The Best Dive Bars in Brooklyn

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There are very few actual “dive bars” left in most of Brooklyn—like, legitimately grimy taverns that you’d feel uncomfortable entering because of shady dealings and an aura of hostility. So we’ve taken to calling places that are actually kind of nice “dives” just because they’re old, what might more accurately be called a “neighborhood bar,” what a generation or two ago was just called a “bar”: a place where locals congregate all nights of the week to swig bottles of Bud and knock back cheap well drinks, where a bartender might even buy you back a drink even if he doesn’t know you, as long as you’re not an asshole—places where you can meet up with friends, strangers who became friends through drinking, or just be by yourself to watch a muted baseball game or listen to classic-rock radio. Here are our 12 favorite such places, from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge.