10 Best Dive Bars in New York, 2013 Edition

Categories: Our 10 Best

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Everyone has a favorite dive bar. The best ones are cheap, sticky, and unpretentious, with questionable bathrooms and a rogues' gallery of regulars. They make perfect spots to talk to strangers, get in fights, or bury a broken heart. Some of the greatest holes-in-the-wall have been shuttered -- Mars Bar is a thing of the past and beloved Sunny's in Red Hook is still struggling to reopen after Hurricane Sandy (though it raised over $30,000 from Kickstarter donations). But instead of mourning, we can keep the city's dive bar culture alive by drinking. Here are ten places to start.

See Also: Our 2010 Cover Story on New York's Best Dive Bars

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Voice Places
Horseshoe Bar
Through an arched door on Avenue B is a bar that goes by three names: Horseshoe, 7B, or Vazacs. Customers can start ordering signature Bloody Marys at noon; come nighttime, the pinball machines whiz while regulars line up at the coveted Big Buck Hunter machine. Order a "Dude" shot -- Mountain Dew-flavored vodka -- and cue up Motörhead on the jukebox. 108 Ave. B


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Village Voice
Sophie's
Sophie's got press when Anthony Bourdain stopped by on an episode of No Reservations. But the ol' gal didn't let the publicity get to her head. Instead, the barest bar in the glitzified East Village did nothing. No watermelon garnish. No craft brews. Just a bunch of almost-broken bar stools, a pool table, and cheap drinks. 507 E. 5th St.






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Creative Commons via Bitchcakes
Turkey's Nest Tavern
Far away -- at least in spirit -- from Williamsburg's artisanal everything, Turkey's Nest is a no-frills slice of Bedford Avenue where absinthe margaritas and beer are served in giant Styrofoam cups. The sticky floor is a testament to just how many sloshed cups runneth over. In summer, McCarren Park's kickball players can be found sipping on discounted $1 PBRs. 94 Bedford Ave.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Sophie's

509 E. 5th St., New York, NY

Category: Music

Goodbye Blue Monday

1087 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

Palace Cafe

206 Nassau Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

Red Hook Bait and Tackle

320 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

Coal Yard

102 1st Ave., New York, NY

Category: Music

Jimmy's Corner

140 W. 44th St., New York, NY

Category: Music

Horseshoe Bar

108 Ave. B, New York, NY

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
blah2
blah2

love Goodbye Blue Monday but it's not really a dive bar.

scatwood
scatwood

Kelly's Sports Bar on Avenue A.

Mocs
Mocs

Does NYC begin with Midtown and end in Brooklyn? You guys totally missed Inwood which hell, invented the corner bar back when the hood was off the boat Irish (sadly while most are gone...some do remain). And in usual fashion the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island were all forgotten.

archer
archer

How could you miss the Ding Dong? Also, the Bronx is not represented and that's a shame. Too many Brooklyn hipster spots... 

Trisha See
Trisha See

Yes , I'd say you did miss some .

Emanuel W Olff
Emanuel W Olff

You missed a few but to advertise them would lead to my disbarment...

Alvin Setzepfandt
Alvin Setzepfandt

Is McSorley's Ale still around? Was there in the mid-60s. Probably not considered a dive but I think, at the time, the oldest ale house in U.S.

Linda Rizzo
Linda Rizzo

Yes - The Ding Dong Lounge is the coolest and darkest dive bar and still alive and kicking!!!

eseftel
eseftel

Ding Dong Lounge, fer chrissakes!  Great music, cool bartenders, dark, NO TVs!


Binkconn
Binkconn

@Alvin Setzepfandt I brought my uncle there and they treated him like shit. Someone should burn that place down.

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