Great Pubs and Bars in Guelph, Ontario

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These Are Some Amazing Pubs and Bars in Guelph!

Finding yourself in Guelph, Ontario and feeling a bit thirsty? You’ve got some great options to grab a drink! Whether you are visiting Guelph for the first time on a day trip from Toronto or you’re a local looking for a new bar to try out, there are loads of great pub and bar options across Guelph.

If you didn’t already know, we really like Guelph. Having explored the city a number of times (and gone out there plenty) we’ve got a pretty good handle on the Guelph nightlife scene.

Whether you are looking for Guelph bars with live music, dancing, restaurants that become bars, or a classic pub, we’ve got you covered.

That said, we couldn’t write this post alone – and have enlisted the help of our local connection, Cam, to share his Guelph bar knowledge, too.

So this post will be a mash-up of Eric and Cam’s knowledge. From favourites like Baker Street and Sip Club, here’s our list of great bars and pubs all over Guelph!

Bars in Guelph

To start, we wanted to cover the bars in Guelph. In this section, you will find a mix of places that are only bars and a few places that function as restaurants and bars like The Albion, Western Hotel, and Royal Electric.

FYI: You won’t find places like Trappers, Frank & Steins, etc. in this article because this list mainly includes great places we would recommend to an out-of-town visitor.

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the bar/restaurant places charge cover on weekends but focus more on music and dancing.

So it’s worth the cover if you are looking for a night out. Also, many of these bars are located downtown but not all of them – and we’ll mention that further down!

Sip Club

Navigation Address: 91 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON N1H 4E8, Canada

If you are looking for an all-around great place for food and drinks, check out Sip Club. Located right downtown on Wyndham Street, this is a smaller venue with a cozy atmosphere. They also do live music on most nights of the week!

Sip Club is a solid spot for trivia on Wednesdays that is hosted by a local couple. It’s loads of fun if you are into trivia! A highlight is the “sneaky good” patio tucked in the back that can be accessed off Douglas St.

Even though you are right downtown the little side street makes it cozy. It’s also shaded so it’s a good place to sit on hot summer days.

Jimmy Jazz

Navigation Address: 52 Macdonell St, Guelph, ON N1H 4E5, Canada

Jimmy Jazz has that classic “dive bar” atmosphere – because that’s exactly what it is! Located downtown steps from the Wyndham and Macdonell, Jimmy Jazz is known for their PBR on tap and rotating live music scene (if you are looking for more rock/punk/metal type of shows).

Aside from music, they have darts and a pool table onsite. Cam had a funny experience with a local who is really good at pool. Bring your skills if you think you can handle this guy. We’ll leave it at that!

The Albion Hotel (Currently Renovating)

Navigation Address: 49 Norfolk St, Guelph, ON N1H 4J1, Canada

old stone hotel building on street corner.
The Albion Hotel in a historic building!

A staple of Guelph for decades, The Albion Hotel was once a historic hotel – but a hotel no longer! Located right on the street corner that brings you downtown (on Norfolk), The Albion was a kind of classy, kind of upscale bar.

According to current Guelph news about the Albion, it is currently under renovation and may include a cool speakeasy in the future. Stay tuned!

Doogie’s & Pablo’s

Navigation Address: 37 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON N1H 4E4, Canada

If you want to go out to have loads of fun in Guelph, you should definitely stop by Doogie’s & Pablo’s. This place is an arcade/game bar with a live music venue attached!

We’ve been numerous times and had a blast playing shuffleboard, classic arcade basketball shooting, and of course – Big Buck Hunter.

The drinks are standard pub rail and beer but you don’t go for the drinks. It’s a great place for a few friends to have a few laughs and a bit of friendly competition!

eBAR (The Bookshelf)

Navigation Address: 37 Quebec St, Guelph, ON N1H 2T1, Canada

outside of shop building with white tents on street at market.
The Bookshelf is a unique place to check out!

