Wilmington, North Carolina is a port city along a beach. It is known for its beach with its long boardwalk and perfect opportunities for surfing. Its downtown is a historic district that holds many important and interesting memories. The riverwalk is lined with restaurants, shops, and bars that make it a great place to visit. It is easy to have a great time there, especially if you spend time in the bars. We have a few awesome recommendations for you if you’re planning on visiting bars in Wilmington anytime soon!
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120 Greenfield St | Wilmington
This bar by the beach has an indoor and outdoor space with a great feel to it. It is a huge rustic place that has a modern vibe. That space was built with salvaged materials from the original structure, which was a 1940s grocery store. It has been a favorite spot for locals for over 10 years now!
They have an amazing selection of wines, southern iced tea, and craft beer. They have over 250 craft beers alongside other great drinks. They have cider, hard kombucha, and champagne splits. They have a full bar and their atmosphere is dog friendly. It is also known for its Sundown Screening movie nights and live music. When music is playing, both the inside and outside turns into a dance floor.
“This is a really chill place. I love that it is pet friendly and even kid friendly. It is really eccentric and hipster trendy at the same time. Great music on the back patio and a lot of parking. Not to mention directly beside all of these great restaurants!”--Yelp Review
116 S Front St | Wilmington
Barbary Coast is Wilmington’s oldest full bar. They offer over 100 flavors of beer. They also offer several different ways for their customers to have fun. They have foosball, darts, and pool tables. They also have a jukebox that has over 1,000 songs.
This bar was once featured as a quirky dive bar in a film called “Blue Velvet.” It still has as much charm as it does in the movie. Along with the great indoor space, it also has an outdoor patio that faces the Cape Fear River. And along with being Wilmington's oldest bar, this place also holds the title of “Wilmington’s original dog friendly bar.”
“Great dive bar! It's all you want in a dive bar, tall cold beer, loud jukebox, great people watching.
Good bartender as well. Full bar and a few TV's and games. Very laid back, an institution on front street downtown Wilmington one of the oldest bars is its claim. Take a break from the touristy bars, and shops and enjoy the local flavor.”--Yelp Review
16 Princess St | Wilmington
This modern “underground” bar is a lounge themed around the secretive KGB. The interior is a deep red color and features KGB memorabilia. This place is located just a few steps away from North Front Street and the amazing views of the riverwalk there. The venue is also located behind an iron gate.
They have chef-created cocktails for their customers to order, and people get to enjoy these drinks while sitting amongst gorgeous iron furniture. They also have a nice and secluded brick patio out back. On the average evening, you can find people having quiet conversations here, but on the weekends, you’ll find music and dancing.
“One of the first bars I was ever in 5 years ago when I was just visiting Wilmington before moving here. Still one of my favorites. Wide drink selection, always open, always friendly bartenders, and nice atmosphere. Feels like you're in another land inside these doors. Great outdoor terrace with nice seating.”--Yelp Review
There are just so many options here. Image courtesy of Pour Taproom.
201 N Front Street | Wilmington | pourtaproom.com
Pour Taproom was started in 2014 to support and locate local craft beer. They offer their customers a unique self service system that lets them try a large number of beer, wine, and cider. They also consistently change the selection they offer, so each time you visit, you get to try atry from a new selection of drinks.
This bar has several locations, but doesn’t consider themselves to be a franchise. They consider themselves to be a group of friends and family with small local businesses in different cities across the U.S. They even offer consultant services for people who want to start their own similar businesses!
“Get a wristband and pour your own beer by the ounce (wine is also available) in what used to be a bank. We attended a rehearsal dinner upstairs and had a good experience with the service and food. This is great if you are looking to try multiple beers.”--Yelp Review
111 Grace St | Wilmington | whiskeytangofoxtrotnc.com
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot specializes in craft cocktails. Their cocktails are made with fresh ingredients and premium spirits. They have mixologists who create each cocktail in a way that makes them unforgettable. Their bartenders are known for providing some of the best service and cocktails in town!
This bar also doubles as a music venue. Almost every weekend, they have talented bands come on for their customers to enjoy. They have different kinds of music playing at various times, so anyone can find something they like when they look through the music calendar on their website. They even sell fun store apparel like shorts and hoodies on their website.
