To assemble this list of the best dive bar in every state, 24/7 Tempo began by consulting ratings and reviews of establishments identifying themselves as dive bars, in whole or in part, on Yelp. Many of these were disqualified because they were primarily restaurants, sports bars, or chain operations, or because they were judged editorially to lack essential dive bar characteristics. (Some dive bars on this list have low Yelp scores, because the things reviewers criticize are sometimes the things that define good dive bars, like surly service or dingy atmosphere.)
We also consulted numerous roundups of dive bars, ranked and otherwise, from a variety of websites, including those of Thrillist, Eater, Tasting Table, Foursquare, Complex, Mental Floss, The Daily Meal, and Trekbible, as well as numerous local and regional sites and both websites and Facebook pages belonging to some of the bars under consideration.
Most quotes were taken from reviews by Yelp users.