Best Dive Bar in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Jess X. via Yelp

New Mexico: The Matador
> City: Santa Fe

According to Yelp: “Sort of gnarly dark post punk atmosphere but great music and GREAT bartending.” “[B]e prepared to get up close and personal with other patrons when it’s busy…[and] don’t order anything complicated!” “If you want a lil’ grit, a good pour from a happy bartender…, good metal/punk, and that general feel of being transported somewhere that time doesn’t exist, head here.”

Source: Courtesy of J L. via Yelp

New York: One Star
> City: New York City

Joe DiPietro’s No Idea was an anomaly: a true no-frills downtown dive bar on a trendy street in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood (the upscale Gramercy Tavern was a few doors away). When the landlord priced him out of the place after 21 years, DiPietro moved to a new location nearby and opened this place – which owes its name to Yelp. He thought the one-star reviews of No Idea on the site were funny, and named his new bar in their honor. Of course, the One Star pages on Yelp are filled with four- and five-star assessments. Among the comments: “Kinda dingy lighting, long bar to sit at…;” “Go for the tallboy and whiskey shot special for $8;” “Sure it’s simple, and plain, and that’s exactly what it’s meant to me.”

Source: Courtesy of Abby L. via Yelp

North Carolina: Thirsty Beaver Saloon
> City: Charlotte

The owners of this modest brick-walled neighborhood dive refused to sell their property to developers a few years back, so the developers built a 323-unit apartment building around the place on three sides. Inside, wrote a Yelper, “It’s a small biker-esque bar with one bar, a couple of pool tables and cheap beer…and it has a 70s vibe” – expressed partly through a collection of bras hanging from the rafters and barred windows. “Grab yourself a PBR and pull up a stump to the old school jukebox,” advised another, “and slip into honky tonk heaven.”

Source: Courtesy of The Box - Fargo via Facebook

North Dakota: The Box
> City: South Fargo

The Box is a combination bar and mini-casino off the lobby of an inexpensive chain hotel. It isn’t dark or dirty or dangerous-feeling, but qualifies as a dive with its menu (it includes cheese curds, fried pickles, pretzels with ranch dressing, and frozen pizzas); its low-priced drinks (including $1 “mystery shots”); its “cool” and “friendly” bartenders (according to Yelp); and the fact that it’s the place to go when you don’t want to be (Yelp again) “creeped out by the low lives of downtown, but don’t want to drink in these boring places where people have name tags and company logos all over their clothing.”

Source: Courtesy of Harbor inn via Facebook

Ohio: Harbor Inn Café
> City: Cleveland

Reviewers on Yelp like this West Bank dive bar – one of the oldest bars in Cleveland – for its “nautical and rather outdated” décor; “friendly bartender [and] friendlier patrons,” and “the history, the vibe, the thorough beer list and the low price tag.” Advice from one Yelper from the ‘burbs: “Take 15 people here, drink a lot of beer and play darts. Don’t overthink it, you’ll hurt yourself.”

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