Though the first motorcycle was invented in Germany in the late 1880s, the United States undoubtedly has the biggest motorcycle culture in the world today. There are over 8 million motorcycles registered in the U.S.
The biker industry has contributed a notable amount to the American economy, employing over 80,000 people and bringing in around $24 billion from sales, services, taxes, and licensing fees.
Along with the rush riders get from hitting the open road, a big draw for owning a motorcycle has to do with the culture. Even if you’re not officially in a club, the camaraderie between bikers is as strong as ever.
No matter what part of the United States you’re in, you’ll be able to find a place to park your bike and fit right in, even if you’re just passing through. Keep reading as we reveal 7 of the most famous biker bars in the U.S. that are worth a visit.
1. Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota
Anyone you ask about American biker bars will mention Sturgis. Every August, the small city of Sturgis, South Dakota hosts one of the biggest biker rallies in the country.
The festival lasts 10 days and welcomes up to 500,000 attendees, often including the Mayor of Sturgis. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a must-do for the motorbike enthusiast, but if you can’t make it for the actual festival, don’t fret.
There’s no shortage of biker bars in Sturgis. The most famous one, by a mile, is the Full Throttle Saloon. Notable for being the first biker bar to be established in the United States, it is one of the biggest and most notorious biker bars in the world.
The bar burned down after a disastrous fire in 2015, not long after its 75th-anniversary celebration. But in true biker style, it didn’t stay down long. The Full Throttle Saloon re-opened to the public in 2016 and has been going strong since.
Other Notable Bars in Sturgis
While Full Throttle is, without a doubt, the most famous, there are many other biker bars in Sturgis that are worth a visit.
If you’re looking for a wild night, Broken Spoke Saloon is the place to go. Known for being one of the rowdiest biker bars in the country, this biker bar is not for the faint of heart.
With locations in Sturgis, Daytona Beach and Laconia, New Hampshire, you can bounce from Broken Spoke to Broken Spoke, if you have it in you.
What makes these bars really stand out are their campgrounds. What better place to let loose and party if you can pitch a tent and stay overnight? Plus, they always put on quality live entertainment.
Another notable bar in Sturgis is the Knuckle Saloon. It offers the best food in the area and even has their own in-house brewed craft beers on tap.
And we can’t forget about One-Eyed Jack’s. During the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, One-Eyed Jack’s hosts loads of unmissable events, but don’t forget to visit them during the rest of the year too.
2. Froggy’s Saloon in Daytona Beach, Florida
Another biker hotspot is Daytona Beach, Florida. The city plays host to major motorcycle events and rallies such as the famous Biketoberfest, and Bike Week.
Whether you live nearby or you’re just passing through, the place to stop is Froggy’s Saloon on Main Street, right downtown Daytona Beach. Enjoy the Florida sun while you stop in for a night of proper partying, biker-style.
The saloon is proud to be open 7 days a week, 365 days year. Yes, you read that right. They don’t even stop on Christmas. And every day they only close for 4 hours between 3 o’clock AM and 7 o’clock AM.
No matter the time of day, or the time of year, you can count on being able to get a cold refreshment at Froggy’s.
3. Pat’s Roadhouse in Muskegon, Michigan
At a glance, Pat’s Roadhouse might not be an obvious choice. But it is, in fact, a popular place for bikers to unwind and enjoy a full menu of traditional American favorites like hot wings, fish and chips, and fried chicken wraps.
They are perhaps most famous for their patio, which attracts bikers all year long, offering cold drinks and bonfires on cooler nights.
Groups of bikers can almost always be found on Pat’s patio, so if you’re hungry, thirsty and passing through, you will be welcomed with open arms, hot food, and cold beer.
4. The Hideaway Grill in Cave Creek, Arizona
Harley enthusiasts love spending their nights at The Hideaway Grill in Cave Creek, Arizona. It is a welcoming establishment, open to bikers of any ilk. Their motto even says so – “There are no strangers here, just friends you haven’t met.”
It’s not unlikely that you’ll run into elite members of the motorcycle industry at the Hideaway, even the biggest names in the industry frequent this popular haunt.
With an elaborate menu of great food options and a proper party atmosphere at nighttime, the Hideaway Grill is a must-visit for Arizona locals and the rambling sorts just passing through.
Keep an eye on their events calendar; they do not miss out on opportunities to gather motorbike enthusiasts together to rally.
5. The Busted Shovel in Meridian, Idaho
A classic biker bar in Meridian, Idaho, the Busted Shovel is the go-to place for bikers in the area who want to socialize, eat some good grub and maybe even sign up to sing some karaoke tunes.
The bar offers cheap happy hour specials and a fun atmosphere with pub games like billiards and bowling. They even offer wine tasting events for those with more refined pallets; there is never a dull moment at the Busted Shovel.
Oh, and if you’re a biker of faith, the pub hosts a Common Ground Biker Church every Sunday.
6. Crook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon, California
Channel your inner Sons of Anarchy vibes while riding the sunny roads of California. If you come across a small town seemingly in the middle of nowhere, deep into the forest, you might have stumbled across Trabuco Canyon.
Off the beaten map and away from Orange County’s glitz and glamour, Crook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon is a non-pretentious place to go for fantastic food and drinks, no matter the time of day.
7. Double Down Saloon in New York
Last but certainly not least is the Double Down Saloon in New York City. This classic biker bar has held onto its edgy roots and promises to play only the best punk rock and underground tunes.
It’s the perfect punk rock dive for the outcasts and people on the fringe. Naturally, this includes bikers.
The best thing about the Double Down Saloon? They never close. And they don’t have any of those crazy rules about over-serving. The only real rule is: if you puke… you clean.
Other Famous Biker Bars
This is not a comprehensive list. There are hundreds of great biker bars in the United States, no matter what corner of the country you find yourself in, you’ll find a place to park your bike, hang your helmet and unwind with likeminded people.
Vegas is a hotspot for every subculture, and that does not exclude bikers. Hogs and Heifers Saloon is considered one of the best biker bars in Vegas, so don’t miss that if you’re hitting the strip.
The UK has a big biker scene too. In London, a favorite spot is the Ace Cafe. The cafe is situated on a huge lot that plays host to many awesome biker events including Yamaha Day, Italian Day and BSA Day.
They also host an annual Ace Reunion where over 40,000 bikers get together and ride down to Brighton.
Some notable establishments across the United Kingdom are Oakdene Biker’s Cafe in Kent, Squires Cafe in North Yorkshire, Wessons in East Sussex and the Durlston Castle in Dorset.
You’ll always get an extra dash of history and culture in the UK, and in the summer months, a long distance tour of the country will leave an American biker feeling as worldly as ever.
And don’t forget about the rest of Europe. Remember, the first motorcycle was invented in Germany, after all.
Famous Biker Bars To Visit
While there are famous biker bars all around the world, the United States reigns supreme when it comes to motorcycle culture. With tons of space for open riding and a huge national community, America is a biker’s paradise.
The summer months are jam-packed with famous motorcycle rallies, and every corner of the country is equipped with proper bars to make sure the American biker is always well fed, and refreshed.
Most in the industry agree that the must-visit places are Sturgis, South Dakota and Daytona Beach, Florida. Sturgis hosts the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for 10 days in August, and Daytona Beach hosts the famous Biketoberfest and Bike Week.
Not to kill the mood, but we must remind you to stay safe out there. We won’t mention the annual fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents. You already know the risks.
Stay safe, have fun and join our Biker Life community for information on upcoming events, new motorcycle models and the best rides and routes in the United States.