Since Gainesville is a college town, it's not surprising that there are a number of bars serving cheap drinks catering to college students as well as locals and tourists alike. Whichever category you fall under, read our list so you know where to find cheap drinks in Gainesville and enjoy your night out on a budget.
When you stumble upon the Salty Dog Saloon, the first thing you’re going to notice is its dive-y atmosphere. With neon signs glowing in your face and a deer head hanging from the walls, you’ll feel right at home if you’re a local. Trinkets cover every inch of the walls that TV’s aren’t, and there are 33 different beers on tap that they serve from both of their bars. Salty Dog also has billiards tables and a jukebox with music from just about every genre. Happy hour is from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day, and they offer double wells for $2.25 and $5 pitchers of your choice draft beer. Stop by the Salty Dog Saloon for cheap drinks and try one of their many beers!
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The Midnight is where you go when you need to take a load off from a long day. Their hipster atmosphere and slew of board games provide the perfect spot for a chill night out. Throughout the week, they have cheap drink specials that keep your tab low and your wallet happy. On Mondays, they have trivia and $8 domestic pitchers. On Tankard Tuesday, they offer Tankards, or tall beer mugs, of domestic drafts for $4 and imported drafts for $5 to $6. Wednesday is all about Mom, or whoever in your house drinks wine, as they offer half-priced wines and sangria on Wednesday nights. Thursday, they offer $3 pints and $4 Tankards of domestic beer. No matter which night you show up, The Midnight in Gainseville is bound to be packed because of the regular live music, cheap drinks, and good times.
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Have you been wanting to reminisce about the good, old days where there were arcades filled with fun arcade games like Pacman and Galag? Gainesville's Arcade Bar is definitely at the top of your list then! The Arcade Bar is the least dive-y bar on this list, but it has a lot of regulars. The three-story bar has classic arcade games throughout with the main bar and pinball on the first floor; fighting games, shooting games, bubble hockey, and classic games like Mario Kart and the Simpsons on the second floor, and skeeball, their most popular game, on the third floor. There may be lines for skeeball, but you can just grab a drink and chat with your friends while you wait.
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A night out at Balls is a right of passage for University of Florida Gators and Gainesville locals alike. Known for being constantly packed and rowdy, this bar serving cheap drinks is a staple in Gainesville. They offer $2 doubles that seem more like triples until midnight each night of the week. Though there is a small selection of beers on draft, Balls is known for its hard liquor mixes and shots. Come to Balls for a wild night whether its Tuesday or Saturday to enjoy some of the cheapest drinks in Gainesville!
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Passing by this old, rickety barn, you might not think much of it, but that's one reason why it's a dive bar. The mismatched seating and trinkets covering any open space on the walls and tables will likely remind you of an old movie. The Ole Barn is a family-owned bar that has served regulars and locals alike since 1979. It's a “what you see is what you get” type of joint that is often filled with smoke and locals looking for a cheap beer. The Ole Barn only offers beer and wine, and they have pool tables for your entertainment. They offer their beer in a mason jar and snacks like peanuts and chips, but for a real bite to eat check out Satchel's Pizza across the street. Their happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. During happy hour, 16 oz. draft beers are $1.75 and pitchers are $7, perfect for the second week of a bi-weekly paycheck.
Loosey’s is the most hip and new bar on this list, and it offers some of the best food on this list as well. The inside has an industrial feel with exposed brick and steel beams, and the have pool tables as well as regular live music. Their weekly specials include $4 pints on Saturdays and $20 jumbo mimosas for on Sunday mornings. Alongside the jumbo mimosas that fit an entire bottle of champagne in each one, they offer $1 PBR tall boys. Many of the regulars know that the food at Loosey's is equally good; the garlic parmesan wings and crunchy french fries are some fan favorites here at Loosey’s, and they're so good that regulars like to say it doesn’t belong at a dive bar like this one!
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Munegins on 13th is the most dive-y bar on the list, but the drinks are cheap and the specials are good enough to keep people coming back. Local rock bands are often invited to play sets on weekends, and the bar never charges a cover. They have pool tables, a jukebox, and darts to keep you entertained. On Thursday nights, they have a Texas hold-em poker tournament, and, on Wednesdays, there’s an open jam session for guitarists in the back of the bar.
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Stop by one of these many bars for cheap drinks and a fun night out in Gainesville that won't break the bank!
Cover photo courtesy of Flickr