If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Charlotte guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Charlotte for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like 300 East to busy places like Rí~Rá that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Uptown area? No fear - we share all the facts!


Fourth Ward

Billing itself as an urban wine bar with a cozy neighborhood feel, Press is a favorite among sophisticated Charlotte urbanites. This standout restaurant and bar offers more than 200 wines at retail price, but patrons especially love the nightly specials on beer, wine and sake. Guests often enjoy live music, and the spacious patio is particularly popular during warmer months. Late-night munchies are quickly quelled with tasty a la carte sushi and fondue.

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One of the Queen City's more popular watering holes, the multi-level Rí~Rá offers all the charm and comfort of a traditional Irish pub – in fact, considering that the Victorian-style bar itself was once part of the officer's mess hall at the barracks in Dublin's Phoenix Park, this place IS as Irish as you can get. Among the pub's more fascinating characteristics are its collection of Dublin ledgers (some of which date back to 1800), an antique Guinness mirror, and portraits of many of Ireland's greatest literary figures.

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Tucked away inside the historic Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, 300 East is where locals head to enjoy a casual drink. The intimate space is ideal for both a romantic evening sipping wine or a more relaxed night sharing drinks and appetizers with friends. During warmer months, patrons flock to the shady patio facing East Boulevard to sip their favorite libations. The creative New American menu is made complete by enticing global influences.

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What's the recipe for fun at Dixie's? Try this on for size: Big Easy-style eats, DJs and great-looking clientele.

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This neighborhood restaurant and tavern is one of Charlotte's best-kept secrets. Nestled in the Fourth Ward district, Al Mike's, as it's known to locals, has an excellent selection of beer that includes about nine taps, various microbrews, domestics and imports. Around the establishment, patrons find little throwbacks to the city's history such as the bar itself, made from the building's original solid oak doors, and a 1920s cooler from a local grocery store.

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Formerly the Liquid Lounge, TILT is a great place to blow off steam after work and on the weekend. A barometer of what's cool on the Uptown scene, TILT features great live music, eight flat-screen TVs, classy chandeliers and hardwood floors, an outdoor patio and plenty of top-shelf elixirs. Indeed, TILT is a place that has no problem attracting hordes of beautiful, stylish young professionals seven days a week, and its upscale vibe is enhanced by a strict dress code.

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If the exterior of this popular watering hole looks familiar, that's probably because Moosehead occupies a building that once housed a Pizza Hut. It's true that the place isn't as pretty and stylish as hipster joints Uptown, but what it does have going for it is this: Long-time Charlotteans claim that the kitchen serves what may be the best bar eats in town. Add to that the fact that you don't have to put on airs to come in and have a good time, and it's easy to see why the place has such broad appeal.

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A haven for Charlotte beer lovers, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium offers over 200 beers in bottles and more than 80 on tap. The selection features beer from national breweries like Abita Brewing Co, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., as well as local favorites like Foothills Brewing Co. Seasonal specialties keep things interesting, and there's also a full bar for those faithful to their cosmos and cabernets.

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Nothing fancy or over-the-top, this may be a popular neighborhood watering hole at night – heck, it even gets high marks for its specialty martinis, country-fried chicken and hearty, homemade meatloaf. But what has truly impressed the regulars over the years is Jackalope Jacks' Sunday brunch, which is billed as the "best in town." Considering the tasty choices include build-it-yourself omelets, orders of bangers and mash, and traditional English breakfasts, who can argue with such a claim?

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