Savannah After Dark: Trendy Bars, Rollicking Pubs and Laid-Back Nooks

When the sun sets on the sleepy little city by the sea, the real fun begins. Savannah’s nightlife scene is booming, with establishments geared toward a variety of ages and interests. In fact in 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Savannah 15th in a list of Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA. Pretty impressive considering the 14 cities that come before are some of the largest in the country. Savannah has plenty of bars that take a page from big-city living, including Jazz’d, a trendy tapas bar that’s always packed, and Rocks on the Roof, a chic bar with incredible views of the city. Of course it’s a given that the city with one of the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades has a good selection of Irish Pubs and bars, among them Kevin Barry’s, Murphy's Law Irish Pub and McDonough’s Restaurant and Lounge. Not to be left out, U.K.-inspired pubs Molly McPherson’s (Scottish) and Churchill’s (British, of course), promise a good time and authentic cuisine. Those seeking a quiet evening on the town will enjoy the quaint charm of Savannah favorites Circa 1875 Gastropub, Lulu’s Chocolate Bar and Planters Tavern. Not everyone wants an alcohol-fueled evening, and for those who just want to chill and enjoy the company of friends, there are late-night coffee shops that fit the bill, including Gallery Espresso and the Sentient Bean, which often features live music on the weekends. No matter what your nighttime style is, you’re guaranteed a good time in Savannah. Bottom’s up, y’all!

10 Gallery Espresso
Gallery Espresso, the oldest coffeehouse in Savannah, is the perfect place for those looking for an alternative to the bar scene. Ideally located on Chippewa Square, the coffee shop offers a variety of coffee and tea drinks, small bites and desserts. Gallery Espresso also features wine by the glass, making it an ideal nighttime spot for those who can't agree on whether to go to a coffeehouse or bar. With plenty of seating, a rotating selection of local artwork adorning the walls and wifi, it's easy to see why Gallery Espresso has a steady crowd of patrons day and night. (912-233-5348)

9 The Jinx
This Congress Street staple is the place to go for live music in Savannah. Raw, unpolished and unpretentious, the Jinx has hosted some of the hottest local and regional bands since it opened its doors in 2003. The Jinx boasts a friendly bar staff, laid-back atmosphere and daily happy hours from 4 to 8 p.m. The bar attracts a wide range of patrons, from tattooed hipsters to punk rock college students to tourists who just happened to wander in. A small patio out back is a good retreat for smokers, who, by law, are prohibited from smoking inside the city's bars. (912-236-2281)

8 Club One
High energy, always entertaining and sometimes a little bit raunchy, this three-level dance club on Jefferson Street is known for its bawdy drag shows, especially those featuring the Lady Chablis, who gained fame in the book and movie versions of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In addition to drag shows, which always draw a lively crowd, Club One boasts cabaret performances, bingo nights and monthly shows by stand-up comedians. With a well-stocked bar, 1,000-square-foot dance floor, pool tables and gaming machines, Club One is a one-stop destination for those (gay or straight) looking for an unforgettable night out on the town. (912-232-0200)

7 B&D Burgers - Congress Street
This popular, locally owned burger joint, with additional locations on Broughton Street in the Historic District and Abercorn Street on the Southside, boasts an incredible outdoor patio with ample seating and a gigantic projection screen that shows all the big games. The patio is a big draw for those looking for late-night fun and always draws a big crowd. The restaurant's interior features two levels with a fully stocked bar on each floor. B&D's extensive menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hotdogs and an unbelievable selection of burgers. In addition to several creative choices, the restaurant also has a make-your-own-burger menu with 30 ingredients. ((912) 238-8315)

6 Molly MacPherson's Scottish Pub & Grill
There are plenty of Irish pubs in Savannah, but Scottish ones are harder to come by. Fortunately for those seeking a good, rollicking time in the Scottish tradition, there's Molly MacPherson's Scottish Pub and Grill on Congress Street. From the stately wooden bar to the fireplace surrounded by easy chairs to the kilt-clad waiters and bartenders, Molly's is about as authentic as it gets. The bar has just about every scotch imaginable, along with traditional beer, wine and cocktails, and also offers a fine selection of Scottish pub food including scotch eggs, meat pies and fish and chips. (912-239-9600)

