Discover the best places to drink in Nashville as we take you on a sensory tour of the city’s exciting nightlife. Nashville’s bar scene is a testament to its diverse spirit in this eclectic metropolis where the twang of country music harmonizes with the rhythm of urban life. Our carefully chosen list guides you through the vibrant cocktail culture and live music hotspots of the city, from Broadway’s classic honky-tonks to undiscovered treasures in the Gulch. Drink locally brewed beer, sample craft cocktails, and take in the soulful atmosphere that characterizes each venue. Discover with us the top bars that capture the essence of Nashville’s vibrant evenings, whether you’re a seasoned local or a first-time visitor. We toast to the unforgettable experiences and unforgettable concoctions at Music City.
Attaboy is a low-key yet highly innovative cocktail bar with an industrial-chic look. Located in the Maxwell neighborhood near Edley’s Bar-B-Que, this is the perfect spot to get a Manhattan, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a special custom drink.
Honky Tonk Central is a massive, supremely lively honkey tonk bar with three levels and consistent live country music. It’s across the street from Margaritaville, and I love coming here when bar hopping with my friends to grab a Budweiser (or two) and dance to country jams.
Skull’s Rainbow Room, near Nashville Public Square Park, is one of the best bars in Nashville, Tennessee, for a speakeasy-style vibe. Since 1948, this bar has been treating happy customers with craft cocktails, delicious food (get the lobster bisque), and highly entertaining Burlesque shows, which is what I love the most!
Tootsies Orchid Lounge is one of the most popular live music bars in town and is a great bar to visit after strolling through the Walk of Fame Park nearby. It is one of the best representations of Nashville because of its iconic history, all the live music it offers — with three stages on three different floors, and its lively, bustling atmosphere.
AJ’s Good Time Bar is appropriately named because I always have an incredible time when I’m there! It’s located near Tootsie’s, so I like to stop by before or after when I’m bar-hopping on Broadway. Like Tootsie’s, AJ’s also has three floors and plenty of honky tonk music but also has a more modern feel and a rooftop bar. I like grabbing a pour of Jack Daniel’s, especially on Karaoke nights!
Earnest Bar & Hideaway, near Dudley Park, has a more upscale, elegant feel that I appreciate for quieter nights or dates in the city. Earnest Bar has an extensive list of bourbons and an impressive food menu as well. Their Korean fried chicken is to die for.
Green Hour is a small, intimate, and cozy bar north of Downtown, near the Tennessee State Museum. I like to go here when I want to get away from the louder parties and enjoy a craft cocktail or absinthe mixed beverage in a speakeasy-style setting.
When I first walked into Henley, I assumed it would have excellent drinks and food just by its intentional, modern, stylish design. But this bar near Bishops Common exceeded my expectations by offering an even more inventive menu than I imagined. Their espresso martinis are incredible, and I recommend pairing them with their duck meatloaf — yum!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Honky Tonks are big in Nashville — especially on the famous street Broadway. Layla’s leans into the old-school, “hill billy” feel and is a place where true country folks take pride in their love of beer and bluegrass.
If you want to experience more of a “dive bar” in Nashville, Legends Corner — near the National Museum of African American Music — is the place for you. It’s a great bar to start the night off because it gets more crowded and lively as the night goes on. I tend to order their pizza along with classic mixed drinks or domestic beer.
Never Never is another more relaxed bar compared to all the massive honky tonks. Located on the southern end of Dudley Park, I love the local feel in this bar, which used to be a welding shop, and the wine options. Even if you think this isn’t the bar for you, never say never!
Pearl Diver is an eclectic, funky bar in the Greenwood neighborhood. It attracts folks looking for a friendly, cool atmosphere and creatively-styled drinks. The creativity isn’t just about the taste of their cocktails but also their fun, colorful presentations.
Redneck Riviera, owned by country music legend John Rich, is one of the newest bars on Broadway. Military members feel especially supported and welcomed here. It has a more relaxed holiday feel than the other honky tonks and even has a cheery rooftop bar! I recommend coming here for their whiskey, bourbon, and John Rich’s fine cigar.
Robert’s Western World, right next to Ryman Auditorium, is an interesting place where you can buy cowboy boots during the day, then dance your heart out to live music in the evenings. In addition to serving ice-cold beer, Robert’s Western World is known for its tasty fried bologna sandwiches.
Do you love Christmas so much that you don’t mind celebrating it all year long? If so, go to Santa’s Pub in Russwurm Heights, near the Fair Park Dog Park! I love the casual, judgment-free karaoke nights at this Christmas-themed, cash-only dive bar. They only serve beer and cider, but that’s sometimes all I want for a great night!
The Centennial, located in The Nations neighborhood near West Park, is one of the most no-frills bars in the city, which I greatly appreciate. You can go during the day to grab a cold beer, eat some tacos, watch sports on the TV, play arcade games, or just catch up with friends.
The Fox Bar is one of my favorite cocktail bars due to its dark, moody, and upscale design, as well as its elevated cocktails. I appreciate that the cocktail menu is seasonal, so I get to try something new every time I visit. It’s located in Inglewood, near the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 5 reputable blogs and websites, including tripadvisor.com, toripinestravels.com, nashville.eater.com, timeout.com, and travelbybrit.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.