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Northside Tavern on Howell Mill Road Northside Tavern

You Can’t Beat the Dive Vibes at These Atlanta Bars

No reservations, no pricey menu, no dressing up, and absolutely no BS tolerated

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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 the buzzy crowds who often frequent the city’s trendier, 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 friends and 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, words of “wisdom” on a 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 here.

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 real 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.

Ideal Sportsbar

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For four decades now, this Lakewood bar has been a comfortable neighborhood spot for winding down and a gathering place for sports fans. Grab some wings, tater tots, and beer (or a stiff drink) and shoot some pool while taking in a game or two on the TVs here.

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.

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 to football on the weekends.

The Independent

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This low-key hangout in Virginia-Highland is relaxed and built around billiards. It’s rare to see an empty pool table most evenings, especially on the weekends when friends and strangers alike gather around tables to shoot a round or two. As for food, find everything from burgers and fried chicken sandwiches to brats made from local meat purveyor Fripper’s and hand pies by Atlanta pop-up Heaps ATL.

97 Estoria

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This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both inside and outside on the tree-covered deck and patio beside the building. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood hangout for years now.

Chaplins Bar and Grill

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Despite an ownership change in 2022, this divey spot known for karaoke continues to be a local gathering place in downtown Roswell. Expect cold tallboys of PBR and shot specials paired with bar food standards of wings, chicken tenders, and hot dogs, along with Chaplin’s popular chopped cheese garnished with onions, peppers, and melted cheese served on hoagie roll. Weekend brunch here features a double smash burger topped with a fried egg and biscuits and gravy.

The Local

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Filled with gritty dive bar charm, the Local is a gathering spot for locals 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. With its future no longer in question, and with renovations completed and service tweaked to keep up with chicken wing demand, this treasured dive bar is prepped for its next chapter on Ponce.

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. 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 Star Community Bar

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Housed in a former bank on Moreland, and after undergoing a change of ownership and avoiding (for now) the possibility of closure due to development, the divey Star Bar is alive and well still slinging drinks and hosting live shows and music ranging from funk to punk in Little Five Points. There’s even a shrine to Elvis hidden away in one of the former bank vaults.

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.

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, words of “wisdom” on a 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 here.

Eleventh Street Pub

Surrounded by an ever-growing population of shiny new high rises, Eleventh Street Pub keeps it casual and real 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.

Ideal Sportsbar

For four decades now, this Lakewood bar has been a comfortable neighborhood spot for winding down and a gathering place for sports fans. Grab some wings, tater tots, and beer (or a stiff drink) and shoot some pool while taking in a game or two on the TVs here.

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.

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 to football on the weekends.

The Independent

This low-key hangout in Virginia-Highland is relaxed and built around billiards. It’s rare to see an empty pool table most evenings, especially on the weekends when friends and strangers alike gather around tables to shoot a round or two. As for food, find everything from burgers and fried chicken sandwiches to brats made from local meat purveyor Fripper’s and hand pies by Atlanta pop-up Heaps ATL.

97 Estoria

This chill dive bar in Cabbagetown offers plenty of seating both inside and outside on the tree-covered deck and patio beside the building. Beer, wine, cocktails, Fernet shots, and classic bar food have all made 97 Estoria a popular neighborhood hangout for years now.

Chaplins Bar and Grill

Despite an ownership change in 2022, this divey spot known for karaoke continues to be a local gathering place in downtown Roswell. Expect cold tallboys of PBR and shot specials paired with bar food standards of wings, chicken tenders, and hot dogs, along with Chaplin’s popular chopped cheese garnished with onions, peppers, and melted cheese served on hoagie roll. Weekend brunch here features a double smash burger topped with a fried egg and biscuits and gravy.

The Local

Filled with gritty dive bar charm, the Local is a gathering spot for locals 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. With its future no longer in question, and with renovations completed and service tweaked to keep up with chicken wing demand, this treasured dive bar is prepped for its next chapter on Ponce.

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. 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.

The Star Community Bar

Housed in a former bank on Moreland, and after undergoing a change of ownership and avoiding (for now) the possibility of closure due to development, the divey Star Bar is alive and well still slinging drinks and hosting live shows and music ranging from funk to punk in Little Five Points. There’s even a shrine to Elvis hidden away in one of the former bank vaults.

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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.

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