12 Dives You Must Visit Before You Die

We’ve all got friends in low places. These places are so low, you’ve just got to go. Brought to you by Game of Arms, Tuesdays at 10|9c on AMC.

1. Gruene Dance Hall – Gruene, TX

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Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas. The biggest country acts in history have graced its antique wooden stage.

2. 5 Point Cafe & Bar – Seattle, WA

This bar is all about tradition. That’s why they banned Google Glass before the frames became available to the public. But beware: They’ve been “cheating tourists-n-drunks since 1929.”

3. Rudy’s Bar & Grill – Hell’s Kitchen, NY

flickr4jazz / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 9341577@N08

Two things make this dive a must-visit: 1) Cheap beer, and 2) Free hot dogs with every beer purchase. And by “hot dogs,” we mean as many as you can eat.

4. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar – Philadelphia, PA

jaredeberhardt / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: jaredeberhardt

You gotta respect a bar that opens at 7 a.m. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar has it all: the history, the atmosphere, and the friendly owner and bar staff. Come thirsty, and party like it’s your birthday.

5. Santa’s Pub – Nashville, TN

Cheap drinks and cheaper entertainment — and, oh yeah, it’s in a double-wide. The karaoke at this Nashville establishment lasts ‘til 3 a.m. and is almost as deplorable as the bar’s theme.

6. Christina’s Place – Chicago, IL

Guinness costs only $3 a pint, and the bar is open until 4 a.m. daily (and 5 a.m. on Saturday nights). This is the dive bar Chicago was destined to produce.

7. The Tam – Boston, MA

mreid1166 / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: mikereid

Visit this Boston staple for drinks of Irish-level strength as well as an erotic photo hunt. As an added bonus, you can bring your own food inside. Word to the wise: It’s cash only, so make sure to take out a $20 (or two) from an ATM beforehand.

8. Yamhill Pub – Portland, OR

Nicknamed “The Yamhole,” this Portland watering hole is just about as divey as they come. Crotchety regulars, graffiti in layers like a debauched Italian fresco, and drinks that could take the paint off of a boat. It doesn’t get any more awesomely worse.

9. The Happy Burro Chili & Beer – Beatty, NV

Dane Bjorklund / BuzzFeed

With a bar wide enough to fit three patrons snug, and a spicy bean chili famous across the state, the Happy Burro is the perfect pit stop for travelers looking to kick back and chat with locals — and kick back a few cold ones, of course.

10. Zeitgeist – San Francisco, CA

Jeff Turner / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: respres

San Francisco’s got more than a handful of great dive bars to choose from, but Zeitgeist’s enormous backyard, great (cheap) beer selection, and awesome (also cheap) burgers make it the winner for us.

11. Zog’s Pool – Chapel Hill, NC

Our friend who recommended that we check out Zog’s described it as “basically some post-apocalyptic-looking dive that seriously must break every fire code in existence, yet still manages to stay open” — and we’ll leave it at that.

12. Nye’s Polonaise – Minneapolis, MN

Alix McAlpine / BuzzFeed

Walking into Nye’s feels like walking through a time machine, or onto the set of a Twin Peaks episode. An old-school restaurant and piano lounge on one side and an old-fashioned dive bar with booths where you’ll often find polka bands playing on the other, this place has a little bit of something for everyone.

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