The Best Dive Bars in Brooklyn

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.

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  1. “There are very few actual ‘dive bars’ left in most of Brooklyn”

    “Most” might be a bit of a stretch. I’m sure there are bars in Canarsie, Flatbush, Bensonhurst, Brownsville, Marine Park, and they aren’t fancy places either.

  2. I didn’t see a fairly new bar called American Cheez (which they are listed on Yelp as a dive bar) on your list. Is the age of a bar required to be considered a “dive bar”? American Cheez is far from being fancy. I think your reporter should check it out. 🙂 I love the place. To me it’s a great neighborhood bar when you can even run into some of the same people and the bartender buys back which is very rare these days.

  3. nope. wrong. they are all terrible, but especially the Soccer, the Haven, the Pigeon, RnB, Shenanigans, and Denny’s. Really, really terrible. Stay away.

    obvious joke is obvious, but really. don’t come.

  4. Love the list of Bars, but you left a few off of your list. Bullseye Sports Pub in Marine park.
    Every Sunday they have free hot food for their patrons, every major holiday is celebrated with a huge party, thirteen tvs and a jumbo screen for any game you’d like, they play host to the Gotham dart leagues, soft ball teams and even sponsor children’s sports teams.
    Every couple of months the Bar hosts a NYHC music lineup for it’s musical patrons, every Christmas a comedy show with well known comedians is put on for free as a gift to the patrons of the Bar. Toys for tots drives, charity drives for individuals and for entire community’s are done whenever they are needed.
    I know that you’ve done your research on the bars that are featured, and that they are all great in their own way. Next time just take a look at a couple more.