The Best Bars In The US To Celebrate Halloween

Candy tends to get all the hype during the Halloween season, but let's not forget about the spirits. By spirits we mean the creepy cocktails, spooky ciders, and magical martinis that emerge for the autumn holiday. Fall flavors like pumpkin may be introduced through liqueur in a Pumpkin Spice White Russian, or green jello might become the star ingredient in a gigantic bowl of neon, spiked punch. Getting a good Halloween-inspired drink is basically the adult equivalent of receiving a full-size chocolate bar in a trick-or-treat bag, so making time to explore some of the many creative concoctions out there while the season is ripe will almost certainly amplify your Halloween experience. While many bars get on board in preparation for Allhallows Eve with festive drink menus, others take things a step further not only with themed beverages but with outlandish decor, as well.

Spooky skeletons, dry ice, witch's cauldrons, and servers in costume will turn sipping a brightly colored Halloween cocktail into a full-on immersive experience, something which will bring that childlike joy you once held for the holiday bubbling back to the surface. So, go ahead — get dressed up and head out to one of these, the best bars in the U.S. to celebrate Halloween.

Loreley Haunted Beer Garden | New York City, New York

What's cooler than a keg full of beer? A pumpkin keg full of beer, of course. At the Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten, a lovely indoor-outdoor heated beer garden in New York City, that's exactly where you'll be filling your stein come Halloween. The German-inspired eatery and bar rotates its decor and ambiance throughout the year to match the holidays, and starting October 18th, the spooky decor will be moving in to create its seasonal Haunted Beer Garden.

Ghouls will dance on the brick walls surrounding the garden while jack-o-lanterns glow, casting light, heat, and delightfully spooky shadows on the outdoor tables. Pumpkin spice cocktails and other seasonal specialty beverages like biting bourbon ciders and Southern Tier Pumking beer (to be found inside the huge, orange squash kegs, of course) will be plentiful. Whether you are seated inside at the lounge, within the beer hall, or in the outdoor garden staring up at a full moon above, a Halloween spent at Loreley's will be an evening to remember. If you're planning a visit, though, we highly recommend calling or heading to the restaurant's website to make a reservation without delay — space is limited, and customers report that the popular spot books out quickly. 

Raven's Manor | Portland, Oregon

Looking for something a little different to do this Halloween than your standard holiday party? Well, how about a haunted mixology experience? At Raven's Manor in Portland, Oregon, a haunted mansion–style bar and cocktail lounge, you can sign yourself and a group of friends, family, or coworkers up for an experience like no other. "The Elixir Experience is to DIE for!" reads a review on TripAdvisor in reference to the escape room–like tasting adventure for which the bar is known. Drinks such as the Redrum lurk behind hidden doors, and meals like the Skellington Soup or Steaked to Death will be whipped up in the haunted kitchen as you are taught to mix multiple alcoholic potions of your own. "The menu is amusing (grilled cheese of darkness)," said a guest of the joint on Reddit after their visit. "The drinks were creative and on-theme. It feels a bit like a theme park experience."

But, we will warn you; consumers report that getting a spot in the coveted mixology encounter can be extremely difficult and they tend to book out relatively far in advance. Even if there are no spaces open come Halloween, you can still experience the eerie extravagance that is Raven's Manor. Walk-ins are welcome, and sitting down at one of the tables in the spookily lit bar just to enjoy the scary decor and Halloween-themed fare is still well within the spirit of the holiday, we'd say.

Nightmare Cafe | Las Vegas, Nevada

Getting the daylights scared out of you by watching horror movies all season long is par for the course for some come Halloween. If scary movies are your thing, then we've got the bar for you. The Nightmare Cafe in Las Vegas has based its entire concept on the horror genre, making it a perfectly terrifying lair to become trapped inside this holiday. A giant mural featuring shadowy, clawing zombies in a graveyard will draw you in as you sip your Shark Attack cocktail or Morgue-Rita. Creepy clowns will stare you down as you enjoy a loaded nachos plate (aptly named The Alabama Massacre), a Don't Panic! chocolate skull-shaped cake, or a platter of fried chicken and waffles known as the Blaire Waffle Project.

What makes this positively scary spot an extra appealing place to spend your holiday? Why, the horror-themed trivia, of course. Every other Thursday at 7 p.m., The Nightmare Cafe hosts an epic group game of horror trivia, giving guests the chance to show off their knowledge of classic slasher films or alien invasions alongside like-minded frightening fellows. Step on in this Halloween and make a name for yourself by becoming a quizmaster. 

