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The bar at Old Glory.
Justin Chesney/Eater Nashville

14 Essential Nashville Cocktail Bars

From low-key dives to swanky speakeasies, these are the classic places Nashville goes to drink

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The bar at Old Glory.
| Justin Chesney/Eater Nashville

There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cold brew at a Broadway honky-tonk — there’s a proper time and place for that. But when Nashville wants a great cocktail, there’s no shortage of bars ready to step up to the plate. Glittering rooftop lounges: check. Dimly-lit speakeasies: check. A double-wide trailer owned by a guy who looks like that jolly bearded guy up in the North Pole: that’s a resounding “check.”

This map details the must-try bars around town, the ones with singular drinks and standout barkeeps who know their way around a bottle of bitters (or four). These spots are the ones to count on in any situation, the answer to the question: “Can you recommend a bar?”

For Nashville’s best bar patios and rooftops, see here, and for the hottest new bars in town, check out Eater’s cocktail heatmap.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Springwater Supper Club & Lounge

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With over 100 years under its belt, Springwater has earned its spot as one of Nashville’s most iconic bars. Opened in 1897, this no-frills Midtown dive is always good for some live music, a game of eight-ball and a brew.

At this Midtown restaurant, the decor is almost as eye-catching as the drinks. Almost. Sidle up to the perfect square bar in the middle of the space and order a glass of the rotating seasonal punch concocted by bartender extraordinaire Ben Rouse and follow it up with a bespoke cocktail from their roving whiskey cart.

Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

The Patterson House

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One of the OGs in the Nashville craft cocktail scene, The Patterson House still knows how to shake ‘em up and pour ‘em out. This speakeasy-style bar was named after prohibition-fighting former Tennessee Governor Malcolm Patterson—and it continues to uphold his legacy spectacularly. Order a drink from their thoughtful menu or let one of the bartenders create something off the cuff. Either way, it’s a win.

Old Glory

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In the style of speakeasies, this Edgehill Village spot is a bit tricky to find. Here’s a hint: keep an eye out for a golden triangle designating an unmarked door. Once inside, expect killer drinks — like the Golden Crane made with mezcal — at the industrial chic bar.

Justin Chesney/Eater Nashville

Green Hour Bar

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Absinthe is the name of the game at the Germantown enclave. Take part in the traditional absinthe ritual called “La Louche” or dive head first into the bar’s creative cocktail list. But plan your visit accordingly—the Green Hour is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday (inside Tempered Cafe & Chocolates).

L.A. Jackson

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Can’t have an essential bars list without one of Nashville’s ubiquitous rooftop lounges. And L.A. Jackson fits the bill in glorious fashion. Located on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch, the cocktails give the views a run for their money at this scene-y hot spot.

The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
Eater Nashville/Sam Angel

Skull's Rainbow Room

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Etta James, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan are just some of the names that’ve performed on the infamous checkerboard stage at Skull’s. Located on Printer’s Alley, locals count on this old-school venue for an unpretentious scene filled with solid tunes and stiff drinks, like their eponymous cocktail made with Havana Club rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple, grenadine and ginger.

Skull’s Rainbow Room

Hidden Bar at Noelle

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Might be wise to save the drinking for after you’ve found the Hidden Bar at Noelle — locating it has confused more than a few patrons. (Hint: just ask the hostess at Makeready, the hotel’s restaurant.) On weekend nights, this cozy spot is packed to the rafters with revelers catching the eye of strangers or groups sharing one of the large format drinks that announce their arrival via sparklers.

Flamingo Cocktail Club

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If Miami had a one night stand with Nashville, it’d look a little something like the Flamingo Cocktail Club. What was once a church is now a tropical den of creative cocktails from powerhouse sister duo Alexis Soler and Angela Laino. Oh, and dress to impress — no flip flops or Tevas allowed here.

Flamingo Cocktail Club

Earnest Bar & Hideaway (formerly Hemingway's)

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In Wedgewood-Houston, a stately, wood-lined bar worthy of Papa himself holds court for those in search of a well-made drink. Deciphering ingredients from the menu is nearly impossible, but you’ll have a good time trying. Better yet, honor Hemingway’s spirit and go for a classic daiquiri.

Santa's Pub

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Christmas comes only once a year, but at this popular Nashville dive, you can relive the most wonderful time of the year anytime you want thanks to some pretty festive holiday decor. Housed in a double-wide trailer, the drinks here aren’t fancy, but an icy cold bottle of beer is fuel enough for the nightly karaoke sessions that take place.

Bastion

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This funky Wedgewood-Houston hang is full of clever IG-friendly design touches, but all of that takes a backseat to the food and drink menu. Josh Habiger and Strategic Hospitality have made quickly made themselves a Nashville staple with their impressive cocktails and can’t-miss nachos. Just don’t forget to snap a pic with the bevy of nude women in the back.

Attaboy

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This NYC stalwart decided to make East Nashville its home-away-from-home back in 2017 and the city is all the better for it. Just like any proper house guest, you’ll be asked to politely knock on the door before being allowed entry. But don’t bother looking for a menu. Instead, the bartenders here will ask a few questions about likes and dislikes before concocting a cocktail off the cuff.

