clock menu more-arrow no yes
Drink in style without breaking the bank.
Drink in style without breaking the bank.
Joy Summers

8 Outstanding, Affordable Cocktail Bars

Class doesn't have to cost so much.

View as Map
Drink in style without breaking the bank.
| Joy Summers

Getting cheap drinks is no longer limited to a can of domestic beer and a single shot of rail whiskey (although that combination can be amazing).  Minneapolis has an extensive supply of well-managed cocktail programs, locally made spirits, and the desire of hard-working people to enjoy a variety of libations.  This setting makes conditions perfect for anyone with Rockefeller tastes and a Dickensian budget to get an amazing drink.

It can be embarrassing to ask which drink is cheap or what the specials are.  Skip that awkward step and visit places where the value is built in and the drinks are amazing.  Many restaurants in Minneapolis have high-quality cocktails using unique ingredients such as, lime acid or South African tea cordials, and are always priced under $9.

While saving money for the inevitable Trumpocolypse is paramount, someone could alternatively save for a cab ride home, a better tip to the smiling barkeep, or to buy your neighbor a drink.  Relax at one of these great Minneapolis bars and enjoy a craft cocktail at great price; it will be a rewarding experience.

—Article by Jon Robinson


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tattersall Distilling

Copy Link
1620 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 584-4152
Visit Website
The brilliant innovation is always on display at this Northeast Minneapolis cocktail room, and the prices are right. Try the gimlet for $8 with gin and a rooibos-lime cordial (rooibos is a South African mellow tea) or get an $8 Humdinger with vodka, strawberry, balsamic, and rosewater.
Joy Summers

2. Hi-Lo Diner

Copy Link
4020 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
If eating at the place Adele ate isn’t enough to get you there, then the prices should. At $7.50, the Hi-Loma is a refreshing tequila cocktail with grapefruit and a hint of spice. Secret of the pros, visit Sunday through Thursday from 2-5 p.m. and get this cocktail for $3.75.

3. Mercado

Copy Link
2904 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Why not go to a place where you can get a fantastic, quickly served cocktail for $10? Mercado uses Old Grand-Dad 100 and Jim Beam Rye Whiskey for it's signature Old Fashioned. There is also a French 75 with gin, lemon, ginger, and sparkling wine for $8 is a great refreshing option.

4. Young Joni

Copy Link
165 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 345-5719
Visit Website
This restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis features a cocktail list containing mostly $9 drinks. The smoky and spicy Paloma is on tap with tequila, mezcal, grapefruit, and a chili tincture. The Sarsaparilla is a refreshing cocktail with bourbon, house made sarsaparilla soda (root beer is modeled after the sarsaparilla flavor) and Italian vermouth.

5. Hola Arepa

Copy Link
3501 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 345-5583
Visit Website
This Latin-inspired restaurant’s cocktail list is always $9 and has a limited happy hour list from 3 to 6 p.m. for $6. The cocktails are appropriately rum and tequila heavy. Here they take classic cocktails and change the base spirits to reflect island life. The Oaxacan Manhattan has tequila, mezcal, and two types of vermouth or an Hola Fashioned has aged rum, house-made bitters, and a smoky scotch rinse.
Joy Summers

6. Volstead's Emporium

Copy Link
711 W. Lake
Minneapolis, MN
An old fashioned is the staple and trendy cocktail lately, much like vodka was 20 years ago, and can be overpriced simply because of the name. Volstead’s old fashioned mixes Cabin Still bourbon and a smoked demerara (more fancy sugar from South America) syrup for $9. Find this place in Uptown close to the Lyndale and Lake Street intersection, but don’t look for their sign, look for a grey door, a red light, and no sign.

7. Norseman Distillery

Copy Link
451 Taft St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
If you find yourself close to the University of Minnesota campus, and are okay with bearded bartenders, stop by Norseman Distillery. At $9, their Luxe cocktail is a tart play on a whiskey sour with Norseman’s own whiskey, lemon juice, and plantain amarro (amarro is an Italian bitter liqueur).

8. Nightingale

Copy Link
2551 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 354-7060
Visit Website
A full cocktail list for $8.50 is a rare occurrence in the restaurant world. Nightingale’s Sazerac with 100 proof Old Overholt rye, makes the novice smile with the balance of a proper cocktail at a great price. For someone who doesn’t want to be too adventurous, the Manhattan cocktail here is made with Maker’s Mark, which is a rarity at this price point.
Joy Summers

1. Tattersall Distilling

1620 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Joy Summers
The brilliant innovation is always on display at this Northeast Minneapolis cocktail room, and the prices are right. Try the gimlet for $8 with gin and a rooibos-lime cordial (rooibos is a South African mellow tea) or get an $8 Humdinger with vodka, strawberry, balsamic, and rosewater.
1620 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

2. Hi-Lo Diner

4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
If eating at the place Adele ate isn’t enough to get you there, then the prices should. At $7.50, the Hi-Loma is a refreshing tequila cocktail with grapefruit and a hint of spice. Secret of the pros, visit Sunday through Thursday from 2-5 p.m. and get this cocktail for $3.75.
4020 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

3. Mercado

2904 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Why not go to a place where you can get a fantastic, quickly served cocktail for $10? Mercado uses Old Grand-Dad 100 and Jim Beam Rye Whiskey for it's signature Old Fashioned. There is also a French 75 with gin, lemon, ginger, and sparkling wine for $8 is a great refreshing option.
2904 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

4. Young Joni

165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
This restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis features a cocktail list containing mostly $9 drinks. The smoky and spicy Paloma is on tap with tequila, mezcal, grapefruit, and a chili tincture. The Sarsaparilla is a refreshing cocktail with bourbon, house made sarsaparilla soda (root beer is modeled after the sarsaparilla flavor) and Italian vermouth.
165 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

5. Hola Arepa

3501 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Joy Summers
This Latin-inspired restaurant’s cocktail list is always $9 and has a limited happy hour list from 3 to 6 p.m. for $6. The cocktails are appropriately rum and tequila heavy. Here they take classic cocktails and change the base spirits to reflect island life. The Oaxacan Manhattan has tequila, mezcal, and two types of vermouth or an Hola Fashioned has aged rum, house-made bitters, and a smoky scotch rinse.
3501 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

6. Volstead's Emporium

711 W. Lake, Minneapolis, MN
An old fashioned is the staple and trendy cocktail lately, much like vodka was 20 years ago, and can be overpriced simply because of the name. Volstead’s old fashioned mixes Cabin Still bourbon and a smoked demerara (more fancy sugar from South America) syrup for $9. Find this place in Uptown close to the Lyndale and Lake Street intersection, but don’t look for their sign, look for a grey door, a red light, and no sign.
711 W. Lake
Minneapolis, MN

7. Norseman Distillery

451 Taft St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
If you find yourself close to the University of Minnesota campus, and are okay with bearded bartenders, stop by Norseman Distillery. At $9, their Luxe cocktail is a tart play on a whiskey sour with Norseman’s own whiskey, lemon juice, and plantain amarro (amarro is an Italian bitter liqueur).
451 Taft St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

8. Nightingale

2551 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Joy Summers
A full cocktail list for $8.50 is a rare occurrence in the restaurant world. Nightingale’s Sazerac with 100 proof Old Overholt rye, makes the novice smile with the balance of a proper cocktail at a great price. For someone who doesn’t want to be too adventurous, the Manhattan cocktail here is made with Maker’s Mark, which is a rarity at this price point.
2551 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Related Maps