5 Circa 1875 Gastropub
This swanky restaurant and bar on Whitaker Street blends the old with the new to create the perfect atmosphere for a night on the town. The gastropub, at street level, is the site of a former Irish pub and has retained the traditional bar atmosphere with tiled floors and beautiful wooden partitions. Circa 1875 offers a nice selection of boutique wines by the glass and bottle and imported draught beer, along with traditional cocktails and handcrafted martinis. Those visiting the gastropub will undoubtedly be tempted to order off the restaurant menu, which includes a mouthwatering selection of traditional French cuisine. (912-443-1875)

4 Jazz'd Tapas Bar
Always packed, always lively, always entertaining, Jazz'd is the place to be seen in Downtown Savannah. Located in the basement of the historic Kress building, this tapas-style restaurant has a long, sleek serpentine bar and ample seating in the bar area. The eclectic drink menu boasts more than 25 types of martinis, including the pineapple upside down cake, with vanilla rum, pineapple rum, pineapple juice and grenadine, and the plumsake tini, with plum sake, vodka, raspberry schnapps and a squeeze of lemon. Those who want a late-night bite to eat will have plenty to choose from on the tapas menu, from chorizo stuffed mushrooms to basil shrimp and grits. Live music Tuesday through Sunday rounds out the Jazz'd experience, making it one of the best places to spend an evening in Savannah. (912-236-7777)

3 The Distillery
A favorite among locals and visitors, the Distillery is not for those seeking cheap beer on tap. In fact, the bar proudly advertises on its walls that it does not serve some of the more popular brands (think Miller, Bud and Coors). With a selection of 100 craft beers, The Distillery is a great choice for beer drinkers with more sophisticated palates. Among the rotating selection of 21 beers on tap are Wild Heaven Let There Be Light, Sweetwater Georgia Brown Ale and Weyerbacher Insanity, to name a few. The Distillery also has a great selection of wine and cocktails, as well as tasty finger food, sandwiches, burgers, salads and more, making the spacious bar the perfect late-night hangout. ((912) 236-1772)

2 Congress Street Social Club
Just as its name suggests, Congress Street Social Club has become a popular spot for those who want to meet and mingle. The always-bustling establishment, which is just a block away from City Market, has a large outdoor patio and bar, along with a bar on the ground level and another in the basement. Among Congress Street Social Club's interior accoutrements are pool tables, dartboards and an old-fashioned photo booth, which you may or may not want to take advantage of depending on how much photographic evidence you want of your night on the town. Drinks are reasonably priced, and the food menu is diverse and surprisingly good. (912-238-1985)

1 Rocks On the Roof
This rooftop bar on top of the chic Bohemian Hotel has spectacular views of Downtown Savannah, River Street and the Savannah River. But that's not all this relative newcomer has to offer. Rocks on the Roof is the perfect marriage of indoor/outdoor space, with a large interior bar that provides ample seating for those who want to be right in the middle of the action and a fantastic patio for guests who want to take in the unspoiled views. On nice evenings, the clear, garage-style doors roll open and the two spaces become one. Rocks boasts an extensive selection of drinks and martinis, plus a tapas-style menu for those who want a bite to eat. The rooftop bar also has a fire pit, which is perfect on chilly nights, and regularly features live entertainment. ((912) 721-3901)

Amy's thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of Savannah with the world. A Savannah native, Amy has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, and her work has appeared in numerous local, regional and national publications. Prior to launching a freelance career, she was executive editor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she served as editor of the college’s alumni magazine. Amy received a B.A. in English and communications from the University of Pennsylvania. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her young adult novel, The Girl in a Picture Frame.

Read more about Amy Pine here.

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Maps and Directions

Gallery Espresso 10Best List Arrow
Type: Coffee House
Neighborhood: Historic District
The Jinx 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Dance Club, Live Music
Neighborhood: Historic District
Club One 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Gay and Lesbian, Late Night / After Hours, Live Entertainment
Neighborhood: Historic District
B&D Burgers - Congress Street 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: Historic District
Circa 1875 Gastropub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: Historic District
Jazz'd Tapas Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music
Neighborhood: Historic District
The Distillery 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Brew Pub
Neighborhood: Historic District
Congress Street Social Club 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music
Neighborhood: Historic District
Rocks On the Roof 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Hotel Bar, Live Music
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