Expert Tips


Best Bars in Greenville

Belly up to Greenville's ten best bars

Sometimes the stress, trial, and tribulations of adulthood call for one to belly up to the bar for a drink. A tasty craft beer or wine or a cocktail made by a professional are often hard to beat, be it for happy hour, a night on the town, or the big game. Fortunately, Greenville has plenty of bars around town that are perfectly suited for any number of occasions.

Perhaps you want some premium cocktails for a fancy night out on the town – hot spots like Vault & Vator and WXYZ have exactly what the doctor ordered. On the other end of the spectrum sometimes a comfort beer in the perfect dive bar is calling your name and, in that case, Zorba Lounge has been quenching the Upstate’s thirst in style since the 1970s. Spots like Hall of Fame Sports Grill have everything you could ever ask for on game day and so many others will have exactly what you are looking for in your next drink. have ranked them all right here to help you pick the perfect spot to knock one back in your time of need.



If you want to go to a bar in Downtown Greenville that transports you to a place that is most definitely not Downtown Greenville, WXYZ Bar at Aloft is your ticket out of town. The ambiance at the hotel's bar is decidedly cosmopolitan and feels like something you would find in Manhattan or Chicago, not Downtown Greenville. That sense of big city Ritz makes WXYZ an incredibly fun place to visit for a late-night cocktail on a night on the town. Plus, if you have one too many, you can always check in to a room without even leaving the bar.

Recommended for Bars because: If any bar in Greenville can be described as swanky, this is it.

Brett's expert tip: Keep an eye on the concert calendar as you might be in for a great evening of music (or a distraction if you are looking for a quieter evening at the bar).

Read more about W XYZ Bar →

The Trappe Door is one of those places that just feels like a cool experience even before you set eyes on the place. As you descend down the staircase beneath Barley's, the vibe is both inviting and maybe just a bit dangerous. The ghosts of whatever occupied this space before are friendly and warm the room as you find your seat at the bar and face the tough task of deciding between the longest Belgian beer selection in town or some seriously creative cocktails. My advice is to plan to stay long enough to try a couple of each of them.

Recommended for Bars because: The Belgian style alehouse nestled in the basement beneath Barley's is one of Downtown Greenville's coolest hangouts.

Brett's expert tip: Visit during off-peak hours (before 7pm and after 9pm) as the bar seating is often full during dinner service.

Read more about The Trappe Door →

The Cazbah
Photo courtesy of The Cazbah

If the walls could only talk, The Cazbah's bar would have volumes to tell about the revitalization of Downtown Greenville. Established at a time when the city's revitalization efforts were only just beginning, The Cazbah has seen it all and quenched a lot of thirsts in the process. While beer offerings are minimal, the wine list is extensive and carefully curated and cocktails are always new and refreshing. Tapas cuisine like Lobster Cigars and Lamb Lollipops are Greenville mainstays and it is nearly impossible to leave without ordering a few extra plates of the goodies coming out of Downtown Greenville's smallest kitchen.

Recommended for Bars because: The Cazbah is a staple of Downtown Greenville and a cocktail or glass of wine at the bar is always a rewarding experience.

Brett's expert tip: The Lobster Cigars are the perfect snack and unlike traditional bar fare you will find anywhere else.

Read more about The Cazbah →


On game day, there is little debate on where to see your favorite team take the field. Hall of Fame Sports Bar has more television screens going than your local Best Buy sales floor and it is easy to get whiplash trying to keep up with it all. The full-service bar maintains a commitment to a quality craft beer selection, something that other sports bars can easily overlook. Additionally, it is easy to slack off on the food menu when you are catering to a predominantly captive audience but Hall of Fame does no such thing and kicks out some high-quality burgers, wings, and other sports bar cuisine.

Recommended for Bars because: This is the definitive sports bar, complete with more televisions than Best Buy and HHGregg's showrooms combined.

Brett's expert tip: If you are going on game day call ahead to reserve a table because this place is going to get packed.

Read more about Hall of Fame Sports Grill →

The Peddler has been Greenville's steak house for more than 50 years and, if one had to guess, the bar has looked exactly the same that entire time. Well separated from the restaurant's dining room, the bar is cozy, comfortable, and inviting. The ambiance is old-school high end, perfect for a 100-year-old stone building set back in the woods just outside of Downtown Greenville. A visit to The Peddler is a trip back in time in Greenville's history and is a must-see attraction for Greenville locals and visitors alike. Order an Old Fashioned without a hint of irony or sip on a martini and enjoy the spirit of all those who have done the same in the last half-century.

