Best Dive Bars

Coolstuff Team
August 18, 2023

One of the great things about New York is that we have a TON of great dives. And for you, our loyal readers, is the long awaited, much requested, well deserved: guide to our favorite dive bars in NEW! YORK! C!TY! Pull up a chair, order a beer, and leave ur espresso “martini” at the door. 

Sunny’s Bar

Red Hook, Brooklyn

For: live music on the edge of the world. This cash-only gem in Red Hook really does have genuinely great music - from our favorite Jazz singer, Tamar Korn, to an open-to-all Bluegrass Jam every Sunday.

Gowanus Yacht Club

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

For: THE local’s spot. This seasonal outdoor bar actually lies beyond the borders of Gowanus, but that doesn’t really matter. To all of the regulars who probably hate us for sharing this spot, we’re really sorry, but we mean well <3

The Johnson’s

Bushwick, Brooklyn

For: some of the cheapest beer in town. We can’t remember the name of the beer they serve, but we’re pretty sure it’s still $2 and can, and it definitely tastes like beer. If that’s not your thing, they also have a great frozen drink and sling top-tier burgers from Strange Flavor all night long.


Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn 

For: Bocce ball and beer flights. Don’t worry, a beer flight here isn’t a few 2oz pours of heavy IPA’s - at Floyd, a few bucks will get you an ice-filled bucket of cheap beers from around the country.

Image credit: On The Grid


Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn 

For: Karaoke in an old sailor’s bar. After you miss Mariah’s high notes, you can cheer yourself up with another beer and a bag of chips.

Brooklyn Inn

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

For: taking a step back in time. Brooklyn Inn is kind of the perfect bar. Yes they have a pool table, but they can also make a mean Negroni. Everything a bar should be, and nothing it shouldn’t

Ear Inn

West SoHo, Manhattan

For: of all the dives on this list, Ear Inn is the most likely to have a good martini. For the record, we haven’t had one here, but that should give you a solid read of the place.


Lower East Side, Manhattan

For: a Red Stripe and a scene! This LES hot-spot even takes over a good chunk of E. Canal during open streets so you can sip your bevvy al fresco to the sounds of failed kickflips

169 Bar

Lower East Side, Manhattan

For: a cajun oasis a stone’s throw away from the madness of Le Dive. Bonus points for serving Genny Cream - if you know, you know.

Old Town

Flatiron, Manhattan 

For: a dive you can take your boss to. Old Town almost borders on not a dive bar, but in the end it’s warm and worn wooden bar and lively atmosphere put it into the dive camp in the best way possible. Don’t skip on the burger here!

Honorable Mentions:

Jimmy’s CornerMinnows BarSpring LoungeCommon MolliesHartley’s Dominie's HoekBiddy’s PubNancy Whiskey PubKettle of FishOntario BarTemkin’sCapri Social Club Pete’s Candy StoreUnion PoolThree Diamond DoorThe Last CallGreenwich TreehouseWXOUCanal Bar