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The 19 Best Dive Bars In America

Ray’s Happy B-day Bar
Philadelphia, PA


This bar owes its name to the original owner’s habit of greeting customers with “Happy birthday!” If it real­ly is your B-day, first drink’s on the house.
One-star Yelp review: “I was only in the place for five minutes, and I smelled like a dirty ashtray for the rest of the night.”

St. Pauli Bar
Chicago, IL
To fit in with the rest of the German regulars at this shadowy Chicago dive, order yourself a Spaten and a shot of schnapps. Repeat until last call at 4 a.m. By morning you’ll feel like death, but at least you won’t remember hitting on one of the leathery old beer maids.
One-star Yelp review: “This is the place old female bartenders go to die, like an elephant graveyard.”

The Gaslite
Los Angeles, CA
This Santa Monica bar plays host to the best and the worst of Tinseltown: Hipsters, talent agents, middle-aged women, and aspiring starlets take turns on the light-up karaoke stage. Drinks are standard, but you’ll appreciate the free self-serve popcorn machine located unapologetically next to one of the filthiest bathrooms in L.A.
One-star Yelp review: “Wouldn’t be as bad if the odor of vomit didn’t permeate the entire place.”

Jimmy’s Corner
New York, NY
Retired boxing trainer Jimmy Glenn owns this Midtown hole-in-the-wall, and it shows: Fight posters and photos of pugilists are plastered on the walls like a T.G.I. Friday’s that’ll give you a black eye. Despite the bar’s proximity to Times Square, it’s free of tourists, thanks to the deft verbal punches delivered by the surly waitstaff.
One-star Yelp review: “This little old Russian lady came to our table and was a total bitch. She reminded me of the evil gypsy lady from Drag Me to Hell!”

Eastlake Zoo Tavern
Seattle, WA  


At this zoo, watch out for pool sharks—especially weekdays 3 p.m.–6 p.m., when billiards is free and discounted beers are downed like fresh chum. But no matter the time or day, pitchers of Rolling Rock are always nine bucks and you’re welcome to play other barroom games, like pinball and Ping-Pong. If you can make it through the night without getting beat up, you win.
One-star Yelp review: “Went there to play shuffleboard and was told by a nasty hipster female to ‘Beat it, bitch!’ She then resumed her game. This zoo is truly full of animals.”

Mac’s Club Deuce
Miami, FL
This simple South Beach club is open 22 hours a day, half of which is a two-for-one happy hour (from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.). That leaves you two hours a day to spend with your family. If you’re into crap like that.
One-star Yelp review: “I’d appreciate it if the patrons had the courtesy to use coke in the stall and not by the sink.”

Bikini Lounge
Phoenix, AZ
Decorated to resemble what rednecks imagine when they hear the word “Hawaii,” this tiki-themed dive is a popular destination for thirsty Phoenicians who just want to get lei’d.
One-star Yelp review: “I felt like I needed a shower and a tall glass of Airborne after I left.”

Croke Park/Whitey’s
Boston, MA
Named for its former owner Whitey McGrail, who was gunned down in the pub in 1985, this Southie dive is where hard-drinking degenerates bring their problems— and bartenders’ heavy-handed pours help them forget ’em.
One-star Yelp review: “I’ve been to crackhouses where I’ve felt safer.”

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