We often find ourselves using the words ‘pub’ and ‘bar’ interchangeably. However, we do miss out on the small details which differentiate both of them from each other. 

So, what is the difference between ‘pub’ and ‘bar’? In a nutshell, it could be said that ‘pub’ is a place where alcoholic, as well as non-alcoholic drinks along with food, are served whereas ‘bar’ generally serves a variety of alcohol.

Now that you have obtained an understanding of the main difference between a ‘bar’ and a ‘pub’, let’s have a look at the individual meaning of each of the terms and the differences between both the terms.

So without much ado, let’s get started!

What Does The Term ‘Pub’ Mean?

The term ‘pub’ has its origin from the term ‘public house’. Since the medieval era, the Britishers used to go to pubs and enjoy their drinks. Over the period of time, the term public house has been shortened to ‘pub’.

In modern times, alongside drinks, pubs also serve food. Moreover, the menu over here with respect to the food that they serve is quite elaborate and even serves food of different cuisines. 

Not only that they even have soups, appetizers, and desserts on their menu that is to say they provide you with a fuller meal. Although alcohol is served over here, people of all age groups are allowed in here provided the minors (people below the age of 18 or 21) are accompanied by adults.

Apart from that, the ambiance is casual and people spend more hours here as the music is generally playing at a low volume and the beats are soothing.

Therefore, it could be said that a pub is somewhat like a restaurant with few characteristics of a bar.

What Does The Term ‘Bar’ Mean?

‘Bars’ are essentially a place where people go to have a variety of alcoholic drinks that they want to have. It is more of a specialized business of alcohol with a small number of appetizers alongside the drinks.

The aim of serving food in bars is not to satisfy hunger but to enhance the taste of alcohol and therefore the food that they offer is of a very limited choice.

As the focus is to serve alcohol, you would find that the bars have a variety of alcohol that includes not only beer and vodka but also exotic cocktails!

Moreover, the people who generally visit a bar are of a specific age group. Some of the bars target a particular community or people having the same hobbies. For example, some bars are meant only for the bikers or the fans of a particular football team.

The ambiance in a bar is vibrant, friendly, accompanied by loud music, and an over-excited crowd! Therefore, a bar is a place to have drinks and dance!

Difference Between ‘Pub’ And ‘Bar’


‘Pub’ is a place where both drinks and food are being served. Whereas, ‘bar’ is a place where most drinks are served along with some snacks.


‘Pub’ has a variety of food to serve. Not only the main course, but it also has desserts and salads. There is everything on the menu that you need to satisfy your hunger!

Whereas, in ‘bar’ you will find food that will make your alcohol taste better and is focused mainly on snacks and appetizers.

Owner Addressed As

The one who owns a pub is usually addressed as ‘publican’ or ‘landlord’. On the other hand, a bar owner is called the ‘Bar Manager’.

Age Limit

‘Pubs’ are for every age group. The only concern over here is that a minor is accompanied by an adult.

In ‘bars’ minors are not allowed as the primary purpose is drinking. In some countries, a person is a minor till he reaches the age of 18, whereas in some countries it’s until the age of 21.

Comparison Chart: ‘Pub’ Vs ‘Bar’

Point Of DifferencePubBar
AmbianceA pub is usually a quiet place with a casual atmosphere. Some pubs do play music that is soothing and downbeat.A bar is generally busy and noisy. Moreover, it has loud music and dance floors.
CrowdPeople of all age groups visit the pubs.Bars have a lower age limit. Mostly the people up to the age of 40s are seen hanging around in a bar.
3. ConceptThe pub has originally been the concept of the rural area of the Britishers. Moreover, it was called the ‘alehouse’ because of the classic Ale that was served during those times.The bar is comparatively a newer concept and hence is often related to the urban culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Drinks Are Usually Served In Pubs?

Pubs have fewer drinks to serve in comparison to bars. However, most of the pubs serve some beer, wine, and cider.

However, a lot of pubs do serve more variety of drinks and it all depends upon the owner’s decision for the same.

Do Pubs Have A British Element To It?

As Pubs were first established by the Britishers, the modern pubs still have got a bit of a British touch to them.

It is a known fact that Britisher’s favorite drink is beer and therefore all the pubs still serve beer in the highest quantity. Moreover, the English people prefer soothing music over loud music and this is the reason why Pubs don’t play loud music.


‘Bars’ and ‘Pubs’ are often confused with each other by the people generally. However, the differences that they have shouldn’t be overlooked as they are vital to one’s understanding of a place.

We hope that this article has clearly explained each of the terms and the dissimilarities between both of them. So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you are confused about which word to be used, just refer back to this article and avoid using the wrong term!