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The back bar filled with whiskey bottles at the Righteous Room in Atlanta, GA. The Righteous Room

18 Dive Bars for a Low-Key Evening in Atlanta

No reservations, no pricey menu, no dressing up

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Dive bars offer more than budget drinks and a small cast of colorful regulars. These low-key establishments also offer respite from the daily grind and crowds who often frequent the city’s trendier (and overpopulated) watering holes. It’s hard to beat a dive bar on some nights. Sometimes all one really wants is to relax solo with a good book or with a group of good friends and to escape the frenetic pace of life with loaded nachos and wings paired with a cold beer, rum and Coke, or a well shot.

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Mr C’s Bar & Grill

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Located on Howell Mill Road across from the post office, this longtime dive bar serves cheap pitchers of beer and includes a working jukebox, jokes and words of “wisdom” on its sign out front, and an always colorful cast of characters.

Northside Tavern

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Few Atlanta bars are as iconic (or regularly serve as a filming location for movies and TV shows) than this westside Atlanta haunt. Despite explosive growth along this portion of Howell Mill Road, Northside Tavern endures and continues to be the spot for shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and blues music into the wee hours of the morning. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings, too.

Elliott Street Deli & Pub

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The tiny Elliott Street Pub has been a tried-and-true neighborhood gathering spot in Castleberry Hill for over 15 years now. The bar, housed in a former 1870s carriage house, serves up some of Atlanta’s best sandwiches, too. Elliott Street is a low-key, no-frills kind of place, perfect for a pre- and post-game drink for fans attending games at the nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Philips Arena or for a chill weekday evening after work.

Eleventh Street Pub

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Surrounded by an ever-growing population of shiny new high rises, Eleventh Street Pub keeps it casual and low key in Midtown for those seeking good old fashioned pub grub, including wings, burgers, and bowls of PEI mussels and fries, cold beer, and sports on the TV. The lengthy beer list here is a healthy mix of craft and dive bar classics.

Five Paces Inn

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Open since 1955, head to this dive bar institution in Buckhead to watch sports and sip on cold beers or a budget-friendly cocktail. Five Paces can become a standing-room-only affair the later it gets, especially on the weekends when the DJs are spinning. Weekday evenings are generally quieter and filled with local residents.

Red Door Tavern

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Red Door Tavern has been part of the Buckhead bar scene for nearly 20 years now. In 2019, the bar added a 1980s-inspired arcade adjacent to the main entrance. Arcadia features classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, Tekken, and Galaga, murals of old school game characters like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers, and a floor consisting of 180,000 pennies. Pull up for beer, cocktails, and sports on the televisions.

Elbow Room

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For almost 25 years now, Elbow Room has been a neighborhood gathering spot for beer, pool, and darts while watching a few games on the bar’s many televisions. Pub food abounds here, including wings and burgers, as well as the popular stromboli, beer-battered onion rings, and garlic cheese breadsticks.

Smith's Olde Bar

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The iconic Midtown dive bar and music venue located on Piedmont Avenue is always ready for those seeking drinks, dancing, and a live show nearly every night. Make sure to head here for football on the weekends, too.

The Highlander

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The Highlander in the heart of Midtown has been open for nearly three decades now. And those claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene” are absolutely true. Head here for classic bar food (order the tater tots), cold beers, generously poured shots, and no pretense. The people watching is hard to beat, too.

Jack's Pizza & Wings

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Jack’s has been a staple in the Old Fourth Ward for years, serving classic pizzas and jumbo slices, like the Hangover topped with bacon, tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, and jalapenos, and baskets of oven-baked wings. Head to this dive bar for great beer-and-a-shot combo deals.

97 Estoria

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This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both inside and outside on the tree-covered patio. There’s even a fire pit or two in the parking lot for huddling around on cold evenings. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood hangout.

The Local

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Filled with gritty dive bar charm, the Local is often a gathering spot for local residents throughout the week and those cruising Ponce on the weekends. This bar features a dart board, trivia nights, karaoke, and serves some of Atlanta’s best wings in flavors like tikka masala and spicy Korean BBQ. Share baskets of wings with a pitcher of cold beer with good friends for a solid evening in Atlanta.

The Righteous Room

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This Poncey-Highland dive bar is a popular post-shift spot for many of Atlanta’s bartenders and restaurant industry workers, so it must be doing something right. There’s also an outpost in Brookhaven on Johnson Ferry Road. Order the Fatty Grilled Cheese made with American cheese and topped with tomatoes and sunflowers sprouts grilled between two thick pieces of Texas toast.

Tacos, loaded nachos, and burritos paired with cold beer in a dive bar? That’s what Little Five Points dive bar Elmyr is serving up nightly next to the Variety Playhouse on Euclid. And it all totally hits the spot.

Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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A change of ownership hasn’t destroyed the vibe or the food at this Little Five Points dive bar institution. It’s still a favorite among locals gathering for drinks and bites after work as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene on the weekends. Order a cold beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping Brunswick stew, chowing down on jumbo wings, and munching on tater tots. The people watching here can’t be beat.

The EARL

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This East Atlanta Village dive bar is known for hosting a wide and eclectic range of alternative and underground bands on its stage. Most tickets for shows here are $20 or under. The Earl also includes a full bar and menu of pub food, including a couple of Atlanta’s finest burgers and its “Irish Nachos” — tater tots atop nacho chips covered in chili, cheese, lettuce, salsa, jalapeños, and sour cream.

