Winston-Salem is the gateway to the Yadkin Valley Wine Country, home to numerous vineyards and wineries. Featuring charming streets lined with historic attractions, museums and several great restaurants, it’s a great place to make a quick getaway to. You can even use it as a base to explore the vintners of Yadkin Valley or simply take in the city’s rich history.

There is a bustling bar scene here in Winston-Salem too, with several watering holes catering to any and all needs.

Fancy a quick pint or want to enjoy an expertly made cocktail? Want to mingle with the locals in a dive bar or take in some great music on a beautiful patio? Winston-Salem has something for you!

Here are the best bars in Winston-Salem to make your trip here as fun as it can be!

Recommended: A Hophead’s Guide To Breweries In Winston-Salem

CONTENTS:

  1. The Four Best Cocktail Bars
  2. The Three Best Brew Pubs
  3. The Three Best Bars For Live Events
  4. A Fantastic Dive Bar To Check Out

The Four Best Cocktail Bars In Winston-Salem

1. Vintage Sofa Bar

Classy lounge with craft cocktails and creative bar bites

You’ll love the ambience of Vintage Sofa Bar, with its warm lighting provided by Edison bulbs, and sophisticated, yet inviting interiors. There’s a multitude of seating options from chairs, stools, an outside patio and true to its name – sofas to lounge on. The centrally located bar is old-school wood and the upholstered chairs around them are very comfortable.

The craft cocktails here are created from scratch syrups, dehydrated fruits and fresh juices making them some of the best in the city. Apart from this they also have an extensive selection of beers and wine. Chef and owner Tony Stevens has also curated a special menu that features some delectable finger foods such as jerk chicken wings and truffle fries along with homemade pizzas.

With a pool table and shuffle board, this is a great place to come with your coworkers after a tiring day at work and just unwind with a few specialty drinks and tasty bar food.

Vintage Sofa Bar is open from 3:00 p.m. to midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, with closing hours extending to 1:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is closed on Monday and open from 1:00 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.

Address: 1001 Burke St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

2. Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Lively Cocktail Bar serving up artisan cocktails in a warm environment

There’s a lovely, lively atmosphere at Tate’s and the crowd and live music really adds to it. It’s inviting and the interiors are contemporary with the bright rows of fairy lights and streamers strung from the ceiling adding a nice bit of festivity. You have your usual choices of seating with tables available, both high and low along with upholstered chairs by the bar and a cute patio.

The artisan cocktails are specially crafted and they even serve rotating seasonal menus that showcase the best of seasonal produce and have witty names.

We recommend the Blackbird Julep which has been their best selling and most photographed cocktail for more than a decade. Raspberry liqueur, lemon and a berry compote – simply delicious! The bartenders here really know and love their art as they are more than willing to customize a drink for you, just have a word with them.

The service here is great, with the people behind the bar being, attentive and accommodative. Drop by with a group of friends or even with that special someone for a great night out! They even have live music – check their socials for details.

Hours of operation are from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.

Address – 279 W 4th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

3. Bar Piña

Cocktail bar spread over two floors with cocktails, frozen drinks and great views.

The bar here features two floors, with the first showcasing their craft cocktails and the second rooftop option serving frozen drinks and beers. The views from the top are stunning offering panoramic vistas of the city and mountains. The décor is bright and chic with pastel colored furniture blending with contemporary art-deco wall hangings.

The selection of craft cocktails here are limited along with a modest selection of beer and wine, but that just means they focus on quality over quantity. The frozen cocktails on tap that are served on the roof are divine as well, and great for sharing with friends. Visit here with a group of friends to enjoy a great night out with picturesque views and great mixes.

The bartenders are knowledgeable too, and will gladly concoct something on the spot to suit your palate. It does get crowded over the weekends, especially with the cool music the DJ plays, so try and get there early.

Bar Piña is open from 5:00 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday and from 3:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Sadly, they are closed on all other days.

Address – 770 Liberty View Ct #200, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

clear wine glass with lemon juice

4. Fair Witness Fancy Drinks

Laidback yet funky cocktail bar with specialty drinks

You’ll really dig the refreshing and chic interiors of this bar with its modern aesthetic. Gone are wooden accents and furnishings with dim lighting. Instead, they are replaced with clean, crisp lines, molded furniture and contemporary wall art. The bar is sleek and lengthy with tables and casual cushioned seating along with simple chairs and stools making up the furniture. It even has a patio area out front.

