Photo Credit:  The Dinky Bar & Kitchen

It's the end of a long work week, and you want nothing more than a tasty beverage (or three) at your favorite tavern.

If you're in Mercer County, N.J., you're in luck.

There is a bevy of bars, pubs and wineries to choose from in any one of our charming towns. Let's take a look at our top 8.

1. Blend Bar & Bistro
Since it opened in October 2012, Blend has become one of Hamilton’s most popular bars, attracting a variety of clientele. From 20-something beer aficionados eager to try one of the 24 drafts to business executives talking shop while sipping scotch, friends, family and colleagues will find what they’re looking for at Blend. “There are a lot of bars in the area that are just bars,” owner Antonio Carannante has said. “We wanted to be that good happy-hour kind of bar, a place the business casual or even the family-friendly person can feel comfortable. We run a place where people can come hang out and have fun.” 

2. Dinky Bar & Kitchen

The Dinky Bar & Kitchen on Alexander Street in Princeton is a self-proclaimed “welcoming and simple bar offering locally sourced, ingredient-driven snacks, small plates and more.” Launched in 2016, it’s housed in the original 1918 historic stone station house and the “Great Dinky Robbery” site of 1963. Enjoy specialty cocktails like the PB&J Crafter with Skrewball Peanut Butter whiskey, Old Overholt rye, St. George raspberry, Angostura bitters or a Ghost Pony Lager from New Jersey’s Trap Rock Brewery.

3. Tir Na Nog

Are you looking to experience a quintessential Irish pub without visiting the Emerald Isle? Say sláinte to Tir Na Nog in Trenton! Recognized with accolades by the powers that be at Dublin’s St. James’s Gate Brewery — the birthplace of Guinness — this quaint pub has a cozy feel to it. It’s lauded for a perfectly poured pint of Guinness and a wide selection of spirits and drafts. While the pub doesn’t serve food, several local eateries will deliver the required nourishment right to your barstool.

4. Americana Kitchen & Bar
What was once the American Diner in East Windsor has been transformed into Americana Kitchen & Bar, serving a well-chosen selection of cocktails and beer. A wall of wine in a temperature-controlled glass case is a focal point, and a counter-height community table seats up to 18 guests for tasting dinners, wine tastings, and open seating during Sunday brunch. So if you need a location for your next get-together, look no further. Two soundproofed private event spaces are equipped to handle meetings, seminars, lunches, holiday parties, and social events.

5. Boro

In the warm neighborhood setting of Pennington awaits a refined city-like bar and dining experience like no other. Boro — known as Cugino’s Italian Market until November 2020 — is two businesses in one: a market and a restaurant/bar. New and exciting for both sides of the business is that it owns the borough’s first and only liquor license, allowing them to craft Boro’s unique cocktails, like the aptly named Remedy, combining vodka, Aperol, honey, and lemon. Or the stunning Locals Only, a stein layered with dark rum, falernum, pineapple and absinthe, topped with a dried pineapple slice.

6. The Nottingham Tavern

Unwind with a drink in hand at one of the most historic bars in New Jersey. The Nottingham Tavern in Hamilton Square opened its doors after Prohibition in a 230-year-old building and has occupied the Mercer Street portion of the corner building complex ever since. Recently renovated and upgraded, the Nott (as it's known to the locals) offers signature drinks, exclusive daily specials, event nights, live music, delicious food, and outdoor seating. Football fans (not the American kind) will enjoy that it's an official Liverpool Premier League-sanctioned soccer bar.

7. Firkin Tavern

If you're into gastropubs, you won't want to miss out on Mercer County's first craft beer bar Firkin Tavern. This English/American/Irish gastropub in Ewing was established in 2004 and has served over 37 craft beers and 20 bottles and cans ever since. Firkin fans love its fun neighborhood vibe with plenty of seating, a varied food menu, 17 TVs, and a stacked game room featuring two pool tables, shuffleboard, air hockey, and more.

8. Brick Farm Tavern
Ready for truly outstanding spirits and brews along with a farm-to-table dining experience? Head to Hopewell, where an 1800s farmhouse is home to Brick Farm Tavern. You'll discover Troon Brewery and Sourland Mountain Spirits distillery, the first farm distillery in New Jersey since Prohibition. The on-tap craft beers from the brewery are meant to be drunk fresh, and their barrel-fermented ales are available naturally conditioned in bottles. Or, if you prefer, indulge in a massive selection of international and California wines. The Brick Farm Tavern welcomes up to 75 guests for an exceptional private event.

Have we left your taste buds tingling? Then, visit the Princeton-Mercer region to satiate your craving, you won't be disappointed!