The Best Cocktail Bars in Memphis

Are you on the lookout for the most poppin’ Cocktail Bars in Memphis?

Then we have you covered!

On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of the best Cocktail Bars in Memphis. (More in-depth further below)

Articles you’ll also like:

Memphis is a lively city, and you can sense that while strolling down Beale Street. Memphis, located in the South, has a decidedly Southern flavor, which is reflected in its friendliness. Memphis, more than any other city I’ve seen, has a unique flavor. Is it because of the food? That’s a factor. Is it the thriving local art scene? Perhaps so. The bar scene in Memphis, though, is truly remarkable. Memphis boasts some of the best cocktail bars I’ve ever gone to, and I’m not kidding.

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen is an upscale digs and marvelous handcrafted cocktails. It is an elevated Italian restaurant in a house with a garden highlighting local ingredients & global ideas. The flagship restaurant of famous chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman features an excellent bar and a lovely patio (with a fireplace). Is there no reservation? Is there no date? It’s not an issue. Pass the nice dining and make your way up to the 16-seat bar. There, you may sip on a variety of homemade drinks. Allow the skilled bartenders to make the selection for you if you become overwhelmed by the plethora of excellent options. Yes, famed Memphis chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman have multiple dining and drinking businesses downtown. The duo’s initial project was Andrew Michael’s Italian Kitchen in East Memphis. 

Like its acclaimed food, Andrew Michael’s cocktail program masterfully modernizes tradition. As this drink menu develops, sip everything in season. Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, Memphis natives, launched Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in 2008 to serve contemporary Italian cuisine anchored in Southern heritage. The chefs received their education at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy. They were named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2013 and one of Starchefs.com’s 2014 contest. Pete Wells of the New York Times termed the eateries “a sibling rivalry worth getting into” in his 2013 review. The chefs’ third location, a specialty butcher shop and café opened in early 2015, equipped with classic pastries, coffee, and espresso.

Porcellino’s Craft Butcher won four stars from The Commercial Appeal and was named one of the top 50 new restaurants in 2015 by Bon Appetit. In March 2016, the chefs debuted Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel New Orleans. The restaurant was named one of Bon Appetit 50 Best New Restaurants in the South and one of Southern Living’s Best New Restaurants in the South. Catherine & Mary’s, the chef’s first Downtown Memphis restaurant, debuted in September 2016 and introduced their combination of grandmother cuisine, Italian dining philosophy, and southern ingredients to the city’s center. The Gray Canary, housed in the Old Dominick Distillery, debuted in January 2018 as the chefs’ second downtown restaurant. This most recent addition shows a new and innovative restaurant design, with an open kitchen, wood fire cooking with a raw bar overlooking the Mississippi River in Downtown Memphis’s South Main Arts District.

Bar DKDC

Bar DKDC has Live music, funky decor, and endless southern charm. Here’sHere’s a definite case of size not mattering. The worldwide street cuisine, unique libations, creative decor, retro photo booth, and variety of soul music draw a crowd to this quaint – and meticulously chosen – place. And if it becomes too packed, spill out onto the sidewalk with everyone else. The bartender will probably call you “darlin”, remember your precise cocktail order, and make it so incredible that you’ll be back within a week. Bar DKDC isn’t just a bar. It’s an experience. This joint plays soul music that permeates the place and gives it a spectacular atmosphere. The specialty cocktails were another aspect of this establishment that I enjoyed. 

While the food menu changes daily, you can get various unique cocktails anytime! Mint Condition and Batch Negroni are two of my favorite cocktails from their inspired menu. It’sIt’s hard to find drinks like this anywhere, let alone in Memphis. With good music and great drinks, Bar DKDC is keeping the spirit of Memphis alive. Give it a try; it’s worth the trip! DKDC stands for Don’tDon’t Know, Don’tDon’t Care, but don’t let the irreverent spirit fool you. This jewel in Karen Carrier’sCarrier’s empire of food and fun takes great care with the cocktails (and food) it serves. With an international twist, the cocktail menu focuses on putting the world in a glass. Start with the Jamaica Ting (rum, grapefruit, seltzer, lime zest). 

This unique little Cooper Young location launched in 2013 with little attention but many admirers; chef Karen Carrier’sCarrier’s latest nightspot is fresh and edgy and a fantastic addition to the local entertainment scene. DKDC, decorated with treasures from around the world and plenty of tag sale elegance, serves modest appetizers with an international flair and tasty libations with a definite kick. The audience is a little hipster, but don’t let that put you off because the environment is delightfully eclectic. Cocktails are served in various forms, from Mason jars to juice glasses, and include traditional variations, such as a blackberry julep. We suggest this location for Bars because If you wish to stay late for the music, arrive around 9 p.m. to get a seat. Our professional advice: If you intend to stay late for the music, arrive around 9 p.m. to get a spot. So, this is one of the best bars Memphis has to offer.

