Best Bars in Memphis
You can’t go down a street in Memphis without running into some bars. Memphis has it all: dive bars, sports bars, live music clubs, college bars, dance clubs, gay bars, and just down-home friendly neighborhood bars. Beale Street is world famous and is undisputedly the epicenter of the River City nightlife. It is no wonder that many of Memphis’ most visited bars call Beale St. home. Beale St. beer lovers celebrate the Beale Street Tap Room with its 30 beers on tap and its main location. You can visit the famous Coyote Ugly Saloon that recently opened a bar on Beale, and patrons always savor the showmanship of the lovely bartenders. Sleep Out Louie’s is not on the main drag but is just far enough away to avoid the big crowds. Located in Peabody Place is The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, and provides over 75 draught beers. If you like to drink, the most fun thing to do in Memphis would be to wander into a bar you’ve never heard of before (like the 5 we have listed here) and drink up the friendly environment and free flowing drinks.
Earnestine & Hazel’s Bar & Grill
84 E GE Patterson Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
This was a confirmed brothel during World War II! The downstairs was for drinking and the upstairs was for, well, you know. Earnestine and Hazel’s is a Memphis, tradition, legend and institution. The jukebox here is supposedly haunted because it will play songs/music applicable to what nearby visitors are discussing. All of Earnestine and Hazel’s is reportedly haunted and aptly named one of the most haunted businesses in Memphis. Don’t be put off by the dilapidated look of the outside of the building or when you first walk in, this is part of its charm. The building has many bars to drink at, including a music stage. The famous area of the building is upstairs. You are free to walk around and they also offer guided tours. It’s certainly has the environment where you feel a strange sort of atmosphere or energy. Drink up!
2559 Broad Ave
Memphis, TN 38112
The Cove, nautical-themed, retro restaurant and bar, is the kind of bar you see in New Orleans. They practically have an entire pirate ship in their bar and restaurant. They specialize in oysters and classic cocktails. The dimmed lighting and décor provide an intimate setting where you can enjoy delicious Panini, seafood, and pizzas. Sporting the most extensive drink menu in Memphis, you can savor one or more of over 50 famous libations. The Cove’s music ranging from jazz to folk to bluegrass can be heard some nights. It is an out of the way place on the edge of Midtown for all those 21 and older — which means smoking is allowed! They are becoming popularly known for its careful preparation of one of the oldest cocktails with origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans. They honor the original recipe made in 1793 using the rye whiskey and absinthe. If you are a cocktail adventurer, the experience of this house specialty most definitely should not be missed. So, come and enjoy the atmosphere, spirits and food that will satisfy that “Big Easy” soft spot in us all!
1368 Monroe Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
Known as “The Buc”, many patrons agree that if there was a lifetime achievement award for dive bars, it would be given to the Buccaneer. It’s old and has a lot of character, has old friendly regulars and a reputation firmly balanced on spilled beers and wobbly tables. The building seems like a house, but doesn’t appear to have ever been anything but what it is.
The cover for shows/music is cheap, usually $5. Speaking of shows, the Buccaneer has some great entertainment. You will see anything from local legends, fledgling punk rock bands to DJs, great pop acts and one-man/woman bands. The flowing beer and liquor is cheap. Come on down!
1702 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
The Lamplighter is your true definition of a dive bar. It looks like 1966 got put on pause, and the Lamplighter is the result. They have a simple menu: PBR, Busch, Miller, Coors, High Life and Bud/Light. You’ll be presented with an easy food menu as well- hamburger, cheeseburger and fries. And since this place is frozen in time- it is a cash bar. They aim to please and offer friendly, fast service. They have a great old jukebox and pool table. The Lamplighter is a fun dive bar.
Sweet Grass Next Door
937 S Cooper St
Memphis, TN 38104
Sweet Grass is a Midtown neighborhood friendly bistro providing Low Country cuisine with all local ingredients. It is very important to them that you feel welcome. They welcome you for an afternoon snack or cocktail and hope you want to be that place where you celebrate and make memories!