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Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas

July 9, 2011 1:29 PM

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Are you a St. Thomas student looking for a fun watering hole to hang out at on the weekends? Looking for somewhere to go celebrate with fellow alumni or students after a big Tommies win? Need a few good spots for a St. Paul bar crawl that are away from the bustle of the downtown area? Want to grab a juicy burger, have a beer and enjoy a patio on Grand Avenue? Whatever your reason, there are plenty of great spots in the Highland and Merriam Park areas of St. Paul. Here are some of the best spots to grab a drink or dinner that are within walking distance or are a short drive away from the University of St. Thomas.
tiffanys sports loung Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Tiffany’s Sports Lounge

2051 Ford Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55116
(651) 690-4747

Website | Directory

If you’re a St. Thomas student or recent alum looking to have a good time on a Thursday night, Tiffany’s Sports Lounge is the place for you. The bar, which is just two miles from campus, hosts a $7 all-you-can-drink beer special from 9 p.m. to midnight. I went there pretty much every Thursday night my last two years of college. Tiffany’s is also a great place to watch your favorite team and grab their signature beer. If you’re a Kansas Jayhawk fan, Tiff’s is your place to watch basketball and football. Tiff’s has great burgers and great wings, and it’s just a fun place where every patron feels welcome.

plums Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Plum’s Bar & Grill

480 Snelling Avenue South
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 699-2227


Plum’s Bar off Snelling Avenue in St. Paul is a friendly Thursday night rival to Tiff’s for St. Thomas students and alumni. The bar also offers a beer special as well as specials on rail drinks for those in or just out of college. Plum’s is located in the Highland Park area of St. Paul, just a short drive from the St. Thomas campus. It’s also a popular venue for fans after Tommie football games.

billys Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Billy’s On Grand

857 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 292-9140

Website | Directory

Are you in graduate school, law school or just in your late 20s looking for a fun spot to hang out at one the weekends? Billy’s On Grand might be your best choice. Located on Grand Avenue at Victoria Street, it’s a great place for the slightly older college student. The bar usually has live music or plays the top 40 on weekends, and a large outdoor patio is a great option during the summer.

ogaras Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


O’Gara’s Garage

164 Snelling Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 644-3333

Website | Directory

O’Gara’s Garage is one of the few bars in St. Paul within walking distance of the St. Thomas campus. The bar, located at the corner of Snelling and Selby Avenues, is one of the top Irish bars in St. Paul. They get out the tents and live music in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s a place that exudes a friendly atmosphere. With pretty good bar food and solid drink specials, it’s a good choice that’s also a little more laid back than your typical college party bar.

wild onion Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Wild Onion

788 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 291-2525

Website | Directory

Looking for a St. Paul party on a Saturday night? You’re guaranteed to have a good time at the Wild Onion. Located on Grand Avenue between Dale and Victoria Streets, the Wild Onion bills itself as “Your Bachelorette Headquarters.” Specials include a bachelorette accessories gift bag and a complimentary bottomless mug of your choice. The Wild Onion also offers “Birthday Tuesday,” where if you bring four or more friends on the Tuesday of your birthday week, you get a complimentary bottomless mug, a free t-shirt and group photo. The bar’s dance floor also gets busy with a top DJ every Saturday night.

dixies on grand Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Dixie’s On Grand

695 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 222-7345

Website | Directory

Dixie’s on Grand is one of the most entertaining spots in St. Paul with something for literally every day of the week. On virtually every Friday or Saturday, Dixie’s has either live music or comedy to go along with its great food and drink specials. It’s known for its “Fried Chicken Tuesdays” where you can get fried chicken and waffles for $8.95. Dixie’s also offers a champagne brunch on Sundays and a Rib Lover’s Night on Mondays. You can also try Half-Price Wine Wednesdays or Karaoke Thursdays. Whatever night of the week, Dixie’s has something for you.

the nook st paul Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


The Nook

492 Hamline Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55116
(651) 698-4347

Website | Directory

The Nook serves as the biggest rival to the Blue Door for the best burger in St. Paul. The Nook was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2008. The restaurant closed for several weeks after a fire last December, but recently reopened with virtually the same great menu. The Nook is located on Hamline Avenue near Randolph Avenue and shares a building with Shamrock’s Bar, another place for great burgers and great beer. If you want the full restaurant experience mixed with the friendliness of your neighborhood bar, check out The Nook.

happy gnome Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


The Happy Gnome

498 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 287-2018

Website | Directory

If you’re looking to get one of the most unique beer drinking experiences money can buy, the Happy Gnome in St. Paul might just be the spot. Located on Selby Avenue in the Cathedral neighborhood, the Happy Gnome offers 70 rotating taps of draught beer. They also offer 300 different types of scotch and whiskey. They also host “Firkin Fest” every March. If that’s not enough, the Happy Gnome features a full menu with nothing but the freshest daily ingredients.

blue door Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


The Blue Door

1811 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 493-1865

Website | Directory

Want to grab the best burger in St. Paul? The Blue Door regularly has a line outside with patrons waiting for their version of the “Juicy Lucy.” Located near the corner of Fairview and Selby Avenues, the Blue Door is one of the favorite spots in the Highland Park area to grab the best burger in town. The Blue Door has daily happy hour specials and great beer at a great price.

sweeneys Best Restaurants And Bars Near St. Thomas


Sweeney’s Saloon

96 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 221-9157

Website | Directory

Sweeney’s Saloon in St. Paul offers the perfect combination of beer, burgers and wings for any St. Paul bar patron. Sweeney’s is located off Dale Street near Selby Avenue and features some of the more popular happy hour specials in St. Paul. That includes $5 off domestic pitchers, $2.50 PBR cans and 60 cent wings every night 9 p.m. to close. Sweeney’s also features movies on the patio on Monday nights at dusk throughout the summer.

— Jeff Wald is a Web Producer at WCCO-TV who graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2004.

View Comments
  • Organica Black

    If this list was bars near Macalester it would be OK but only bar is near St. Thomas is the Blue Door. A bar close to St. Thomas would be Longfellow grill.

  • Karen

    After seeing the obituaries of two young men in our papers this week in drinking related drownings, the idea of an all you can drink night at one of these bars (catering to college students) feels so wrong.

  • Ralph

    This is a list of bars to avoid if you dont want to be looked down on if you arent a tommie elite.

  • justin

    groveland tap is an amazing bar and closer than any of these.

  • Bianca

    No mention of the Tap on this list? Groveland Tap has great specials, plus TACO THURSDAY. Cmon now…

    • Mike

      +1 on the Tap. My place of choice. Now they just need to bring back the pork quesadillas.

  • Paul

    The Happy Gnome has a very large selection of craft beer and scotch. However… One of the least inviting places that I have ever encountered. Myself and coworkers enjoyed the bar but were basically turned away when it was too busy. The dining area was EMPTY and we were not allowed to sit there. Turning down cash money… Groveland Tap was very accommodating. Wonderful service. Excellent beer selection.

  • Val

    Wow……what a great way to plug-in the ‘usual’ establishments…….a lot of the places you mention are not even close to St. Thomas! I know this, as I grew up and still live in Merriam Park. As others pointed out, you missed the local favorite; the Tap.

  • soo

    Were UST students and alumni have a hard time figuring out where to drink? Considering 90% of St. Thomas students grow up in the Twin Cities, I have a feeling they all knew about these places long before they were even accepted. Why was this article necessary?

  • dsp

    soo has nailed it. This article has limited purpose.

    Tommies, please stay out of the Nook. I’m quite tired of your hipster lameness there, and at the RanHam too.

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