Food & Drink

The Best Dive Bar in 13 Philly 'Hoods

Published On 04/27/2015 Published On 04/27/2015
Flickr/Kurt Komoda
The El Bar
Bob & Barbara's Lounge
Cresson Inn Manayunk
Flickr/Jukie Bot
Drinker's Philly
Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. The Dive Bar 947 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

With sweet deals (classic citywide special -- $3 PBR & cheap whiskey!) and free pizza during happy hour, this is a pretty legit dive bar. The owners allow smoking in the evenings too.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Oscar's Tavern 1524 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Just a few blocks from City Hall, Oscar’s is in the perfect location for anyone who works in the heart of town. The 23-ounce Yuenglings for $3.25, good bar food, and year-round Christmas lights make this cash-only bar look like a scene from that weird Ryan Gosling movie. Be sure to build up that liquid courage before braving the bathrooms.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. The Green Room 1940 Green St, Philadelphia, PA 19130

With dim lighting and the smack of pool balls colliding through the night, a typical night at the Green Room could easily be confused for a scene out of The Color of Money, sans Tom Cruise. Assuming you haven’t been hustled out of all your drinking money for the night, Green Room offers a pretty expansive beer list for your local dive (15 on tap). Depending on the night, it may or may not be crowded, but there will always be a waiting list at those tables.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. El Bar 1356 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Convientely located just one stop under the El, this chill Kensington dive bar has live music, great specials -- like $3 for PBR and shot of Heaven Hill -- and a backyard area. Cash only.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Bob & Barbara's Cocktail Lounge 1509 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

Bob & Barbara's Cocktail Lounge is more of a gritty dive than the name suggests. It's been serving the thirsty Philly community since 1969, and its cheap and dirty brand of fun hasn't lost its charm. Pocket pleasing specials, like a nearly free shot of Jim Beam with a can of PBR keep the floors sticky, while a diverse crowd packs into the tight space for weekly live performances, from punk to jazz. No night is more wild than Thursday, as lineups of lip-synching drag hit the bar, presided over by the beloved local trans icon Miss Lisa. Bring singles for tipping.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Cresson Inn 114 Gay St, Philadelphia, PA 19127

The Cresson Inn is known as the "Five star dive bar" and that's all you need to know.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. The Handle Bar 1102 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

You may feel out of place at first if you're not a union worker looking to throw darts with another union worker. But if you need a little more convincing, The Handle Bar is the best option in NoLibs if you’re looking for cheap drinks, a laid-back vibe, and the occasional conversation with bartender Chalk or one of the many regulars.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Tattooed Mom 530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Inexpensive beer that isn't PBR?! This South Street dive bar has got that plus great food and bumper cart seating. Yes, bumper cart seating.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Fiume 229 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Tucked above University City Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia, Fiume brilliantly executes the concept of a speakeasy by embracing its inner dive bar. Christmas lights illuminate a chalkboard listing of the bar’s extensive beer selection, and you’ll be sure to find some unique bottles you’ve never heard of. Philadelphians who trek from all over the city to Fiume don’t mind that the prices are slightly above average or that there are only six stools at the bar and a handful of tables. And even though the place is so miniscule that you’ll wonder just how the live Bluegrass band managed to squeeze both its members and instruments inside, you too will want to come time and time again.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Drinker's Tavern 124 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Locust Rendezvous 1415 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Locust Rendezvous has been kickin' it since 1989 and offers up some great changing weekly specials for booze. What else could you ask for at a bar?

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Ray's Happy Birthday Bar 1200 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Dirty Frank's 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Dirty Frank's got everything you need to get the job done, cheap pitchers, darts and Mrs. Pac Man.