In Memphis, patio drinking is practically a religion. Whether you're imbibing a local brew, sipping on vino, or tipping back a martini, sitting outside in the city is one of the best things about living in Memphis. Here are 14 of the best places to get your drink on in the sunshine or the shade.
The 14 Best Patio Bars in Memphis
Chiwawa's two-level sprawling patio is a magnet for Memphians looking for Mexican street food or margaritas on nice nights. There's a big projector screen on the lower deck perfect for the occasional classic movie night or Grizzlies watch party. The fact that the "Midtown Is Memphis" arch is one of the more Instagram-able spots in town is just a bonus.
Get a different view of downtown at the River Inn's upstairs patio cocktail and tapas joint Terrace at the River Inn. During the winter, you can still enjoy the view as the balcony-like dining area is enclosed; in the spring and summer, catch some breezes while you watch the Mighty Mississippi go by.
ACRE's upscale patio is really more like a private garden -- which makes sense since the restaurant itself is a renovated home. You'll be surrounded by trees and shrubs, insulated from the city, as you sip on one of the artisan, Prohibition-era cocktails or pick something from the extensive wine menu.
String lights, Thai food, occasional live music, solid beer, wine, and a vast cocktail selection; these are the reasons why Memphians flock to Bhan Thai's deck-style patio in droves, and also choose it consistently in "Best Patio" polls.
Memphis doesn't have a ton of second-story patios, but the new-ish Lafayette's Music Room in Overton Square can't be beat. Not only is it excellent people-watching from above with all the other patios and food traffic nearby, but there's live music almost every day and night and plenty of beer and cocktails.
If you want to take your patio experience to the next level, Felicia Suzanne's high-class brick outdoor dining area is for you. There's an outside bar, a fountain, and plenty of tables for you to enjoy your Southern-style dinner or Friday lunch. For something a bit more casual, stop by Taco Thursday on the patio to enjoy $2 tacos and margarita specials.
Cafe Ole's staying power is undeniable -- it's been on the corner of Cooper and Young for decades. Its success is clearly due to its shady, comfy patios and strong-as-heck margaritas. It recently added a cool indoor/outdoor bar to the list of reasons Midtowners love the spot.
The Slider Inn: go for the innuendo, then stay for the drinks, tremendous happy hour, mouth-watering slider selection, and enormous patio. At least three seasons out of the year, you'll find Memphians and their pups taking advantage of the spacious wooden patio, and probably a couple of Jameson slushies.
Head over to the High Point neighborhood in East Memphis for some wine and local beer on Cheffie's patio. It's spacious and has plenty of shade, with easy access to the Greenline trail if you feel like doing a little drinking and biking or running.
Celtic's patio has everything. First off, it's huge, covered, and enclosed with heaters in the winter for maximum semi-outdoor drinking time. There's a sizable outdoor bar, frequent live music, DJs, trivia, and tons of drink specials. No wonder it wins "Best Patio" in local reader polls all the time.
Perhaps the most coveted brunch seat downtown is the classy patio at the Majestic Grille. Sit in the shadow of this historic 1920s Art Deco building and enjoy mimosas, steak and eggs, or a tasty Bloody Mary while you enjoy a breeze and people-watching on the car-free Main Street.
Between the Irish "diving goats," several outdoor bars, light-up palm trees, and live music, Silky's has the best -- and most kitschy -- patio on Beale Street. Sit in with a friendly mix of tourists, college students, and folks looking for a sunny spot to share a legendary Diver or a couple of beers.
Aldo's flowing local and regional beer selection and stiff limoncello are both perfect for sweltering summer days, either on the spacious Main Street-adjacent patio downtown or the rooftop perch at the new Cooper Young location.
You have triple the options if you want to drink (and eat!) outside at one of Memphis' favorite barbecue joints. The downtown location has a big, breezy patio with a wall decorated with a Memphis music-inspired mural, the Summer Avenue location has spots for imbibing outside, and at the original midtown location you have a covered deck and loads of local beer.
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1. Chiwawa2059 Madison Ave, Memphis
2. Bhan Thai1324 Peabody Ave, Memphis
3. Lafayette's Music Room2119 Madison Ave, Memphis
4. Felicia Suzanne's Restaurant80 Monroe Ave, Memphis
5. Slider Inn2117 Peabody Ave, Memphis
6. Cheffie's483 High Point Ter, Memphis
7. Celtic Crossing903 South Cooper St, Memphis
8. The Majestic Grille145 S Main St, Memphis
9. Silky O'Sullivan's183 Beale St, Memphis
Chiwawa's serves up Mexican street food and margaritas on their two-level sprawling patio - perfect for those warm nights. They even have a projector on the lower deck for the occasional classic movie night or Grizzlies watch parties.
Bhan Thai has it all: string lights, occasional live music, a solid beer and wine list and, of course, great Thai food. And to top it off they've got one of the best patio's in all of Memphis.
While the original Lafayette’s -- a quaint music venue that helped launch talents like Barry Manilow, KISS, and Billy Joel into fame -- shut down less than a decade after its original conception in the early 1970s, the musical spirit lives on in its present day reincarnation. Live acts light up the stage 7 nights a week, and the rustic, wood-paneled space captures the feel of an intimate, vintage boîte despite its large size. Southern tastes reign supreme on the menu, from piquant sweet corn and jalapeño hush puppies with Sriracha mayo and heavy-hitting entrées such as Cajun crawfish wood-fired pizza. Nightly bands may draw the masses, but the weekend brunch is just as solid, what with the fried chicken and waffles being some of the best in Memphis.
Chef Felicia Suzanne has trained with some of the best to create a unique cooking style that reimagines Southern Creole cuisine with fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. Expect original takes on sweet and savory dishes like sweet potato pie, peach upside down cake, and butternut squash bisque -- and be sure to take one of her cooking classes because she's one hell of a teacher.
Memphians love patios almost as much as the beer they like to drink on them, and lucky for the Slider Inn in Midtown, it has both amenities in abundance. In addition to its daily specials, this neighborhood bar specializing in tiny burgers has a three-buck pint night on Tuesdays. With a kitchen open until 2am and a bar until 3, it's the perfect end to a perfect evening. Bonus: it is apparently home to the "only Lobster Roll in the midsouth."
Cheffie's is a build-your-own-meal sandwich/salad cafe (Get it? Cheffie's? 'Cause you are the chef.). With an extensive list of ingredients to choose from, there's something for everyone. Plus, the patio is a great spot to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine or local brew.
Bangers and rashers meet French toast and cheesy eggs and at this neighborhood Irish pub on Sunday mornings. Sit inside with football fans (both American football and "soccer" football) for fish and chips and $4.50 Bloody Marys, or enjoy mellow live music and a mimosa carafe on the spacious, heated patio.
Centrally located Downtown, the Majestic Grille embodies all the glamour of its silver screen heyday. The cavernous restaurant used to be a movie theater, and the space maintains its original Art Deco feel with staggeringly high ceilings, gold embellishments, and an actual movie screen onto which Hollywood classics are projected. The menu consists of market-driven sandwiches, salads, and flatbread pizzas, but be sure to try standouts like the roasted mahi mahi with grilled artichoke butter and the addicting Parmesan fries.
Silky's is certainly kitschy, but it easily has the best patio on Beale Street, with several outdoor bars, light-up palm trees, and live music. Sit with a good mix of tourists, college students, and folks looking for a sunny spot to share a legendary Diver or a couple of beers.