New York City Dive Bar Guide

A Pleasantly Tall Order

Biting off a task as gargantuan as visiting and documenting every New York City dive bar is inherently an iterative pursuit. This space and these reviews will evolve over time as the slow march across many boroughs worth of dive bars takes place, but even at this early juncture, it’s clear and perhaps obvious that the dive bar standard is high in New York.

Mapping out the multitude of options as you can see below shows a handful of concentrations where the conditions have been ripe over the years for dive bar growth. The East Village (and close friend Ukrainian Village) is one of those hot spots, home to McSorley’s Old Ale House, one of the no-brainer kings of New York dive bars. The sawdust on the floors, the 1854 heritage, the beer options of “light” or “dark,” McSorley’s compelling attributes run deep. Blue & Gold Tavern, Cherry Tavern, the walking-distance options for great dive drinking in the East Village are plentiful.

Elsewhere, a giant porcelain pig and free hot dogs on a gas station-style roller behind the bar provide a strong lure to Rudy’s further uptown. In the shadow of MSG, Billymark’s West resembles a hollow blue cube that just happens to serve High Life and looks to have been assembled about 100 years ago. And there are dozens upon dozens of great neighborhood drinking options in between. Look for this space to evolve as the real work begins, dive bar drinking our way across New York.

New York City Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

McSorley's Old Ale House

There are few dive bar kings quite like McSorley's, where the beer options are "light" and "dark."
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Rudy's

Hard to miss with the name of the bar etched in the door and a giant plastic pig out front.
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Blue & Gold Tavern

The historical half-library heart of Ukrainian Village's dive bar drinking scene.
Review Rating: 9 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Doc Holliday's

If handwritten signs with a touch of vulgarity are your thing, have I got the dive bar for you.
Review Rating: 9 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Billymark's West

Drinking High Life in a small blue box that may or may not have functioning doors is a good time.
Review Rating: 8 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Cherry Tavern

There's something about soundproof foam on the ceiling that adds to the dive bar aura here.
Review Rating: 8 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

International Bar

A little bit of a neighborhood dive bar mullet, look for clean drinking in the front, graffiti out back.
Review Rating: 7 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Sophie's

It's not often a dive bar features giant bay windows and, gasp, sunshine, but Sophie's pulls it off.
Review Rating: 6 of 10

New York City Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Bed-Stuy

Tip Top Bar & Grill

432 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Google Map

Cobble Hill

Montero Bar & Grill

73 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Google Map

East Village

Double Down Saloon

14 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

East Village

Lucy's

135 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

Gravesend

Homestretch Pub

214 Kings Hwy
Brooklyn, NY 11223
Google Map

Greenwich Village

Johnny's Bar

90 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
Google Map

Greenwich Village

Kettle of Fish

59 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
Google Map

Knightsbridge

The Punch Bowl

5820 Broadway
Bronx, NY 10463
Google Map

Lower East Side

Clockwork Bar

21 Essex St
New York, NY 10002
Google Map

Lower East Side

Welcome to the Johnsons

123 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
Google Map

Midtown

Jimmy's Corner

140 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036
Google Map

Midtown

Strangelove

229 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022
Google Map

Nolita

Milano's Bar

51 E Houston St
New York, NY 10012
Google Map

Red Hook

Sunny's Bar

253 Conover St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Google Map

South Bronx

Glacken's Bar & Grill

135 E 149th St
Bronx, NY 10451
Google Map

Sunset Park

Irish Haven

5721 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Google Map

Tribeca

Nancy Whiskey Pub

1 Lispenard St
New York, NY 10013
Google Map

Tribeca

Patriot Saloon

110 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007
Google Map

Upper West Side

Dublin House

225 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024
Google Map

Williamsburg

Bushwick Country Club

618 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Google Map

Williamsburg

Duff's

168 Marcy Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

7B Horseshoe Bar

108 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

American Trash

1471 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10075
Google Map

Blue Ruin

538 9th Ave
New York, NY 10018
Google Map

Boat

175 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Google Map

Boiler Room

86 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003
Google Map

Brooklyn Ice House

318 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Google Map

Canal Bar

270 3rd Ave # A
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Google Map

Capri Social Club

156 Calyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Google Map

Cherry Tavern

441 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

Connolly's

155 Cross Bay Pkwy
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
Google Map

Denny's Pub

106 Beverley Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Google Map

Do or Dive Bar

1108 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Google Map

Farrell's Bar & Grill

215 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Google Map

High Dive

243 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Google Map

Holland Bar

532 9th Ave
New York, NY 10018
Google Map

Iggy's

1452 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10021
Google Map

Jeremy's Ale House

228 Front St
New York, NY 10038
Google Map

Liedy's Shore Inn

748 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301
Google Map

Lucky 13 Saloon

644 Sackett St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Google Map

McKenna's Pub

250 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011
Google Map

Mother Pug's Saloon

1371 Forest Ave
Staten Island, NY 10302
Google Map

Nassau Bar

118 Nassau St
New York, NY 10038
Google Map

Otto's Shurnken Head

538 E 14th St
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

Paradise Alley

4109 150th St
Flushing, NY 11355
Google Map

Parkside Lounge

317 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
Google Map

Reif's Bar

302 E 92nd St
New York, NY 10128
Google Map

Sophie's

507 E 5th St
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

Spring Lounge

48 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
Google Map

Subway Inn

1140 2nd Ave #8504
New York, NY 10065
Google Map

The Alibi

570 Kimball Ave
Yonkers, NY 10704
Google Map

The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge

543 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018
Google Map

The Jar Bar

45-06 48th Ave
Queens, NY 11377
Google Map

The Library

7 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
Google Map

Trailer Park Lounge

271 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
Google Map

Winnie's Bar

58 E Broadway 2nd fl
New York, NY 10002
Google Map

WXOU Radio

558 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
Google Map

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