Food & Drink

The 12 most essential bars in Atlantic City

Published On 07/10/2014 Published On 07/10/2014

We've already told you about the most essential restaurants in Atlantic City, but if you came to America's Favorite Playground to play at the casinos, or if you just like having a drink, you're probably going to need a list of AC's 12 most essential bars. Here it is...

Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House

Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House (address and info)
Now helmed by former employees, this laid-back spot boasts some badass burgers (try the Onion Burger w/ caramelized onions & fried onion straws), but they're all about carrying "the best local and craft brews we can find”. Lucky for you, they've found things like the 10% ABV Muffin Top from Clown Shoes, plus brews from Yards, Southern Tier, and more.

The Iron Room

The Iron Room (address and info)
Walk in -- and through -- Atlantic City Bottle Company to find this comfortable leather chair-laden boozer w/ impressive eats like foie gras French toast (?!), and more importantly, an impressive list of Scotch and rotating craft beer specials scrawled on the chalkboard.

Boneyard Bar & Grill

The BoneYard Bar & Grill (address and info)
This sweet dive bar has $3 wells, $2 PBRs and $5 beer-and-a-shot combos until midnight, plus a wide variety of craft beers, attentive bartenders, and random vegetarian options. You, however, should stick to the fried pickles, the Texas-toast grilled cheese, or grab a burger and take it to the back patio for some oversized beer pong.

Cassie Hepler

The Irish Pub (address and info)
You've been to Irish pubs before, but probably not one that's right on the boardwalk with a surprisingly sweet Victorian inn upstairs (with rooms starting at $25 per night), an outdoor deck out back, AND a rep as one of the best boozers in the country. Unless you've been to The Irish Pub (THE Irish Pub?), where they've got $3 apps (Lollipop Meatballs, fried ravioli, etc.), daily $9 dinner specials, and all the usual brews.

Mussel Bar & Grille Revel

Mussel Bar & Grille (address and info)
Boasting a solid seafood menu ($1.50 oysters & $1 clams 'til 7pm!), a knotted oak floor, and a bar embedded with mussel shells, this casino-based boozer is also an unbeatable destination for Belgian brews: they've got at least 75 of 'em, including a Belgian draft -- just $4 all day, every day -- and a brew called Antigoon that you can't get anywhere else 'cause it's made exclusively for the chef.

Continental AC

Continental (address and info)
On the second floor above Caesar's shops, this swanky imbibery from Steven Starr is fitted with dark leather booths in the back and features a drink menu studded with craft cocktails like Run for the Roses (w/ Jim Beam, Wild Turkey American Honey, mint & lemon) and the VeeV Acai-based Summer Thyme (w/ watermelon puree, muddled pineapple, and... um, thyme, presumably).

Cassie Hepler

Mountain Bar (address and info)
This debauched boozer in Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino has cowgirls dancing on the bar and a happy hour with $2 shots and $3 beers that last 24 hours. What can possibly go wrong? Lots of things, but probably not your night.

Chelsea Pub-ac

Chelsea Pub & Inn (address and info)
Unlike the aforementioned Mountain, this is a 24-hour bar without cowgirls dancing on the bar, which means that when you hit this beachside local hangout, you'll have to settle for cheap, strong drinks instead.

Back Bay Ale House

Back Bay Alehouse (address and info)
Away from the boardwalk/casinos, this charmingly ramshackle harbor-side drink spot boasts a second floor deck that's perfect for noshing on fried clams and drinking cocktails like their Bob Marley w/ lemonade and mint from 32oz Mason jars.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Gypsy Bar (address and info)
This relatively laid-back (for the Borgata) spot boast live bands every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with no cover, a craft tequila menu, an exotic beer selection, and a motto (“Lick it, suck it, bite it”), that makes these places totally jealous.

Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery

Tun Tavern (address and info)
The only brewery in AC, TT does their house brews (Devil Dog Pale, Leather Neck Stout, All-American IPA, etc.) by the glass -- or growler-style for $20 w/ $12 refills -- and has a solid range of pub eats (the crab-topped Blue Claw Fries, a Brow Ale roast beef sandwich, etc.) to go with 'em.

Wet Willie's Atlantic City

Wet Willie’s (address and info)
Fresh outta Florida, Tropicana’s boozy slushy destination is dispensing to-go-style frozen booze, including their signature Call a Cab, and the tangy orange Attitude Improvement, both made w/ 190-proof pure grain alcohol.

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1. Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House 672 N. Trenton Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The menu's got everything from salmon to hummus to sliders, plus the largest selection of craft brews in AC. There's also live music and tons of TV for game days.

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2. The Iron Room 648 N Albany Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Located in the back of the Atlantic City Bottle Company, the Iron Room is a speakeasy and tasting room serving up small plates and growlers.

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3. BoneYard Bar & Grill 20 S Virginia Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

It's part restaurant, part bar, part music venue -- so basically it's got everything you'll need for a great night out (including karaoke). Plus, it's open 24 hours a day.

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4. The Irish Pub 164 Saint James Pl, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

With $3 beers, 50-cent wings after midnight, and rooms above the bar for rent starting at $25, we're pretty sure this classic Boardwalk Irish pub is run by Prohibition mobsters. So if you run into Nucky Thompson, we told you so.

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5. Mussel Bar 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

From chef Robert Wiedmaier comes Mussel Bar in Revel, where you can feast on bivalves bathed in white wine, spicy Thai green curry, or melted Gruyere cheese. Mussel's got brunch, lunch, and dinner menus available, as well as a Belgian-centric brew list and cocktails.

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6. The Continental 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Stephen Starr's rooftop retro diner at the Pier Shops at Caesars serves up small bites like tuna tartare potato skins and lobster mac 'n cheese -- along with a ridiculous boozy brunch featuring the likes of Fluffernutter waffles.

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7. Mountain Bar 1900 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Get down and dirty frontier-style at this honky tonk bar on the Boardwalk. This Wild West-themed bar in Bally's casino offers great drinks, food, and live music.

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8. Chelsea Pub & Inn 8 S Morris Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The Chelsea Pub is cheap, clean, and full of locals -- something that can't be said for many other 24-hour bars in AC. It's a great dive bar and it's connected to an inn decorated like your crazy aunt’s house, the drinks are cheap, strong and plentiful.

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9. Back Bay Ale House 800 N New Hampshire Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Back Bay Ale House is a little piece of the Key West and home to Basin Mason Margarita. It's open mid-February to the end of the year.

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10. Gypsy Bar 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The Gypsy Bar, part of the swanky Borgata, has live bands every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There's no cover either, which means you can spend more money at the gourmet tequila menu or on the exotic beer selections.

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11. Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery 2 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

This brewery was one of the first in the country and the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps. More importantly, you can take home a growler of any hand-crafted seasonal brew for $20, refills $12. Make those Marines proud: refill six times and the seventh one is on the house.

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12. Wet Willie's The Quarter at Tropicana, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Wet Willie's brings you possibly the best thing ever: alcoholic slushies. They aren't all strong, but if you're looking for something that is, try the Call A Cab with 190 proof.

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