The bars menu is handwritten on chalkboard and parchment and consists of twists on classic cocktails. The menu itself changes constantly, so you’ll always have something new to try and if you’re not sure what you want, just talk to the people behind the bar – they’ll gladly suggest a special or whip up your classic go-to.

This place does get crowded during happy hour, and isn’t ideal for very large groups because of its lengthy design, but is a great place to bring a date and enjoy some good conversation and libation. The bartenders here are helpful and accommodating too – always a plus!

Hours of operation are from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday. The bar is closed on Monday.

Address – 290 4th St E, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

The Three Best Brew Pubs In Winston-Salem

1. Foothills Brewpub

Rustic brewpub with plenty of microbrews and pub grub

Foothills Brewpub boasts spacious and airy interiors with its high ceilings and large windows making it perfect for large gatherings. The place has a rustic feel thanks to its brick walls and wooden paneling which it blends with modern light fixtures and sleek furniture. The floor is large and the tables well-spaced out with booths available for seating too.

Apart from the brewpub, Foothills also operates their main brewery and tasting room and an event space with food trucks called Footnote.

They have an ever-changing menu of beers on tap here, from IPAs to pilsners and stouts. You can always order a flight to sample the brews on offer and then make your choice. The best part is, if you happen to fall in love with one of the beers (and trust us, you will) several are available in cans to go! If beer is not your thing, worry not, because they have a full bar.

The food here is also really good and there is quite an extensive menu. There’s also always something going on with live jazz or bluegrass music and trivia. So when it comes to entertainment, Foothills is definitely one of the best bars in Winston-Salem.

Service here is great and the servers often go out of their way when it comes to recommendations. Foothills Brewpub is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight all seven days of the week.

Address – 638 W 4th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

people doing cheers inside building

2. Small Batch

Trendy brewpub with creative drinks and eats

Small Batch features interiors that celebrate pub grub culture with a lengthy sleek design. The bar makes up one side of the establishment and has trophies and merchandise displayed proudly around the spirits on the shelves. The other side features plenty of tables and booths for seating under flags of various soccer clubs.

Leaning further into the sports aspect, there are several TVs here along with a projector so you can watch a game while nursing that beer. The back of the bar even features an arcade machine and dart board to while away some time.

Small Batch is constantly brewing new beers and they have a refreshing selection almost every time you visit – just check their socials for what is available. Apart from the beers, they also have a full bar which they use to craft some great cocktails.

While the beers on tap are great, the burgers have also been perennial favorites with locals and visitors alike, and we can see why! There’s a huge selection of inventive burgers on the menu. We can’t think of a better combination than an ice-cold beer and juicy burger!

The service here is fast and the bartenders and bar manager are very accommodating and more than willing to offer suggestions if you can’t decide what to order.

Small Batch is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with closing hours extending to midnight on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday they are open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They are closed on Mondays.

Address – 241 W 5th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

3. Joymongers Barrel Hall

Renovated garage that serves specially aged beers on tap

A staple in Greensboro since 2016, Joymongers decided to bring their special brand of barrel aged beers to the people of Winston-Salem. Located in a renovated garage, the interiors are spacious and airy with the brick-and-mortar walls adding a rustic touch to the surroundings.

There is plenty of seating available inside and in the parking lot outside, which often hosts food trucks and live events. This is a great place to visit with family and you can even bring you little pupper along as the place is dog friendly!

You’ll have plenty of choices here as The Barrel Hall boasts a large selection of more than 17 specially aged beers, including everything from IPAs, Pales, Lagers and Stouts. Many of the beers do come from the Greensboro facility, but several are also brewed on site. The menu is constantly changing, so you’ll have something new to try every time you visit.

There’s also a modest section of wines and sodas available. Joymongers is working towards building a music scene that features local artists and, meanwhile, hosts music trivia nights. The service here is impeccable too, with the bartenders being very helpful.

The Barrel Hall is open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, with closing hours extending to midnight on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday they open earlier at 2:00 p.m., on Saturday they are open from noon to midnight and on Sunday from noon to 10:00 p.m. So why not visit one of the best bars in Winston-Salem for beer and good times!