The Bookshelf is a bit of a confusing place as a bookstore, movie theatre, cafe, and bar. For this post, the bar is called eBar and they do a number of different events.

Offering a salsa night, drag shows, and karaoke nights, eBar has made a name for itself as an inclusive place to go in Guelph. There’s also a pool table upstairs if you are looking for one! There’s almost always something happening!

Two Faces

Navigation Address: 20 Wilson St, Guelph, ON N1H 4G5, Canada

If wine is what you are after, then you need to head for one of the newest places in the Guelph night scene – Two Faces! This dedicated wine bar is located very close to the heart of downtown on Wilson Street across from Market Square at City Hall.

Two Faces has a super cool vibe inside to have a seat and enjoy a glass – and yes, they have a few beers in the fridge!

1881 Steakhouse & Burger Bar (Western Hotel & Suites)

Navigation Address: 72 Macdonell St, Guelph, ON N1H 2Z6, Canada

old stone building at downtown intersection with cars on street and blue sky.
The heart of Downtown Guelph – you can see the Western Hotel beside the Subway!

If the name didn’t already give it away, 1881 Steakhouse & Burger Bar (located in the Western Hotel) has a bit of a country theme to it. This is actually a hotel you can stay at with a bar/restaurant downstairs.

When we went (for sports) we had classic bar food and it was pretty good with nice service, too. One time Cam basically made a custom burger and they were down to make it happen.

Located just a few steps from the heart of downtown, Western Hotel is a unique place steeped in the areas history.

Oh, and aside from a great atmosphere, they have a mechanical bull in the back. You’ve been warned!

Royal Electric Bar & Public Eatery

Navigation Address: 52 Macdonell St, Guelph, ON N1H 2Z3, Canada

Sticking with the theme of “restaurants that become bars” and are located right downtown, you can also check out Royal Electric. Food aside, they become a really good bar at night and do live music sometimes or have a DJ and a dance floor at the back.

Royal Electric is really big and they have a really good beer selection for a bar/nightclub kinda atmosphere. This is great because then you aren’t stuck drinking generic beer when good local craft is on tap!

Borealis Grille & Bar

Navigation Address: 1388 Gordon St, Guelph, ON N1L 1C9, Canada

Last up on the bar list is a more upscale restaurant/bar located outside of downtown. Borealis is a place that specializes in seasonal dishes and has a wide variety of drink options.

It’s a pretty popular name – Eric has actually been to the one in Kitchener and it was excellent so we’d imagine Guelph to be much the same.

They also have outdoor patio seating when the sun is shining!

Pubs in Guelph

If you are looking for great pubs in Guelph, you are in luck! Guelph has some really nice pubs all over the city with some top ones being located right/close to downtown.

Admittedly, if you are visiting Guelph for the first time, you’d probably want to head for the two “undisputed leaders” in our books. They are listed as the first two on this list!

Classic pubs not only have great drinks but also great food so that has also been factored in.

As with the above section, some are a little farther from downtown so you will generally need a car to get there. So if you’re going, enjoy responsibly. We also tried to highlight local places for you to visit so you won’t find some chain pubs below!

Baker Street Station

Navigation Address: 76 Baker St, Guelph, ON N1H 4G1, Canada

old brick house with pub sign out front and car beside.
Baker Street is easily a favourite pub stop in Guelph!

Ah yes, Baker Street Station – a very popular pub option if you visit Guelph! Baker Street is located on Baker Street (no surprise there) just a short walk from the heart of downtown.

This is a place that Cam took us (Eric and Lisa) when we visited him one summer and it did NOT disappoint!

As a self-described “craft beer pub”, Baker Street had a wide variety of local and regional craft beer available – tap and bottle. So, if you want beer and are looking for variety, Baker Street is a great place to head for a drink.

two pint glasses on wooden table with menus in pub.
Loads of beer on tap – awesome food came right after!

When we went, it was pretty busy with the outdoor terrace patio and the whole lower level being packed. Luckily, there was a table upstairs for us to snatch! We went for dinner and the food was also great – Eric had a burger while Lisa had the fish and chips.

