20 Best Dive Bars in Philadelphia in 2020
October 12, 2020
As any lively city, Philadelphia has shiny new establishments opening across the city – even in a post-COVID world. But if you’re looking for a more casual vibe or inexpensive drinks, checking out one of Philadelphia’s many dive bars could be just what the doctor ordered.
These dive bars have stood the test of time, sticking to what they know works rather than springing for flashy attractions or shiny new decor.
If any city knows dive bars, it’s Philadelphia. Just ask the patrons at the city’s most famous (and fictitious) dive bar, Paddy’s Pub.
20 Best Philly Dive Bars in 2020
- Bob & Barbara’s Lounge
- El Bar
- Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar
- Oscar’s Tavern
- 12 Steps Down
- McKusker’s Tavern
- Tattooed Mom
- Las Vegas Lounge
- Locust Bar
- Hilltown Tavern
- The Dive Bar
- Lucky 13 Pub
- Dirty Frank’s
- Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar
- Locust Rendezvous
- Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap
- The Monkey Club
20 Best Dive Bars in Philadelphia
If you’re in search of a fun and easygoing dive bar in Philadelphia, we’ve put together a list of the top 20.
1. Bob & Barbara’s Lounge
Where: 1509 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Bob & Barbara’s is a classic dive that has been around since 1969. It’s the home of the often imitated Citywide Special: a PBR Tallboy and a Jim Beam Shot for just $3. This place is welcoming and big on fun with live music on weekends and Philly’s longest running drag show.
**Currently open with limited indoor seating/weather-dependent outdoor seating
2. El Bar
Where: 1356 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
This Fishtown bar is named for Philly’s Elevated Market-Frankford train and sits just below The El. This dive bar is cash only and offers arcade games, weekly live music, and the Citywide Special.
**Due to Covid-19 offering only outdoor seating under the temporary name: Lil’ Mo’s Backyard Bar
3. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar
Where: 1200 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147
This family-owned neighborhood dive opened in 1938. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar has cover-free karaoke nights every Friday, weekly live music, and a deck right under the train tracks.
**Open with limited indoor seating as well as outdoor seating as weather permits.
Where: Upstairs Bar, 229 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Perched above Ethiopian restaurant, Abyssinia, Fiume offers a younger, hipsterish atmosphere with a large selection of beers (over 150) and whiskey. Fiume’s drinks are a bit pricier than the average dive, and the space can seem a bit tiny, but the beer selection and speakeasy vibe make it a fantastic spot to check out.
**Temporarily Closed due to COVID-19
Where: 2732 E Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134
This dive bar is situated in Little Poland offers Friday night karaoke, a full menu of homemade polish food, and a warm, welcoming feel. Donna’s posts patron birthday photos to their facebook page and offers a frozen version of their homemade pierogies to go!
6. Oscar’s Tavern
Where: 1524 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
This dive has been known as a place for people of all walks of life to come together since it opened in 1972. Oscar’s Tavern has a tight-knit staff and a friendly atmosphere that could make anyone feel at home. This dive bar has great cheesesteak sandwiches and is cash only. Happy hour is from 4-6PM daily.
**Open for outdoor sweating and take-out due to COVID-19
7. 12 Steps Down
Where: 831 Christian St., Philadelphia PA, 19147
12 Steps Down is a basement dive bar in the Italian Market Neighborhood. The name is a play on the 12 steps of AA, and the bar offers weekly karaoke, trivia, and a full menu of bar food. Their drink menu features big name beers plus plenty of craft and spirit options.
**Currently only providing outdoor seating due to COVID-19
Where: 2201 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19146
This is a laid back neighborhood bar with truly divey vibes and cheap drinks. The owner, Patti Brett, is a huge David Bowie fan, and her bar’s decor lets you know. Doobies even served as the hub for Philly Loves David Bowie Week, which was started by Brett, herself. Doobies has plenty of board games and regular Quizzo game nights. Happy hour is 5-7PM Monday through Friday.
**Takeout only due to COVID-19. Offering to-go cocktails, bottles, cans, and growlers.
9. McKusker’s Tavern
Where: 2601 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
This South Philly staple has been around for over 50 years. They closed their kitchen a couple of years ago, but allow patrons to bring in their own takeout! Beloved by sports fans, this family-owned dive bar is worth a visit for its eclectic decor.
Don’t see your dive bar on the list? Contact us with your tavern’s info to be added!
10. Tattooed Mom
Where: 530 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tattooed Mom has a cool atmosphere with pool tables and an upstairs art gallery space. Their full menu is vegan and vegetarian friendly. Stop by to enjoy their community events, a variety of beers, and specialty cocktails.
**Due to COVID-19, this bar is now only open for outdoor dining, curbside pickup, and local delivery.
11. Las Vegas Lounge
Where: 704 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This dive is a bit newer – opened in 2001. Las Vegas Lounge serves huge 20 oz. draft beers and a wide variety of other drinks including seasonal craft beers and signature cocktails. This bar has a full food menu and pool tables. Happy hour is 5-7PM every Friday.
12. Locust Bar
Where: 235 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Locust bar has a divey atmosphere and a friendly staff. Check out Locust Bar for Sunday karaoke, reasonably priced drinks, and a menu full of tempting apps.
**Open with limitation due to COVID-19, takeout is available.
13. Hilltown Tavern
Where: 326 Roxborough Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128
This dive bar doubles as an Irish Pub, offering a wide selection of drinks, a menu including cheesesteak spring rolls, and weekend brunch. This spot is family and pet friendly and provides a rotating variety of rotating seasonal craft beers. Happy hour week days from 4:30-6:30 PM.
**Outdoor and limited indoor seating currently open.
14. The Dive Bar
Where: 947 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147
This dog-friendly dive bar also has a smoking floor (after 7pm) and allows patrons to bring in their own food. This spot offers the Citywide special and happy hour from 5-7 PM every day of the week.
15. Lucky 13 Pub
Where: 1820 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Lucky 13 Pub provides bargoers with a fun atmosphere and a wide variety of beer and spirits. They’re big on old school music and have a full menu of yummy bar food.
16. Dirty Frank's
Where: 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
This dive bar is truly for people of all backgrounds to enjoy a drink, catch a game, or throw some darts. Dirty Franks is BYOF (bring your own food), cash only, and they allow dogs inside the bar.
**Currently open for sidewalk drinking and to-go cocktails.
17. Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar
Where: 1503 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Established in 1975 in Passyunk Square, Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar opens daily at 7 AM. This dive bar is cash only and is a great place to grab a cheap drink. Their Citywide Special is $5 for a Miller Highlife and a shot of Evan Williams.
18. Locust Rendezvous
Where: 1415 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Locust Rendezvous is a spot for everybody. They have weekday lunch specials, weekend brunch, and Quizzo games every week.
19. Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap
Where: 1301 E Susquehanna Ave Philadelphia, PA 19125
This corner bar in Fishtown serves up Thai food, karaoke, and cheesesteaks in addition to good, cheap beer. Les & Doreen’s has been a neighborhood staple for over thirty years, but the establishment itself has been a bar for well over one hundred.
20. The Monkey Club
Where: 2101 E York St, Philadelphia, PA 19125
This dive bar opened just a few years ago, in 2015, but has quickly become a notable dive bar in Philadelphia. The Monkey Club has cheap drinks, a game room, and regular drink specials.
**Upstairs game room is currently open for rented time slots, takeout available due to COVID-19
Don’t see your dive bar on the list? Contact us with your tavern’s info to be added!
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