Best Dive Bars in Nashville

Jan 11, 2023 | Local Guides

Explore Nashville’s Hidden Gems: Top Dive Bars for Authentic Vibes and Great Drinks

Nashville, known for its vibrant music scene and Southern charm, also boasts a thriving nightlife filled with unique honky tonks and unforgettable dive bars. Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor wanting to experience the authentic side of Music City, our curated list of the best dive bars in Nashville will guide you to the most iconic, offbeat, and welcoming watering holes in town. Get ready to discover the heart and soul of Nashville’s bar scene, where the drinks are strong, the music is live, and the atmosphere is always inviting.

 

Nashville is full of tourists and locals looking for good eats, drinks, and good times. Finding the ideal spot can get challenging when there seems to be a new dive bar on every corner. Below are a few dive bars that stand above the crowd. 

#1: Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge

Mickey’s is as straightforward as it gets. There are no fancy decorations, no live music, and no trivia nights. Mickey’s has beer, a few mixed drinks, a jukebox, and a pool table. This bar is for those who love the dive bar experience with no frills. Mickey’s is the ideal dive for socializing because of the quieter, laid-back atmosphere. They also have a deck out back for when the weather is nice. The food is a classic tavern lineup: Fried Bologna sandwiches, hot ham and cheese, and Cubans.

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102 E Palestine Ave, Madison, TN 37115

615.852.8827

Dee's Country Cocktail Lounge | Wesley Mortgage
Mickey's Tavern | Wesley Mortgage

#2: Mickey’s Tavern

Mickey’s is as straightforward as it gets. There are no fancy decorations, no live music, and no trivia nights. Mickey’s has beer, a few mixed drinks, a jukebox, and a pool table. This bar is for those who love the dive bar experience with no frills. Mickey’s is the ideal dive for socializing because of the quieter, laid-back atmosphere. They also have a deck out back for when the weather is nice. The food is a classic tavern lineup: Fried Bologna sandwiches, hot ham and cheese, and Cubans.

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2907 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216

615.852.5228

#3: The Cobra

This rustic bar specializes in wild nights with good friends and better drinks. With events most nights of the week, there is always singing and dancing at this dive. Most of the music is rock, so it is not for the faint of heart. They also offer up a menu full of delicious Mexican fare. All the food is made of red beef chili or green pork chili served in burrito form with cheddar cheese melted over it or served on top of a heaping pile of nachos, complete with jalapenos and salsa.

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2511 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206

629.800.2515

#4: The Villager Tavern

Another Nashville dive classic. The Villager Tavern, located between Hillsboro and Music Row, offers everything one could want. Cold beer, cozy chairs, and enough dart boards for the whole bar to play. This place is all about darts. They run a dart league that the patrons take very seriously; it has been going since the dive opened in ’73. This dive is smoke-friendly and has a cigarette machine from the 90s. Besides snack foods such as slim jims and potato chips, the Villager only offers one food choice: Po’boys. These sandwiches come out hot and buttery, loaded with either beef gravy or turkey breast, and piled high with Swiss cheese, mayo, pickles, and lettuce.

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1719 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212

615.298.3020

#5: Fran’s East Side

This dive is a niche; it will swear it is the only real dive bar in Nashville. The billiard balls constantly clatter, the jukebox usually has some rock tunes playing, and the karaoke machine is powered up all weekend. Be sure to hit the ATM before Fran’s; they only accept cash. They only sell pre-packaged snacks – Slim Jims and popcorn, usually. The beer is kept in a residential refrigerator, completing the dive bar aesthetic. Word to the wise; use the side door to enter the bar. The front door is there to mark out the newcomers as it opens directly onto the karaoke stage.

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2504 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207

615.226.9697

#6: Wilburn Street Tavern

Wilburn is a dive with a past. Back when the original bar opened, it was full of bikers and a gritty crowd. Due to the number of bar fights and crime in the area at the time, Wilburn shut down. However, in 2018, Mas Tacos’ owner, Teresa Mason, decided to re-open the tavern that was a neighbor of her restaurant. Since then, Wilburn has been home to a friendly establishment full of cheap beer, hippies, cowboys, good music, and anything else patrons can expect at a dive bar. The menu is small, offering bar nachos and hotdogs; however, the regulars know to hop next door for some succulent Mexican food when they get hungry.

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302 Wilburn St, Nashville, TN 37207
615.920.5980

#7: Batter’s Box

Batter’s Box is a sports-centered dive bar located downtown. This dive is full of cold, cheap beer, and patrons are having a good time. The bar is smoker-friendly, so those who wish to avoid secondhand smoke should steer clear of this dive. The menu is focused on cheeseburgers, pizza, and wings. While they will not be winning any Michelin stars, it is all top-of-the-line regarding dive food. The cheese is always melty, the wings hot, and the burgers are always thick and juicy.

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43 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37210

615.242.0910

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