After a long week, many of us just want to let loose. Whether it’s work, kids, or just simply “all of the above,” most of us out there enjoy a few drinks with friends. In Middlebury, there’s plenty of places to let loose that run the gambit. From localvore pubs and watering holes to classier cocktail destinations, we’ve got something for everybody under the sun.

Take a look at our list of the five best bars in the Middlebury, CT area where you can let your hair down, catch up with friends, and unwind from the daily grind.

1.   Horatio’s Cafe – Watertown

Horatio’s is a great local spot just over the border in Watertown. With everything from cheap drafts and shots to classier craft cocktails and a great bar food menu, it’s a great spot for lunch, dinner, and drinks with friends.

For golf fans, they also feature Golden Tee, an award-winning golf arcade game. To get on the green and beat the heat, Horatio’s is a great place to be.

2.   Highland Brass Co. – Waterbury

Located in the historic Town Plot section of Waterbury, Highland Brass Co. is the cocktail lover’s cocktail bar. With an extremely wide selection of craft beers—and a liquor inventory for incredible craft cocktails and specials—those of us with a finer taste will love a night out at Highland Brass Co.

One thing that makes this classy haunt stick out is the tequila and mezcal. A smoky relative of tequila, mezcal has been at the forefront of a gaining popularity in craft cocktail spirits. With a wide selection of cocktails made from the ever-popular spirit, Highland Brass Co. is an excellent destination to discover something new.

3.   Maggie McFly’s – Middlebury

A cozy local spot, Maggie McFly’s is a true Middlebury neighborhood spot. With a popular happy hour each day, you can drink on a budget. With a wide selection of finer spirits and drafts, you can enliven your tastebuds!

Maggie McFly’s is well known in the area for their whiskey and wine selections, as well as for their craft cocktails. One of our favorites is the Elderflower Martini – Farmer’s botanical gin, St. Germain elderflower, lemon juice, agave nectar, and club soda—yum!

4.   The Speak Easy Cafe – Waterbury

Described as a “shots and beer kinda joint” by Yelpers, the Speak Easy Cafe is great for cheap drinks, big laughs, and for finding “interesting characters”.

The true definition of a “dive bar,” you’ll want to make sure this is the kind of spot you want to find yourself. If that’s the case, enjoy the jukebox, darts, and freely-flowing drafts all night long!

5.   The Rough Draft – Hamden

A bit further out, the Rough Draft in Hamden is the nightlife lover’s dream. With live music from local acts Thursday through Saturday, this is one of the best areas to see local talent, enjoy appropriately-priced drinks, and have a great time with friends.

Along with happy hours from 5-7 Monday through Friday, they also feature tons of events such as Trivia on Mondays, and a rotating set of activities from paint nights to juggling lessons every Tuesday.