The Best Dive Bars in Memphis

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

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

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Dive bars are the foundations of every worthwhile community. They are nostalgic gathering spots with decades of history. They are places for bands who will most likely become renowned in the next two years, as well as musicians that were popular 40 years ago. These vital Memphis holes are where you can get a $2.50 drink, enjoy the jukebox, and smoke indoors. Memphis is known for its blues and a vibrant dive bar culture. There are several options, ranging from historically significant taverns to pleasant neighborhood bars. Dive bars were traditionally thought to be haunted by ancient barflies swaying on sticky floorboards, but people have rediscovered the allure of a great dive bar. These Memphis’ top dive pubs usually have a decent jukebox and make you feel at home.

Alex’s Tavern

Alex’s Tavern is an all-night party spot with great burgers and two jukeboxes. It is a local watering hole known for potent drinks and shuffleboard, a jukebox & cheeseburgers. You must stay awake late if you want to feel Alex’s magic. The best time to arrive is between 1 am and 3 am. However, the party doesn’t truly start until 4 am. It’s just beer, which you won’t mind once you’ve eaten. Alex’s famous Greek burger is a greasy fourth meal that has been elevated to legendary status thanks to the secret Greek seasonings. It’s their oldest – and best – tavern, having opened in 1953. Don’t forget to bring some quarters for the jukebox. 

You should check out the men’s room even if you’re a lady. Alex’s Tavern might not look like much outside, but the best bars never do. This place has a real community, something I always look for in a bar. This place has the feel of a classic local sports bar, and I love it! The drinks are great. However, I would advise being patient when placing an order. Alex’s Tavern can get busy. Just be respectful, and you’ll be fine. It is also a great spot to meet new people! Of course, the hard part is remembering them. When looking for a good time in Memphis, you’ll want to drop by Alex’s Tavern for a drink or two. Considering it started in 1953, Alex’s has bona fide neighborhood-bar credibility. Expect low light, walls covered in posters and other relics that only bars collect, and jukeboxes Plus the requisite drinks and best-kept-secret burgers and gumbo. 

Alex’s is an overall 5-star experience. Great staff, great food, great atmosphere. You walk in, and the place screams 1979. They are known for their burgers for good reasoning. When you bite in, it is a flavor pop in your mouth, unlike any other burger you’ve ever had. That’s not the only thing good on the menu, though. The wings are very good, as well as the ribs. 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 memorable and fun time. Their food quality is top-notch, and the taste is impeccable. It is worth every second and money you spend at this venue.

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.

Earnestine & Hazel’s

Earnestine & Hazel’s is the one bar in Memphis you must go to at least once. You can’t call yourself a Memphian unless you’ve had a drink and a soul burger at Earnestine & Hazel’s. It’s more than just a dive bar; it embodies the soul, jazz, and blues that once filled the streets, and superstars like B.B. King, Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin sought refuge there. Some believe it’s haunted, that the ghosts control the jukebox. Go check it out for yourself. Downstairs is now smoke-free and has a full bar. An old boarding house, this gritty club serves greasy burgers with onions and Soul Burgers, which help you get the hangover under control after a long night of drinking. It is fun to see celebrities in E&H, especially when they’re in town – not that often, anyway. Watching people is always entertaining, with East Memphis socialites, young doctors, and high school students mixing. 

The club features a smaller dance floor and counter seating on its upper level, while its lower level features a more dimly lit, jazzy atmosphere, with more space for conversation. The jukebox here is legendary, and I can see why. It brings people together – I bonded through the music with locals and out-of-towners like myself. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the best burger in the world. That’s right, for all of you kindred spirits looking for the best burger in the world, you should know it’s right here in Memphis. This burger is no joke; it’s packed with so much flavor it easily outperforms virtually every other burger I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, come down to Memphis and try the burger at Earnestine & Hazel’s! They’re located on South Main Street, right around the corner from the National Civil Rights Museum and the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. 

Earnestine & Hazel’s, like many other Memphis establishments, is housed in a historic structure. The structure used to be a drugstore, then a café, and finally a brothel, but it is now Memphis’ best dive bar and juke joint. Though the beer selection isn’t as extensive as at some establishments, all domestic and international favorites are accessible. Don’t miss the famed “Soul Burger” for cuisine. The unique “Soul Sauce” elevates this burger from ordinary to extraordinary. Another notable element of this establishment is its fantastic jukebox. On the second level, live music is performed. However, it would be best if you were cautious: this location is also recognized as America’s most haunted bar.

Conclusion

Dive bars in Memphis are by far the greatest way to become acquainted with the city. Sure, they don’t have attractive cocktail names or doors on the restrooms, but these dives have personality. Older regulars mingle with students in search of a cheap beer, and everyone appears to get along. Alex’s Tavern is a well-known dive in Memphis. From the outside, it appears to be a condemned structure, but the interior is what matters. A fantastic jukebox, tasty burgers, and cheap beer keep customers coming back for more. Earnestine and Hazel’s, R.P. Tracks, Murphy’s, and Yosemite Sam’s are just a few of the prominent Memphis dives. All of these Memphis dives provide cheap beers and have live music all night.

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