Where to Go Out for Drinks in Memphis

Memphis is an exciting city – you can feel the energy while taking a stroll down Beale Street. Situated in the South, the city of Memphis has a distinctly Southern feel which shows in its hospitality. Out of all of the cities I’ve visited, there’s something special about Memphis. Is it the food? That’s part of it. Is it the vibrant local art community? Maybe so. 

group of friends having a wonderful time drinking cocktails at a bar in Memphis

But what’s really extraordinary about Memphis is the bar scene. Memphis has some of the best bars that I have ever been to, and that’s no joke, folks. When it comes to fun bars in Memphis, I’ve tried them all and narrowed it down to this list of the best bars in the city. To be fair, I may have left a few out as I may have forgotten a pub or two, but overall you will find this list to be thorough, complete, and hard to beat.  Check out my list of the best bars in Memphis below!


964 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-272-0830
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Bar DKDC isn’t just a bar, it’s an experience. This joint plays soul music that permeates the place and gives it a spectacular atmosphere. Another thing that I loved about this place was the specialty drinks. While the food menu changes daily, you can get a wide variety of amazing cocktails any time! Mint Condition and Batch Negroni are two of my favorite cocktails from their inspired menu. It’s hard to find drinks like this anywhere, let alone in Memphis. With good music and great drinks, Bar DKDC is keeping the spirit of Memphis alive. Give it a try, it’s worth the trip!

Earnestine & Hazel’s

531 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-523-9754
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The first establishment on my list is Earnestine & Hazel’s. The jukebox here is legendary, and I can see why. It brings people together – I bonded through the music with locals and out-of-towners like myself. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the best burger in the world. That’s right, for all of you kindred spirits that have been looking for the best burger in the world, you should know that it’s right here in Memphis. This burger is no joke; it’s packed with so much flavor it easily outperforms virtually every other burger I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, come down to Memphis and try the burger at Earnestine & Hazel’s! They’re located on South Main Street, right around the corner from the National Civil Rights Museum and the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. 

The Peabody Rooftop

118 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103
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Did someone say party on the rooftop? That’s right, I’m talking about the Peabody Rooftop, one of the coolest bars in town. From April through August, you can party on the rooftop, literally. They bring in bands regularly, which means there’s no shortage of entertainment. During my time in Memphis, I discovered that you can find the best view of the sunset over the Mississippi river on the vantage ground at Peabody Rooftop. When peanuts don’t cut it, come on down to Peabody Rooftop, the food is amazing! You should know that the drinks are just as impressive; they pour ‘em strong almost all night long.

The Cove

2559 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112
Phone: 901-730-0719
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When it comes to bars in Memphis, The Cove really stands out. If cocktails and oysters are your scene, you can find them both at The Cove. This retro-nautical slice of heaven has all the charm in the world. Better yet, it has some of the best drinks you can find on this side of the Mississippi. Just saying. If you’re drinking on an empty stomach, do yourself a favor and order the Rockefeller Spinach Artichoke Dip. I ordered it just in time, and it tasted divine! For those of you that love oysters as much as I do, you’ll love the Oysters Rockefeller, it’s sublime!

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Alex’s Tavern

1445 Jackson Ave, Memphis, TN 38107
Phone: 901-278-9086

Alex’s Tavern might not look like much from the outside, but the best bars never do. This place has a real community, something I always look for in a bar. This place has the feel of a classic local sports bar, and I love it! The drinks are great, however, I would advise being patient when placing an order. Alex’s Tavern can get busy. Just be respectful, and you’ll be fine. It’s also a great place to meet new people! Of course, the hard part is remembering them. In any case, when you’re looking for a good time in Memphis, you’ll want to drop by Alex’s Tavern for a drink or two.  

South of Beale Restaurant

345 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-370-2144
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The South of Beale Restaurant has an artistic vibe that I can’t quite shake. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. The atmosphere here has a strong artistic flavor that shows in the paintings and wall art adorning its walls. It makes you want to sit down and melt into the ambiance as you take it all in. Any fellow vodka drinkers out there? If so, you’ll definitely enjoy Lucid Dreams, one of their signature cocktails.  As for food, the cheesesteak egg rolls and duck fried rice were so good they brought tears to my eyes. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself, and you’ll understand. 