Attaboy/Facebook

Urban Cowboy Public House

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This hip craft cocktail bar opened its doors in East Nashville in 2016 to much acclaim, thanks not only to a high-powered food and beverage team but also a unique restaurant and bar space. Split between a main indoor bar and a large outdoor patio, owners Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks didn’t skimp on the details, with a few of the key elements including a custom brass bar top, antique wall-mounted cigarette machines and timbers from the late 1800’s.

Sam Angel / Eater Nashville

Springwater Supper Club & Lounge

With over 100 years under its belt, Springwater has earned its spot as one of Nashville’s most iconic bars. Opened in 1897, this no-frills Midtown dive is always good for some live music, a game of eight-ball and a brew.

Henley

Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

At this Midtown restaurant, the decor is almost as eye-catching as the drinks. Almost. Sidle up to the perfect square bar in the middle of the space and order a glass of the rotating seasonal punch concocted by bartender extraordinaire Ben Rouse and follow it up with a bespoke cocktail from their roving whiskey cart.

Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

The Patterson House

One of the OGs in the Nashville craft cocktail scene, The Patterson House still knows how to shake ‘em up and pour ‘em out. This speakeasy-style bar was named after prohibition-fighting former Tennessee Governor Malcolm Patterson—and it continues to uphold his legacy spectacularly. Order a drink from their thoughtful menu or let one of the bartenders create something off the cuff. Either way, it’s a win.

Old Glory

Justin Chesney/Eater Nashville

In the style of speakeasies, this Edgehill Village spot is a bit tricky to find. Here’s a hint: keep an eye out for a golden triangle designating an unmarked door. Once inside, expect killer drinks — like the Golden Crane made with mezcal — at the industrial chic bar.

Justin Chesney/Eater Nashville

Green Hour Bar

Absinthe is the name of the game at the Germantown enclave. Take part in the traditional absinthe ritual called “La Louche” or dive head first into the bar’s creative cocktail list. But plan your visit accordingly—the Green Hour is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday (inside Tempered Cafe & Chocolates).

L.A. Jackson

The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
Eater Nashville/Sam Angel

Can’t have an essential bars list without one of Nashville’s ubiquitous rooftop lounges. And L.A. Jackson fits the bill in glorious fashion. Located on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch, the cocktails give the views a run for their money at this scene-y hot spot.

The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
The rooftop at L.A. Jackson
Eater Nashville/Sam Angel

Skull's Rainbow Room

Skull’s Rainbow Room

Etta James, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan are just some of the names that’ve performed on the infamous checkerboard stage at Skull’s. Located on Printer’s Alley, locals count on this old-school venue for an unpretentious scene filled with solid tunes and stiff drinks, like their eponymous cocktail made with Havana Club rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple, grenadine and ginger.

Skull’s Rainbow Room

Hidden Bar at Noelle

Might be wise to save the drinking for after you’ve found the Hidden Bar at Noelle — locating it has confused more than a few patrons. (Hint: just ask the hostess at Makeready, the hotel’s restaurant.) On weekend nights, this cozy spot is packed to the rafters with revelers catching the eye of strangers or groups sharing one of the large format drinks that announce their arrival via sparklers.

Flamingo Cocktail Club

Flamingo Cocktail Club

If Miami had a one night stand with Nashville, it’d look a little something like the Flamingo Cocktail Club. What was once a church is now a tropical den of creative cocktails from powerhouse sister duo Alexis Soler and Angela Laino. Oh, and dress to impress — no flip flops or Tevas allowed here.

Flamingo Cocktail Club

Earnest Bar & Hideaway (formerly Hemingway's)

In Wedgewood-Houston, a stately, wood-lined bar worthy of Papa himself holds court for those in search of a well-made drink. Deciphering ingredients from the menu is nearly impossible, but you’ll have a good time trying. Better yet, honor Hemingway’s spirit and go for a classic daiquiri.

Santa's Pub

Christmas comes only once a year, but at this popular Nashville dive, you can relive the most wonderful time of the year anytime you want thanks to some pretty festive holiday decor. Housed in a double-wide trailer, the drinks here aren’t fancy, but an icy cold bottle of beer is fuel enough for the nightly karaoke sessions that take place.

Bastion

This funky Wedgewood-Houston hang is full of clever IG-friendly design touches, but all of that takes a backseat to the food and drink menu. Josh Habiger and Strategic Hospitality have made quickly made themselves a Nashville staple with their impressive cocktails and can’t-miss nachos. Just don’t forget to snap a pic with the bevy of nude women in the back.

Attaboy

Attaboy/Facebook

This NYC stalwart decided to make East Nashville its home-away-from-home back in 2017 and the city is all the better for it. Just like any proper house guest, you’ll be asked to politely knock on the door before being allowed entry. But don’t bother looking for a menu. Instead, the bartenders here will ask a few questions about likes and dislikes before concocting a cocktail off the cuff.

Attaboy/Facebook

Urban Cowboy Public House

Sam Angel / Eater Nashville

This hip craft cocktail bar opened its doors in East Nashville in 2016 to much acclaim, thanks not only to a high-powered food and beverage team but also a unique restaurant and bar space. Split between a main indoor bar and a large outdoor patio, owners Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks didn’t skimp on the details, with a few of the key elements including a custom brass bar top, antique wall-mounted cigarette machines and timbers from the late 1800’s.

Sam Angel / Eater Nashville

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