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16 Dive Bars Worth Escaping to Around Atlanta

No reservations, no pricey menu, no dressing up

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Dive bars offer more than cheap drinks and a small cast of colorful regulars, they also offer respite from the daily grind and crowds who often frequent the city’s overpopulated and trendy watering holes. These iconic Atlanta dive bars understand that sometimes all one really wants is to relax with pals and escape the frenetic pace of life while snacking on nachos or fries paired with budget-friendly beer.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Red Door Tavern

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3180 Roswell Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 846-6525

Red Door Tavern has been part of the Buckhead bar scene for over 15 years now. In 2019, the dive bar added a 1980s-inspired arcade to its mix 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.

2. Five Paces Inn

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41 Irby Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 365-0777

Open since 1955, head to this iconic dive bar in Buckhead to watch sports (especially if you’re a UGA fan,) sip cheap beers, and do a few shots. 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. Open Monday - Saturday until 2:30 a.m.

3. Elbow Room

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248 Pharr Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 231-3308
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For over 21 years, 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.

4. The Rusty Nail Pub

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2900 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 634-6306
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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 drink specials never seem to disappoint.

5. Mr C’s Bar & Grill

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1983 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 605-0888

Located on Howell Mill Road across from the post office, this smoky dive bar serves cheap pitchers and includes a working jukebox and a colorful cast of characters.

6. Smith's Olde Bar

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1578 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 875-1522
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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.

7. Northside Tavern

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1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 874-8745
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This iconic Westside haunt is so much more than drinks. It’s a blues dive bar serving up shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and live music into the wee hours of the night. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings.

8. The Highlander

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931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-0060
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The Highlander in the heart of Midtown has been open for 26 years and claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene.” Head here for classic bar food (order the tater tots), cheap beer, generously poured shots, and no pretense.

9. The Local

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758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 873-5002
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What could be better than karaoke in a dive bar? The Local, just east of Midtown, is full of classic dive bar charm with its rather rough interiors and lighted patio. In addition to karaoke, the bar includes a dart board, trivia nights, plenty of pitchers of cheap beer, and solid bar food, including its hot wings.

10. The Righteous Room

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1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-0939
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This Poncey-Highland dive bar is a popular post-shift spot for many of Atlanta’s bartenders, so it must be doing something right. There’s also an outpost in Brookhaven on Johnson Ferry Road.

11. Trackside Tavern

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313 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 378-0504
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This neighborhood bar is a Decatur mainstay. For those in need of cheap beer and dive-y ambiance, Trackside’s list of domestics on tap goes above and beyond, as does its atmosphere.

12. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 688-2582
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After over 30 years, EAYC is still a favorite among locals gathering for drinks and bites after work, as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene. Order a cheap canned beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping Brunswick stew and munching on tater tots. The people-watching here can’t be beat.

13. Elmyr

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1091 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 588-0250
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Just down from EAYC in Little Five Points next to the Variety Playhouse, Elmyr might not offer the best tacos in town, but tacos in a dive bar paired with PBR totally hits the spot.

14. Elliott Street Deli & Pub

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51 Elliott St SW
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 523-2174
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The tiny Elliott Street Pub has been a tried-and-true neighborhood gathering spot in Castleberry Hill for the last 13 years. 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. Owners and brothers Mike and Pete Jakob recently put this beloved bar up for sale, much to the dismay of residents and regulars.

15. 97 Estoria

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727 Wylie St SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 522-0966
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This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both indoors and outside on the tree-covered patio. It’s especially nice on warm evenings while lingering with friends. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood spot.

16. The EARL

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488 Flat Shoals Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 522-3950
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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 well under $20. 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.

1. Red Door Tavern

3180 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305

Red Door Tavern has been part of the Buckhead bar scene for over 15 years now. In 2019, the dive bar added a 1980s-inspired arcade to its mix 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.

3180 Roswell Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305

2. Five Paces Inn

41 Irby Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

Open since 1955, head to this iconic dive bar in Buckhead to watch sports (especially if you’re a UGA fan,) sip cheap beers, and do a few shots. 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. Open Monday - Saturday until 2:30 a.m.

41 Irby Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

3. Elbow Room

248 Pharr Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

For over 21 years, 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.

248 Pharr Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

4. The Rusty Nail Pub

2900 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

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 drink specials never seem to disappoint.

2900 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

5. Mr C’s Bar & Grill

1983 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Located on Howell Mill Road across from the post office, this smoky dive bar serves cheap pitchers and includes a working jukebox and a colorful cast of characters.

1983 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

6. Smith's Olde Bar

1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

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.

1578 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30324

7. Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

This iconic Westside haunt is so much more than drinks. It’s a blues dive bar serving up shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and live music into the wee hours of the night. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings.

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

8. The Highlander

931 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

The Highlander in the heart of Midtown has been open for 26 years and claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene.” Head here for classic bar food (order the tater tots), cheap beer, generously poured shots, and no pretense.

931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

9. The Local

758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

What could be better than karaoke in a dive bar? The Local, just east of Midtown, is full of classic dive bar charm with its rather rough interiors and lighted patio. In addition to karaoke, the bar includes a dart board, trivia nights, plenty of pitchers of cheap beer, and solid bar food, including its hot wings.

758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

10. The Righteous Room

1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

This Poncey-Highland dive bar is a popular post-shift spot for many of Atlanta’s bartenders, so it must be doing something right. There’s also an outpost in Brookhaven on Johnson Ferry Road.

1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

11. Trackside Tavern

313 E College Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

This neighborhood bar is a Decatur mainstay. For those in need of cheap beer and dive-y ambiance, Trackside’s list of domestics on tap goes above and beyond, as does its atmosphere.

313 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

12. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

After over 30 years, EAYC is still a favorite among locals gathering for drinks and bites after work, as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene. Order a cheap canned beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping Brunswick stew and munching on tater tots. The people-watching here can’t be beat.

1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

13. Elmyr

1091 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Just down from EAYC in Little Five Points next to the Variety Playhouse, Elmyr might not offer the best tacos in town, but tacos in a dive bar paired with PBR totally hits the spot.

1091 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

14. Elliott Street Deli & Pub

51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313

The tiny Elliott Street Pub has been a tried-and-true neighborhood gathering spot in Castleberry Hill for the last 13 years. 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. Owners and brothers Mike and Pete Jakob recently put this beloved bar up for sale, much to the dismay of residents and regulars.

51 Elliott St SW
Atlanta, GA 30313

15. 97 Estoria

727 Wylie St SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both indoors and outside on the tree-covered patio. It’s especially nice on warm evenings while lingering with friends. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood spot.

727 Wylie St SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

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16. The EARL

488 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

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 well under $20. 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.

488 Flat Shoals Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

Related Maps