The Rusty Nail Pub

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This dive bills itself as “the South’s version of Cheers.” While that statement may or may not be true, the Rusty Nail’s distinct ambiance and drinks specials on Buford Highway never seem to disappoint locals or visitors to Atlanta. Make sure to check the schedule for team trivia nights here, too. There’s also a location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

Trackside Tavern

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This neighborhood bar is a Decatur mainstay. For those in need of a cold beer and dive bar ambiance, Trackside’s list of domestics on tap goes above and beyond, as does its chill atmosphere. As for food, expect smoked wings, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, and sausages served with chili and a side of collards on the menu here.

Mr C’s Bar & Grill

Located on Howell Mill Road across from the post office, this longtime dive bar serves cheap pitchers of beer and includes a working jukebox, jokes and words of “wisdom” on its sign out front, and an always colorful cast of characters.

Northside Tavern

Few Atlanta bars are as iconic (or regularly serve as a filming location for movies and TV shows) than this westside Atlanta haunt. Despite explosive growth along this portion of Howell Mill Road, Northside Tavern endures and continues to be the spot for shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and blues music into the wee hours of the morning. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings, too.

Elliott Street Deli & Pub

The tiny Elliott Street Pub has been a tried-and-true neighborhood gathering spot in Castleberry Hill for over 15 years now. The bar, housed in a former 1870s carriage house, serves up some of Atlanta’s best sandwiches, too. Elliott Street is a low-key, no-frills kind of place, perfect for a pre- and post-game drink for fans attending games at the nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Philips Arena or for a chill weekday evening after work.

Eleventh Street Pub

Surrounded by an ever-growing population of shiny new high rises, Eleventh Street Pub keeps it casual and low key in Midtown for those seeking good old fashioned pub grub, including wings, burgers, and bowls of PEI mussels and fries, cold beer, and sports on the TV. The lengthy beer list here is a healthy mix of craft and dive bar classics.

Five Paces Inn

Open since 1955, head to this dive bar institution in Buckhead to watch sports and sip on cold beers or a budget-friendly cocktail. Five Paces can become a standing-room-only affair the later it gets, especially on the weekends when the DJs are spinning. Weekday evenings are generally quieter and filled with local residents.

Red Door Tavern

Red Door Tavern has been part of the Buckhead bar scene for nearly 20 years now. In 2019, the bar added a 1980s-inspired arcade adjacent to the main entrance. Arcadia features classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, Tekken, and Galaga, murals of old school game characters like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers, and a floor consisting of 180,000 pennies. Pull up for beer, cocktails, and sports on the televisions.

Elbow Room

For almost 25 years now, Elbow Room has been a neighborhood gathering spot for beer, pool, and darts while watching a few games on the bar’s many televisions. Pub food abounds here, including wings and burgers, as well as the popular stromboli, beer-battered onion rings, and garlic cheese breadsticks.

Smith's Olde Bar

The iconic Midtown dive bar and music venue located on Piedmont Avenue is always ready for those seeking drinks, dancing, and a live show nearly every night. Make sure to head here for football on the weekends, too.

The Highlander

The Highlander in the heart of Midtown has been open for nearly three decades now. And those claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene” are absolutely true. Head here for classic bar food (order the tater tots), cold beers, generously poured shots, and no pretense. The people watching is hard to beat, too.

Jack's Pizza & Wings

Jack’s has been a staple in the Old Fourth Ward for years, serving classic pizzas and jumbo slices, like the Hangover topped with bacon, tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, and jalapenos, and baskets of oven-baked wings. Head to this dive bar for great beer-and-a-shot combo deals.

97 Estoria

This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both inside and outside on the tree-covered patio. There’s even a fire pit or two in the parking lot for huddling around on cold evenings. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood hangout.

The Local

Filled with gritty dive bar charm, the Local is often a gathering spot for local residents throughout the week and those cruising Ponce on the weekends. This bar features a dart board, trivia nights, karaoke, and serves some of Atlanta’s best wings in flavors like tikka masala and spicy Korean BBQ. Share baskets of wings with a pitcher of cold beer with good friends for a solid evening in Atlanta.

The Righteous Room

This Poncey-Highland dive bar is a popular post-shift spot for many of Atlanta’s bartenders and restaurant industry workers, so it must be doing something right. There’s also an outpost in Brookhaven on Johnson Ferry Road. Order the Fatty Grilled Cheese made with American cheese and topped with tomatoes and sunflowers sprouts grilled between two thick pieces of Texas toast.

Elmyr

Tacos, loaded nachos, and burritos paired with cold beer in a dive bar? That’s what Little Five Points dive bar Elmyr is serving up nightly next to the Variety Playhouse on Euclid. And it all totally hits the spot.

Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

A change of ownership hasn’t destroyed the vibe or the food at this Little Five Points dive bar institution. It’s still a favorite among locals gathering for drinks and bites after work as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene on the weekends. Order a cold beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping Brunswick stew, chowing down on jumbo wings, and munching on tater tots. The people watching here can’t be beat.

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The EARL

This East Atlanta Village dive bar is known for hosting a wide and eclectic range of alternative and underground bands on its stage. Most tickets for shows here are $20 or under. The Earl also includes a full bar and menu of pub food, including a couple of Atlanta’s finest burgers and its “Irish Nachos” — tater tots atop nacho chips covered in chili, cheese, lettuce, salsa, jalapeños, and sour cream.

The Rusty Nail Pub

This dive bills itself as “the South’s version of Cheers.” While that statement may or may not be true, the Rusty Nail’s distinct ambiance and drinks specials on Buford Highway never seem to disappoint locals or visitors to Atlanta. Make sure to check the schedule for team trivia nights here, too. There’s also a location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

Trackside Tavern

This neighborhood bar is a Decatur mainstay. For those in need of a cold beer and dive bar ambiance, Trackside’s list of domestics on tap goes above and beyond, as does its chill atmosphere. As for food, expect smoked wings, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, and sausages served with chili and a side of collards on the menu here.

Related Maps