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Lion Guides: Best Bars by Campus

Looking for your next hang out spot? Try one of these nearby bars. Think we missed one? Post your top choices in the comment section below or email us at


The Heights

Location: Broadway between 112th and 111th

What to get: Frozen margarita (Try the Hurricane, even just once.)

Food: Yes

Happy Hour: Everyday, 3pm-7pm, 11pm – close

Probably the nicest bar on campus when the roof is open, The Heights has a great bar, good music, and one frozen margarita will have you set for a while. The only issue is the bar’s small size. On weekends, you’ll be hard pressed to find room to dance, much less get a table. They burned down in January, but got better.


Location: 110th and Amsterdam

What to get: $3 can of Rolling Rock

Food: No

Happy Hour: Everyday, 4pm – 7pm

It’s grimy and dark, but it’s home. Until the administration comes through on their promise to create more student spaces (tentatively scheduled for the year 2000 and never), 1020 is the one place on campus where you might run into a Columbia friend who isn’t studying. Add that familiarity to the dirt cheap prices, and you’ll forget about the decor in an instant. It can be difficult to get a seat on the weekends, but during the week you should have no trouble.


Location: Broadway between 111th and 110th

What to get: If you have a lot of money, the milkshakes are pretty great

Food: Yes

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday, 4pm – 7pm

Basically what passes for a nightclub at Columbia. We recommend you go find a real one, but if you can’t be bothered to go off campus and really want to dance, Mel’s is the place. It’s also a pretty great restaurant, with amazing burgers and shakes. The only problem is that the food can be a little pricey for a student budget. Ask you NSOP leader to take you there for lunch.


Location: Broadway between 113th and 112th

What to get: Margaritas are good and the beer selection isn’t too shabby

Food: Yes

Happy Hour: Yes

It’s not a particularly special and the deals aren’t that great, but in the summer you can sit outside! So, you know, get on that. Also they’re an actual restaurant so if you want a full meal it’s not a bad place to go.

The Abbey Pub

Location: 105th between Amsterdam and Broadway

What to get: Cheap Sam Adams on tap

Food: Yes

Happy Hour: Monday – Saturday, 4 – 7pm. Sunday, 12pm – 7 pm

Cheap, cozy, relatively quiet, and always sporting plenty of free tables, the Abbey is the most underrated bar on campus. It’s a little out of the way, but if you’re just looking to hang out and talk while grabbing some beers, this might be the best place to do it.

Lion’s Head Tavern

Location: 109th and Amsterdam

What to get: $1 drafts on Wednesdays

Food: Yes

Happy Hour: Yes (see schedule)

Like 1020 but wish it were both cheaper and more depressing? Lion’s Head is here for you! You’ll always find a table at this bar, and if 1020 is too full, it’s just down one block. The drinks are even cheaper than it’s more popular neighbor (as long as you don’t mind Rolling Rock), and if you’re one Columbia’s rare sports fans, it’s also not a bad place to chill and watch the game.

Tara Hill (Cannon’s)  (Closed)

Location: 108th and Broadway

What to get: $1 drafts on Wednesdays

Food: Yes

Like staying out late AND losing your jacket in the same place? Then Tara Hill was the place for you. An Irish tavern located near campus, this was a popular hangout spot for many students who called it Cannon’s (the tavern’s former name). With live band performances happening almost every week, this was a great place to relax and unwind.


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