Recommended for Bars because: Sure, the Peddler may look like the Bar That Time Forgot but that is exactly what makes it so darn loveable.

Brett's expert tip: If you get there early, don't be alarmed by the line out to the parking lot â€" those folks are waiting for a seat in the dining room.

Read more about Peddler Steak House →

Everything about Will Taco is fun and lighthearted and the bar is no different. Your margaritas and Tecates are served up by a friendly staff and the bar offers the option of sitting inside or out making this the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon. Margaritas are served seven different ways, there are four different types of beer cocktails, and draft beer, wine, and sangria all round out a full service offering that any drinker will love. Things get even crazier with their Sunday brunch menu and happy hour starts early (3 pm) every day making any time a good time to visit Will Taco.

Recommended for Bars because: Willy Taco's bar has ample space, great cocktails, and both indoor and outdoor seating.

Brett's expert tip: Definitely look for a seat on the outside half of the bar when the weather is nice.

Read more about Willy Taco - Feed & Seed →

For the quintessential dive bar, check out the Greenville institution that is Zorba's Lounge. Concealed by a windowless exterior, inside you will find a watering hole that looks and feels exactly as it did in the 1970s. The clientele is blue and white-collar alike, all walks of life deemed equal upon walking through the door. If you are in the mood for high-end craft brews and frilly cocktails, you are in the wrong place but sometimes you just need a Budweiser or a Jack & Coke and, for that, there is no better spot in town than Zorba's Lounge.

Recommended for Bars because: Zorba's Lounge is both a bar and a Greenville institution.

Brett's expert tip: The big wood door to the building without windows gives the sense of a private club but, rest assured, Zorba's is open to the public.

Read more about Zorba Lounge →

What location always makes a bar better? The one on the roof, of course. That is why Up On the Roof, perched on the rooftop of Downtown Greenville's Embassy Suites, is the perfect place to enjoy your next drink. Panoramic views of the city skyline and the mountains beyond make for a scene you could soak in all day and evening long. The fact that they offer a wide variety of both domestic and craft beers, wine, and cocktails means they have a little something for everyone and the full-service restaurant kitchen is kicking out some seriously good food while you are at it.

Recommended for Bars because: Greenville's tallest rooftop bar features great cocktails along with some stunning views of Downtown Greenville.

Brett's expert tip: It is a maze of elevators and staircases from the parking garage so don't be afraid to valet your car at the main entrance to make life easy.

Read more about UP on the Roof →

The Velo Fellow
Photo courtesy of The Velo Fellow

The British have been gathering in pubs since before America was a twinkle in their eye. For that reason, the British public house is a classic environment to enjoy a drink with your friends and neighbors. The Velo Fellow was specifically created with that goal in mind and it satisfies in every way. A great craft beer selection is complemented by house-made craft brews made right on-site while the wine and whiskey offerings are extensive. Whether you are in the front room tipping one back with friends or enjoying a show in the listening room in the rear, the Velo Fellow is the perfect bar to go back to again and again.

Recommended for Bars because: The classic English public house vibe is the perfect place to get a drink.

Brett's expert tip: Get the fish and chips for the classic English public house experience.

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Vault & Vator
Photo courtesy of Vault & Vator

Vault & Vator, the brainchild of the former owners of the beloved American Grocery, is the purest example of a bar in every sense of the word. The entrance is nondescript, the lighting is dim, and the speakeasy vibe transports you back to another era in American history. The cocktails are phenomenal and, while there is technically a food menu, this is not a place you come to hungry. Vault & Vator is for drinking and, to that point, drinking really, really well. There are some rules to the joint â€" no cell phones, proper attire, and no Red Bulls â€" and they are all tailored to maximize the experience of going to a bar where the drinking is taken seriously.

Recommended for Bars because: Nothing says "have a seat at the bar" like the throwback speakeasy ambiance of Vault & Vator.

Brett's expert tip: Leave your cell phone in your pocket… and make sure that pocket is not part of something excessively casual.

Read more about Vault & Vator →


Meet Brett Barest

Brett Barest is a freelance writer in Greenville, South Carolina that has watched the city grow from cow pastures and boarded up buildings to the tourist destination it has become today. He...  More About Brett