the side bar

116 W 4th St, Royal Oak
(248) 629-9956

Recent Reviews

herb thomas

I had the Fat Slim! It was phenomenal!!! The nachos were amazing! Great atmosphere. Family friendly. With great staff! We will be back soon!!!Food: 5/5

Thomas Gasque

I went for lunch and loved it. Simple, delicious menu with an array or vegan and vegetarian options. I had the Almost Philly that is vegetarian and it was great. The bartender was super helpful, and I could tell the had a wide selection of drink options. Cool low key spot. I would go back for dinner and drinks.Vegetarian options: They had several sandwiches and that were vegan or vegetarian.Wheelchair accessibility: It's sidewalk entry.Dietary restrictions: The bartender was very specific about which sandwichs and sauces met dietary restrictions.

Evonne McBurrows

The food was amazing. Had the Vegan Philly Sub. Drinks were tasty and worth every dollar. Timm, the Bartender was the icing on the cake. Definitely will return.

Nicholas M Yoder

Bartender/server was awful. Not friendly and complained about all the kids around. There was a Halloween event in downtown royal oak. Ordered drinks he dropped them off and then never came back. When I asked about food he said he assumed we were just doing drinks and that was it! Whoops! Should probably ask and not assume. Also, be friendly to people no matter what! That’s our job. Talked to the manager about the issue and he completely blew me off. I can see why your place was empty. Wasn’t my first time there but I won’t be back.


My friends and I went here on a whim. Very happy we did. Definitely creative in the menu, and interesting vegetarian options. Staff was really friendly as well.Vegetarian options: Really good vegetarian Philly cheesesteak option.

C L.

Consistently amazing vegan options, ready in a flash and awesome service every time! This place is one of our family favorites

Katherine Anderson

The food is horrible. I ordered a burger medium and the obvious pre bought patty came out charred and over cooked. I ordered onion rings with my burger that came out cold. I also had to ask our server for missing toppings on the burger. Never again!

Karen Williams

Our waitress was nice and honest! If she hasn't tried it she told us...which is rare for many restaurants! She gave her opinions about the things she has eaten, various sides as well as the popular items from the menu. I have to get used to the QR code as a form of looking at the menu but to remain sanitary it is the new norm.

Michea J.

The Husband and I scored a last minute date night and knew we wanted to go to Royal Oak for dinner and to enjoy the beautiful weather. Since it was a Saturday night, we knew our usual outdoor haunts would be busy and we wouldn't be able to score a reservation. We happened to walk by The Side Bar on our way toward Main Street and saw they had plenty of available outdoor seating. We paused for a minute so I could check out the menu online and saw a bunch of different sandwich and burger options, so we decided to take a chance. I'm so glad we did! We were seated outside immediately upon walking in. Our server took a bit to get to us for a drink order but I really didn't mind since the weather was so stunning and I was happy to have a date night. I ordered a margarita on the rocks and the husband had their house specialty whiskey drink, the Side Bar Sidecar. Both were delicious. For our appetizers we ordered the pretzel bites and the garlic butter Wingies. Both were excellent. The wings were perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The queso that came with the pretzel bites was too spicy for me, so I dipped them into the garlic butter that came with the wings, and it was perfect. For my meal I ordered the Loosen Your BELT which was a BLT on grilled sourdough with the addition of avocado, garlic aioli, and an over easy egg. Husband ordered The Big Dog which was kielbasa topped with fries and queso on a sub bun. My sandwich was 12/10, the flavors paired absolutely perfectly and the sourdough was cut thick which was just the ticket to sop up the yolk from the fried egg without getting soggy. I know a BLT can be considered a "basic" sandwich but the addition of the avocado and egg pushed it over the top. The bacon was thick cut and it was the best sandwich I've ever had. The Husband loved his kielbasa and said the flavors and texture were like a party in his mouth. While we were waiting for our food, we chatted and people watched a bit. We noticed that almost everyone who walked by commented about the bar in a "we should try this place" kind of way. Another couple actually did end up coming in the same way we did, by just walking by and noticing they had open seating. They commented that they saw our food and decided to give it a try. Give this place a try, you won't regret it. I noticed online that they have a pretty interesting looking brunch menu, so we'll definitely be back to give it a go.

Ari Wilde

The service, drinks, and atmosphere were wonderful but the food was bland. The individual ingredients were quality and tasty, but somehow the complete sandwiches were underwhelming.

Nathaniel Edmiston

An underrated spot in downtown Royal Oak. Every time I’ve gone has been lovely.The service is always on point. The people are friendly, patient, kind and attentive. Hard to beat!They’ve got a great selection of food, including vegan and vegetarian options, and substitutes for some menu items to accommodate any number of lifestyles.The appetizers are all great, but the pretzel bites or chickpea delight are my recommendations. For entrées, there’s a long list of good eats, too. I personally dig the Olive Oyl which is a dope crispy chicken sandwich, or the Cali Burger which is hearty and refreshing.Their drinks are always top notch. They’ll make just about anything you ask for, and my go-to is a margarita. They don’t mess around. They have a few signatures that are worth checking out too, like their White Russian, or Tom Collins.I haven’t had a bad menu item yet. However I have not tried the kielbasa - their menu hypes it up though, so if you’re looking for that, I’d trust what they say. Overall, good spot to be at!

Colin H.

Honestly if I could give this place a 0 star, I'd go for it! First off, we went to celebrate my girlfriends 21st birthday and stopped in for lunch. The waitress we had was very rude and had no life in her voice. I felt as if I was somewhere I shouldn't be. Second, I also mentioned to the waitress that it was her birthday and if something special can be done instead she took her temporary ID, which she received since her new one hasn't arrived in the mail yet, and said it was fake. Then when asked how it was fake all she could do was laugh. I didn't catch the waitresses name, but she was rocking some very poorly put on green eye liner that looked as if she took a crayon and drew it on. Definitely would not recommend this place for any occasion. The vibes that were given off here were very cloudy and the service was awful.


This was our third time at this restaurant for a pick up order. The first two times we really enjoyed it this time it was total rubbish. Wish I would’ve taken a picture, looked like everybody’s food was thrown into the same fryer and over cooked. It was so bad we threw the whole thing in the garbage and then went to Royal Oak brewery which is reliable. A total loss of $60. I don’t know what happened but I would never recommend anyone going here

Kylie Nylen

Great food! We sat outside and it is super cramped out there. The waitress seemed like she was mad we were there, but she still did her job well. Sometimes you just feel like an annoyance if the server has a frown on her face the whole time until she talks to you.

Lauren Hutchins

Looked this place up and saw lots of vegan options on the menu, so decided to check them out. I ordered the shoestring fries, which are labeled as “VG” on the menu. Was informed by our server that all of the fries are made with a batter that contains eggs and are in fact, NOT vegan. If you’re vegan don’t go to this place they clearly don’t understand what no animal products means

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