Bronx Bar | 4476 2nd Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8464: Bronx has the works: a well-rounded jukebox, cheap brunch, an expansive Bloody Mary bar, and no TVs. It may be jam-packed during the weekend, but it's sure to be packed to the rafters on that big Wednesday night.
Cass Cafe | 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400; casscafe.com: Just on the outskirts of Wayne State's campus, the Cass Café sits with its unassuming brick façade. However, on the inside, is a very cool place to enjoy a drink with friends and check out local art and rub elbows with interesting folks.
Cheli's Chili Bar Detroit | 47 E. Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-961-1700; chelischilibar.com: With 36 flat-screen televisions, this half-timbered edifice on Adams, right off Woodward, would seem the perfect place to bask in hockeyness.
Clubhouse BFD | 2265 Crooks Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-289-6093; chbfd.com: Sharing the building with East Side Mario's, BFD's parking lot is usually jammed up by 7 on a weeknight, filled to capacity with people enjoying beer and innovative bar fare like sweet potato tater tots, as well as what's flowing on the impressive taps.
Corktown Tavern | 1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5103; corktowntavern.com: This stretch of Michigan Avenue in Corktown has a new shine to it, but the folks at Corktown keep it real, between the affordable drinks and the ear-bursting punk often on the stage. Enjoy a classic cool bar, even as the joints serving charcuterie encroach!
The Crofoot |1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333: Shake your ass until turkey time with a full night of punk-inspired rock and punk rock-inspired electronica. Death From Above 1979 starts the night out at 8 p.m. and the band's own Jesse Keeler keeps the afterparty going in the Pike Room at 10 p.m. as part of dance-punk duo MSTRKRFT.
Dooleys Tavern | 27 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-677-6262: Billed as the home of the $1 draft, you can get a good deal on beer at Dooley's, along with trivia nights, beer pong nights, mug nights, ladies' nights and more. It's that appealing suburban mix of sports, entertainment, and casual family dining that packs them in.
Dragonmead | 14600 E. 11 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-776-9428: It doesn't get any grander than Dragonmead. The squat, unpretentious building by the side of a freeway service drive serves some of the best fermented beverages around, including some high-ABV pours, such as Belgian-style ales that can run to 10 percent ABV. A great place if you want your bar night to center on beer-drinking.
Elektricity | 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-599-2212: Get ready for a full-frontal assault of bass-heavy electronic music with Robert Taylor, Attak, Trill Clinton, Cameron Oakley and more. It all gets moving at 8:30, and admission before then is free.
Firebird Tavern | 419 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-782-4189; firebirdtavern.com: It's not hard to put together the basics of a good tavern, but it's the fine points that are demanding. Firebird Tavern has them covered, with specialty cocktails, dozens of Michigan brews, and a menu to restore you for that drive home.
Garden Bowl | 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; majesticdetroit.com: Sure, you've been to a local bowling alley with a bar, but none compare to the Garden Bowl. It's a bare bones operation, with affordable booze, pizza within an earshot, and good music usually playing at tolerable volumes.
Gator Jakes Bar Grill Patio | 36863 Van Dyke Ave., Sterling Heights; 586-983-3700; gatorjakes.com: Gator Jakes may be the perfect sort of place to soak up some warmth (or at least some booze) on a snowy winter night.
Grasshopper Underground | 22757 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale; 248-298-0330: Want a taste of legendary '90s dance and house? Join Kerri Chandler and resident house music experts in a space with laid-back style and cutting-edge sound systems, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Green Dot Stables | 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-962-5588; greendotstables.com: Go for the sliders (the Korean with peanut butter and kim-chi changed our life.). Stay for the beer, mixed drinks, ponies, and classic décor.
Gusoline Alley | 309 S. Center St., Royal Oak; 248-545-2235: If a bar could be a person, Gusoline Alley would be your punk friend from high school that you run into every once in a while and never really know what they're talking about, but you nod along and laugh anyway. After all, it's a charming dive with a kickass jukebox.
The Hills Bar & Grille | 6810 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-237-7703; thehillsbar.com: Just off Rochester Road, north of the city's historic downtown, the quaint bar and grill is stylish but homey. The drink menu has the assortment of Michigan beers drinkers have come to demand, but also a solid selection of wines and craft cocktails.
Honest John's Bar & Grill | 488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-5646: Spend the night drinking elsewhere, but around 1 a.m., you should mosey on over to Honest John's for a late-night 40 oz. of Old Milwaukee and a basket of fries unrivaled around the Cass Corridor. The kitchen here keeps things rolling until 2 a.m.
The Hub Sports Bistro | 16780 21 Mile Rd, Macomb Twp.; 586-226-3399; facebook.com/thehubsportsbistro: A menu that goes above and beyond your typical "sports bar" and a full bar with over 20 beers on draft helps draw a crowd of both young and old. Relive your old "college days" with a game of beer pong in the gaming room, which also features darts, foosball, and pool tables. Wednesday night features $3 you-call-its, and DJ Don Mecca starts spinning at 10 p.m.
Jumbo's Bar | 3736 Third St., Detroit; 313-831-8949: Off the beaten path of revitalized Midtown lies this gem, a hole-in-the-wall dive that carries booze you'd expect to find at a dive bar. Enjoy the company, the patio, the jukebox, the neighborhood characters, and just drink.
Loving Touch | 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale: With a name taken from the building's former incarnation as a massage parlor, a fake forest, plenty of pool tables, and a knack for booking some excellent national acts, the Loving Touch has great atmosphere. Oh, and there's beer, too — on tap are selections from next-door's Woodward Avenue Brewers.
