13 Top Nashville Nightlife Spots
Nashville has long been the pinnacle of the country music scene, but there's also rock, bluegrass, blues, jazz and more.
The Music City is filled with nightclubs, bars, honky-tonks and venues playing any genre of music you can imagine. Here, we've selected a sampling of Nashville's must-visit nightlife hot spots.
For updated, comprehensive listings of performances around town, check out Nashville Scene.
Robert's Western World
Robert's Western World stands out as a gem among the many neon-clad honky-tonks lining Broadway in the heart of The District. Granted, a neon guitar sign hangs out front and it's easy to mistake the joint as another run-of-the-mill bar along Broadway. But once inside the typically crowded venue, the place flat out oozes authentic hand-clappin', boot-stompin' country and hillbilly music. Roberts stays open until 3 a.m., and live music and passionate crowds are a constant. The best part? There's never a cover charge to watch some of country music's hottest up-and-comers.
Grand Ole Opry
The mother of all country music shows is, without argument, the Grand Ole Opry. Originally a live radio show broadcast out of Nashville in the late 1920s, the Grand Ole Opry attracted crowds seeking to watch country music's most popular performers, as well as new talent, breaking onto the scene. Eventually, the show moved from the radio station to the hallowed Ryman Auditorium; today it can be seen at the Grand Ole Opry House in East Nashville (though shows are occasionally still held at the Ryman). Performances typically are two hours and are held on Tuesdays (March through December), Wednesdays (July through August), Fridays and Saturdays (weekly). Combo tickets that include a tour of the Opry House are also available.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge
Perhaps Nashville's most celebrated honky-tonk, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge has played host to country music legends like Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson before they were icons. Located on Broadway, just behind the Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie's two stages have showcased local musicians nightly for more than 50 years. While in the midst of enjoying the performances and downing a cold drink, take a moment to revel in Tootsie's "Wall of Fame." It's covered with an epic array of country music memorabilia like signed photos of stars and classic show posters.
The Station Inn could easily be mistaken for a run-of-the-mill dive bar tucked in the midst of South Nashville's trendy new lounges. But upon entering the space, you'll find yourself in the midst of Nashville's most iconic bluegrass venue. For more than 30 years, Station Inn has offered nightly performances from bluegrass stars and up-and-comers, including Bill Monroe and The Grascals. Reservations are not accepted, no advance tickets are sold, and entry to the Inn is on a first-come, first-served basis. So plan to arrive early for all shows. Check the website for schedules and ticket prices.
Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC)
Nashville earns its Music City moniker thanks to its role as the hub of country music, but there's more to hear in this town than the twang of guitars. At the four stages that compose the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville, you'll be able to experience all manner of performances, including Broadway musicals, operas, ballets and dramatic plays. Visitors to TPAC will feel good knowing their support makes a difference to the larger Nashville community, as the center also manages one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the nation.
Flyte World Dining & Wine
Tired of watching live music performances? Yes, it can happen even here in Music City. Flyte World Dining & Wine is a trendy restaurant found in The Gulch neighborhood that offers a respite from all the noise. Although Flyte is not far from the bustling downtown, it offers an intimate getaway with fine wine and food. Flyte’s wine list is made up of a selection of delicious, uncommon wines from around the globe. The dining menu is crafted for three or four-course meals, so take a date or impress your friends with all that Flyte has to offer. The restaurant also offers a separate, more casual menu for the lounge area if you just want to relax and enjoy happy hour.
WannaB's Karaoke Bar
Let your hair down, grab a microphone and live out your Music City dreams at WannaB’s. This karaoke bar lives on Broadway and offers a full-service bar and food menu. Find your jam from the 200,000+ songs to choose from and let loose. Don’t want to sing in front of a crowd? You can book your own private event at WannaB’s for your birthday, bachelorette party or even a corporate event. Plus, you’ll never know who will show up. Past guests include Blake Shelton, Hoda Kotb and Rascal Flatts. Check out their website for more information.
The Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country Music, resides in downtown Nashville. See a show of every genre here from country to jazz and pop to hip hop. Or skip the show and take a tour, the Mother Church is sure to move you. Experience the venue’s 126-year history with exhibits of artifacts and memorabilia, a soulful theater experience and even go backstage. Buy tour or show tickets on their website.
The Big Bang
Request a song and let loose at Nashville’s only dueling piano bar! The lively stage is comprised of two pianos and additional musicians performing an all-request set. The venue encourages audience participation and dancing, so get loud and get rowdy. Besides serving tunes the bar also serves food and drinks. The Big Bang is open on weekend nights and available for events during the week so you can book any event here.
“Don’t grow up, it’s a trap” reads a neon sign that greets you at the Headquarters Beercade. Here, you can enjoy all the games from your childhood with the privilege of being 21 or older. The best part: the games are free. The drink menu offers a wide variety of craft beer and cocktails with a delectable food menu. The Headquarters Beercade also hosts “Savage Bingo” every Wednesday night, where you could win $200 in cash! For table reservations, check out their website for more information.
Zanies Comedy Night Club
Hang up, hang out and have a laugh at the phone-free Zanies Comedy Night Club. See acts from your favorite television shows like Saturday Night Live. You only have to be 18 to laugh but get tickets quick because they tend to sell out.
Rudy's Jazz Room
Experience an authentic jazz show to complete your Music City trip. The listening room was built with great attention to detail and acoustics, creating one of the best listening experiences that Nashville has to offer. Rudy’s Jazz Room also offers an authentic New Orleans Cuisine menu, complete with gumbo, Creole seafood pies, po’ boys and more. Dress up and get your tickets at the door for an authentic jazz experience at Rudy’s.
The Rabbit Hole VR
Go down the rabbit hole at Nashville’s only virtual reality arcade. Step into a new world alone or go multiplayer. If games aren’t really your thing, you can also try a virtual escape room. All you’ve got to do is book your reservation online and pay by the hour, starting at $25 per person for 30 minutes.