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Northside Tavern.
Northside Tavern.
Photo: MGTTH

Eight of Atlanta's Most Iconic Dive Bars

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Northside Tavern.
| Photo: MGTTH

Let's be real: dive bars are pretty polarizing conversation topic. Is an establishment too mainstream? Too overrun with former frat boys who miss their college days? Not grungy enough, only grungy in an ironic way— the list goes on, and the categorical boundaries remain fluid. To get some clarification, we polled the masses and put together a guide to Atlanta's iconic dive bars. Not the most popular or the hidden gems, but the ones that have helped define, in some way or another, what the term truly means in this city. Don't agree? Rep other bars in the comments or visit the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 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, Euclid Avenue Yacht Club "seems to never change" and is "truly under the radar." Smoking is allowed, of course, and the bar happens to be the only "yacht club" in landlocked Atlanta.

2. Northside Tavern

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1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 874-8745
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Northside Tavern is dirty, smoky, and has live music every night. It's across the street from the not-at-all divey Westside Provisions District and is completely unpretentious. Notes: There's a cover, and the bathrooms should be avoided.

3. Clermont Lounge

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789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-4783
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What is there to say about the Clermont Lounge that hasn't been said before? Most recently, it was described as a "dive bar with senior citizen strippers." Anthony Bourdain also swung by when he was filming the Layover in Atlanta— and got a picture with the infamous Blondie.

4. Manuel's Tavern

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602 N. Highland Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 525-3447
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Manuel's Tavern is many things, including a gathering place for people of the blue persuasion to watch debates during election season. It's got an old-school ambiance, its own Poncey-Highland parking lot, and "embodies the classic neighborhood bar."

5. The Highlander

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931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-0060
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At The Highlander, the food is good, the atmosphere is dark and grungy, smoking is allowed, and the service is hit or miss. What more could you ask for in a dive bar?

6. Rusty Nail

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2900 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 634-6306
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The Rusty Nail has been around for almost 40 years and is "the last of a dying breed of bar food style pubs," according to one Yelpster. It, like so many other places on this list, is very smoky but has good food. Bonus: Get 5% off the bill if you pay in cash.

7. Moe's and Joe's Tavern

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1033 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 873-6090
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Moe's and Joe's has been open since 1947. It may often be overrun with the polo shirt crowd these days, but it's the diviest place in Virginia Highland and has made quite a name for itself over the years.

8. The Earl

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488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 522-3950
There's a band room and a restaurant section to the Earl, so you can go to check out the live music or to grab a burger and some cheap beer. This East Atlanta institution has only been open since 1999 but feels like its been around for much longer.

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1. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Located in Little Five Points, Euclid Avenue Yacht Club "seems to never change" and is "truly under the radar." 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

2. Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Northside Tavern is dirty, smoky, and has live music every night. It's across the street from the not-at-all divey Westside Provisions District and is completely unpretentious. Notes: There's a cover, and the bathrooms should be avoided.
1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

3. Clermont Lounge

789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
What is there to say about the Clermont Lounge that hasn't been said before? Most recently, it was described as a "dive bar with senior citizen strippers." Anthony Bourdain also swung by when he was filming the Layover in Atlanta— and got a picture with the infamous Blondie.
789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

4. Manuel's Tavern

602 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Manuel's Tavern is many things, including a gathering place for people of the blue persuasion to watch debates during election season. It's got an old-school ambiance, its own Poncey-Highland parking lot, and "embodies the classic neighborhood bar."
602 N. Highland Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

5. The Highlander

931 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
At The Highlander, the food is good, the atmosphere is dark and grungy, smoking is allowed, and the service is hit or miss. What more could you ask for in a dive bar?
931 Monroe Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

6. Rusty Nail

2900 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
The Rusty Nail has been around for almost 40 years and is "the last of a dying breed of bar food style pubs," according to one Yelpster. It, like so many other places on this list, is very smoky but has good food. Bonus: Get 5% off the bill if you pay in cash.
2900 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

7. Moe's and Joe's Tavern

1033 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Moe's and Joe's has been open since 1947. It may often be overrun with the polo shirt crowd these days, but it's the diviest place in Virginia Highland and has made quite a name for itself over the years.
1033 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

8. The Earl

488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
There's a band room and a restaurant section to the Earl, so you can go to check out the live music or to grab a burger and some cheap beer. This East Atlanta institution has only been open since 1999 but feels like its been around for much longer.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

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