Almost every city in the country has their fair share of dive bars, so when a bar stands out enough to get recognition for being exactly that, you know it’s something special. Each of these 11 places has garnered acclaim from newspapers in their city for being among the very best when it comes to dives. Today, for your consideration, we present a few of the top dive bars in the country.

Broward-Palm Beach

Original Fat Cat’s

I sometimes picture my liver in the glass bottle of vodka behind the bar. On tough days, it’s in the whiskey. If this just worried you, stop reading here… because in the dark, dank world of Fat Cat’s, shame isn’t welcomed. I know this — I’m the regular, not you. I am not worried that…More >>

The stage at Original Fat Cat’s in Fort Lauderdale


Fallout Lounge

Don’t expect a red carpet or a VIP list here–it’s a divey sort of place where you can never be sure what lies in store. Relatively small and cave-like, with a rustic concrete floor and DJs spinning on the weekends, it tends to turn into an all-out dance party on Friday nights. Like any…More >>

Kansas City

Flo’s Polka Dot Lounge

The first time you go to Flo’s Polka Dot Lounge (and don’t confuse it with the drag cabaret in the Crossroads District), you might assume that you’re wandering through a fever dream. It takes a little while to get your bearings here. There’s the name, which sounds too sunny for the worn…More >>


Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3559

It’s the kind of joint you’d see in Fight Club or a snuff film. It’s hard to believe the place could actually exist. Smack in the middle of South Beach is a grimy, real-life dive bar you’ve never heard of. So you check it out. You head to the Floridian, a towering condo on West Avenue located a…More >>


Palmer’s Bar

Palmer’s. Walk into this West Bank dive bar and you’ll encounter diversity on many levels: ethnicity, age, gender, income level, and personal disposition. You’ve got your bearded, bespectacled hipster brooding over his sketchpad near the back….More >>

Outside Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis

Lyle’s Bar & Restaurant

If you’re looking for a temperate night out or insist you just want to “drink socially,” for the love of Christ and sobriety stay away from Liquor Lyle’s. It’s impossible to spend more than 20 minutes in this Lowry Hill dive bar and not get completely wrecked…More >>

New York

Sly Fox

OK, at the risk of sounding really old by saying this: What’s with the noise level at New York dives? Sometimes the cheapest bars are just too damned loud. So when we tire of staring at our frien…More >>

Orange County

Reno Room

Pool tables, black-vinyl booths, great jukebox, friendly bartenders, dangerously strong drinks: Reno Room is the quintessential dive. But what sets it apart is the adjoining Mexican restaurant, Coco Renos, which serves great drunk food into the wee hours. That, and the endless parade of taxis…More >>


Roadrunner Lounge

A humble confession: When we discovered this place, we rushed back to the office to see what we had written about it. Nothing in the archives. Well, friends, The Roadrunner Lounge shall not be ignored ever again, because it’s soooo good. This rundown piece of you-know-what on Hayden Road north…More >>

San Francisco

Ha-Ra Club

The ingredients that go into a great dive bar are simple and inviolable: minimal clientele of the somber, scotch-sipping variety; no-nonsense barkeeps with nothing but time; shadowy, spilled-gin atmo to burn. The Ha-Ra meets the standards and then some. Walking into the joint is like feeling…More >>

Inside San Francisco’s Ha-Ra Club


The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed looks incredibly out of place among the multimillion-dollar condos and quaint confectioneries dotting Bellevue’s Main Street. But its regulars would raise hell if the city were ever to propose tearing it down to make room for another organic-chocolate shop. That’s because the…More >>

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