The Absolute Best Bars in Nashville

Broadway, in Nashville, is where you'll find great food, craft beers and brilliant live music
Broadway, in Nashville, is where you'll find great food, craft beers and brilliant live music | © Joseph Sohm
Nashville, Tennessee, also known as Music City, is renowned for its honky-tonks and stellar music venues that attract all sorts of artists, and not just country musicians. From friendly dives to creative cocktail bars, Culture Trip has searched Nashville for the absolute best.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Bar, American
A historic honky-tonk in Downtown Nashville, Tootsies Orchid Lounge was originally called Mom’s when Tootsie Bess bought it in 1960. Orchid comes from the color the painter chose for the building. Some of its first customers include Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, and today, Tootsies still attracts plenty of live music. With three floors, it has a live band on each, living up to Nashville’s title of Music City.
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Mercy Lounge

Music Venue
Mercy Lounge is a cozy rock club in an industrial-looking red-brick building on Cannery Row that attracts local and national musicians. Opened in 2003, it has hosted a range of artists, from Katy Perry and the White Stripes to Iron & Wine and Andrew Bird. It’s a decent-sized venue, with a 500-person standing capacity, and the alcohol is reasonably priced.
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Tin Roof

Bar, American
With a variety of draft and bottled beers, plus tasty comfort food to sate the munchies, Tin Roof is a casual shotgun-house bar near Broadway. It offers a variety of signature cocktails, including the Nash Mule with vodka, ginger beer and fresh lime, and tasty dishes, such as loaded hot tots with ranch, bacon, scallions and cheddar cheese. From live music – often country – to Sunday football, it hosts events throughout the week.
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Wildhorse Saloon

Bar, American, $$$
A 66,000sq ft (6,132sq m) bar, restaurant, and music and dancing venue, Wildhorse Saloon has hosted big stars such as Darius Rucker, Lady A, Rascal Flatts and Etta James. Food-wise, it is known for its juicy burgers and fried pickles with buttermilk Wildhorse spice blend. At the bar, you can find a selection of locally brewed beers and creative cocktails.
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Robert’s Western World

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub
From selling fried bologna sandwiches and 100 percent angus beef burgers at the on-site Honkey Tonk Grill to hosting live bands, Robert’s Western World is a great place to go for a night of live music and dancing if you’re on Broadway. It’s a classic honky-tonk, with local Music City musicians and a house band. It hosts a lot of blues and country musicians here, making it a true Nashville experience.
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The Lipstick Lounge

Bar, American
A friendly, welcoming bar, the Lipstick Lounge offers brunch, complimented by delicious bloody marys. On Tuesdays, there is pop culture trivia, and every night, you can belt out tunes during karaoke. If you’re a bit tired of all the music venues, the Lipstick Lounge is a great place to hang out for a drink and some fun. Its tex-mex brunches and dinners are popular here; you can order tasty pork tacos and huevocados (huevos rancheros with avocados).
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The Patterson House

Bar, American, $$$
The Patterson House is a charming Nashville bar, complete with dimmed lights and waiters in suit vests. You can find signature drinks such as the Bacon Old Fashioned and the rum-based Welcome to the Big Time, along with culinary curiosities such as grilled cheese sandwiches and cinnamon-sugar doughnuts. Different than the honky-tonks of Broadway, this classy spot has more of a speakeasy vibe.
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3 Crow Bar

Bar, American
With several varieties of beers on tap, refreshing cocktails and food such as grass-fed beef burgers and tequila-marinated chicken tenders, 3 Crow Bar is a lively pub with trivia nights, TVs for sports fans and all sorts of social events. One of its signature drinks is the Bushwacker, a bourbon milkshake, and it also serves a mean bloody mary. It’s a casual place to drink in Tennessee and a great spot to stop by while bar-hopping.
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These recommendations were updated on June 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.