“A MUST visit if you are in the Wilmington area and love a good drink. We stopped here because we loved the name. Trace was our mixologist. Had no idea what we wanted so we told him the alcohol we liked and gave him the dealer's choice. The drinks he chose for us were amazing. This is a definite return atop for when we visit Wilmington.”--Yelp Review
710 N 4th St | Wilmington
Goat and Compass is a neighborhood pub in a great location. It is in the middle of the Brooklyn Arts District on North Fourth Street. The downtown neighborhood is historic, and Goat and Compass has been there since 2007. It has a relaxing traditional English pub atmosphere that is great to spend time in. They also have an outdoor beer garden.
This pub, like many in Wilmington, is dog friendly! They also offer unique drinks that you can’t just get anywhere. You can choose from over 15 beers on tap along with specialties like bacon infused vodka. They also provide live music at times as well as outside games.
“Great humble bar and place to chill. They welcome all patrons alike. Although I haven't made it there during an event or for some music, I hear that it is worth the enjoyment of stopping in. Great place out back for games and smoking if you need. They have gas heaters that they don't mind firing up at times out back also.”--Yelp Review
138 S Front Street | Wilmington
Lula’s A Pub is a downtown favorite. It is situated just a short walk from the historic downtown riverwalk. The spot feels like a hideaway and is a very comfortable space for patrons. They get to enjoy the pub’s intimate atmosphere both inside and outside on their patio. The place is in a unique building that holds many interesting historical stories as well as paranormal ones.
Visiting Lula’s historic location tends to be very memorable. The walls are made with historic ballast stones that were used to build the place originally before it was a bar. The friendly bartenders who work there offer great beers on tap. Learning cool history and having drinks is a great combination for a relaxing time.
“Great dive bar with only the best bartenders and regulars. I also bring boating friends here to escape the shit show of downtown. Was here Monday night for a beautiful midnight wedding. This place is far from pretentious and it's easy to get a great drink among old friends or meet new ones.”--Yelp Reviews
106 N 2nd St | Wilmington
This Wilmington brewery is an essential part of the downtown area. It has tons of old world charm, especially being in the middle of historic downtown Wilmington. The brewery is also dog friendly, so you don’t have to leave your furry friend behind to visit them. The venue is also just steps away from a famous Wilmington mural.
Tavern Law lets customers enjoy tasting drinks from over 16 rotating taps. You can easily have a good time inside and outside of the brewery. Tavern Law is near several award-winningaward winning restaurants, music venues, and dance clubs. So you can easily have a few drinks and then hit the rest of the town!
“Seriously, one of the best bars around, period. It's my home bar for a reason. The three trio-owners actually care about more than their bottom lines and it shows. The bar is always in impeccable condition, bartenders that remember you and your orders, and the kind of hometown neighborhood bar you always dreamed of after watching too many episodes of cheers.”--Yelp Review
21 N Front St | Wilmington | blindelephantspeakeasy.com
The Blind Elephant is a 1920’s style speakeasy that serves 1920’s style drinks. They serve bourbon, spirits, moonshine, and cocktails. It is located in an alleyway that makes it feel like a secretive location. To get in, you have to knock on a metal door with a sliding glass window. There is no password required though, like there would’ve likely been in the past.
This is a fun place that holds many events for its customers. You can play pool, enjoy jazz piano events, and costume parties. They hold monthly whiskey tastings, Oscar viewing parties, and even offer private rooms. You can rent a VIP room whenever you want a cozy experience in this speakeasy. There are silent black and white gangster movies playing in the background and you get to choose from a wide array of drink options.
“This is probably the best bar in Wilmington. I love the whole scene. The decor, the excitement of even trying to find the place and the delicious mocktails and cocktails. Once you walk through the doors you are transported into the 1920's prohibition gangster era. The whole atmosphere was really chill and I loved the seating arrangements. This is a place that I would go back to time and time again.”--Yelp Review
Wilmington, North Carolina is a beachside town with a lot of fun to offer. They have many amazing bars worth visiting that will give you historic and unforgettable experiences. And when you’re done enjoying the bars, you can always head to the beach or to any of the many awesome places nearby!