Top Bars and Clubs in Baltimore

Baltimore’s nightlife is pretty varied and lends itself to virtually every tastes. There are great nightclubs for dancing to the latest thumping beats, comedy clubs to keep you laughing through the night, brew pubs for a relaxing night among friends, live music venues to hear your favorite local and national bands, and sports bars with an emphasis on the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles. If you don’t want to commit, skip from venue to venue and take in everything that Baltimore has to offer in its top bars and clubs.


Okay we just have to start the list with One because it’s quite possibly Baltimore’s most popular and happening nightclub. One is actually a very upscale nightclub and features four levels, each level is meant to represent one of the elements, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. The vibe is hip and the décor is minimalist, it’s the perfect combination for a trendy club with room enough for everyone to get up and move.

Grand Central

Baltimore’s Grand Central is the city’s most popular gay and lesbian entertainment complex. But as with most gay clubs, they atmosphere is friendly and fun and straights are definitely welcome. For those who haven’t been to a full-on gay club before you’re bound to see something you’ve never seen before, including club sponsored events such as the wet lube wrestling, always a crowd pleaser. The music is hip and happening, the drinks are strong, and the upstairs lounge is a nice quiet place to escape the noise and relax among friends, or to make new ones.


Sonar is the place to go if you’re looking for great live music. Three different rooms are available for live music acts so your chance of hitting some killer tunes is pretty good. Expect to find incredible local acts and well known national bands. The smaller stages host more intimate settings and the larger one is like a full on rock venue. When the DJ is in the house the concert space turns into a happening dance floor. The good news for some is that most concerts are open to all ages, but its best to check first just in case.

Iguana Cantina

Iguana Cantina is the closest thing to a spring break free for all in Baltimore. This huge open space offers great drink deals as their primary goal is to pack the club full of bouncing young bodies and then fill them with alcohol as they dance the night away. Except on Saturdays, when the club opens its doors to anyone over 18, just to give you younger set a chance to party too. If you’re young enough to still think spring break is a fun thing, then head to Iguana Cantina. You won’t be disappointed.

Ram’s Head Live

Another famous local nightclub with a headliner list you’re sure to know, Ram’s Head Live is a rocking venue for live music. In addition to providing you with a rocking good time, Ram’s Head Live actually has a wonderful storied history. The club dates back to the 1700’s and, although it was mainly a tavern, many businesses have resided in the location, one was a hotel with its own ghost, Amy. Amy still is said to haunt the establishment and if you ask the bartender he’ll show you where Amy’s bedpost resides today. What more could you want, great rock and roll, a historical building from the 1700’s and a ghost thrown in for fun.

The Brewer’s Art

Not a traditional nightclub and definitely not a bar with the frenetic energy of a DJ infused dance club, The Brewer’s Art is something totally different and worth visiting. The cuisine at The Brewer’s Art is absolutely incredible and will keep a smile on your face, but the home brewed beers, brewed on premises, will keep you smiling for hours to come. This upscale brew pub is a fantastic place to enjoy the local cuisine and ale and spend some quality time with your acquaintances.

Porter’s Pub and Grille

If it’s a sports bar you’re looking for then Porter’s Pub and Grille is a great choice as they’re not only known for their sports atmosphere, but they have a great deal on wine, there are 16 different reds and 16 different whites all for under $16. Porter’s features typical fare for a sports pub but comes with a little more history than a typical bar. Porter’s is named for Captain Porter who devised a way of letting the locals know if the ships coming in to the harbor carried friend or foe. The flags that signaled the townspeople hang in Porter’s now and offer a bit of unique atmosphere.


Sure ESPN Zone is a chain, but it’s a great kid friendly place to grab a drink and some food, watch your favorite sport’s team, and entertain the kids at the same time. This sports pub is actually considered one of the best local sports bars as its so sports focused and there are more than enough screens to keep you occupied.

The Horse You Came in on Saloon

With a cocky name you may get the wrong impression of The Horse You Came in on Saloon, but its nothing but friendly fun on the waterfront. This bar is a great place to relax and enjoy the view after a busy day of sight seeing in Baltimore. Be prepared, on weekdays the crowd is laid back and simply kicking back to chill, but on weekends the volume gets turned up as live bands are often featured and the Saloon knows how to get its clientele rocking.

Baltimore has a lot more to offer and its hard to sum up their happening nightlife in just one article. Each section of Baltimore features its own mood and atmosphere and the clubs seem to be keyholed into their particular region. As you learn more about what the city and its surrounding regions have to offer you’ll be better able to determine what hot spots suit your style.