10 Best Dive Bars in New York, 2013 Edition

Categories: Our 10 Best

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Sarah Sellers
Tip-Top Bar and Grill
It's always Christmas at Bed-Stuy's Tip-Top, where twinkling lights and tinsel line the ceilings, even though the windows are reinforced with iron bars. For 30 years, it operated as an after-hours spot without a license. But a go-ahead from the State Liquor Authority hasn't watered down the mixed drinks, made with just a few splashes of soda. Tip-Top is in the basement of a townhouse, and only a buzzer will get you through the locked doors. 432 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn

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Voice Places
Holland Bar
MTA workers and Port Authority stragglers stop by the Hell's Kitchen bar. Regulars have been coming to Holland Bar since 1944, though some were scared it wouldn't reopen after a six-month closure in 2008 when the landlord raised the rent. The doors open at 8 a.m. and soon after, folks fill up the stools under a giant neon sign that spells out "Holland" in script. Though the ashes of a past bartender no longer rest in peace behind the bar -- a casualty of the 2008 shutter -- pints are still $2.50, and the bathroom door is more often than not held together by duct tape. 532 Ninth Ave.


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Voice Places
Jimmy's Corner
Tourists are rare at this boxing shrine, even though it's smack in the middle of Times Square. Fight posters, news clippings, and giant photos of Muhammad Ali line the walls. If you're lucky, Jimmy Glenn himself might make you a signature Hurricane with spiced rum, cranberry juice, grenadine, and amaretto while slinging stories about his days as a boxing coach. Some say Jimmy's is the only reason to go to Times Square, perhaps because it's a tiny oasis in the center of New York's craziest commotion. 140 W. 44th St.

Don't see you favorite dive bar on this list? Tell us what we missed in the comments, or tweet with the hashtag #VVdivebars. Then keep an eye out for a readers'-favorites edition next time around.

@jessgood

Location Info

Map

Sophie's

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

Category: Music

Goodbye Blue Monday

1087 Broadway, 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


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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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