Are you on the lookout for the best Dive Bars in New York?
Then we have you covered!
Keep in mind, this article is in ascending order. We’ve saved the best Dive Bars for last. Enjoy the list!
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Referring to dive bars as “best” or superior to others is somewhat tricky since none of the places on this map are vying for the title — as doing so would render it not a dive. So here is a broad list of some of Eater’s favorite dives around New York and what makes them special.
7. Canal Bar New York
Celeb hot spot and hip dance club. From concerts and performances to private parties and corporate events, this is where New York comes to play, pause and unwind. This rockabilly dive’s drinks rival the nearby Gowanus Canal for sheer toxicity. Surly, busty bartenders serve domestic brews and Herculean shots of cheap whiskey to rocker types, locals, and pool sharks who are as colorful as the kitschy, chaotic decor. Deer heads share space with vintage beer signage and a black-and-white TV broadcasting JFK-era ads, while a jukebox spins funk, soul, and punk mix-CDs compiled by regulars. This place is my home away from home. Great people, Great times, Great prices. Also, it is in a great location for the Carol Gardens to Park Slope walk by on Union st.
6. Rudy’s Bar & Grill New York
This place is hands down the best dive bar in NYC. Rudy’s Bar & Grill is a historic dive bar in NYC since 1933. Rudy’s is the most famous dive bar, right through the original wood door, carved down the center with the name of the first owners, the rudy family. Rudy’s got one of New York’s first liquor licenses when prohibition ended in 1933. The drinks are cheap, and the hot dogs are—gasp!–free (even famed chef Anthony Bourdain has eaten a few). And in 1996, Rudy’s was voted Best Jukebox in the city by Rolling Stone for its famed selection of jazz and blues. Although the jukebox has been mainstreamed considerably to accommodate changing tastes, you can still get a wailing sax or Rat Pack harmonies if you choose.
5. Milano’s Bar New York
If you’re looking for fun and authenticity, check out Milano’s Dive bar. This place is the definition of a dive bar and if you’re looking for something that’s not a dive bar, go somewhere else. As soon as you walk in you are at the bar and the overall place is about as narrow as an alleyway.
4. 169 Bar New York
If you want a unique and authentic NY experience, head to 169 and order a beer and shot. Open since 1916, the only thing that has really changed at 169 Bar is the name and the addition of air conditioning. Locals go for the $3 beer and shot special – and the ’70s fern-bar vibe. Especially when compared with the increasingly upmarket bars in nearby Lower East Side and East Village, 169 Bar is both literally and figuratively refreshing. 169 Bar was opened in 1916, and it was formally known as the “Bloody Bucket”
3. Montero’s New York
Dating from 1947, this dive is as affably grimy as the sailors who once drank here. The cloudy glass blocks and unreliable neon sign out front may not look alluring, but inside this dive bar, you’ll find a ton of history and an old-fashioned, unfussy, laid-back vibe. Montero’s is the kind of place where you can briefly go back in time to working-class Brooklyn, where people of all backgrounds and walks of life gather for (cheap) cocktails in an amazingly bizarre setting that you could only find in New York. They have areas for a private dining area for a slightly larger party. Plenty of room for large parties. They have their own parking lot area and they offer to curb pick up as well!
2. Sunny’s Bar
Auuuhhhhh-maaaazzzzinnnggg!! Sunny’s is open seven days a week. Mondays & Tuesdays 3 pm-midnight, Wednesdays & Thursdays 3 pm – 1 am, Fridays 2 pm – 2 am, Saturdays Noon – 2 am, and Sundays Noon-Midnight. They have an expanded backyard and indoor seating, as well as a to-go service. Sunny’s bar is a very unique place if you love live music and a super cool vibe. You’re bound to get down to some bossa nova or bluegrass with the locals and the newbies on Friday and Saturday nights. Get lost inside, and in the back garden, exploring all of the bar’s unique quirks and intricacies. Go here and leave the city behind, even if you can step out and see Manhattan from the front door.
1. Jimmy’s Corner New York
Hands down the best bar in NY with great value thus an awesome local hangout! Jimmy’s Corner Dive Bar is centrally located. A cozy little place in midtown, good to mingle and unwind after work…unpretentious, simple but to the point. Boxing Memorabilia is everywhere, which gives the place a 70-ish feel. It’s very small but it’s a cool bar, simple and basic. Very personable! Nice place to go and have a drink. Right next to time square. This fun family-owned establishment has a ton of history on the walls! Jimmy’s Corner is a small dive bar but nearly always packed at night due in large part to its fun atmosphere and dive bar drink prices, which are almost certainly around the cheapest Times Square will have to offer. The bar was opened a little over 50 years ago by Jimmy Glenn, a former boxing cutman/trainer who’d worked alongside the likes of several famous boxers, including the great Muhammad Ali. (The bar is littered with boxing pictures and other memorabilia, including pictures of Jimmy posing with Ali.)
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Reif’s Bar is a neighborhood bar with a friendly staff, where patrons all seem to know each other. PBRs are always flowing, whether inside or on the bar’s outdoor patio. Iggy’s bar is an upper East side karaoke bar that has all the trappings of a New York City dive: It’s cheap, loud, and regularly described by users on Yelp as “cramped.” There are drink specials from 1 to 7 p.m. nearly every day of the week. Paradise Alley is ideal for those hunting for a comfortable, neighborhood spot to watch a game with friends and a bucket of beer. Johnny’s Bar Very tiny and very divey, Johnny’s in the West Village is a time-capsule bar, otherwise surrounded by an ever-changing neighborhood. Fights have been spotted here on more than one occasion. Montero’s is all about the locals at this lovable dump, where a greeting—“Yo, Richie, looking good tonight!” —goes up each time a regular enters.