5 Awesome Memphis Dive Bars

P&H Cafe

P&H Cafe

P&H Café is the perfect hole-in-the-wall bar for the poor and hungry (that’s what P&H stands for). Just across from Minglewood Hall, P&H keeps the party going with loud bands and hooting karaoke. Dimly lit and open late, P&H Café serves only beer (PBR is a crowd favorite) and greasy hamburgers that slide down just as fast as the libations. 

Lamplighter Lounge

The Lamplighter Lounge

Smack dab in Midtown’s living room is a smoky, beer only dive. No worries - BYO liquor or wine for a small set-up fee. The Lamplighter Lounge doesn’t do trivia but catch the karaoke on Thursdays with the best company in town. A staple listening room - Lamplighter sets the scene with their impressive record collection and hosts the occasional local or touring band. This dive thrives on holding on to history and community. 

Take care of your bartender at the Lamplighter and they’ll take care of you.

The Cove

The Cove is your go-to nautical-themed bar in Memphis. Perhaps a little quality leaning for the term "dive bar", The Cove is smoke-free and specializes oysters and pizza. 

Pro-tip: Check out their Facebook and pick a night when there's live music!

Alexs Tavern

Alex's Tavern

Alex’s is the favorite late night oasis for many in the service industry and local law enforcement (when not on duty).  The owner, Rocky, serves beer in plastic cups and flips heavenly burgers and Greek wings that regularly compete for the best in Memphis.

Last call at Alex’s Tavern goes deep into the night. Keep your cards at home though, Alex’s is cash only.

Earnestine and Hazels

Earnestine and Hazel's

Maybe the best dive bar in America, period. In its storied past, it’s been a dry goods general store, a brothel (yes, you read that right) and now a bar. They sling cold beers and the legendary jukebox has a reputation just as big as the establishment - packed deep with soul, country and funk.

Doors at Earnestine and Hazel’s open at five, but the place doesn’t start purring until about midnight. If it’s your first time, make sure you creep up the back stairwell and explore the old brothel upstairs. Ask the bartender about the ghosts that have stuck around from the bar’s seedier days and lounge on retro vinyl sofas and wobbly tables.

Soul Burgers are the only food item sold at Earnestine and Hazel's. They come just one way: with onions and mustard (cheese is optional). For $5, they can't be beat.

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