If you’re looking for the essence of Nashville’s nighttime energy and live music culture, you’re in the right place. From trendy rooftop lounges with skyline views to historic honky-tonks echoing with live country tunes, there’s a perfect spot for every taste.
Explore the city’s rich musical heritage while sipping on expertly crafted cocktails or enjoying local craft brews. No matter if you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, our curated list ensures you experience the best of Nashville bars and restaurants every time.
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11 Best Nashville Bars You Must Visit in This Music City
1. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge Top Celebrity Bar
By Local Guide Shauna Riley
Stepping into Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is like walking into a neon-lit time capsule. This pub is a slice of history, a place where legend says, Willie Nelson got his first songwriting gig after singing on the bar.
But it’s not just about the nostalgia in the celebrity bars of Nashville. It’s also about the eclectic live music scene, making it an absolute country-music Mecca. You can’t swing a guitar pick in Nashville without hitting a musician who has hopped on the Tootsie’s stage.
2. The Patterson House – Downtown
By Local Guide Frank Besednjak
If you love classic cocktails served with a sophisticated ambiance, The Patterson House is one of the most famous Nashville bars downtown. This speakeasy-styled lounge offers original and vintage cocktails, served up by skilled mixologists.
Savor the smooth flavors of an Old Fashioned while sitting under the soft glow of a vintage lamp. It’s like being transported back to the days of Gatsby and Hemingway.
3. Skull’s Rainbow Room
By Local Guide Terry L Buzzard Jr.
Nestled in the city’s trendy Printer’s Alley, Skull’s Rainbow Room dates back to the 40s and encapsulates everything cool about classic jazz clubs. If you’re looking for something edgier than sweet country tunes, the unique bars in Nashville have you covered with its stellar burlesque shows. Plus, their whiskey collection is as diverse as the color of the rainbow, just like their name.
4. The Station Inn Music Bar
By Local Guide Merche Broto Sanz
For a true bluegrass experience, look no further than one of the best music bars in Nashville – The Station Inn. This unassuming little joint is a haven for folk and acoustic music fans. Its no-frills approach to decor is at odds with the top-notch musical talent that graces its stage every night. It’s part of what makes it such a charming, authentic taste of the Nashville music scene.
5. Mercy Lounge Bar
By Brian Bartlett
This is your quintessential music venue. From newbies to industry heavyweights, all sorts of artists grace the stage in this historic building, which has seen several reincarnations over the years.
Its cannonball-riddled brick walls tell stories from the Civil War, while its stage has hosted countless musical legends. The Mercy Lounge is undoubtedly one of the best bars in Nashville with live music.
6. L27 Rooftop Lounge
By L27 Rooftop Lounge
Get ready to sip on fancy cocktails while soaking in panoramic city views at the best rooftop bars in Nashville. Located at the top of the Westin, it’s the highest rooftop bar in the city, and the view from there is nothing short of breathtaking. This place is a symbol of glamour, a bit of a swank amidst the gritty, down-to-earth charm Nashville pubs tend to offer.
7. The Rare Bird Rooftop Bar
By Local Guide Benjamin Carpenter
Ah, the Rare Bird. If you’re as much of a sucker for scenic views, then this rooftop lounge should be on your checklist. Perched atop the Noelle Hotel, The Rare Bird offers exotic cocktails and an eagle-eye perspective on Nashville’s skyline. This is one of the best rooftop bars in Nashville with an ambiance as unique as the city itself.
8. Up, a Rooftop Lounge
By UP, Rooftop Table & Tavern
Located on the epic rooftop of the Fairfield Inn & Suites, Up goes beyond simply being a bar. A glass of sangria in hand, the impressive view of the Cumberland River rolling by, and an inviting fire pit to lounge around – it’s a supreme form of relaxation, trust me.
9. Yazoo Brewing Company
By Local Guide Gerry Soman
Looking for some of the most popular bars in Nashville? Yazoo Brewing Company is a mecca for craft beer aficionados. Their selection of ales and lagers is a testament to the city’s thriving craft beer culture – diverse, experimental, and utterly delicious. Plus, their brewery tours are a chance to geek out on the art of brewing.
10. Tennessee Brew Works
By Local Guide Katherine Ebrada
Step into Tennessee Brew Works and you’ll find yourself surrounded by craftsmanship, a place where beer-making is treated like an art form. Besides its flavorful brews, its taproom hosts a variety of musicians who effortlessly blend their tunes with the clinking and clanking of glasses in the background.
11. Jackalope Brewing Company
By Jackalope Brewing Company – The Ranch
Enter a fun, whimsical world with the Jackalope Brewing Company. With twists on classic beer styles, this brewpub manages to capture everything fun and quirky about Nashville. The unicorn-themed mural sets the tone for a fantastic, laid-back evening in one of the best bars in Nashville.
Our Final Words
Nashville’s bar scene can be summed up in one word – diverse. From the old-school charm of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, the sophistication of The Patterson House, to the eccentricity of Jackalope Brewing Company, there’s a tavern for every taste bud. Be it music, cocktails, or just pure ambiance, each place offers a unique brew of experience.
Now, isn’t it time you dusted off your boots, put on your favorite cowboy hat, and headed out to discover what the Music City’s nightlife has in store for you? The best bars in Nashville can turn an ordinary evening into a night to remember. So, raise a glass, tap your feet, and savor the uniqueness that defines this city’s watering holes. Cheers, y’all!