Nightlife in Iowa City

Select Local Merchants

The same venue that hosts weddings and upscale dinners also welcomes established comedians and rock bands, making First Avenue Club a go-to destination for all manner of events. Inside, a full-service bar overflows with 12 draft beers, 40 bottled beers, and a wealth of mixed drinks. Further behind the scenes, the kitchen fires up hearty entrees such as roast pork loin and baked cod.

1550 S 1st Ave
Iowa City,
IA
US

Although most patrons won't meet the eponymous Carl or Ernie of Carl & Ernie's Good Time Pub and Grub, they will certainly meet the pub's most famous resident: its life-sized Clydesdale statue. The horse looks out from the corner of the bar, watching games of darts and serving as a beacon to the bar's long allegiance with Budweiser. But Budweiser isn't the pub's only beer. Bartenders serve up a full range of drinks and drafts, which can be paired with classic pub food. The nightly specials include pizza, tacos, and tenderloins. Guests can snack on these foods as they watch the Hawkeyes play, sing some karaoke, or sit on the patio to estimate the returns on selling umbrellas that double as sundials.

161 Highway 1 W
Iowa City,
IA
US

Coach's Corner Sports Pub presents a slate of bar food such wings and burgers to slake the cravings of sports fans. The pub's TVs show Iowa games and even broadcast Cardinals games for non-Cubs fans.

749 Mormon Trek Blvd
Iowa City,
IA
US

It's rare to witness a moment of silence at J&A Tap, where the air is constantly filled with the tinkle of clinking glasses full of craft beer and the melodies of live musicians and possibly melodious karaoke singers. On warm summer days, whistles and cheers waft in from lively volleyball games taking place out on the pub's two sandy courts. And in the kitchen, there's always the sizzle of grills and the hiss of frying pans as chefs whip up housemade burgers, crispy seafood, and sausage-speckled pizzas.

440 North Dubuque Street
North Liberty,
IA
US

Palms pairs classic Mexican cuisine with music and lively events such as weekly salsa dancing. The menu of Mexican staples features sautéed seafood as well as enchiladas, tacos, and burritos sporting spicy Mexican sauces.

1215 Jordan St
North Liberty,
IA
US