Fairlane Hotel's Emerald City | Nashville, Tennessee

Wicked, the musical sensation based on the story of the two witches of Oz, is the second highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. The charm and allure of the sister witches are undeniable — this Halloween in downtown Nashville, one penthouse bar has taken the concept and run with it wholly to create a wickedly enchanting environment for its customers.

The bar at the Fairlane Hotel is re-doing its decor just in time for Halloween with a pop-up experience called Emerald City. Named for the romantic green hue that will illuminate the walls, the celebrated spot will feature a unique, inspired-by-the-stage lineup of drinks like Glinda's Bubble or Lion's Courage and delicious, light bites like Broomstick Brittle or Magical Macarons. The environment will be more sophisticated than scary. If lighter, less frightening Halloween decor is your preference, this will be the ideal place to spend your holiday evening. Listen to some of the famed Broadway hits, sip, nibble, and observe lit-up Nashville at night from the high point windows as you are transported off to see the wizard. There will also be a witch-themed drag show on October 8, so don't delay in snagging tickets for this once-in-a-full-moon experience.

Cocktails & Screams | Orlando, Florida

Cocktails & Screams, a horror movie–themed bar where it's Halloween all year long, opened in Orlando in 2018. With servers dressed up as scary movie characters, drinks smoking with dry ice, and even sinks in the bathroom shaped like giant skulls, the delightfully dreadful din is considered one of the most recommended places to visit on your next Florida trip. Obviously, it goes without saying that the place is a dream for celebrating the spooky holiday in and of itself, but there is an additional exciting element that makes Cocktails and Screams a definite standout: There is a hidden speakeasy located deep within the shadows called The Craft.

The Craft is situated in a private room within the establishment itself and is apparently so sought after for entrance that customers hoping to obtain access will almost certainly need to place a reservation beforehand. If permitted to enter, guests must reportedly answer a riddle or perform a "spell" to make the door open. Waiting behind the bar in the voodoo-themed speakeasy is a talented bartender with the ability to whip up custom drinks based on nothing but a consumer's favorite phrase, quote, movie title, or flavor profile. Photos are not allowed while inside The Craft, so in order to experience the place in all its gory glory, you've no choice but to give in to your curiosity and enter.

Ghost Bar | New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is considered by many thrill and paranormal seekers to be one of America's most haunted cities. Nestled within the streets of this infamous city lies a bar dedicated to the idea of spirits unwilling or unable to pass on. The Ghost Bar is a cozy, intimate lounge in which one can spend a comfortable evening surrounded by decorations featuring Caspar and other well-known ghosts while sipping on one of the many concoctions that truly make the place distinctive.

Cocktails such as the Cereal Killer (a Vodka-based drink full of rainbow fruity cereal nuggets), the Tombstone Tea (which gives off some serious spiked Arnold Palmer vibes), the sweet Banana Banshee, or the dry ice–smoking Pear Potion stand out for their creativity every bit as much as their deliciousness. Paired with an appetizer like the Alligator Kickers or the Chicken Cracklins, you are more than set up for an unforgettable Halloween night sitting at a table made out of a Ouija board. What could better get you in the mood for a night of spooky shenanigans?

The Burton Bar | Denver, Colorado

Tim Burton's contribution to Halloween is indisputable. Between "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "The Corpse Bride," "Sweeney Todd," and "Beetlejuice," among others, the artist and director could well be considered the master of Allhallows Eve. What better way is there to celebrate the holiday than to be immersed in his unique world?

This year, in the city of Denver, Jack Skellington and friends come to life through a pop-up bar celebrating the classic, Halloween-inspired art of Tim Burton. From October 4 through October 29, customers who pay a cover charge of $25 can be transported straight to Halloween Town. This Burton-inspired speakeasy will feature creative and creepy cocktails, vibrant colors and lights, interactive games, trivia, and an unforgettable ghostly host. What makes this particular experience doubly sweet is that you don't have to be a drinker to attend — the venue offers family-friendly time slots in which alcohol will not be served. If you have a friend steering clear of cocktails, a child who digs The Pumpkin King, or a teenager interested in art who finds Tim Burton inspiring, they can all be included in the fun, too.

