The Best Dive Bars in Brooklyn

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Three Jolly Pigeons
6802 Third Avenue, Bay Ridge
When we started drinking here 10 years ago, the crowd was mostly older—what you’d expect at a dive. Then we started bringing our friends, and they brought their friends, and soon enough the median age had dropped 10 or 20 years. Claiming to be one of the oldest bars in Brooklyn, this spot has changed a lot over the years—gone is the lunch counter, and the speakeasy-era buzzers in the back room (that’s what those are, right?) don’t work—especially after a fire in the 90s destroyed the front area. It was rebuilt to look much nicer than it appears in a tax photograph from the 80s, with large windows in front that let in streaks of dusty sunlight during mornings and afternoons, when they show the horse races on a back TV screen. Marvel at the extant details—the tin ceiling, the stained-glass atop the men’s room, the astounding woodwork—while enjoying some of the least expensive drinks in the borough as you sit at the bar with not a few stalwart elderly regulars.


  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.


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