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A woman bartender pours up liquor in a margarita at a dive bar. Dirty Frank’s

The Downright Best Philly Dive Bars

When all that matters is a Citywide and a basket of fries

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For some, going out to drink at a bar is a special occasion that calls for a craft cocktail list and a trendy locale. This map is not for those people. These are the places to go with a few friends, or even on a low-key date, for shots, beers, unpretentious wine, loud conversation, and charmingly surly bartenders. These are Philly's chillest, come-as-you-are bars.

Tie one on with the mix of characters and cheap drinks that are standard at Philly's essential dive bars.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

McMenamin's Tavern

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A visit to McMenamin’s Tavern on Germantown Avenue would be worth it for the fish and chips alone — they’re almost transcendentally good for pub food — but the beer specials and spacious inside and outdoor seating make it a great place for long hangs and groups.

Atlantis the Lost Bar

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Atlantis the Lost Bar has a cool name and, for some bars, that would be enough. But this cash-only Kensington corner joint also has a pool table, rotating drinks specials, bloody marys with elaborate garnishes on Sundays, and chill bartenders.

Cheap, a touch rustic, and with a pleasant courtyard for warmer months, El Bar is a Fishtown staple. Like a lot of spots on this map, it’s cash only.

Oscar's Tavern

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Everybody knows Oscar’s. The always-busy Center City dive attracts all sorts, with the added bonus of booths, beer specials, and filling fried food.

Bar Philadelphia

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This lively dive bar in Center City has a wide array of cocktails, drafts, seltzers, ciders, and more. With a happy hour that has pints and cocktails that range from just $2 to $5.50 — this is the “more bang for your buck” spot.

Locust Rendezvous

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Since 1989, this beloved dive bar has been a crowdpleaser as one of the few Philly dive bars to stay open till 2 am every night. Beyond their impressive beer specials and cocktail options (such as the festive lemonade citywide and slurrp Jello shots), their dining menu (such as their spicy buffalo wings and breakfast ‘til midnight) is top-notch as well.

48 Record Bar

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The newest addition on the map, 48 Record Bar, located above Sassafras in Old City, is a more than just a place to drink — but to enjoy live, eclectic music. Here, local artists shine as great cocktails are being poured — come here for a bar vibe that’s more than just loud TVs, but a musical experience.

McGlinchey's Bar & Grill

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Known for having some of the cheapest cold beer in the city, McGlinchey’s has also garnered a reputation for being one of the divest dive bars around. Come here ready for good time (not a fancy one) and save a spare dollar for their notorious 75-cent hot dogs.

Dirty Frank's

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A Washington Square West staple since 1933, Dirty Frank's and its partially kitschy decor (and sticky floors) attract everyone from punks to artsy types to after-work Center City crowds.

Bob & Barbara's Cocktail Lounge

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The "cocktail lounge" moniker might make Bob and Barbara's seem upscale, but rest assured, this is a tried-and-true dive complete with the original shot-and-a-beer special — best known around these parts as a Citywide — plus weekly drag shows and live music on weekends.

Tattooed Mom

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Easily the most aesthetically wild spot on this map, Tattooed Mom's eye-catching walls are almost wholly covered in graffiti-style art. The decor and soundtrack means Mom’s does verge on falling out of the dive bar category, but its happy hour drinks save it. Also look for nightly food specials and lots of vegan menu options.

12 Steps Down

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12 Steps Down has the benefit of a windowless subterranean location to enhance the dive-y feel. The food — chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, and the like — is surprisingly good,

Ray's Happy Birthday Bar

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Known for its longstanding tradition of giving customers free shots, complete with a candle, on their birthdays, Ray's is both cheerful and definitely a dive. There’s rowdy karaoke every Friday night.

Metal Steve sings Coldplay’s “Yellow” at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar Friday Karaoke with DJ Lars as a crowd of people sing along Natalie Piserchio

McCusker's Tavern

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McCusker's has been a South Philly neighborhood bar of note for more than 50 years, with particular popularity among sports fans. The 1970s-chic decor features wood paneling, baseball memorabilia, and a dartboard.

McMenamin's Tavern

A visit to McMenamin’s Tavern on Germantown Avenue would be worth it for the fish and chips alone — they’re almost transcendentally good for pub food — but the beer specials and spacious inside and outdoor seating make it a great place for long hangs and groups.

Atlantis the Lost Bar

Atlantis the Lost Bar has a cool name and, for some bars, that would be enough. But this cash-only Kensington corner joint also has a pool table, rotating drinks specials, bloody marys with elaborate garnishes on Sundays, and chill bartenders.

El Bar

Cheap, a touch rustic, and with a pleasant courtyard for warmer months, El Bar is a Fishtown staple. Like a lot of spots on this map, it’s cash only.

Oscar's Tavern

Everybody knows Oscar’s. The always-busy Center City dive attracts all sorts, with the added bonus of booths, beer specials, and filling fried food.

Bar Philadelphia

This lively dive bar in Center City has a wide array of cocktails, drafts, seltzers, ciders, and more. With a happy hour that has pints and cocktails that range from just $2 to $5.50 — this is the “more bang for your buck” spot.

Locust Rendezvous

Since 1989, this beloved dive bar has been a crowdpleaser as one of the few Philly dive bars to stay open till 2 am every night. Beyond their impressive beer specials and cocktail options (such as the festive lemonade citywide and slurrp Jello shots), their dining menu (such as their spicy buffalo wings and breakfast ‘til midnight) is top-notch as well.

48 Record Bar

The newest addition on the map, 48 Record Bar, located above Sassafras in Old City, is a more than just a place to drink — but to enjoy live, eclectic music. Here, local artists shine as great cocktails are being poured — come here for a bar vibe that’s more than just loud TVs, but a musical experience.

McGlinchey's Bar & Grill

Known for having some of the cheapest cold beer in the city, McGlinchey’s has also garnered a reputation for being one of the divest dive bars around. Come here ready for good time (not a fancy one) and save a spare dollar for their notorious 75-cent hot dogs.

Dirty Frank's

A Washington Square West staple since 1933, Dirty Frank's and its partially kitschy decor (and sticky floors) attract everyone from punks to artsy types to after-work Center City crowds.

Bob & Barbara's Cocktail Lounge

The "cocktail lounge" moniker might make Bob and Barbara's seem upscale, but rest assured, this is a tried-and-true dive complete with the original shot-and-a-beer special — best known around these parts as a Citywide — plus weekly drag shows and live music on weekends.

Tattooed Mom

Easily the most aesthetically wild spot on this map, Tattooed Mom's eye-catching walls are almost wholly covered in graffiti-style art. The decor and soundtrack means Mom’s does verge on falling out of the dive bar category, but its happy hour drinks save it. Also look for nightly food specials and lots of vegan menu options.

12 Steps Down

12 Steps Down has the benefit of a windowless subterranean location to enhance the dive-y feel. The food — chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, and the like — is surprisingly good,

Ray's Happy Birthday Bar

Known for its longstanding tradition of giving customers free shots, complete with a candle, on their birthdays, Ray's is both cheerful and definitely a dive. There’s rowdy karaoke every Friday night.

Metal Steve sings Coldplay’s “Yellow” at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar Friday Karaoke with DJ Lars as a crowd of people sing along Natalie Piserchio

McCusker's Tavern

McCusker's has been a South Philly neighborhood bar of note for more than 50 years, with particular popularity among sports fans. The 1970s-chic decor features wood paneling, baseball memorabilia, and a dartboard.

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