The 10 Best Blues Bars in Nashville

Photo of Kate Harrington
1 October 2016

Tennessee‘s pride has been officially coined the United States‘ “Music City,” making it rather unsurprising that Nashville would be home to some of the country’s finest blues bars. Here are our 10 favorite spots in the city.

Nashville skyline | © Jason Mrachina/Flickr

Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar

Bourbon Street, located in the historic Printers Alley district, is the closest thing to an authentic blues bar. Bourbon Street serves Cajun cuisine bar faire – New Orleans-inspired food – and great drinks with unbeatable prices. This is the epitome of a blues dive bar, and it hosts some of the best musicians around. Great service, constant live music, and affordable drinks make Bourbon Street the blues bar to visit in Nashville.

Price: Budget
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: The panty-droppers and voodoo wings
Address: Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar, 220 Printers Alley, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-242-5837

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Bar, American
Map View
Part blues dive bar, part honky-tonk, the Tootsies Orchid Lounge is the watering hole for an eclectic blend of live music. There’s usually two bands that play on separate levels, and big crowds are there for both. They’ve also got a storied food & drink menu; the drinks are a bit pricier, but the music makes it worth every penny.

Fran’s East Side

Having been around for decades, Fran’s East Side bar is home to two seasoned country singers who perform almost every evening. It’s always open mic here, the bar always encouraging a bit of karaoke. The drinks are cheap and it’s cash only. It’s a simple bar that emphasizes good ol’ fashion fun.

Price: Budget
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: Don’t use the front door, use the side door
Address: Fran’s East Side, 2109 Greenwood Avenue, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 226 9697

Station Inn

The Station Inn is a venue that houses bluegrass musicians. Opened in 1974, this venue has a storied history of hosting some of the best musical talent. Known for its music more than its food and drink, the Station Inn is dedicated to its craft. This doesn’t mean they don’t have a full bar, though. With intimate seating, it’s usually first come, first served.

Price: Mid-range
Hours: 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: the pizza & music starting at 9 pm
Address: Station Inn, 402 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-255-3307

The Bluebird Café

The Bluebird is a cozy little club that hosts some of the best up-and-coming musicians. This intimate music club has a history of hosting some of the best songwriters, and it is limited to a 90-seat audience. Rumor has it that Taylor Swift was discovered here. This is an ideal place to relax and listen to some genuine talent.

Price: Mid-range
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Can’t miss: The baked Brie
Address: The Bluebird Café, 4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-383-1461

Legends Corner

Country albums covering its walls, Legends Corner is one of the best spots in Nashville for live music – mostly country, but some blues are occasionally incorporated. Legends Corner décor is somewhat dive-y, but it is definitely honky-tonk. The bartenders believe in Southern hospitality, and Legends Corner is known for some of the friendliest wait staff. Dancing is strongly encouraged.

Price: Budget
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: The jukebox
Address: Legends Corner, 428 Broadway, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-248-6334

12th & Porter

This is locally known as one of the best venue bars because of its small setting. 12th & Porter has been in business since the 1980s, hosting a variety of bands, from Kings of Leon to Run-DMC. This is an affordable spot that offers some of the greatest acoustic settings in the city.

Price: Mid-range
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: The venue’s schedule
Address: 12th Porter, 114 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-320-3754

Joe Moralez at 12th Porter | © A Featherstone/Flickr

Wildhorse Saloon

Bar, American, $$$
Map View
The Wildhorse Saloon is a watering hole that serves Southern food (mostly barbecue), and offers free line dancing. It’s a three-level structure that hosts multiple bars and live acts. The Saloon’s drinks are on the pricier side, but there are good happy hour deals available. The bar draws a large number of tourist, but the music makes it worth the visit.

The Stage on Broadway

It’s the simple set-up of The Stage that makes it such a standout venue in Nashville. The décor includes a large mural that depicts some of history’s greatest country and blues musicians. The drinks are a little expensive, but there’s never a cover charge, so it balances out.

Price: Mid-range
Hours: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: The occasional long line
Address: The Stage on Broadway, 412 Broadway, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-726-0504

BB King’s Blues Bar

BB King’s Blues Bar is dedicated to hosting some of the best local and national musicians. There’s live music every night, and a menu full of Southern comfort food. Their cuisine is inspired by outside sources like New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.

Price: Mid-range
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Can’t miss: The ribs
Address: BB King’s Blues Bar, 152 2nd Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-256-2727