Many people become complacent with their selection of bars and regular nightlife hangouts. After all, when you find that perfect mix of cozy atmosphere and good bartending service, why look elsewhere? Well, because sometimes it’s good to break from the routine, put yourself out there and discover new things. Connecticut is filled with many great bars, including a select few located slightly off the beaten path that not only deserve your attention, but your patronage, too.

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Buffalo Bills
650 Main St.
Monroe, CT 06468
(203) 445-9672

Tucked away in the corner of a shopping plaza off of Route 25 in Monroe, Buffalo Bill’s recently underwent a major overhaul. They’ve since opened up an entirely new sector in which to serve patrons. The upgrade includes a dedicated restaurant area, two bars and two billiard rooms. Wednesdays are Buffalo Wing Night, offering customers 20-cent wings while Thirsty Thursdays offers patrons a variety of discounted drinks. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. During game days, the place can get packed quickly, however, the restaurant and bar remains well staffed and equipped to handle the crowd.

Related: Best Irish Pubs In Connecticut

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The Old Dublin
171 Quinnipiac St.
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 949-8022

Sitting behind the train station in Wallingford is a small bar with a real Irish pub-like feel to it, while the dark lighting and casual environment provides visitors with a relaxed atmosphere. With more than 20 beers on tap, customers at The Old Dublin will have no trouble finding a brew. From Blue Point to Hooker, as well as Guinness and Smithwicks, a tasty pint is just a quick pour away. The bartenders are attentive and the food is delicious, with appetizers like curry fries and house-made chili. At this little pub by the tracks you’ll also find live music from traditional Irish folk bands.

Related: Best Sports Bars In Connecticut

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Hessian Lion
10 E. Main St.
Avon, CT 06001
(860) 404-2996

The Hessian Lion is a casual dive bar (intended in the nicest way possible) in Avon, located off of Route 44. There are billiards and arcade games, and the venue plays host to some awesome live bands on a regular basis. Remember that space does get tight when there are performers, so arrive early. The bartenders are spectacular in whipping up whatever it is you crave, and the price is right, too.

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Boru’s Bar & Grill
357 W. Main St.
Waterbury, CT 06702
(203) 596-0946

Boru’s Bar & Grill in Waterbury is another small, lively Irish pub. Regulars at the bar are quick to recommend the Boru’s infamous chicken wings, which come in variety of tasty sauces. Head to the bar on Wednesday nights and visitors can grab $2 beers all evening long. The place sports comfortable booth seating and the staff is friendly and prompt. As usual, during peak hours and on nights where live music is performed the establishment can get slightly narrow and crowded, so be sure to arrive early.

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Dutch Tavern
23 Green St.
New London, CT 06320
(860) 442-3453

The historic Dutch Tavern in New London is rumored to have been the hangout of Eugene O’Neill, an American playwright who made New London his summer home. The appearance of the location has not changed much since O’Neill’s time. Owners Peter Detmold and Martha Conn offer lunch until 3 p.m. daily, serving up chili, a variety of soups and $3 hamburgers. Patrons can choose from a variety of ales, wines and non-alcoholic drinks.

Shawn Hebert is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on