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A Local’s Guide to the Best Dive Bars in New York City

Dive bars are a staple in the New York City nightlife scene, offering a laid-back atmosphere and cheap drinks. But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect dive bar for your evening out. That’s where this local’s guide comes in. From neighborhood fixtures to hidden gems, these are the best dive bars in New York City according to a true local.



1. Jimmy’s Corner – Best Dive Bars in New York

Best Dive Bars in New York

Jimmy’s Corner is a historic dive bar in Midtown West that reopened in October of last year after being closed for over a year. It is known for its charisma and neat pours, as well as its lack of cocktails and fine wine.


2. Sunny’s

Sunny’s is a highly regarded dive bar located in Red Hook. It has a cozy interior, a small back patio, and friendly proprietors. Sunny’s has a reputation for being a dual-state bar, able to satisfy both dive bar and overall bar enthusiasts.


3. Montero’s Bar and Grill

Montero’s Bar and Grill is a sports bar in Brooklyn Heights that is known for its G&Ts in plastic cups, karaoke, and kooky vibes. It has been unchanged in design for many years and is a little pricier than some other options.


4. Spring Lounge – Best Dive Bars in New York

Best Dive Bars in New York

Spring Lounge, colloquially known as Shark Bar, is a dive bar located in the Nolita neighborhood of New York City. It is open from 8am six days a week (10am on Sundays) and allows customers to bring in outside food. The wood-lined space has a cozy, unvarnished atmosphere and offers a range of drinks, including beer, shots, rosé, sparkling white wine, and seasonal specials. It also has an outdoor seating area with beachy umbrellas.


5. 169 Bar

169 Bar located in the Two Bridges neighborhood, is a dive bar with a distinctive yellow outdoor seating area and potted plants. Inside, it is dimly lit and offers a range of drinks and snacks, including oysters. It is open late and is a popular destination for those in need of a little hair of the dog after a night of partying.



6. Brooklyn Ice House – Best Dive Bars in New York

Brooklyn Ice House is a dive bar and beer bar located in the Red Hook neighborhood of New York City. It has a gritty, dive bar atmosphere in the front and a sunny backyard in the back. Customers can order from the chalkboard menu and enjoy drinks and snacks, including cheeseburgers, in the well-worn banquettes. The backyard is a popular spot to spend the day and evening with friends, enjoying rounds of pints.


7. Lucy’s

Located in the East Village, Lucy’s is a dive bar with a long history in the neighborhood. Its owner, Ludwika Mickevicius, has been running the bar and its pool tables, juke box, and taps for many years. It’s a casual and unpretentious spot, perfect for a low-key night out with friends.


8. Canal Bar – Best Dive Bars in New York

Located in Gowanus, Canal Bar is a classic dive bar with a laid-back atmosphere. It has a pool table, jukebox, and a selection of beers and cocktails. The bar also frequently hosts live music, making it a great spot for music lovers.


9. Black & White

Best Dive Bars in New York

Located in the East Village, Black & White is a dive bar with a long history in the neighborhood. It’s a small, cozy spot with a friendly atmosphere and a jukebox stocked with a wide range of music. The bar also serves a selection of beers and cocktails.


10. The Bowery Electric

Located in the Lower East Side, The Bowery Electric is a dive bar and music venue. It has a relaxed atmosphere and a diverse selection of music, with live performances ranging from indie rock to punk to electronic. The bar also serves a range of beers, cocktails, and other drinks.


11. The Bourgeois Pig – Best Dive Bars in New York

This cozy Lower East Side dive bar is known for its extensive selection of wine and beer, as well as its cheese plates and other small plates. It’s a casual spot with a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing drink.


12. The Galway Hooker

Best Dive Bars in New York

The Galway Hooker is a true dive bar, with all the trappings of a classic watering hole. It’s dark, cramped, and has a no-frills atmosphere. It’s the kind of place where you can just sit and relax with a cheap beer, and not have to worry about anyone judging you. The bar is named after the traditional fishing boats of Galway, Ireland, and the decor reflects this theme, with nautical accents and fishing nets hanging from the ceiling. The bar also has a small outdoor area, where you can sit and enjoy a drink in the warmer months.


Conclusion – Best Dive Bars in New York

If you’re looking for a laid-back, no-frills atmosphere to enjoy a drink or two, then these dive bars are the perfect spot. Whether you’re a New Yorker or just visiting the city, these hidden gems are a must-try. And if you’re looking to book a spot at any of these bars for a special occasion, don’t hesitate to reach out to the bar staff to make arrangements. They’ll be happy to help you plan the perfect night out.


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