126 SW 1st St.
Irish pubs usually suck. The drinks suck. The food sucks. You’re surrounded by drunken middle-management bros and leprepunks who live by the Dropkick Murphys. Conversely, Cloud and Kelly’s Public House is awesome. Their whiskey selection, as well as the late night menu, is extensive and affordable. The booking manager schedules great shows. Plus, you can safely walk it off a bit by the river before stumbling into traffic.
The Downward Dog
130 SW 1st St.
Sister and next door neighbor to Cloud and Kelly’s, the strangely named Downward Dog is for those who don’t prefer live music or want table service. More like a cozy home base bar than a yoga center, the drinks are well-mixed and the service is great. Bar manager Zack Wilson curates weekly specials like a boss. Take note: Downward Dog is 21 and up, and they card everybody—even visibly old women like me.
137 SW 2nd St.
Located in the basement of Magenta, Snug Bar is great for after-dinner drinks when your date is going well. You can snuggle with your sweetie on plush couches and sip a craft cocktail from a super classy coup. In true speakeasy style, it’s open when the neon pink sign above the stairwell is on. Come with your fashion on point though. Rumor has it that they enforce a dress code.
300 SW Jefferson Ave.
Yes, Block 15 is a brewery and a restaurant. It’s also one of the friendliest bars for a cold pint in Corvallis. Don’t expect to find PBR and Natty Light here. House beer specials change weekly, if not daily, and all of them are good. The bartenders are highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Block 15 offers local wines and a modest but comprehensive liquor selection for those who don’t quaff brew.
214 SW 2nd St.
In the alley behind American Dream Pizza you’ll find one of Corvallis’ hippest spots. Cozy, cultured, and home to some of the best original cocktails you’ll find anywhere (on planet Earth), you can also order American Dream grub right from the bar. If you could ask for anything more, you’re probably a jerk.
The Peacock Bar & Grill
125 SW 2nd St.
If there’s a landmark in the Corvallis bar scene, this is it. Known for its diverse crowd, excellent food, a popular karaoke night (with one of the best KJs of all time), second floor “Top of the Cock” dance hall and Lord knows what else, if you can’t quite find your niche elsewhere, you’ll fit right in. One of the last times I visited I wound up crushing my glasses and line dancing backwards with only one shoe on. That, ladies and gentlemen, is magic.
308 SW 3rd St.
Whether you’re into beer, wine, or just looking professorial while tying one on, Les Caves has got your back. Their food is next-level delicious compared to most places in town, but the draw is their insane beer selection. It includes a lot of fancy shmancy stuff and usually they’re spelled “bier,” which is… charming. But even a non acficinado like myself can appreciate a tasty sour, or a Sahara-dry cider, and their staff tends to know their stuff, which is always a welcome addition. They also sometimes have live music and other treats in store, just remember; stay out of here if you skipped class and don’t want to run into your professor. The crowd in this place has more leather patches on elbows than the cast of The Paper Chase.
The Amber Lounge
2200 NW 9th St.
Oft overlooked by newcomers, the lounge at Darrell’s Restaurant is a hidden gem of sorts—especially if you’re looking to pound a few tasty beverages and want to keep away from the Bro crowd that oozes forth from the university. The bar itself is quite retro in style and creates the perfect environment for sampling some local beer or one of their famous Bloody Marys.
Impulse Bar and Grill
1425 NW Monroe Ave.
What’s surprising about Impulse is that although it’s somewhat of a sports bar, it also has quite a bit of class. The bartenders all wear vests and nice shirts, and the hardwood floors, cushioned seating, and lighting create a warm ambiance. The best part about Impulse is that you receive personalized service. The staff consists of warm, good-natured people who take the time to get to know their customers and tailor their service accordingly. If you like strong drinks and tip well, you’ll consistently get strong drinks. You’ll get your drink mixed just the way you like. If you’re up for a sense of adventure, you can ask for a totally new concoction.
Flat Tail Brewery
202 SW 1st St.
OSU homers, this place really should suit all your needs. The bar is deeply stacked, their brews are acclaimed, and their Corvallis bona fides are all over the walls. I like the Eight Man Amber, and I recommend you get it because I have really good taste. But they have all level of tasty home brewed goodness from Kolsch to Porter. This is a great game day destination, if you can get a seat young beavers.
1150 Main St., Philomath
Let’s just get one thing straight. There’s basically only one real bar in the Corvallis-Philomath semi-metropolitan area. The Meet’n’Place in Philomath is the only place around that has delicious, usually not expired, tater tots, the only place that is sufficiently not filled with yutzes, that has live blues on some Friday nights, and is close enough to my house for me to stumble to and from it without shoes. It’s a place where everybody may or may not know your name, but seriously who cares, I’ll have a PBR.
151 NW Monroe Ave.
Along the waterfront is a relatively new bar called Dock 22. The interior is unrefined, raw, while reggae and alternative tunes permeate the room. Random paraphernalia add to the appeal, including a Bob Marley poster and plastic pink flamingos. It’s not exactly eclectic, but gives you a sense that they are laid-back here, and so are you, at least for the time being. The unique offerings of 4 Spirits vodka and bourbon are enticing and made locally in Adair. All the bartenders are very attentive and provide speedy service. Oh, the drinks…that is why we’re here, after all. Dock 22 offers several creative cocktails, with abundant flavors, and just the right proportions.
100 SW 2nd St.
Let’s see; decent prices, enormous beer selection, awesome third level where a pool table and tons of seating is hiding, and a second level buried in between where live music goes down. And stellar bar food to boot. Some call this the best bar in town. I am one of those people. I eat and drink here frequently. So should you. But remember, bring cash. This is a cash only bar, and also I want to rob you…
Suds & Suds
1035 NW Kings Blvd.
What’s better than a bar attached to a pizzeria with an absolutely massive selection of beer and your name on the wall if you drink a ton of them? Why, the addition of a %$#@! laundromat! I know, right? Shocking, but true. Clean your filthy underwear while scratching a few more beers off of your bucket list. If Corvallis had a gang sign or something to throw up, this is where I’d have done it.
1501 NW Monroe Ave.
This bar is a happy hour factory that is constantly churning out booze and surprisingly strong pub food in a variety of bargain formats. You’re not going to go here for obscure sounding distilleries and exotic flavors, but if you’re up for a taco or down for a brewski, and you’d like to watch sports while you imbibe, this place really does have its bases covered.
550 NW Harrison Blvd.
While Harrison’s is technically a restaurant, you won’t find foodies sampling over-priced cuisine and posting scathing indictments of the chef on Yelp. Instead, this Corvallis staple pub features an ever-rotating cast of confused students and jaded locals, damned to mingle over karaoke and shuffle back and forth from the dim-lit dining room to the patio to smoke.