If you don’t know anything about North Dakota, just know this: They know how to have fun. If you’re reading this guide to the best bars in Fargo, I’m assuming you’ve already gone down the same rabbit hole that I did while trying to finish my 50 states: Googling Things to do in North Dakota and asking yourself, “Do I really need to go all of the way across the United States just to see the largest buffalo monument in the world propped up in an empty field?” No, you don’t. However, you do need to go all of the way across the United States to check these bars off of your bucket list. Without further ado, I present to you: The best bars in Fargo, North Dakota.
Things To Do In North Dakota: The Best Bars In Fargo
Pounds is a great place to start your night off. They used to turn this restaurant into a dance floor until bar close, but, since the pandemic, the owner has come to a realization: He’s just not that into cleaning the unknown substances off the floor boards at the crack of dawn anymore. Regardless of this, Pounds has a great menu (the pickle fries are not to be skipped) and some fun cocktails. I tried the Capri Sun Cocktail and low and behold, it is literally a child’s juice box injected with vodka. You don’t see that everyday. Once you finish up here, you’re already downtown and in a great position to bar hop.
The Windbreak most likely will involve a crowd that you will have to mentally prepare for in advance, but it will no doubt be an experience to remember. The huge venue hosts tons of live bands with a mere $5 entry fee. On Thursdays, it’s Ladies Night, meaning all women can drink for absolutely free from 9PM to Midnight. With that being said, take my advice and go to the hidden gem of a gas station bathroom next door. You’ll avoid a rowdy hour-long wait to use the women’s restroom.
Sidestreet is probably one of the more chill spots in Fargo, or maybe it was just the night I was there. They have a greasy, mouthwatering menu with anything you could ever dream of eating at a bar. Perhaps the best part of Sidestreet is their beer garden out back and the pool tables inside. This is the perfect place to begin a night out in Fargo.
4. Bomb Shelter
Let me just start with Bomb Shelter is incredible because they have 2-4-1 drinks ALL of the time. You can never be late to happy hour. It just never ends. There’s are tons of games to keep you occupied here and even a wheel that you can spin to win various prizes. However, I do feel the need to mention that some of the prizes will feel more like a loss.
5. The Northern
I hesitate to mention this one, but I have to throw it out there because The Northern is actually connected to Bomb Shelter. It’s a strip club. That’s it, that’s the description.
Drekker’s is perhaps one of the best bars in Fargo for tourists to visit. The brewery itself is magical, built into an old train station and preserved in a sort of half-life state of mind-showcasing the old, but sparkling with a sense of something new. In Minneapolis, among many other places, the crazy beer flavors crafted here are actually so sought after that they’re considered exclusive. Every time the liquor store gets a few packs, people freak out and snap them up before the day ends. So, enjoy your flights of People Eater or Goon Platoon or whatever other amazing names they come up with next, play an arcade game or two, and gloat in the fact that you’re drinking pure exclusivity straight from the source.
7. Fort Noks
Fort Noks is surely one of the most bustling bars downtown on the weekends because it’s one of the bars frequented by the nearby college kids. With that being said, prepare to have your shoes stick to the floor, but find some cheap drinks and plenty of new people to hang out with.
Harold’s is definitely a local’s bar. Many people finish up their shifts and take a quick 5 minute drive across the bridge to Moorhead and unwind in Minnesota. However, on Wednesday Nights, this is the place to be. They have karaoke that will either make you want to sing along or buy earplugs (no offense) and tons of outdoor and indoor seating.
9. Duffy’s (cafe Dufe)
Duffy’s, or as the locals like to call it, Cafe Dufe, is about as dive bar as it can get, which we love. Imagine a circling bar big enough for everyone to feel like they’re sitting right next to the tap. There are green glowing bulbs that light up the selfies of locals plastered to the walls and dart machines positioned just right, where you’ll have to be on alert as soon as you enter from the back alley. This might just be the perfect place to end your night after hopping the best bars in Fargo.
I hope this quick guide gave you a sigh of relief in knowing that there actually may be more things to do in North Dakota than you thought. Even if your itinerary only consists of visiting all of the best bars in Fargo, you can at least come home with some cool local beer knowledge, a behind-the-scenes look at the locals and maybe even a shared obsession of Drekkers. I wish you the best of luck in bar-hopping and hope you have the chance to try a Capri Sun Cocktail before your adventures in North Dakota come to end.
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