Majestic Theatre | 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700: The city's own Danny Brown and the Bruiser Brigade are coming to the Majestic to get pre-Thanksgiving partygoers started out in true Detroit style. Show starts at 8 p.m.; $20
New Dodge Lounge | Old drunks, young punks, and hipster hunks all converge on the New Dodge each Thursday to karaoke. Chances are, they'll be there a day earlier to drink the night away. Too bright and clean for you? The Painted Lady is just down the alley, bub.
New Way Bar | 23130 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-541-9870: New Way Bar has come a long way in the short time it has been under new management. There is still that old-school, dive-bar vibe to it, but you don't feel like a staph infection is inevitable. New Way is also a great venue for live local music and stand-up comedy.
Northern Lights Lounge | 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739: This stylish bar and performance venue sprawls throughout a large space that can seat more than 100 guests, from booths to tables to a long and commodious bar.
Old Miami | 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit: 313-831-3830: It's not unusual to find millennial punks mingling with Vietnam vets while listening to '90s R&B at this shot-and-a-beer bar. A "Rodriguez for Mayor" painting and couches reminiscent of your grandparents' basement further round out the Old Miami's vibe.
Pat O'Brien's | 22385 E. 10 Mile Rd., St. Clair Shores; 586-771-5715; pobtavern.com: Pat O'Brien's offers more than just a place to watch a game and have a beer. They have a great selection of beers on tap and the best bar food on the Nautical Mile. While the weather allows, the outdoor patio is a comfortable place to sit with friends and catch a breeze coming off the lake.
PJ's Lager House | 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; pjslagerhouse.com: Pj's carries a menu full of options for carnivores and vegetarians. The bar's Sunday brunch provides affordable fare, with cheap mimosas and Bloody Marys to boot. The music will keep the party going, with Jeecy and the Jungle, Duende, and Six & the Sevens taking the stage; $8; 21 and older only.
The Red Dog Saloon | 250 W. Summit St, Milford; 248-685-2171; redogsaloon.com: This place is essentially Milford's Cheers bar — you know, where everybody knows your name, and the walls are covered in bar mirrors, old signs, banners, taxidermy, and other tchotchkes.
Renshaw Lounge | 210 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-616-3016; renshawlounge.com: Yeah, the Renshaw used to be a dive, but even though it's expanded and much grander, it still has some of the best drink prices in metro Detroit. Owner Mike Lang insists that you can still get drunk at the Renshaw for $10. You'll just have to do it in a nicer place. Deal?
The Rockery | 1175 Eureka Rd., Wyandotte; 734-281-4629: This place doesn't look like much, but it has so much to give. The Wyandotte dive has a great selection of Michigan craft beers and locally made liquors, and the staff know how to whip up something stiff and delicious. Pop in on the weekends for live music and don't forget about Soul Deep!
Third Street Saloon | 701 W. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3434: Long wooden tables and a fireplace give Third Street a dive-bar-meets-cabin vibe. Soak up their excellent beer selection with Dangerously Delicious Pies. Also, this bar's got plenty of games, including darts, shuffleboard, ski-ball, and ring toss.
Thomas Magee's | 1408 E. Fisher Service Dr., Detroit; 313-263-4342; thomasmagees.com: Whiskey fans will find much to like about this Eastern Market bar, whose selection of more than 100 options makes it one of the largest in the city (craft beer snobs should drink elsewhere). Tip: There's no kitchen here, but Supino Pizzeria is mercifully nearby.
Three Blind Mice Irish Pub |101 N. Main St., Mount Clemens; 586-961-6371; threeblindmiceirishpub.com: Right on Main Street in downtown Mount Clemens, this relatively new entry has a drinks menu that runs several pages, and the waitresses are often clad in kilts.
Token Lounge | 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030: On the eve of its 43rd Thanksgiving, the Token Lounge is serving up a night of music for only $10 a pop at the door. The hard-rocking lineup includes Mariner, Sweet Crystal, the Great Mystery, Jackstand, and SRP. Doors open at 7.
Tony V's | 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-833-5595: John Lulgjuraj reopened the space that used to be Alvin's last summer with more modest goals: to build a fun space for students and neighbors, with karaoke, trivia, "college night," DJs, and live music. A menu of a dozen pizzas don't hurt either.
Town Pump Tavern | 100 W. Montcalm St., Detroit; 313-961-1929; thetownpumptavern.com: If you're hitting a concert, Tigers game, or just bar-hopping downtown, this old-timey-style tavern is a requisite stop, thanks to its traditional menu and full bar. You won't get smarmy craft cocktails or any flair bartending, but the service is quality and the drinks are stiff.
TV Lounge | 2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-965-4789: If you're into Detroit's DJ scene, TV Lounge is the place to be. Partitions help divide the action, from the red room where the dancing's at, to the more relaxed blue room, to a recently renovated outdoor patio. Drinks are a little more expensive, but this place makes up for it in swanky atmosphere.
Vicente's | 1250 Library St., Detroit; 313-962-8800; www.vicente.us: Vicente's boasts a diverse drink selection, including mojitos and sangria (you can even buy sangria by the growler, to go). Those drinks could come in handy, giving you the courage to try the salsa dancing lessons here.
Whiskey Disco | 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7200: The downtown space that formerly housed Oslo is open again, this time as Whiskey Disco, a bar with a gritty Detroit dance vibe that's rounded out with sets from DJs.
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