Bardog Tavern

73 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-275-8752
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Looking for a bar where you can let loose while chowing down on some great food? Then you’ll want to check out the Bardog Tavern. The food here isn’t fancy because it doesn’t have to be. It’s nothing fancy, just good eating, and that’s exactly what I was after when I went out on a Saturday night during my stay in Memphis, Tennessee. The Pablito Sliders and Grandma’s Meatballs really stood out. The drinks were made perfectly as well, which is saying something as I tend to have a habit of ordering older cocktails. A good Gin Rickey, for example, is becoming increasingly difficult to find.  

Mollie Fontaine Lounge

679 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: 901-524-1886
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The Mollie Fountain Lodge serves up killer drinks with fantastic food near the Medical District and Morris Park. The chicken dumplings really hit the spot, especially after a few of my favorite cocktails in a highball glass. Looking for something with serious flavor? Then you’ll want to try the warm ricotta. My favorite drink here? The Southern Sloe Down featuring Hayman’s Sloe Gin was easily my favorite cocktail during my time here. Then again, the Millionaire’s Row came in a close second. If this drink doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, I don’t know what will! Another dish that stands out in my mind is the Moroccan Style Duck Taco. The flavor was unbelievable! 

Young Avenue Deli

2119 Young Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-278-0034
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Now here’s a place for all who love beer. You know, beer is an extraordinary thing; it brings us together and calms us down. It’s the perfect drink for good times with good friends. At the Young Avenue Deli, you can enjoy 36 draft beers and at least 130 can and bottle varieties. That’s a lot of beer! The best part is, it’s all good beer, well, ostensibly. I tried at least a dozen different beers here before I left Memphis, and I loved every one of them! The pimento cheese fries and turkey Reuben were both incredibly delicious! 

Silly Goose

100 Peabody Pl Suite 190, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-435-6915
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The Silly Goose is a great place to grab a drink and chow down. When it comes to pubs, I can get picky, but the Silly Goose really delivered. I loved the wood-fired pizzas and hand-crafted cocktails. The gin lovers among you will be particularly satisfied by the Starry Daze, a tasty cocktail featuring gin, lemon, basil, and vanilla. If you love rye and ginger, you’ll love Devil’s Pie – it really packs a punch! The Silly Goose is known for their amazing pizza, so you have to try it! My ultimate favorite dish here was the Shrimp Pizza, it blew me away, and I’d definitely recommend it! Don’t like shrimp? Try the Roni Pizza with heaps of pepperoni and Grana Padano.

See also  Memphis Pizza Spots You Have to Try

Blind Bear

119 S Main St ste 100, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-417-8435
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When it comes to fun bars in Memphis, you can’t go wrong with the Blind Bear. This place has feels, sounds, and looks like jazz. The jazz lovers among you will adore the Blind Bear and find yourselves coming back every year. The Blind Bear is art deco on steroids, and I absolutely love it!  They also happen to have some of the finest food I have ever tasted. The shrimp scampi was superb, and the herb-roasted chicken was fantastic. What really got me was the moonshine bread pudding; there’s nothing else like it. I’m pleased to report that the bartenders at the Blind Bear make the best French 75 I’ve ever had. 

Bar Hustle

477 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-701-7490
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For those of you looking for something with the feel of a neighborhood bar with serious cocktails, you can find it on S Main Street in Memphis, just east of Tom Lee Park. Bar Hustle is arguably one of the best bars in Memphis. If you’re wondering where to get a drink in Memphis, this place is a prime destination. For one thing, they make the best Palomas and Negronis I’ve had the pleasure of sampling during my travels. My recommendation for food? The Jambon Pizza, hands down! This pizza comes with pecorino romano, roasted radicchio caesar, breadcrumbs, black pepper. More importantly, it’s insanely delicious! 

The Absinthe Room

166 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103

There’s a place in Memphis that I was hesitant to share with you. That place is the Absinthe Room. I almost kept it to myself and excluded it from the list, but better judgment got the better of me, so to speak. This bar has serious character: it’s raw, edgy, and downright awesome! Don’t leave Memphis without stopping by and giving it a try. You’ll be glad you did. Be sure to ask about signature cocktails. I was so impressed with the place that I made a pact with myself to return at least once every two years. 

The Brass Door

152 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-572-1813
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The Brass Door is a family-friendly pub that offers exceptional service and a warm atmosphere. It’s also the place to go if you love Irish whiskey! When it comes to Irish whiskey, this place has it all, from Jameson to Bushmills, Powers, and Paddy. The Smoked Salmon was cooked to perfection and the All Day Irish Breakfast won me over right quick! I would like to add that the Hot Corned Beef was mouthwatering goodness, I wanted two, but alas, I only had room for one. Guess I’ll have to go back! Take my advice and put this one on your list!