Bari Ristorante

Bari Ristorante has top-notch service, amazing food, and serious cocktails. It is a chic spot for modern Italian cuisine and features an impressive wine list & variety of cheeses. The Bari bar is still a bit of a hidden gem, at least to the mob of East Memphis residents who have taken over Overton Square proper (shh!). It is a great spot to start or finish the evening, and it’s not uncommon to see a few people loitering outside the entrance at 4:55 pm to ensure they secure a highly sought-after seat at the bar. The bartenders are knowledgeable, helpful, and inventive. They enjoy offering recommendations, and we enjoy allowing them to do so. The wine selection is extensive, and Peroni on draught is available. The menu is accessible at the bar, and you’d be foolish not to get a cheese platter. 

The city’s only Southeastern Italian restaurant and wine bar is Bari Ristorante e Enoteca. Chef Jason Severs’ versions of antipasto, salads, meats and seafood, over 50 Italian cheeses, handmade pasta, bread, and sweets, give customers a real sense of this Italian Region. Whether you choose a multi-course meal like the Italians or just one or two dishes, you’ll appreciate the simplicity and freshness of Bari’s food and outstanding Italian wines. The Enoteca, which serves a comprehensive all-Italian wine selection, is open one hour before and after the dining room. The menu is set up in the traditional Italian style, with smaller amounts that allow you to order any meals. They even slice the salami and cheeses to order. Please inform them if you have any food sensitivities. Because nothing is pre-prepared and everything takes time to cook, they require you to order all of your meals and save dessert at once. 

They will not make replacements or exclusions to any meal since every element in every dish makes the food whole. There is a $2.00 cost for plate splitting. Eating raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne disease if you have certain medical problems. So, this is one of the best bars Memphis has to offer you. If you are in the city, we recommend visiting this bar at least once! Go with your family, friends, or loved ones for a fun and memorable time. Their food quality is top-notch, and the taste is impeccable. So, we recommend this all the way.

The Cove Cocktail and Oyster Bar

The Cove is a Cocktail and Oyster Bar and a pirate-themed oyster and cocktail bar of your dreams. It is a relaxed, low-key locale specializing in classic cocktails & fresh oysters, plus homey bar fare. We dare to state that no other pub in the world has come close to adopting a nautical motif like The Cove. You’re going to need a life jacket. A goofy movie is typically playing on TV, and the kitchen works miracles with a toaster oven and blender (the menu includes fresh oysters, a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, and salads). And the Stoner Pie is a must after a few cocktails). Arrive early to get a seat adjacent to the bar’s regulars. If you need more space, reserve a booth or hide on the lively patio. And don’t forget to wink at the pirate in the bathroom, ladies. When it comes to bars in Memphis, The Cove stands out. 

If cocktails and oysters are your scenes, you can find them both at The Cove. This retro-nautical slice of heaven has all the charm in the world. Better yet, it has some of the best drinks you can find on this side of the Mississippi. If you’re drinking on an empty stomach, do yourself a favor and order the Rockefeller Spinach Artichoke Dip. I ordered it just in time, and it tasted divine! For those of you that love oysters as much as I do, you’ll love the Oysters Rockefeller. It’s sublime! The Cove is a classic, nautical-themed pub and restaurant that revives the sort of dive that used to be on every corner in New Orleans. The existence of the iconic Anderton’s Restaurant Ship Bar, on the other hand, provides The Cove a particularly Memphis feel. The Cove is known for its fresh oysters and handcrafted drinks. 

Our nautical décor and romantic lighting offer an intimate environment to eat delectable seafood dishes like shrimp remoulade, baked oysters, panini, and pizzas. The Cove has the most extensive cocktail menu in the region, with more Bourbons and Rum than any other pub in town! Most evenings, music ranging from bluegrass to jazz may be heard. The Cove is well-known for its detailed cocktail preparation, including the country’s oldest known drink, New Orleans’ legendary Sazerac. We pay tribute to the original 1793 recipe by utilizing the specified rye whiskey and absinthe. Whether you’re a novice cocktail connoisseur or a seasoned connoisseur, the pleasure of our exclusive Sazeracs is not to be missed.

Art Bar

Art Bar is an artsy nook in the Crosstown Concourse. The Art Bar at Crosstown Arts is unique. It has old furniture and trinkets, a record player, and comfortable seating places ideal for private gatherings and interaction—the bar top functions as a type of art museum, with rotating installations. The menu includes a carefully chosen selection of wines, artisan beers (including Hamm’s), and artistic, cutting-edge cocktails prepared with local, fresh, and foraged ingredients from Memphis and worldwide. So you want to check out Crosstown Concourse, Memphis’ vertical urban village? Stroll and shop on the ground level before ascending the crimson spiral staircase to the second story. Look for an aperture in the walls that reveals Art Bar among the galleries. Slip inside for a signature cocktail or anything from the exclusive wine selection, and mix it with delectable finger snacks. 

