There are so many spots in Knoxville to grab a drink! Whether you’re a fan of cocktails or craft beer, our city has a spot to quench your thirst.
We’ve compiled a list of some legit watering holes in town to bring you a serious pub crawl agenda for your next venture out on the town. Each spot has been chosen based on location, drinks, and relevance to our fair Scruffy City.
Come with us as we take you to some great spots to grab a drink in the 8-6-5!
Peter Kern Library
You’ve got to start any Knoxville Pub Crawl with a trip to the Peter Kern Library. This speakeasy looks sketchy from the outside, but a step through this dingy corridor reveals a classy bar that’ll impress your most skeptical friends. Take a seat on a comfortable couch, and order one of their exquisite cocktail creations. We recommend going here first while you’re still 100% coherent – these drinks are good, but they’re not cheap. You’re gonna want to remember every sip of your cocktail!
Order This: Peter Kern Library serves one helluva Old Fashioned! But, if you’re not a whiskey person, opt for their light, refreshing Holly Golightly.
Next stop takes us to Market Square. For the uninitiated, there are two popular bars in the square: Scruffy City Hall and Pres Pub. The spots are similar; they have a rooftop patio, live music, and an impeccably scruffy atmosphere. To save time, and prevent over-drinking too early, we’re just sending you to Pres Pub. That cigarette-smoky first floor is infamous in Knoxville, and their rooftop is a little more unique (massive flamingos…need we say more?) And, while there’s usually a band at both bars, most of the dancing is done at Scruffy City Hall. At this point, it’s a little early in the night for dancing. We’ll save that for the Old City.
Order This: Any one of the ~local~ beers on tap! Brews are switched out regularly, so just opt for a pour from one of Knoxville’s many breweries. Also – Pres Pub serves pizza from their kitchen. Split one with the homies to fuel the rest of your night out on the town.
Still relatively early in the night, Sapphire won’t be at full capacity, yet… meaning it’s the perfect time to hit this dimly lit Gay Street lounge! Sapphire is known for their night club vibes and imaginative cocktails. While Sapphire is the third spot on our list, it’s also our final destination for a fancy-schmancy cocktail.
Order This: The $350 Sapphire Martini. Just kidding – we know you probably can’t afford that. Instead, get the So Fresca, So Clean shooter: grapefruit vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and sparkling wine. Cheers!
Make your way down Gay Street toward the Old City, and stop at Suttree’s Tavern! Suttree’s has local beer and standard drinks… but it’s a local favorite because of the vibe. Try your hand at one of their arcade games while you’re there.
Order This: Your choice. We’re sending you to Suttree’s for the ambiance, y’all.
Pretentious Beer Co.
Now, it’s time to begin your trek through Old City. Pretentious Beer & Glass has local beer on tap, along with soda and kombucha. Grab a drink at the bar before heading through their patio and into the glass blowing studio next door! Depending what time it is, there may be a few guys blowing glass in their giant furnaces. It’s lit… literally.
Order This: We all have different tolerance levels. If you can handle a full 16 oz. pour, do it! If you need to pace yourself, opt for a 12 oz., taster, or non-alcoholic drink instead. Pretentious is constantly changing what’s on tap, so we won’t tell you exactly what to get. However, we can tell you that they’ll usually carry Blackberry Farm, which has delicious brews.
Time to get rowdy, y’all. You’re probably feeling the alcohol right about now, which means you are mentally, physically, and emotionally ready for the second half of this Pub Crawl. Stop number six: Wagon Wheel. This honky-tonk, country-themed bar isn’t for everyone, but it’s something you MUST experience during a Pub City through the Old City. Despite the country theme, the crowd is diverse in musical tastes. Grab at least one drink here before venturing to the next spot on our list!
Order This: Embody that East Tennessee country spirit with a little Ole Smoky Moonshine! Throw back a shot, or get it mixed with soda water.
As you walked from Pretentious to Wagon Wheel, you may have worried we forgot about Carleo’s. However, I assure you, we would never leave this mini-nightclub out of this Crawl. If Wagon Wheel wasn’t your style, you’ll probably feel at home at Carleo’s: Knoxville’s unofficial home to hot moms, middle-aged bachelors, and the occasional dude breaking it down on the dancefloor to an Ariana Grande song.
Order This: Some kind of clear liquor. Chances are, you’re drinking whilst dancing on the dance floor, and I KNOW you’re not trying to stain that outfit.
Hanna’s Old City
They say “save the best for last,” so that’s why we’re wrapping things up at Hanna’s. Located next to Southbound on the corner of Central and Jackson, Hanna’s is home to ’90s music, dancing, and good times. If your legs are sore from all the dancing, seek refuge on their outdoor patio. **WARNING** guys cannot get in wearing plain white t-shirts, so plan accordingly!
Order This: Since this is the last spot on our list, we’ll let you choose your final few drinks. Don’t forget to get some water here, too!
We’re sending you to Davinci’s to wrap up your night. There is something about hot grease and cheesy goodness that cures any potential hangover. Davinci’s is open after the bars close, so you can expect to see all your late-night dance buddies here.
Order This: All their ‘za is great, but traditional pepperoni is our slice of choice. Don’t you DARE think about wiping off the grease with a napkin.