Best Nightlife

Out of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Birmingham nightlife on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Birmingham Best Nightlife list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


An intimate venue for local and touring acts. The lounge offers a relaxing, social atmosphere and serves Creole and Cajun cuisine, along with cocktails and over 13 on-tap beers. When the music's not playing, there's an upstairs patio, pool tables and video games. Cover charge varies depending upon the live act, which can range from Southern rockers like Drivin' N' Cryin to hip-hop acts like 17th Floor.

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Highland Park

Latin and American tastes fuse at this cool neighborhood spot, where well-dressed locals gather to indulge in food, drink, and each other's company. The Latin menu features tasty morsels like blackened tilapia tacos and paella, and the American side leans toward cheese steaks, corn dogs and burgers. As to entertainment, at Rojo, there's always something fun going on – Tuesday night film screenings, Auburn and 'Bama viewing parties and live music – great drink specials like Thursday's $4.75 margaritas.

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A nouveau martini club and speak-easy. See and be seen by the cosmopolitan set of Birmingham. The ambience is city-chic. The Blue Monkey features live music in the piano room every night. Late night food is also available.

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Tucked away in what remains of an old antique mall, this unique watering hole has a move and grove all its own. Indeed, the garden courtyard leading into the Garage is covered in wisteria vines (spectacular in the spring!) and decorated with an odd collection of bronze statues, whimsical sculptures, and assorted pieces of Americana. Inside, the lighting's dim and the space can be tight-n-cozy at times, but it's definitely one of the more interesting places in town to grab drinks and make new friends. There's a "create-your-own-sandwich" option for those with appetites and creativity.

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Located in the heart of bustling Five Points South, Base Camp is a spacious watering hole that features two pool tables, an enormous full-service bar, and two stages for bands, open mic, karaoke, or whatever else might be on the nightly slate. In addition to killer cocktails and a good mix of domestic and imported brews, they also serve up wings, sandwiches, and a handful of other bar delicacies.

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This fun, casual nightspot offers a great setting for meeting up after work, having a few good beers, or watching the Tide on TV. In keeping with its English theme, Fox and Hound serves excellent pub fare and has a definite affinity for sports. It's a little more upscale than an average sports bar, and it's populated by everybody from young business folks to local college kids – many of them sporting Oxfords and khakis.

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Located in the Lakeview District, this Irish pub isn't made of the clay and wattles William Butler Yeats promises in his "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," but it's definitely the comfortable kind of watering hole that any Irishman would be happy to hang his hat in. From the sing alongs, games of cricket, and live music all the way down to the telltale Guinness signs and dark-stained walls, it's easy to see why so many call this their second home. Indeed, Innisfree is the kind of place that treats all-comers to a hearty "Slàinte!" followed by dark, creamy pint.

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The Lakeview District struts it stuff best at this club on the corner of 29th and 7th. DJs spin hit dance grooves from the '70s to now, and there's no telling what you might hear at Nana Funk's on any given night – it might be Prince, the Bangles, Fergie, Blonde or even NKOTB. As for the scene, expect an energetic crowd of 20-somethings, all of them dressed to impress and wearing their most comfortable shoes (the name of the game's to look good while you're shaking your booty, after all!).

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English Village

A relaxed place to toast the end of the day, Billy's is a local fav thanks to its pubby charm, tasty eats ("Meatloaf Monday" is no joke!), and terrific happy hour specials. Billy's keeps the crowds entertained by featuring live music several nights a week and also airing popular sporting events on their HD TVs. In truth, though, it's the warm, friendly atmosphere that keeps folks coming back. The Billy's in English Village has been around forever (actually, since 1979), and there's a newer location on Overton Road (205-956-2323).

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This old redbrick pub is the kind of place where the locals like to hang out. Dave's has an outdoor patio that's alive with good times during moderate weather. Every Sunday night, there's live music to entertain, and the bar/lounge area is large enough to accommodate the largest party. If draught brews are your thing, take notice: Dave's has Murphy's, Abita Restoration, Boddington's and Pilsner Urquell on tap.

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