Stop, chill, sip: My top 5 bars

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Sometimes a girl just has to have a drink. If you know me at all, you know that my life is pretty fast-paced. But there are plenty of times when I need to just stop, sit and enjoy a drink at one of my favorite watering holes before getting back on the move.

These aren’t places you can go to dance your face off (I’ll do that list later), although a few of them do host club nights. The spots on this list are down-to-earth, with a good to great liquor selection and an atmosphere that keeps me coming back. They’re bars where you can have an in-depth conversation or spend hours hanging out without breaking your wallet. Some of them are a little bit divey, and others are classier, but you can just as easily take a date there as have pau hana drinks with your friends. And if you’re into craft beer, whiskey, scotch or gin, or even if you want a fancy cocktail, the folks behind the counter really know their drinks, far beyond simply what goes into a cocktail.

REAL a Gastropub

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For craft beers and delicious bar food, this spot offers an amazing selection. After a movie at Ward Theatres or before a night out, grab one of the tables and get comfortable. Part of the fun is how extensive the menu is, with something for every mood and taste. If you're like me, and enjoy trying new things, you'll be in for an awesome experience.

Insider Tip: Try the Bacon Fat Fries with your beer. Yes, it's as good as it sounds. These guys regularly host beer dinners and craft beer tastings. Visit their website for a current schedule of events. If you're on the Kaimuki side of town, drop by REAL's new spot, Brew'd, with a slightly different atmosphere and selection, but the same adventurous gastropub spirit.

REAL a Gastropub
1020 Auahi St.
Mon - Sat: 2 pm - 2 am