Uncovering Memphis’s hidden bar scene

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis’s best bars highlight the city’s rich history in unique settings with panoramic views, chic ambience and buzzing atmospheres

The city of Memphis is known for its iconic music, rich history and a unique food scene. But once the sun sets in Tennessee’s second-largest city, Memphis offers not only delicious southern barbeque but also an eclectic collection of bars. Rooftop bars, traditional speakeasies and even a haunted establishment all offer a Memphian way to enjoy a tipple. Here are some of Memphis’s best bars to enjoy a night on the town:

Summer rooftop parties at the Peabody Hotel Rooftop

Named among the “Top 10 Rooftop Bars” by the Memphis Flyer, the rooftop at the Peabody Hotel comes alive from April to August with weekend parties. Weekend revellers have the opportunity to listen to live bands while sipping on drinks and taking in panoramic views of Memphis and the Mississippi River.

Trendy rooftop vibes at Beck & Call

The Beck & Call at the Hyatt Centric offers views of Downtown Memphis, the city skyline and the Mississippi River. With a menu curated by award-winning mixologists, Beck & Call boasts a range of handcrafted cocktails that complement its chic ambience. Both an afternoon and nighttime destination, this rooftop bar features comfortable seating, fire pits and an inviting allure for all.

City sunsets and local spirits at Hu. Hotel Rooftop

A more laid-back and eclectic rooftop bar experience awaits at Hu. Hotel Rooftop. This bar is centrally located and only a short walk from Beale Street – the home of the blues – and the Mississippi River. Set in an open-air environment, the bar offers sunset views along with a diverse menu of cocktails, local spirits and shareable plates.

Summertime drinks at Mississippi River Terrace at The Pyramid

The Mississippi River Terrace at the Memphis Pyramid is a summer destination open on weekends with live music, light bites, drinks and panoramic views of the Memphis skyline. This destination features a full bar, modern furnishings and fire pits. The rest of the Pyramid at Big Cypress Lodge includes treehouse cabins, a 600,000-gallon water display featuring 1,800 fish and a cypress swamp with alligator pools and duck aviaries.

Enjoy the Rooftop Retreat at Terrace at the River Inn

The Terrace at the River Inn is a more intimate and upscale rooftop experience. Located above the River Inn in Harbour Town, this rooftop bar features views over the Mississippi River and Harbour Town. In the covered rooftop patio, guests can find plush seating, elegant decor and a curated drinks menu.

A retro evening at Blind Bear Speakeasy

On Main Street in Memphis sits the Blind Bear Speakeasy, a beloved hidden gem that captures the essence of a prohibition-era lounge. A discreet entrance leads visitors into this retro establishment, taking visitors on a journey back to the 1930s. Planning to visit on a Friday or Saturday or summer Thursday? Be sure to find the secret password on Blind Bear Speakeasy’s Facebook and X (Twitter) pages to be allowed to pass the entry door.

Great food and tasty drinks at the Haunted Earnestine & Hazel’s

No trip to Memphis would be complete without a visit to the quintessential and popular dive bar, Earnestine & Hazel’s, known for its ghostly residents as much as its food. The Soul Burger is a popular menu pick whilst you try while attempting to unwind in a bar that has been deemed one of the most haunted places in America. Meanwhile, the working jukebox plays classic Memphis soul and funk tunes.

Raise a glass at Memphis’ oldest tavern, The Green Beetle

Situated in the South Mains Art District and steeped in history stands The Green Beetle, the city’s oldest tavern. Founded in 1939, over 100 years after Memphis was founded, this historic watering hole has been a cherished part of Memphis culture for decades.

Curated cocktails and vinyl tunes at Eight & Sand

For a genuine Memphis experience, head to Eight & Sand, the bar and lounge housed within Central Station. This establishment is renowned for the best-sounding music room in town and home to a one-of-a-kind vinyl music collection with over 20,000 titles – all connected to Memphis in some way. Curated playlists, live DJs and welcoming staff make Eight & Sand a top choice for any night of the week.

Stylish cocktails at Inkwell

In the eclectic Edge District, just a short stroll from downtown and close to landmarks like Sun Studio, sits the cocktail bar, Inkwell. Serving premium cocktails and mocktails, Inkwell provides a chic and inclusive ambience, making it an excellent choice for unwinding after a day exploring Memphis’s attractions.

Graceland, Memphis. Image courtesy of Tauck
Graceland, Memphis. Image courtesy of Tauck

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