Nashville Where to Drink

Can a city famous for its music also be known for its drinks? Nashville is making a case for it.

Broadway Staples

Much of Nashville’s boozy reputation is tied to Broadway, where the classic honky-tonks and huge party bars have perfected the pairing of live music and a constant flow of libations. Broadway itself boasts a variety of offerings, accommodating country music fans of all ages. The giant three-story Honky Tonk Central is a favorite of bachelorette parties and young travelers, whereas the legendary Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge draws country music fans, two-steppers, and history buffs.

Should hunger strike while boot-scooting down the Honky Tonk Highway, Robert’s Western World has you covered with the Recession Special: a hot dog, bag of chips, and beer. For more munchies, Acme Feed & Seed is a favorite of locals and travelers alike, offering tasty Southern fare, strong cocktails, and even sushi, on multiple floors. Their rooftop claims one of the best views of the famous strip, with a panorama of the Cumberland River on one side and a bird’s-eye view of the neon on the other.

Locals-Only

Locals don’t often make it down to Broadway; their preferred nightlife spot can be found in midtown. The side-by-side Winners & Losers is the cornerstone of Demonbreun, offering college-bar-style drink specials and—being just a stone’s throw from Music Row—a glimpse at a famous face or two. Roadhouse-style Red Door Saloon is just down the block, and Kung Fu Saloon offers quirky outdoor seating options and games of both the arcade and yard variety.

Craft Cocktails

The breakneck pace on Broadway is half the fun, with bartenders often filling two beers at once from the tap. Those looking for a slower experience, however, will be glad to know Nashville has a booming craft cocktail scene. The Patterson House is the city’s richest source for classic cocktails, mixing up Prohibition-era recipes alongside a house menu of contemporary cocktails. East Nashville’s The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club offers carefully curated classics (including a martini with melted beeswax dripped into local spirits) in an intimate hideaway, and just up the road, Rosemary features playful and seasonal creations in a converted house with backyard seating. However, not all cocktails in Nashville are served in intimate lounges. Old Glory and Bastion are great examples of converted industrial spaces whose creative cocktail menus are as cool as their design. Greenhouse Bar, as the name suggests, serves their drinks and food in a converted greenhouse.

Frito Pies and Dives

In search of a shot-and-a-beer special? Duke’s has it covered with the Federale and Patriot, alongside a deli serving bodega-style sandwiches. Up the street at Dino’s, their shot-and-a-pony combo pairs well with a Frito Pie.

While Dino’s calls itself Nashville’s oldest dive bar, fellow beer-and-burger stronghold Brown’s Diner holds Nashville’s oldest beer license and has been in continuous operation since 1927. That’s not the only dive of distinction, either: Rosie’s Twin Kegs exhibits Nashville’s oldest operating shuffleboard along with its offerings of cheap beer and karaoke. If you’re celebrating a birthday, be sure to stop by The Villager for their traditional birthday offering: a dog bowl of beer.

Breweries and Distilleries

Great beer and liquor aren’t just served in Nashville, they’re also made here. Local breweries like Yazoo, Jackalope, Black Abbey, and Little Harpeth Brewing have tastings, tours, and taprooms. Corsair Distillery crafts whiskey and gin in small batches, serving tastings and hosting tours of their facilities in Marathon Village.

Drinks with a Side of Entertainment

Nearly every bar on Broadway features country cover bands or concerts by local artists. Beyond Broadway, Belcourt Taps frequently hosts writer’s rounds in their welcoming setting, as do The Listening Room and The Sutler. Bluegrass mecca The Station Inn is a must for any music fan, and for those who like to two step to country music, the dance floor at The Nashville Palace is the biggest and best in town. Classic dive Springwater Supper Club & Lounge hosts rock shows in one room and has pool tables and darts in the other.

Bars with a View

For a final toast to all of the drinking experiences Nashville has to offer, head to one of the city’s rooftop cocktail bars like L.A. Jackson or Rare Bird and raise a glass while enjoying some of the best views of Music City.

Previous Experience

Nashville Strictly for Tourists

Next Experience

Side Trip: A Guide to Music Valley

Find a Hotel

Guidebooks

Fodor's InFocus Nashville

View Details