Potions & Poisons | Los Angeles, California

The most highly-rated bar in Los Angeles might surprise you. According to iHeartRadio, It's not some glamorous, sparkling rooftop lounge — it is a dark, dimly lit bar called Potions & Poisons located in Koreatown. While its ambiance is generally spooky and remains reminiscent of Halloween at all times of the year, the place goes extra hard for the fall holiday by amping up the scary decor and themed drinks.

Consumers will feel as if they've stepped foot in the dungeons at Hogwarts for potions class when they sit down to order beverages like Draught Of Living Death or the Emerald Tablet. True to its name, the bar also offers its very own uniquely crafted fermented elixirs with a wide array of healthful additions, such as cancer-fighting antioxidants, immune-boosting properties, and important vitamins and minerals. These "nutritional" alcoholic creations — such as the Ume Plum or the Ginseng — can be ordered as individual drinks or as a sampling platter featuring a small amount of each one served in fun test tubes. The place also has karaoke, making it the perfect location to drunkenly belt out "Spooky Scary Skeletons" on Halloween night. As an extra bonus, consumers find the beverages decently priced, something hard to find in the notably expensive City of Angels. Bottoms up, witches and wizards.

Wonder Bar | Houston, Texas

The Wonder Bar in Houston is a place that doesn't limit itself to just one aesthetic; it is notorious for its ever-changing, themed pop-ups that follow the seasons and holidays. The place has been decked out for Mardi Gras, Cinco De Mayo, Saint Patrick's Day, and more. This fall, it has been converted into — you guessed it — a Halloween-lover's paradise.

A giant Vecna replica from Stranger Things is in attendance, along with a vampire throne surrounded by severed doll's heads that waits to be sat upon. A mysterious coffin — which may or may not be filled with someone or something — lies eerily in the shadows. Dancing is encouraged under the sparkling lights of disco eyeballs, and throughout the bar are scattered hidden doors behind which guests can find some pretty audacious photo booth installations and selfie opportunities. What better place to bring a group of friends for ample snapshots of what will certainly become a spooky holiday experience for the books? Something to keep in mind, however, is that Wonder Bar reportedly gets rowdy. The music is loud, the dance floor is jumping, and the clientele tends to be a younger crowd. If you're looking for a quiet, smoky bar in which to peacefully sip your themed drinks this Halloween, this may not be the spot for you — if you're seeking a party, look no further. 

Nightmare on Bagley | Detroit, Michigan

There's nothing like a good pop-up to get people roused. Something about the knowledge of a place being around for a limited time only doubles the excitement surrounding it, and the latest spooky pop-up in Detroit — Nightmare on Bagley — certainly lives up to the hype. On Bagley, a location that has housed multiple different pop-ups including Vixen's on Bagley for Valentine's Day and Blitzen's on Bagley for Christmas, has become a nightmarish freakshow funhouse for the 2023 Halloween season.

Come up and order a tequila-based Bloodrita, a whipped cream–topped Peaches & Scream, or an ice-cold jello shot from the bar draped in chains and cobwebs. Then, take a walkabout through the haunted hallways (if you dare) and come face to face with terrifying, glowering animatronic skeletons and a rotating Ferris wheel full of evil clowns. Between the bright lights strobing and the bloody hand prints, you will find yourself frightened out of your wits ... in a good way, of course. This jarring joint is only open Wednesdays through Sundays, so be careful not to show up on a Tuesday at 5 p.m. ready to party. However, it is likely that Nightmare On Bagley will open up for one specific Tuesday in particular this season (seeing as Halloween 2023 falls on one, after all). 

Halloween Bar Crawl | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is known for its many lakes and high rise buildings, but many don't realize that it is also recognized for its lively nightlife and parties. So, we suppose the fact that one of the country's largest, most epic Halloween bar crawls comes out of the Twin Cities shouldn't come as too big of a shock.

The two-day, city-wide Halloween bar crawl on October 27 and 28 will include 25 participating restaurants, pubs, and bars spread across the North Star State's largest metropolis decorated appropriately with lights, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and zombies, of course. Throngs of dressed-up fun-seekers will flock to the streets seeking spooky sustenance, creepy cocktails, and dreadful decor. A ticket includes automatic entrance into the $1,000 costume contest, a waived cover fee from all participating bar locations, and an invitation to the massive afterparty following the events. Professional photographers will be on staff waiting to snap pictures of crawlers looking their absolute best as ghosts, clowns, cats, and superheroes. It will be an unforgettable holiday for those who dare to venture into the haunting, echoing city streets of Minneapolis after dark ... will you be one?