The holidays are over, deep winter has set in and you need a strategy to survive the next few months of cold and dark. We get it, and we’re here for you. What you need — what we all need — is someplace dark and warm, cheery and cozy to indulge in what the Danish call hygge.
So grab your drinking coat and let’s have a lot of fun around town with these 10 cozy drinking spots.
1. Joe Bar, Hazel Park
Here’s a newish, off-the-beaten-path outpost that’s entirely worth a visit. It’s smack-dab next door to the celebrated Mabel Gray, a dimly lit dive bar creatively reimagined for the twenty-teens. It’s got tasty stick-to-your-ribs menu offerings like a grilled cheese with a Blood Mary tomato soup, French dip and banh mi, plus a top-notch bar, all with a comfy, warm view of the chilly outdoor patio, some killer bathroom murals and a couple of horseshoe-shape banquette booths to melt into. Did we mention they have Missile Command? joebar.com
2. Public House, Ferndale
This place frankly could qualify for any seasonal list but wins for wintertime because of its enclosed, space-heated patio, plus their white subway-tile interior bar accented by the dark-stained wood bar. Extra points for their menu of creative sliders, delicious barbecue carrots (seriously, try ‘em), extensive draft beer list and library of vinyl LPs to play on the bar’s turntable. publichouseferndale.com
3. The Buhl Bar, Detroit
This is a classy entrant on the list, but totally worth it. It’s in the bottom of the Buhl Building, and you’ll think you’re drinking like the top of the town. Recently, the operations were taken over by the Optimist Society of Sugar House fame, so you know it’s good. Facebook
4. The Keep, Detroit
Go down in the warm brick-walled basement of this old building on Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit. The bartenders are top-notch and there are all kinds of canoodling nooks for that great date. Facebook
5. Abick’s, southwest Detroit
This long-time establishment has cozy down to a science. It’s on a street corner in a neighborhood and has that very old-timey bar feel. Cash only, and bring friends. Facebook
6. Bad Luck Bar, Detroit
Since this place doesn’t have a patio and is about the size of two living rooms, it automagically qualifies. That said, its decor is very mid-century modern. Don’t let the initial hype of expensive drinks fool you – there are options across the board. badluckbar.com
7. The Oakland: Art Novelty Company, Ferndale
Here’s a great spot for the worst of the worst winter weather, the days (or more accurately, nights) when the weather outside is too grim to even look at. The Oakland comes through by pretty well sealing itself off from any and all outdoor light, natural or otherwise, with dim lighting, comfy nook seating and tasty craft cocktails. Perfect for when you need nothing more than to retreat from reality. theoaklandferndale.com
8. Mutiny, Southwest Detroit
What better place to wait out the cold than a tiki-themed joint? They have unique takes on a lot of drinks, and although I really wish they’d just serve a straight Mai Tai on the menu, it’s worth the trip. mutinybar.com
9. Craftwork, West Village, Detroit
Another out-of-the-way locale that fills a wintertime need for coziness and soul-filling. Located in a fast-revitalizing area in West Village, Craftwork offers a delicious, unpretentious menu in two rooms — a bar area with long, communal tables, and a more traditional but casual dining room. Both offer great views of a vibrant neighborhood that makes you pine for more of its kind in Detroit. craftworkdetroit.com
10. The Inn Place, Royal Oak
If you’re looking to sing your heart out in cozy confines, there is no better option than the Inn Place in Royal Oak. Their karaoke game is so incredibly strong on Thursday and Saturday nights that if you live downtown and you need to Uber/Lyft your way up, you should do it. It’s about a half mile away from the Main Street strip, so it has its own flavor and a number of locals. Facebook
All photos via Facebook except for Mutiny.