Located next to the Mississippi River in south-western Tennessee, Memphis is famous for its music, culture, food. The best bars in town combine this musical heritage with great beer and drinks. Check these 10 out.
Bar, Food Truck, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
Bar DKDC | Courtesy of Bar DKDC
Music, drinks and international street food – what more could you want? Bar DKDC is well known for its global street food, soul music and of course, the speciality libations. Its hand-crafted cocktails range from The Greenline to the Jamaica Ting, featuring unusual ingredients like Brandons vodka and fresh grapefruit. Bar DKDC has small plates on its menu of cuisine from around the world: pernil and vegetarian arepas South American inspired, and crispy pork dumplings inspired by Thailand to name just a few.
To grasp more of the music scene in Memphis, Earnestine & Hazel’s is the ideal place to grab a drink and settle down. Earnestine & Hazel’s has a reputation not only for its ghost-driven juke box, but also for its historic bar. The bar, beginning as a pharmacy in the 1930s, was an idea of sisters Earnestine and Hazel. Earnestine’s husband owned Club Paradise, a nearby music venue that hosted performers such as Tina Turner and Ray Charles. Today, Earnestine & Hazel’s still captures the soul, jazz, and blues that fills the streets of Memphis and combines it with ice-cold beer and soul burgers.
If you’re not looking for a high-class bar but rather local beer and a casual atmosphere, the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium provides this. The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium offers everything from craft beers to a large range of beer on tap. With a large gathering area, an outdoor section and enclosed dining and bar area, the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a relaxed, friendly environment for guests to enjoy their favorite beers in.
Classy yet casual, Alchemy Memphis combines an extensive drinks menu with everything from tapas to large brunch plates. Options include tequilas, bourbons and whiskeys, as well as hand-crafted cocktails, or “Alchemy Originals”, like The Alchemist and Zippin Pippin. With almost 30 cocktails to choose from, Alchemy’s mission to restore dignity and distinction in cocktails is achieved for sure. While sipping a cocktail in Alchemy’s sophisticated atmosphere, guests can enjoy tapas to complement their drinks, or a decadent dessert like Bourbon Cake with spiced pecans.
Guests looking for a local Memphis pub would do well to turn to Alex’s Tavern, opened in 1953. No matter which review you read, the Greek burger at Alex’s Tavern is known as one of the the best burgers in all of Memphis; cooked to perfection and loaded with Greek flavors. To add to this classic Memphis meal, Alex’s Tavern creates a welcoming, fun atmosphere with its shuffleboard and jukebox.
Bar, American, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
Within the Victorian Village lies Mollie Fontaine Lounge, a great Memphis lounge with cocktails and live music. Mollie Fontaine Lounge is open 5pm “‘til the spirits go to sleep”, and guests won’t be wanting to drift off in this Victorian home filled with antiques (and some ghosts, apparently!). While the vintage furniture makes guests feel like they are centuries in the past, a live DJ typically sets the vibe of the lounge with music ranging from upbeat house to sing-a-long piano tunes.
Adding to the music scene of Memphis, Buccaneer Lounge is an off-the-beaten-path bar for indie music lovers to listen to local bands. Buccaneer Lounge features a musical artist nearly every night, ranging from punk bands to local legends. This nautical-themed dive bar brings in guests night after night to its “Poop Deck”, better known as the bar, with reasonably priced drinks for the whole crew. Buccaneer Lounge offers a true local feel between its gritty yet quality atmosphere and friendly staff, guests and regulars.
With the wide selection of beer found throughout Memphis, Young Avenue Deli is known to be one of the best bars in Midtown. With 36 draft options and 130 cans and bottles to choose from, guests can enjoy their favorite beers or maybe find a new favorite beer here. Young Avenue Deli’s prime location in Midtown allows customers to stop in, grab a bite to eat and explore everything Memphis has to offer with ease. Guests won’t be going far from Young Avenue Deli, though, due to its award-winning, fresh and home-made French fries and other munchies that go perfectly with a hoppy brew.
Bar, Pub, American, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
High above the city of Memphis, Twilight Sky Terrace was rightfully awarded the Best Drinks and Best Nightlife in Memphis award by USA Today. Its views of the Mississippi River provide an atmosphere you won’t experience anywhere else in town. Twilight Sky Terrace offers hand-crafted cocktails on top of the city and delectable food to share with friends. The rooftop contains fireside seating so guests can get cozy as they watch the sunset or sip on creative tipples and potent mixers.
After opening in 1999, The Blue Monkey now has two locations at 2012 Madison Avenue in Midtown and 513 S Front Street in Downtown. Although it is one of Memphis’ newer hangout locations, its popularity is so high due to its European-styled tavern vibe merged with real American cuisine. Its weekly steak and wine nights offer a classic atmosphere to combat its normally relaxed tone. The Blue Monkey also has trivia, karaoke and pint nights throughout the week. Most nights, though, you’ll find customers snacking on crawfish bisque or one of its po’boys- regional specialities.