The staff were also super nice and the place just has a very lively atmosphere about it. Overall, would highly recommend it – but go early because it gets busy!

The Wooly Pub

Navigation Address: 176 Woolwich St, Guelph, ON N1H 3V5, Canada

The other very popular option for pubs in Guelph is actually right around the corner from Baker Street Station – is called The Wooly Pub. First and foremost, Wooly Pub has a good beer selection that’s constantly rotating.

This means you can get things from Toronto craft breweries and a little more distant locations. You can get a fairly unique beer selection relative to the rest of downtown. They also do cask beers if you are into that!

A highlight for Wooly is the huge back patio that’s covered and heated in winter. It’s built on a quiet street whereas the small front patio is great for watching the world go by.

The room indoors with the bar is like a super traditional English pub which is very cozy.

McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill

Navigation Address: 9 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON N1H 4E2, Canada

Located right on what is considered a main corner of downtown, it doesn’t get much more classic than a stop at McCabe’s.

This two-floor Irish pub is pretty big and a great place to grab a no-fuss draft beer and some pub grub like Irish nachos, wings, etc. Just a lively atmosphere for a no-fuss pub experience in the heart of downtown.

The place has a bunch of TVs making it okay to watch sports while they also have live music on some nights. We’ve been for pitchers and caught a live acoustic guy who was actually really good.

In the summer, they open up the sidewalls (garage doors) so you can enjoy the summer air from inside. Being right downtown, it’s always been a great place to start a night, end a night, or spend a whole night!

Bobby O’Brien’s

Navigation Address: 90 Macdonell St, Guelph, ON N1H 4E5, Canada

Another Irish place on the list, Bobby O’Brien’s isn’t an overall first choice BUT it’s known for its wing deals.

Located right downtown (just down from McCabe’s and Western Hotel), they have really good wings all the time and a cheap wing night. Cam recommends the garlic Parmesan wings.

The pub also has lots of TVs and a big screen in the back which is good for sports watching. It’s the kind of place that does UFC pay-per-views – if you’re into watching that sort of thing. Oh, and they have a good pint of Guinness!

The Fat Duck Gastro Pub

Navigation Address: 210 Kortright Rd W, Guelph, ON N1G 3M6, Canada

If you’re looking for a big place farther away from downtown with a little something for everyone, The Fat Duck Gastro Pub is where you should go. They have a menu that features a wide variety of dishes from wings and healthy platters to “bangers and mash” and burgers.

Of course, there’s also a big selection of draft beer and a few local specialties on tap. The Fat Duck is a good place to watch sports and also has a pretty big patio to enjoy the summer sunshine!

Just remember you have to drive there so drink responsibly!

The Shakespeare Arms

Navigation Address: 35 Harvard Rd, Guelph, ON N1G 2X9, Canada

Last, but certainly not least – a very popular local pub with a vintage “old-world” English charm: The Shakespeare Arms. It’s located close to the University of Guelph campus but in the other direction from downtown Guelph.

With a great outdoor patio and a more mature crowd, it closes up a bit earlier but they do classic pints (Guinness, Alexander Keith’s) and have live music and sports on big TVs. It’s also another pub you kind of have to drive to.

Related Articles

If you’re exploring Guelph and the surrounding areas, check out these other helpful guides as well:

And there you have it – a pretty comprehensive list of good pubs and bars in Guelph! Of course, there are a few more but this list is definitely more than enough to get you started if you’re looking for a great night out.

A huge shout out to our local connection Cam for filling in the gaps on Guelph drinking knowledge. Eric’s memory was a little hazy for some weird reason.

As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
– E&L

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Eric Wychopen is a Canadian content writer who loves to share his passion for Ontario. Originally from a small town in Simcoe County, he has almost 50 countries under his belt - but Ontario will always be home. Having travelled thousands of kilometres across the province for work and play, Eric has a wealth of knowledge about the province and is always looking for new experiences in Ontario.