given night.

© Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Iron Bridge Wine Company

Featuring over 250 wine selections, this compendium of bar, restaurant, and wine shop offers a cozy atmosphere for those who wish to enjoy a glass of wine by itself or with various culinary accompaniments, or those who wish to purchase their a bottle. The dark wood and slightly dim lighting of the interior creates a cozy yet classy atmosphere; a wavy granite high top counter offers upscale seating at the bar. Cheese plates, seasonal bread pudding, and other light small plate creations, are offered as well as more substantial dining. For drinkers who love a good variety, Iron Bridge Wine Company does also offer a craft beer and cocktail selection.

Vincent Culotta | Courtesy of Iron Bridge Wine Company

Nottingham’s Tavern

Established in 1992, Nottingham’s Tavern began as a pool hall and developed into a comprehensive bar with live music that includes some of the best cover bands on the East Coast – Mr. Green Genes, Lost in Paris, and 3AM – as well as independent local bands such as VS the Earth, Fools & Horses, and The Bridge. With a large outdoor area and a tiki bar, they offer a place for smoking; indoors, they have pool tables, a shuffleboard table, and a large private room in the back. They show all NFL and NHL games on over 16 televisions and also offer weekly karaoke, with DJs on the weekend.

© Christian Birkholz/Pixabay

AIDA Bistro and Wine Bar

With over 30 wines on tap, AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar’s wine on tap system is the largest in Maryland and the second largest in the country. It features special flights of tastes as well as individual glasses. For the wine drinker who enjoys accompanying platters, AIDA specialises in classic Italian as well as an eclectic mix of unorthodox small plates from a variety of culinary cultures. It also features locally produced items from regional farms.

Wine Taps | Courtesy of AIDA Bistro

Tino’s Italian Bistro

For casual Italian with a generous dose of class, Tino’s Italian Bistro offers fresh ingredients, fifth generation recipes made from scratch, and authentic Italian cuisine to go with their extensive wine list. Awarded the Best New Restaurant in Howard county, Tino’s has maintained high standards, excellent prices, and detail-oriented service that won it the award. Enjoy a variety of specialty salads and decadent desserts with Italian wine, which comes traditionally on its own or mixed in delicious wine-based drinks, such as a variety of sangrias.

© Marler/WikiCommons

Frisco Taphouse & Brewery

Despite its humble beginnings as Frisco Burrito in 1996, Frisco Taphouse & Brewery has since expanded to a large beer bar which offers 20 taps of craft beers, a top shelf collection of tequilas, and an eclectic mix of wines and spirits. In addition to this, they serve Southwestern food – burritos in particular – and their vegetarian burrito comes highly recommended. It now refers to itself as a beer bar and offers a Mug Club for regulars and Pint Night on Wednesdays; the latter is particularly guest and traveller friendly.

© James Lee/Flickr

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