The Magic City, as Birmingham is lovingly known, was given the moniker because it grew fast in the early 1900s—but it stuck because the city is unsuspectingly beautiful, welcoming, and fun. Anyone who’s spent an evening in the town in Birmingham will know that the city also has a way of offering night owls nonstop, unforgettable fun. From bars to brasseries, music venues to merengue nights, Birmingham has a little something for everyone who wants to enjoy themselves after the sun goes down on Alabama.
Go back in time when you visit Neon Moon. Though it bills itself as “your favorite neighborhood cocktail bar,”—this watering hole is so much more. Located in the heart of downtown, Neon Moon has a gentle cowboy theme, and it also has one of the most beloved back patios in town. The cocktails are the star at Neon Moon, and all of the ingredients they use are local and creative. Try “It Takes Two,” which is a tequila drink with real pieces of cantaloupe, mango, orange, and jalapeno in it.
If you want to boogie into the wee hours of the morning, then Nana Funks is the best spot you’ll find for nightlife in Birmingham, Alabama. This bar and dance club in the Lakeview District of town is people’s favorite spot when they want to have a late, late night. The club has a 70s theme, and the music they play is pure 70s: funk, soul, and a little bit rock and roll. The dance floor is big here, so expect most people to be up and on their feet.
Outdoor venues are more popular than ever these days, and there's no better place to enjoy an evening with friends outside in Birmingham than The Roof. Located on top of the 14-story Redmont Hotel, the Roof doesn’t only offer delicious cocktails and beers, but it also has unbeatable views of town surrounding the hotel. The Roof has an upscale, trendy vibe, so put on your chicest outfit and come here for creative cocktails or the stunning sunset.
The Atomic Bar and Lounge isn’t just a spot for nightlife in Birmingham that visitors remember because the pours are heavy, and the jukebox is well-curated. The Atomic is an experience. The owners created a themed, over-the-top Mid-Century vibe at this watering hole on 1st Ave, with funky, mismatched, colorful seating, gigantic chandeliers, and tons of house plants to make this place cozy, welcoming, and like a journey back-in-time. The Atomic offers visitors a menu of drinks, and they also have costumes on loan—in case the theming of the venue doesn’t offer enough kitschy fun.
One thing that makes Birmingham magical is that it has a rich music history. Get a taste of that legacy by visiting Saturn, one of the town’s best music venues. Saturn has a mix of shows—from world-famous names like the Mountain Goats and the Loan Bellow to smaller, more local, up-and-coming acts like country musicians. Programmed by Brian Teasley with help from the Bowery Presents, Saturn is undeniably a spot for the best nightlife in Birmingham, Alabama. Saturn is beloved during the day, too: every morning, it turns into a trendy coffee shop featuring locally roasted coffee.
Another of the region’s best concert venues is located in Birmingham. It’s called Workplay, and it features more local music and also serves as a venue that is bookable for private events. Workplay offers different venues within the venue—so come to the Theatre for seated shows; the Soundstage for black box productions; and the Canteen, which is usually used for parties, but sometimes features non-music events like book signings or product launches.
In Birmingham’s Loft District is the Collins Bar, a casual, friendly neighborhood bar that is meant for unwinding and relaxing. The decor is funky inside—both retro and distinctly divey—but still undeniably trendy, and the bar is also known for having an excellently eclectic jukebox. You can drink a classic domestic beer here, or you can get a craft cocktail from one of the knowledgeable bartenders. The food at The Collins Bar is as good as the drinks, so try one of their decadent bites, like the homemade pigs in blankets or the handheld meatloaf sliders.
Fun is the name of the game at Paramount Bar, which offers adult beverages, a menu packed with excellent food, and arcade games. There’s something for everyone to do at Paramount Bar, so make sure you play some skee ball while you wait for your specialty hot dog to be delivered (try the “Southern” hot dog—it comes with pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce, fried pickles, and ranch). Skeeball isn’t the only game here; you can make your way around the bar and find NBA hoops, Ms. Pacman, Street Fighter 2, and many pinball machines (as well as many more retro arcade games here)! Paramount Bar is the best nightlife in town for grown-up kids.
Come to Tin Roof for great cocktails and live music. Tin Roof has a mix of big names and local acts, and they also offer a menu of “better than bar food,” which you can enjoy while you listen (or to fuel you up before you dance!) Tin Roof is in the heart of Lakeview in Birmingham, and on nights there aren’t shows, you can still come here to imbibe and unwind.
The name of this Birmingham nightlife spot says it all. Zydeco is a place for dancing and drinking—and it’s also one of the largest venues in town. Open since 1989; Zydeco has multiple levels featuring multiple shows or events at once. So, come here for one of the concerts, or choose to stay outside on their famous patio, where you can drink and socialize, while you also enjoy their menu of delicious pub food. Zydeco is located in Five Points South.