Special Report

Best Dive Bar in Every State

Source: Courtesy of merchantcircle.com

Alabama: Snapper’s Lounge
> City: Orange Beach

The unique feature at this no-frills beach dive, in a Gulf Coast town just across Perdido Bay from Florida, is a weathered 25-foot-long shuffleboard table, said to be half a century old. Beer is the usual tipple here, though simple mixed drinks are available.

Source: Courtesy of Julie A. via Yelp

Alaska: Sourdough Cocktail Bar
> City: Ketchikan

This Ketchikan institution, a classic fisherman’s bar favored by locals, is known for its friendly bartenders and its selection of Alaska-brewed beer. The walls are covered with photos of historic local shipwrecks, perhaps an oblique reminder to take an Uber home.

Source: Courtesy of Isabella J. via Yelp

Arizona: Bay Horse Tavern
> City: Tucson

The illuminated head of retired Bud Light mascot Spuds MacKenzie looks out over the bar above a cooler filled with “Important Beers” at this Tucson standby, praised by Yelp reviewers for its “sharp, funny bartenders,” “great prices on drinks,” and “small patio for smoking with a TV.” “What a dump!” wrote another Yelper, adding, “I mean that in a good way.”

Source: Courtesy of Dive Bar Shirt Club Z. via Yelp

Arkansas: Midtown Billiards
> City: Little Rock

Yelp comments include “Worse bar I’ve ever been to,” “[D]on’t think you’ll leave without a layer of grease on your clothes,” and “[Y]ou get hassled at the door, insulted by the staff, and hustled by the low rent meth head[s]…who camp out on the only two…pool tables.” In other words, it’s the perfect dive bar. And on the plus side, other Yelpers do say things like “Fantastic place,” “a delicious burger and staff,” and “This is as real as it gets.”

Source: Courtesy of David B. via Yelp

California: Zeitgeist
> City: San Francisco

A Mission District bar and beer garden, Zeitgeist is famous for its Bloody Marys and its outdoor seating area (now limited in capacity and with social distancing enforced). Aficionados might question whether a true dive would have 22 beers on tap, as this one does, but Thrillist described it as “biker-friendly/everyone-else-not-that-friendly,” which helps solidify its dive bar credentials. Most San Francisco bars are currently closed, but those that serve food, like Zeitgeist, may operate outdoors and for takeout.