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Northside Tavern.
Northside Tavern.
Stephen Talkovich

10 Atlanta Dive Bars for All Your Valentine's Day Needs

Because not everyone wants roses, chocolate, and champagne

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Northside Tavern.
| Stephen Talkovich

Valentine's Day — aka Black Tuesday for those who are single or not into the mushy, romantic celebrations — is here. Restaurants will be packed with couples batting their eyelashes and dining on overpriced prix fixe meals. If that thought is repulsive, perhaps a visit to one of Atlanta's fine dive bars is in order.

Atlanta's drinking scene has plenty of options where one can find a classic cocktail in a nice setting. But, those bars may be filled with couples celebrating on V-Day. These watering holes will be devoid of all things romance, and no one is going to ask about any flowers or chocolates.

The following 10 bars are mapped north to south and are not ranked. But, they're all great options for a casual drink any time of the year, not only on Valentine's Day. Don't see your favorite spot? Show it some love in the comments or shoot an email to the Eater Atlanta tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Rusty Nail

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2900 Buford Hwy NE, Brookhaven
GA, 30329
(404) 634-6306
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The team behind this Buford Highway dive — there's also a Roswell location — likes to bill it as "the South's version of Cheers." Different drink specials are available throughout the week, including 16 ounce cans of PBR for $2.50 on Tuesdays.

2. Smith's Olde Bar

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1578 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 875-1522
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There was some concern the iconic dive and music venue was headed to the chopping block, but those fears have passed. Whether a live show in the Music Room or drinks in the Bar Room are in order, Smith's is a winner.

3. Northside Tavern

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1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 874-8745
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This Westside hole-in-the-wall offers live music every night. Nathan Nelson will be blasting the tunes this Tuesday evening.

4. The Highlander

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931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-0060
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The Highlander opened in 1992, and it claims to be "a fixture of Atlanta's late-night party scene." If eating crab legs in a dive bar sounds like a good idea, they're all-you-can-eat on Tuesdays for $27.95 per person.

5. Elmyr Restaurant & Cantina

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1091 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 588-0250
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Elmyr is certainly Atlanta's best smoky dive that also serves nourishing, cheap burritos.

6. Elliott Street Deli & Pub

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51 Elliott St SW
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 523-2174
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Located in Castleberry Hill, Elliott Street offers a nice view of the Downtown skyline from its front door. Don't ask for PBR; the bar serves Miller High Life instead, and the portrait of Frank Zappa will judge you for placing the wrong order.

7. Mr. C's

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1983 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 605-0888
The pitchers are cheap, the jukebox works, and the air is smoky. Isn't that the recipe for a perfect dive?

8. The Righteous Room

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1051 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-0939
This Poncey-Highland dive is a favorite of many local bartenders, so it must be doing something right. There's a Brookhaven outpost as well.

9. Trackside Tavern

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313 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 378-0504
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Like so many bars on this list, this is a neighborhood mainstay. And for those who want more than cheap domestic beers, Trackside's list of brews on tap goes above and beyond what can be found at most dives.

10. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 688-2582
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Located in Little Five Points, the Yacht Club is always full of hard-drinking Atlantans, and it's a good bet before or after a show at Variety Playhouse. Smoking is allowed, of course, and the bar happens to be the only "yacht club" in landlocked Atlanta.

1. Rusty Nail

2900 Buford Hwy NE, Brookhaven, GA, 30329
The team behind this Buford Highway dive — there's also a Roswell location — likes to bill it as "the South's version of Cheers." Different drink specials are available throughout the week, including 16 ounce cans of PBR for $2.50 on Tuesdays.
2900 Buford Hwy NE, Brookhaven
GA, 30329

2. Smith's Olde Bar

1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
There was some concern the iconic dive and music venue was headed to the chopping block, but those fears have passed. Whether a live show in the Music Room or drinks in the Bar Room are in order, Smith's is a winner.
1578 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324

3. Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
This Westside hole-in-the-wall offers live music every night. Nathan Nelson will be blasting the tunes this Tuesday evening.
1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

4. The Highlander

931 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
The Highlander opened in 1992, and it claims to be "a fixture of Atlanta's late-night party scene." If eating crab legs in a dive bar sounds like a good idea, they're all-you-can-eat on Tuesdays for $27.95 per person.
931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

5. Elmyr Restaurant & Cantina

1091 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Elmyr is certainly Atlanta's best smoky dive that also serves nourishing, cheap burritos.
1091 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

6. Elliott Street Deli & Pub

51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Located in Castleberry Hill, Elliott Street offers a nice view of the Downtown skyline from its front door. Don't ask for PBR; the bar serves Miller High Life instead, and the portrait of Frank Zappa will judge you for placing the wrong order.
51 Elliott St SW
Atlanta, GA 30313

7. Mr. C's

1983 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
The pitchers are cheap, the jukebox works, and the air is smoky. Isn't that the recipe for a perfect dive?
1983 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

8. The Righteous Room

1051 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
This Poncey-Highland dive is a favorite of many local bartenders, so it must be doing something right. There's a Brookhaven outpost as well.
1051 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

9. Trackside Tavern

313 E College Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
Like so many bars on this list, this is a neighborhood mainstay. And for those who want more than cheap domestic beers, Trackside's list of brews on tap goes above and beyond what can be found at most dives.
313 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

10. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Located in Little Five Points, the Yacht Club is always full of hard-drinking Atlantans, and it's a good bet before or after a show at Variety Playhouse. Smoking is allowed, of course, and the bar happens to be the only "yacht club" in landlocked Atlanta.
1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

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