You don’t have to be down on your luck or completely broke to appreciate a good dive bar.Whether you’re drawn in by the dirt cheap beer, greasy eats, eclectic clientele, or jukebox jams, every city has a dive bar for you.
The trick to finding the right one is to weed out the seamy cesspools from the best kept secrets.
No matter the city, you can find a cheap drink without the mainstream bar scene. Every town has them; you just have get in with the locals to find out how to distinguish the dilapidated dumps from the treasure troves.
This post originally appeared at Party Earth.
It's located in a Super 8 Motel, so you know its reeking with class. Vicky, the bar owner is also a regular, who will regale you with all of the sordid stories in her repertoire. With two authentic 70s couches, a pool table, and all-you-can-eat pretzels, popcorn, and microwave hot dogs, it's an easy place to have one too many.
White Horse Inn Cocktail Lounge
1532 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
One of the most iconic San Francisco neighborhoods is Chinatown, which houses a real dive treasure, Li Po Cocktail Lounge.
Raved about by famous chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, this throw back to opium dens of yore serves up some of the strongest Chinese Mai Tais and Ng Ka Py, Chinese whiskey.
With a full-blown Buddha shrine, and other kitschy décor, it's definitely a fun place to have a few drinks and collect some strange stories along the way.
Li Po Cocktail Lounge
916 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108
It goes without saying that dive bars are best appreciated once already inebriated, and Marie's Riptide Lounge is no exception.
With karaoke, a jukebox, cheap drinks, loud music, and dirty floors, it's the perfect place to make out with someone you shouldn't. When you just want to get rowdy in the worst possible way, Marie's is definitely your Chicago go-to bar.
Marie's Riptide Lounge
1745 West Armitage Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
From the outside, it appears to be a condemned building, but inside is a veritable playground for adults looking to get wasted. The best part about going to Dan's is that you get to be your own bartender. After selecting your mini aeroplane sized bottles of liquor, you pour them into condiment containers with mixers.
You'll be set for the rest of the night as you squirt shots into your mouth. With a big pool table and plenty of seating this is a great place to start or end the night. Be aware that it's a cash-only bar.
2315 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Originally, the Holland Cocktail Lounge resided in the Holland Welfare Hotel, in the depths of the Port Authority.
Back in the day, The Daily News labelled it as the institution boasting the most health violations and it's basically the same story today. There are year-round Christmas lights, and an old, old-school jukebox to play some retro jams. The bar opens bright and early at 8am, for those who make a living out of wrecking their livers. As you can imagine, it's a cash-only register.
Holland Cocktail Lounge
532 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
If you're not too careful, you could miss this Bostonian gem.
Bukowski Tavern is the place to go with a small group of buddies to catch up and grab a brew. Named after Charles Bukowski--literary laureate and world-class drinker--the joint only serves beer, so come with hops and malt on your mind. The seating is limited, so large parties could struggle on any given night.
And don't worry if you come hungry, there are plenty of traditional bar munchies like mac & cheese.
50 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02115
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