Address – 480 W End Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

selective focus photography of people having a toast

The Three Best Bars In Winston-Salem For Live Events

1. Earl’s

Whiskey bar with Southern inspired food and plenty of live music

Modern and contemporary interiors await you at Earl’s. One wall bears a multitude of framed pictures and posters that offer a perfect backdrop to the glass paneled bar which is brightly lit and displays the establishments name.

What really draws the eye though, is a shrub which is decorated with fairy lights – the perfect place to take a selfie! You’ll have your choice of seating options here as there are plenty of tables inside and outside on the patio too.

There’s a good selection of beers here and a small selection of wines, but the daily specials and cocktails are what really stand out. We’ve heard great things about the classic Old Fashioned and if you’re in a quandary about what to order, just tell the bartender your favorite spirit and he’ll mix something up for you on the spot.

Apart from the drinks, the food here is also a major draw featuring country classics. We heartily recommend Vegas Elvis’ Meatloaf which comes with whipped potatoes and mushroom sauce – simply delightful and pairs well with that Old Fashioned!

If that’s not enough to make you want to visit, the bar features live music every Thursday and Friday along with open mic nights on Monday. So for entertainment Earl’s is definitely one of the best bars in Winston-Salem.

The service here is great and the people working the bar are knowledgeable and efficient. Earl’s is open from 4:00 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Thursday, noon to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to midnight on Sunday. Come on down to Earl’s, one of the best bars in Winston-Salem!

Address – 121 W 9th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

2. Gatsby’s Pub

Longstanding pub with specials and plenty of activities

This pub has been an institution in Winston-Salem, having been around for more than 80 years. Though ownership has changed multiple times, several of the bar’s features have been retained, like the bar back which was built for a barbershop a century ago.

Currently operating as Gatsby’s, this is the quintessential local watering hole. They have recently remodeled and have added an elegant touch to the interiors. Both booths and tables are available as seating options and there are multiple TVs where one can catch the game.

They run specials everyday here on drinks and food but what really makes this place stand out is the number of activities on offer. We’ve heard its one of the best karaoke places in town, so this is the place to be if you sing your heart out while enjoying a few pints!

Apart from karaoke which runs every Friday and Saturday, they also do Taco Tuesday and Dancing on Wednesdays. It’s a great lively place to be with great atmosphere and people, and one of the best bars in Winston-Salem to visit with a group of friends.

The bartenders here are very friendly and efficient and service is quick. Hours of operation are 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. all seven days of the week.

Address – 1157 Burke St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

3. The Quiet Pint Tavern

Homey pub with a large patio, interesting eats and live music

The Quiet Pint Tavern is just that – a down to earth pub where you can enjoy a nice pint in rustic interiors which feature brick walls and soft mood lighting. What will really draw you to this place, however, is the large outdoor patio where you can take in live music in the crisp summer air with lines of beautiful lights overhead – the perfect setting for a date!

The cocktails here are a definite standout and feature seasonal specials, with the pink lemonade mule being a hit with the locals. To go with the cocktails, they have a good selection of beers and whiskey too, if you’d like something different.

The food here offers twists on classics, such as the Korean pork mac n cheese which comes with pulled pork, bulgogi sauce and kimchi.

And they have frequent bands playing, which is what you should really lookout for, as they feature local talent – just check their socials for details.

Overall, the atmosphere here is great and the service is spot on, even if it does slow down a little if the place is crowded. It’s easily one of the best bars in Winston-Salem.

Hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Address – 1420 W 1st St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

A Fantastic Dive Bar To Check Out

1. Silver Moon Saloon

Cozy dive bar with great drinks and a wraparound porch

Silver Moon Saloon is the definition of a dive bar with its intimate confines and funky décor. Plaster peel walls reveal bricks underneath and posters, number plates, graffiti and neon signs decorate the establishment. The bar is essentially long and narrow with only bar stools available for seating. There is more room on the back patio, however if you want a bit of fresh air.

This is a great bar to mingle and get to know new people thanks to the minimal elbow room available. The bartenders here are great and very lively and the crowd is always good.

The drinks are also always on point so you know the people behind the bar know and love what they do. The atmosphere is what always draws people here though as it’s so bustling and entertaining!

Visit this place with your friends and rub shoulders with locals to get a true feel of Winston-Salem bar life.

Silver Moon Saloon is open from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. all seven days of the week.

Address – 632 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101