Delaney's Restaurant and Taproom, 882 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 397-5494. A great many international beers on tap. The restaurant side has a laid-back, quiet bar that attracts Westville grown-ups, while the taproom side is brighter, a lot louder and frequented by SCSU students and other youngish locals.
Diesel Lounge, 944 State St., New Haven, (203) 776-9899. Hip, stylish and draped in neon. Check out the martini list.
Donovan's Reef, 1212 Main St., Branford, (203) 488-5573. A big restaurant and bar with live bands on weekends and friendly bartenders.
The Dutch Tavern, 23 Green St., New London, (860) 442-3453. Eugene O'Neill used to drink here, and it's now run by one of the city's legendary Reducers, Peter Detmold.
Elevate Lounge & Event Space, 239 Crown St., New Haven. Upscale lounge with a state-of-the-art sound and LED lighting system. Performances by international House DJs. Theme nights, bottle service.
Elm Bar, 372 Elm St., New Haven, (475) 238-8529. Situated in the space that housed Rudy's for more than 70 years, Elm Bar maintains a similar atmosphere to that of its predecessor.
Firehouse 12, 45 Crown St., New Haven, (203) 785-0468. Cool downstairs lounge with cozy booths, low lighting and exposed concrete. There's an interesting shuffle that goes on as certain patrons move to and from hanging with friends here and digging a band down the block at Café Nine, but the clientele at large can be summed up by no one particular scene. Also has a performance space.
Geronimo Tequila Bar and Southwest Grill, 271 Crown St., New Haven, (203) 777-7700. Dramatic patio above the street, tableside guacamole, tequila tastings and tequila pairing dinners.
J.P. Dempsey's, 974 State St., New Haven, (203) 624-5991. Neighborhood pub with a diverse (in terms of age, gender, social niche and economic class) clientele and a resultingly populist feel. Barrels of peanuts stand around; drinkers are encouraged to throw the shells on the floor.
Jack's Grille, 1505 State St., New Haven, (203) 562-0046. Proletarian watering hole, the kind of place where the bartender might look at you funny and ask if you've been there before (which should be interpreted as a friendly introduction).
La Luna Ristorante, 168 N. Main St., Branford, (203) 483-9995. Great selection of wines. Voted Best Brunch in New Haven County by Connecticut Magazine.
Lenny's Indian Head Inn, 205 S. Montowese St., Branford, (203) 488-1500. Ladies' night is Thursday night.
Lilly's Pad, 300 York St., New Haven, (203) 624-8223. A separate, swanky lounge section of Toad's Place, overlooking York Street. Nice bathrooms.
Mikro Beer Bar & Bistro, 3000 Whitney Ave., Hamden, (203) 553-7676. Bistro-style, beer-centric menu in a cozy gastropub with 18 rotating beers on tap and lots more by the bottle.
New West Café, 879 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 387-5939. Divey Westville enclave with popular darts matches.
Olde School Saloon and Bistro, 418 State St., New Haven, (203) 772-0544. Fresh comfort food and find dining with a vintage copper-top bar.
Oliver's Taverne, 124 Westbrook Rd. (Rte. 153), Essex, (860) 767-2633. Classic American restaurant with a full loft bar. Old-timey feel, inexpensive brews, cover bands.
The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell St., Bldg. G, Hamden, (203) 288-6400. New sister-venue to The Space, The Outer Space is a 21-plus, 79-capacity bar and café, stocking local and microbrews alongside typical light-beer bar choices. They also serve pizzas, wings and other snacky finger foods.
The Owl Shop, 268 College St., New Haven, (203) 624-3250. The long-respected tobacconist is also that rare bar and restaurant where — wait for it — you can smoke inside.
Partners Café, 365 Crown St., New Haven, (203) 776-1014. Gay bar with a variety of entertainment, including male dancers, Latin nights, drag shows, leather nights and karaoke.