The Best Dive Bars in Brooklyn

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Smith’s Tavern
440 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
Since Jackie’s 5th Amendment closed last year (RIP, old friend), this Park Slope stalwart has been eyed as its natural successor, even though they have a habit of kicking out the old-timers Jackie’s always welcomed with open arms. It’s right down the block, for one thing, and is another no-frills spot to down bottles of Bud and watch the game, a relative rarity in the ever-gentrifying bar scene that surrounds it. (Before Jackie’s we lost Timboo’s, before that O’Connor’s, before that Snooky’s. Sigh.) For all but the staunchest regulars, Smith’s is less welcoming than the hear-no-evil-see-no-evil haven that was Jackie’s, but they’ve earned the right to be. Anyway, they’ve got darts, a solid jukebox, dirt-cheap drinks, and a hilariously polarized Yelp page full of loving raves from regulars and angry tirades from newcomers who feel they’ve been snubbed by the bartenders. (“I’ll take the ‘hipster’ spot that serves people with respect any day of the week.”) Seems to us they must be doing something right.


  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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