Top 10 Dive Bars in NYC

New York City is known to drive up their drink prices to ridiculous heights (I bitterly paid $14 for a Stella last weekend…really?).  Fortunately though, the city is full of sticky, oddball, and sometimes questionable (but fun!) dive bars that have affordable drinks and free/cheap bar food. 

1.  Crocodile Lounge – Craft beers, photo booth, skee ball, and free pizza.  Beer’s range from $3-5, drinks a few dollars more.  With every drink you’ll get a blue ticket which can be exchanged for a free pizza.  Pizza is decent (after a few drinks).

325 E 14th St, New York, NY

2.  Alligator Lounge – Brooklyn’s version of Crocodile Lounge.  Free pizza, affordable drinks, karaoke, trivia, photo booth, bingo, live DJ’s, and of course, cheap drinks.

600 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY

3.  169 Bar –  Definitely wins the award for dive bar with the most character (pirate/island/dinosaur themed decor, soap in bathrooms are in Sriracha bottles,  obscenities written in dry erase markers are all over the toilet seats, you can text your order to the bartender).  Cheap drinks. Party atmosphere.  Weirdly good dumplings, and other cheap eats.

169 E Broadway, New York, NY

4. McSorley’s Old Ale House – Arguably the oldest bar in NYC (no one really knows, but it definitely looks the part. Walls are covered in historic pictures and floors are covered with sawdust).  Cheap eats are as divey as it gets ($3 for an unopened sleeve of Saltines with a plate of cheese and raw onions).  Beers are always two for the price of one ($5.50), which can’t be beat, but there’s only two options: light or dark.

15 E 7th St, New York, NY

5.  Rudy’s Bar & Grill – Free hot dogs if you’re brave enough.  Beer is $3 pint/$10 pitcher.  Outdoor patio.  Decor is unique to say the least (seats and booths are held together by the force of duct tape).  Really down to earth crowd.  No frills.

627 9th Ave, New York, NY

6.  Old Man Hustle – Small, but cozy atmosphere.  Beers go from $6-8.  The owner is big on entertainment so there’s free stand up comedy, live music, poetry slams, and other events every night.

39 Essex Street, New York, NY

7.  Holland Bar – Very small space, but extremely cheap pints.  Outside sign just reads “BAR”, which illustrates the no frills factor of the place.  Great bar for a cheap afternoon beer (complete with entertainment from the regular drunks that have had better days).

523 Ninth Ave, New York, NY

8. Horseshoe Bar (better known as 7b) – This one’s for the real drinkers.  The bartenders want to get you drunk and it’ll be easy to do with their cheap drinks and $5 tall boys.  The bar is complete with Buck Hunter, pin ball machines, and a juke box.  Everything is sticky.  Tip: Avoid the bathrooms.

108 Ave B, New York, NY

9.  Jimmy’s Corner – Walls are lined with boxing memorabilia, pictures, and posters from Jimmy’s professional boxing training days (look for the photo of him with Muhammad Ali).  Super casual bar with $3 beers and $3.50 vodka sodas.

140 West 44th Street, New York, NY

10.  The Library – Definitely go during happy hour (5-8pm) when drinks are two for one (2 pints of beer for $5!)  Good crowd and plenty of seating.  Quirky ambiance with books messily stacked on shelves and cult movies projected on the back wall.

7 Ave A, New York, NY

What are your favorite dives in NYC?

20 thoughts on “Top 10 Dive Bars in NYC

  1. I can’t wait to check these places out when I visit again. The last time I was in NYC I went to the Pig and Whistle in Manhattan and the bartender had such a thick Irish accent I could barely understand him but it just added to the atmosphere, especially with the vintage “no Irish need apply” sign hanging behind the bar!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have hung out a bit at the Bronx Beer Hall, in the Bronx Little Italy area, 2341 Arthur Ave. Bx, NY. It is actually in the Arthur Ave Market in the middle island. Very cute, local craft beers, microbeers. Beers are cheap and good. Food is a bit uppity.

    Fair disclosure, they are advertising in the rag I write for, Bronx edition, see


    1. I love Arthur Ave! Palombo and Dominick’s are two of my favorites, but I haven’t heard of Bronx Beer Hall. I’m definitely going to check it out next time I’m over there! Thanks for the tip!


  3. Ah brings back great memories of a few beers enjoyed in Jimmy’s. Just me, my girl and one or two others and the place was practically ”full”. Keep up the good work and thanks for being among the first people to like a Leighton Literature post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barcelona Bar in Hell’s Kitchen is a really unique dive bar. It’s tiny, unassuming, and completely unpretentious. It’s primarily a shots bar, and they have a huge menu of unique shots, many of which involve props or some kind of performance aspect. Most go for the Harry Potter Shot. Really fun little place.

    Liked by 1 person

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