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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.

Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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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.

Northside Tavern

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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.

Clermont Lounge

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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.

Manuel's Tavern

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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."

The Highlander

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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?

Rusty Nail

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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.

Moe's and Joe's Tavern

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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.

The Earl

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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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Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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.

Northside Tavern

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.

Clermont Lounge

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.

Manuel's Tavern

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."

The Highlander

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?

Rusty Nail

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.

Moe's and Joe's Tavern

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.

The Earl

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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