Step into the vibrant cocktail scene of downtown Greenville, SC! Join us as we uncover ground-level beloved hotspots where mixology meets Southern hospitality. From classic concoctions to innovative libations, get ready to sip your way through the city's most popular cocktail bars. Here's a toast to unforgettable evenings and unforgettable drinks in Greenville's lively downtown. 

Shaken, Not Stirred. 

Up or down? Stunning scenes or secret canteens? Whether you don’t prefer one or the other, or you’re indecisive, or you just want it all, sometimes you’re just stuck in the middle. Whatever keeps you perpetually sitting on the fence, it’s all good in Greenville because there’s plenty of middle ground to work with at these popular downtown cocktail bars. 

We could just tell you where you ought to go while you’re here, but that depends a good deal on where you want to go. We think you’ll want to hop over to the Village of West Greenville and fall down The Rabbit Hole, where you’ll find yourself in the middle of a fairytale. Using fresh ingredients like Honeycrisp apples, mint, and ginger, The Rabbit Hole handcrafts cocktails that will transport you to a delicious wonderland of flavor—and their small bites are the perfect companion for the trip. The cozy, warm setting is complemented by beautiful wood accents and a living moss wall that’ll have you wondering if they’re all mad, in the best way possible.

On the Aloft Greenville Downtown’s fourth floor, the self-proclaimed “sassy and stylish outdoor patio” pours signature cocktails and features live music. WXYZ's trendy interior and loungy exterior has you covered in any weather, and nighttime is the right time for a visit with live bands and DJs to make you move. Do not miss out on the refreshing Cucumber Cooler, made with Kettle One Botanicals Cucumber & Mint, house-made lemonade, sliced cucumber, and mint. Mmm, tastes like summer. We’re not sure if they serve up ’dogs, but the hotel itself sorta does—that is, guests can adopt a part-time pet: enjoy a little puppy love at the bar or some furball company in your room. Don’t forget the doggie bag!

When was the last time you had a great drink at a candy shop? We’re gonna go ahead and guess never, but there’s good news: You can change that at LaRue Fine Chocolate. Not only is it the "No. 3 Best Chocolate Shop in America" according to 10Best, but it also whips up some expertly crafted cocktails. Located in the Village of West Greenville, LaRue also offers hand-selected wines and a selection of beer, as well as sandwiches, charcuterie, ice cream, and more!

We could all use more peace in our lives, and Rainer’s Bar is happy to serve it up. Rainer’s exists to “offer a place of respite from the noise and turmoil of the day,” according to their website. Hear, hear! It’s no library, but it does go to great lengths to remove extraneous noise from the environment. You won’t find TVs, beer taps, blenders, soda guns, video games, or anything else that could ruin the beautiful live music or light din of conversation. There is a business casual dress code, so fellas, you’re gonna need sleeves and nice slacks to enjoy an evening at Rainer’s Bar.

This gem located on the ground level of the AC Hotel Greenville Downtown in Camperdown Plaza plays without rules and moves without borders. A fresh take on a traditional Spanish tapas bar, Paloma seeks to bring Greenville’s many European influences to the menu with a sophisticated and bold approach to ingredients. Translating to “dove” in Spanish, Paloma has a signature cocktail called The Dove that features Maestro Dobel Humito, Mango Jalapeño Ginger Syrup, and Q Grapefruit Soda, just in case you need a little kick after a long day of sightseeing.

Located on the ground level of the dual-brand Residence Inn by Marriott Greenville Downtown/SpringHill Suites by Marriott Greenville Downtown and proclaiming itself as “the neighborhood restaurant & bar for ‘New Greenville,’" Oak & Honey is a hive of activity for a reason. Everything is made right there in-house and hyper-seasonal across the whole menu. We’d tell you about some of the dishes, but they change so often. That means you can show up and never have the same thing twice, and who doesn’t love a little variety? Since we’re on the subject, Oak & Honey’s cocktails bring the very best of sweet, savory, and everything in between. On the sweet side, you can try something like the Straw-Bee-Rry Sangria, with red wine, brandy, Triple Sec, honey syrup, strawberry, orange, and lemon. If savory is the name of your game, there are several Old Fashioned cocktails for you. Add in beer, wine, and crafted mocktails, and Oak & Honey has something for everyone.

Have you been looking for that whiskey or bourbon that restaurants, bars, or otherwise never carry? You’d be hard-pressed to stump Spirit & Bower, which is located at one end of the Liberty Bridge in the luxurious Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville. They’ve got so many rare and coveted spirits that you’ll swear the place is haunted. As far as we know, it’s not, but we wouldn’t blame specters for taking up residence in this relaxed yet sophisticated setting. The whiskey menu is a sight to behold in both selection and quality. They even have Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23, one of the most sought-after whiskeys in the world. If whiskey doesn’t get you frisky, try one of Spirit & Bower’s seasonal cocktails and pair it with an equally seasonal bite and you’ve got the recipe for a slow-sipping, savory experience.

The summer of 2023 brought with it the end of a legacy when Smiley’s Acoustic Café—Greenville’s go-to for live music—announced that they were closing their doors after 17 years. For more than a month, we mourned our loss… UNTIL Smiley’s announced its new partnership with another Greenville staple, On The Roxx. This merging has gifted us Smiley’s On The Roxx, a combination of nightly live music—with no cover charge!—and upscale cocktails, as well as small plates with big taste. The menu features a selection of different mules and a brilliant blue bev called "The Mermaid" that’s meant to be shared. Whether you go for the music, the drinks, or the food, you’ll definitely leave with a smile on your face.

If it’s in the name, it’s gotta be good, right? This lounge that lies in the corner of Falls Tower across from the Peace Center is pumping out cocktails like it’s their job—because it is. That means you can catch a quick cocktail in a convenient yet elegant setting that’ll have you in your Peace Center seats before the overture. Quick does not equate to a lack of quality, though. On the contrary, The Cocktail Company’s ever-changing offerings are well-conceived and with the times. As trends change, so does the menu. Cocktails based on tequila, vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey are the centerpiece of the drink menu, but The Cocktail Company also has a wine list curated by an in-house sommelier. Fast bites are also available and designed to be served and eaten quickly, making The Cocktail Company a sure-bet option for theater-goers.

This longtime Greenville haunt has staying power for a reason, and if you haven’t learned why for yourself, it’s time to boogie on in—whether Sharif likes it or not. The Cazbah was opened in 2000 and has developed, as they call it, a “cult following,” but you won’t find Kool-Aid here. The Cazbah has an extensive list of wines, beer, and champagnes that offer you a trip around the world, but the tapas will have you ready to join the congregation. You’ve gotta try their world-famous lobster cigars, which are fried wontons stuffed with lobster, cream cheese, and ginger. There’s a lot more where that came from, with escargot, duck, and a drunken French toast dessert made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. Trust us when we tell you to rock The Cazbah.

Auto enthusiasts might assume that this coupe is a car, but the name comes from a historic type of glass that has raced its way back into the bar scene. The coupe glass was invented in the 1700s as a vehicle for champagnes in France, and today, cocktail-makers are shaking up history by finding new uses for the stemmed vessel. As you might imagine, many of its drink menu offerings are served in one—just don’t call these craft cocktails. They’d rather not paint themselves into a corner and prefer to think of themselves as an approachable option for fun and flavor.