Whether you’re a fan of Michigan’s booming craft beer culture, looking for a classy or creative cocktail, or just want a simple dive or sports bar to while away a few hours in, Lansing has got you covered. Here are some of our favorite bars in the state capital.
The Lansing Brewing Company has a storied history in the city, opening all the way back in 1898 before Prohibition brought about its premature demise. A century on, it’s been resurrected as a cool and modern craft brewery, with all of its beer brewed on-site at its location near downtown. It has 12 of its beers on tap at all times, as well as wines, spirits, and an extensive food menu featuring barbecue, pizza, and sandwiches.
Despite its tavern name, Zoobie’s is, in fact, primarily known as a trendy spot to find a custom cocktail or craft beer. Located on the newly named Cesar E. Chavez Ave, Old Town’s main street, it also serves gourmet wood-fired pizza and more from its sister venue, The Cosmos. Its funky food and drink options attract a cool crowd, and its atmosphere is chilled and friendly.
Another great local brewery, Ozone’s Brewhouse is the work of a father-and-son team who combine experience and experimentation to create what they call “liquid art.” Its brewery and taproom are in a converted warehouse, and you’ll find a dozen of their creations on tap, including a cherry and vanilla amber ale and a cream ale with sage. They also serve pizza.
If you’re on board with the arcade bar trend, then The Grid Arcade & Bar is your best option in Lansing. They focus on lesser-known retro arcade and pinball games and hard-to-find craft brews, so don’t expect to find all of your favorite games or regular domestic beers. However, it’s still a fun atmosphere and an entertaining night out.
Sure HopCat is a chain with locations all around the Midwest, but it has over 100 draft taps, which is hard to ignore. Near the MSU campus in East Lansing, its young, energetic crowd gives it a lively ambiance, with both parents and students regularly packing the place out. Its crack fries are especially popular and have been voted among the country’s best.
Also in East Lansing, Crunchy’s is a dive bar institution that’s been open for over 35 years. Despite keeping with the times by introducing 27 craft beers on tap, it remains a charmingly old-school, simple watering hole, with a reputation for serving one of the best burgers in town. Karaoke takes places every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and it’s a great place to watch a game.
This neighborhood pub south of downtown may be small, but it packs a big punch, thanks to great ideas like having happy hour from opening until 7 pm every weekday, a free jukebox, and steak night on Wednesdays. Expect to find a diverse crowd of regulars and a welcoming atmosphere.
If live music is your thing, The Green Door offers nightly entertainment featuring local and national acts playing rock, soul, and blues, as well as weekly karaoke and DJ nights that attract large crowds. It also has darts, pool, and plenty of TVs showing sports, and an extensive menu of burgers, pizza, and classic appetizers.