Drinker’s Tavern (address and info)
With a murderer's row of bars in the area, the one true dive bar that sticks out in Old City is Drinker’s. Those claiming that Khyber Pass is a dive bar are fooling themselves; dive bars aren’t stocked with a beer selection that includes Bayerischer Banhof Leipziger. Drinker’s, however, is the quintessential dive -- a place where you go to drink, often times hard. It serves 40s, cheap draft beer, and boozy huggie bombs (for the nostalgic). And like any dive bar, the food is pretty good as long as it’s swimming in buffalo sauce.
Locust Rendezvous (address and info)
While the popular choice in the area might be McGlinchey's, hear us out on the reasons why Locust Rendezvous is the top dive bar in the neighborhood. When evaluating a dive, you have to consider food (almost everything is fried), the drinks (it has $2 beers and $2.50 shot specials), and ambiance (perfect mix of younger people, locals, and surly regulars). Going to the 'Vous is like hooking up with someone who’s a nine at night and a two in the morning. Great in the moment, terrible decision the next day.
Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar (address and info)
At Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, everybody might not know your name, but they will give you a free birthday-cake shot on your birthday, complete with a candle. On days when it isn’t the anniversary of the hardest day of your mom’s life, Ray’s is your typical South Philly dive. You can even still smoke at Ray’s, which is either the greatest thing on Earth or a serious annoyance (where you fall on the scale is, not surprisingly, tied to your alcohol consumption).