Gainesville is known for its college and its college bars. The city has been named one of the top party colleges for years, and for good reason. The bars in midtown and downtown Gainesville are hot spots for college students. We've compiled a list of the best college bars in Gainesville. These bars have everything that college students look for in a bar; cheap drinks, good music, and a rowdy time with friends! 

Balls Bookstore

This place is the definition of a dive bar. With rowdy students and loud music, the bar is a Gainesville staple. It’s been open since 1989. The walls are covered with graffiti and the building is not pristine but the $2 doubles keep customers coming back. Happy hour is 6-8 p.m. on Friday and is all you can drink.

This bar has a classic saloon feel to it with a pool table and old cigarette machine. The music varies from old country to rock and roll. Salty Dog is always crowded with college students drinking with friends. It’s is a great place to grab a cold one with more than 70 beers to choose from and daily beer pitcher specials for $5.49. Happy Hour is 4-7pm for fall/spring semester and 4-8 pm during the summer.

Grog House

If you’re looking for cheap drinks and a place to dance, Grog is the right place. Their “beat the clock” happy hour special is hard to beat! Free well drinks start at 9 p.m. and the price goes up 25 cents every 30 minutes. There are also 25 cent pitchers starting at 9 p.m. and the price goes up 25 cents every 15 minutes. It’s a happy hour special that rivals most! Beat the Clock Happy Hour at Grog's is Friday’s 9 p.m.-12am.  and Ladies Night is Wednesday where ladies drink free all night. 

Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar

This bar is far different from any other bar in Gainesville. The bar has two pianists on stage every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday playing live music. The duo takes song requests and will play anything from Britney Spears to Tom Petty.  Rockeys' is a great place to go dancing or just enjoy some live music with a cocktail. They also have stand-up comedy every Wednesday night. Their ladies night is every Thursday where ladies drink free until midnight. 

The Social GNV

Social is midtown’s newest bar and has a lot to offer. The bar features a rooftop deck perfect for enjoying Gainesville's sunny weather. In total Social has four different bars inside. This bar has pool tables, arcade games, a dance floor, and good food!  Their happy hour is 4-7 p.m. with daily drink specials. 

Arcade Bar

With three stories of arcade games, this bar is an adult’s playground. From foosball to pinball this bar has endless entertainment. It’s the perfect place for some friendly competition with friends accompanied by a good drink. Their happy hour includes $2 beers and wells, plus you earn a game token with every drink you buy! Happy Hour is 5-7 p.m. and there is free skeeball every Tuesday.

Whether you're a current student or alumni looking to come back and relive the college days, these bars are sure to show you a true University of Florida experience. The best nights to head out to one of these best college bars in Gainesville would be Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night! 

If you're looking for more fun in Gainesville, connect with us on 352area for things to do in Gainesville. We cover events and have several listed on our New Year's Eve Gainesville page. Your subscription is always free! 

Cover photo from Unsplash