Each month, a different artist’s work is shown in the pub, giving it a constantly changing creative ambiance. Crosstown Arts’ Art Bar is a full-service bar that serves a curated variety of wines and craft beers and a menu of innovative, cutting-edge cocktails. Cocktails on the menu are prepared using locally sourced, fresh, and foraged ingredients from Memphis and worldwide. A small corner behind the gallery space provides vintage decor and balanced libations. Art Bar, located on the second floor of Crosstown Concourse, is a work of art in and of itself (and an impeccable portrait backdrop if you care to create art while imbibing). Each space at Art Bar is furnished with vibrant mid-century objects and designed in a little different hue and feeling, and traveling from one chamber to the next seems a little like being within a mood ring. 

There are old paintings and little ceramic figurines of dogs and cats around the space – just the right amount of kitsch. Here’s the secret: Art Bar is an excellent location to spend time, and their nonalcoholic products are so appealing that even a retired drinker like myself can have a great evening there. I had alternatives, the holy grail of a beverage menu for a nondrinker. Replenish Kombucha (locally brewed!) is now available on tap at Art Bar in three flavors: sweet ginger, lavender, and hibiscus berry. I can vouch for all three, but I was looking for something a little more delicate, and Art Bar delivered. “90 in the Shade” (pepper and basil simple syrup, grapefruit, Topo Chico) was served in a tall glass with a rosemary sprig.

Bar Hustle

Bar Hustle is Arrive Hotel’s swanky lobby bar. The Arrive Hotel, now open on South Main, has brought many new companies to support. It is an intimate neighborhood cocktail bar at ARRIVE Memphis. It features creative cocktails, local beer, wines by the glass, and Roman-meets-Detroit-style pizzas made with sourdough from our sister restaurant, Hustle & Dough. The lobby bar, Bar Hustle, is named after the hotel’s bakery, Hustle & Dough. Guests can expect to see numerous old faces behind the bar and various new and fascinating cocktails on the menu, including the cheekily called “Instagram This Cocktail,” which comprises vodka, italicus raspberry, tomato, and cava. If you’re searching for a local pub with serious drinks, look no farther than S Main Street in Memphis, just east of Tom Lee Park. Bar Hustle is arguably one of the best bars in Memphis. 

If you’re wondering where to get a drink in Memphis, this place is a prime destination. For one thing, they make the best Palomas and Negronis I’ve had the pleasure of sampling during my travels. My recommendation for food? The Jambon Pizza, hands down! This pizza comes with pecorino romano, roasted radicchio caesar, breadcrumbs, and black pepper. More importantly, it’s insanely delicious! Bar Hustle’s intimate and cozy space is perfect for cocktail hour with friends, after-work happy hours, and date nights. Want it all to yourself? They also offer full buyouts. Ask them on their official website—cheers to good friends, great drinks, and gift cards. If you wish to buy a gift card from Bar Hustle, please get in touch with them using the form on their official website. 

We stopped in Memphis during our trip; this was the only restaurant open for dinner on July 4th. We never figured out why the city shut down after 4 pm. We came here for cocktails and pizza, and it did not disappoint. The pizzas with BBQ chicken and lamb were amazing. The ambiance was calm and charming. During the day, it seems to be a coffee shop/bakery. This is one of my favorite city bars! By night, it’s a bar, but by day, it’s a coffee shop! The vibe is relaxed and laid back, with an old but trendy design. It’s the perfect place to have great conversations, good cocktails, and just vibe and listen to music! I went by last Friday and received the fantastic service I always get! The bartenders are always friendly, attentive, patient, and quick to create a cocktail for you based on what spirits you drink.

Conclusion

Not long ago, when you ordered a cocktail, you got a gin and tonic or a rum and Coke. But, just as cuisine has gotten more creative, so have drinks… particularly in Memphis, where locally owned venues ranging from chef-driven high dining faves to popular dives take care to develop unique experiences. We have bars, lounges, and speakeasies for you to congregate with friends over handmade bourbon beverages and tapas, or order a cold one with a basket of fries. Downtown Memphis is the pulsating heart of the city that gave birth to the blues and rock’n’roll, and it also has the greatest nightlife in the city. Bars here range from small dives to speakeasies, and they frequently provide cuisine to complement the beer on tap. 

Click the button to discover venues and things to do at night in:

Keep exploring!