Celtic Crossing Irish Pub

903 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-274-5151
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The Celtic Crossing Irish Pub made it on my list because of the exceptional atmosphere and awesome food. It’s not just because of the Irish heritage – it’s the food and the people. When you think about it has two of the best things in the world, good food and good people, and that’s not to mention the strong drinks! Say what you will about bar food, but the fish and chips at the Celtic Crossing Irish Pub tasted magnificent! Be sure to stop in on a Thursday, that’s Pint Night, and it’s bloody awesome! This is something you have to try for yourself, so do it!

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Multiple locations
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The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium lives up to its name, I can assure you. You won’t have any trouble finding a good drink here, my friends, that’s for sure. You’ll find a friendly bunch of people and a talented bartender. You’ll find a generous assortment of beers to try out here at the Flying Saucer Emporium. Be sure to try as many as you can before your time in Memphis comes to an end. You’ll also find plenty of snacks to munch on while sampling the many beers they have to offer here. I love the place, certainly enough to recommend it.   

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Rum Boogie Café

182 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-528-0150
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The Rum Boogie Cafe quickly distinguished itself as one of the best bars in Memphis, Tennessee. With smooth music and even smoother rum, you’ll find that the Rum Boogie Cafe’s reputation as one of the best bars in town is well-deserved. The Fried Catfish and BBQ Pork were among the tastiest dishes I tried here. Another great thing about this place is that this bar has 200 guitars autographed by big-time musicians! From Elvis to Billy Joel, you can find an impressive variety of autographed guitars. These guitars make the atmosphere something special, especially for music lovers. 

Silky O’Sullivan’s

183 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-522-9596
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Silky O’Sullivan’s is a great place to go when you want a bar with an atmosphere that combines Irish culture with the spirit of Memphis. When you visit this particular bar, you’ve got to try a glass of the Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. If you don’t care for a hearty stout, go for the IPA!For an Irish pub, they sure can serve up a good martini. If you love a good martini, try the Ultimate Cosmo. As for the food, the Pulled Pork Nachos were so tasty it wasn’t even fair. I’d highly suggest trying them out whenever you’re in town. Check them out near the FedExForum and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. 

Tin Roof

315 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-527-9911
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The Tin Roof is a bar that has that classic Memphis feeling. The hot chicken sandwiches here have what it takes to warm your bones and your soul, it’s amazing! Honestly, the quesadillas are just as good. Here at the Tin Roof, you’ll find something better than bar food, you’ll find incredibly intense flavors in a unique atmosphere. For me, the avocado tacos and street corn quesadillas really sold me on the place.  Anyone who enjoys spicy food as much as I do will appreciate the Nashville Hot Chicken, a most delicious meal indeed. Last but not least, the chicken wings were excellent. The Tin Roof has ten signature sauces, and I loved them all. 


1737 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-443-5232

Canvas is one of the most unique bars in Memphis, Tennessee. If you’re looking for adventure, you can find it in this one-of-a-kind establishment. The food is impressive, and the bartender knows how to pour like they mean it. Memphis was good to me during my travels, but Canvas was even better. This place is out of this world. I highly suggest that you make a point of trying it out the next time you come out to Memphis. With so many options on the menu, it’s hard to make a recommendation. You’ll have to come down and try it for yourself!

Zebra Lounge

2114 Trimble Pl, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-249-8147
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Calling all piano bar lovers, the Zebra Lounge is the place to be! I have a soft spot for piano bars – the music can be gentle yet lively and they always seem to have a touch of class. That’s exactly what the Zebra Lounge is, a piano bar with lively music and a touch of class. It also has some pretty fantastic drinks! If you’re looking for a place that knows how to make a mean cocktail for a nice price, you’ll love this place! Be sure to try out their appetizers. I enjoyed them thoroughly! 

Alchemy Memphis

940 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: 901-726-4444
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Alchemy Memphis made it on my list of the best bars in Memphis because, as far as pubs go, this place goes above and beyond expectations. This is by far the best place in Memphis to meet new and exciting people. It’s also one of the best places in Memphis to have a drink and a good meal. The House Cured Duck Leg went fabulously with my Gin Basil Smash. Before you leave, you have to try The Alchemist, a signature cocktail containing Bourbon, Cappelletti Aperitivo, Cocchi Torino, and Peychaud’s Bitters. They’re over on Cooper Street, just west of the Memphis Fairgrounds and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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