Boasting a hand-carved mahogany bar, stunning stained-glass windows, and artifacts culled from the historical St. James Gate Brewery, Dublin Square bathes customers in the essence of Ireland like a tub full of Lucky Charms. The menu blends American bar favorites with authentic Irish specialties. Salute great canines of the past with the corned-beef-stuffed dublin hush puppies ($6.99), or submerge muttonchops in the irish beef dip ($8.99). A bevy of burger options includes the barbecue with irish bacon, with a generous slab of Angus beef slathered in green-apple barbecue sauce and cheese, then adorned with irish bacon ($8.99). Or stay green with a veggie panini, a combo of cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, olives, mushrooms, and cheese on toasted ciabatta ($7.99). Match your meal with one of the 19 craft beers from the full bar, including Guinness, or chase down the Dirty Leprechaun, a mischievous mix of Bailey’s, crème de menthe, Kahlua, and vanilla vodka that warms bellies like an embrace from a bashful rainbow.
There aren't many restaurants anymore where you can sit in the same booth your parents might have dined in 40 years ago. But such is the case at Beggar's Banquet. The self-proclaimed restaurant and saloon took root in 1973, founded by Bob Adler and named after his favorite Rolling Stones album. The pub-like main dining area remains down-to-earth and casual, welcoming guests with wood-paneled walls and stained-glass windows. The names of "beggulars" are etched on gold plates above the bar, and local families celebrate milestones in an elegant room dedicated to private parties. All of this, coupled with the nostalgic atmosphere and tasty, homestyle dishes, has helped Beggar’s Banquet earn praise as one of Lansing's best restaurants by 10Best.
Twenty ever-changing craft beers on tap and a wine list that ranges from malbecs to piesporters fuel the jovial ambiance. Cooks innovate creative spins on classic comfort food, adding muenster, havarti, and gouda to their baked mac 'n’ cheese and a blueberry compote to char-grilled pork chops. They also serve breakfast until 2 p.m., the time each day when orange juice magically transforms into soda pop.
Harrison Roadhouse's Spartan chefs pack a manifold pub menu with signature items that have delighted local palates for 30 years. A secret white-chicken-chili recipe ($4.99) quiets blabbing appetites from revealing the key to four consecutive victories at the annual East Lansing Chili Cook-Off. Among more than 20 sandwiches and burgers, marble rye and homemade Thriller sauce hug the Miller's Thriller's blend of roast and corned beef ($8.99) as bourbon beef chili pours like a meaty hailstorm over a juicy Roadapple burger ($8.49).
Elk and wild boar make unlikely bar guests, but the stuffed trophies of both are regulars on the walls at Jimmy’s Pub alongside a cadre of vintage portraits. This East Lansing bar—which has the old-fashioned, outdoorsy air of a brick-paved street, complete with antique-style street lamps—has been serving frosty mugs of Fat Tire and Guinness brews for more than a decade. Behind the wooden, horseshoe-shaped bar, bartenders pour drafts and mix specialty martinis such as the Blue Angel, whose vodka, blue curaçao, and crème de cacao come together only when shaken at 7 Gs. A hefty menu of Italian and American bar bites complements the libations with plates of seven-layer lasagna, half-pound burgers, and pretzel-crusted salmon. Fifteen high-definition televisions broadcast sports games throughout the expansive dining space, and a jukebox thrums with peppy tunes.
Lansing's original sports bar assuages appetites with a broad menu backdropped by big-screen sports and quirky regulars who all play the wacky neighbor in reality's long-running sitcom. Warm up flavor feelers with an appetizer sampler ($8.95) of onion rings, chicken fingers, fried mushrooms, and mozzarella sticks before insulating stomachs against poorly aimed cannonballs with a bacon cheeseburger ($5.75) or chili dog ($4.25). Art's popular homemade deluxe pizza ($15.50–$18.50)—adorned with pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and olives—keeps groups of competitive friends sated between rounds on the bar's shuffleboard, dartboards, and Michigan Lottery machine. Wash down any repast with a massive 32-ounce beer shooper ($4.15), which treats drinkers to the giddy thrill of chugging a fishbowl without the hassle of choking on another miniature castle.