clock menu more-arrow no yes
Photo: Kelly's Irish Times/Flickr

A Roundup of DC's 16 Iconic Dive Bars

View as Map

The beer's cheap. The food is nothing fancy, and it's probably fried. The decor's a bit messy. Regulars abound. Bartenders are salty. They're DC's dive bars. Though new development, time and the economy have caused some to close their doors, these dive bars keep on serving inexpensive beer and their special style of service to their customers. Mapped here, in no particular order, are DC's 16 Iconic Dive Bars. Disagree? Share your favorites in the comments.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

Copy Link
331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-2725
Visit Website
This bar got a little cleaner and a little classier after a post-fire renovation, but you still can find the taxidermy decorations, cheap beer and all-day breakfast.

2. Bottom Line

Copy Link
1716 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 298-8488
Visit Website
A taco bar. $1 Miller Lites. Tot-chos (tater tots + nachos). That sums up this underground bar in a nutshell.

3. J.V.'s Bar & Restaurant

Copy Link
6666 Arlington Blvd
Providence, Virginia 22042
This dive bar, located in a Falls Church strip mall, is one of the oldest watering holes around. It's known for its live music.

4. Jay's Saloon & Grille

Copy Link
3114 N 10th St
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 527-3093
Visit Website
The ultra-relaxed Jay's, off the beaten path in Clarendon, has an eclectic crowd, cheap beer and cheap food. They'll celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.

5. The Big Hunt

Copy Link
1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 785-2333
Visit Website
Is The Big Hunt a dive bar? A theme bar? A bar trying to be a dive bar? It can be debated, but patrons head to this casual establishment for its beer events, multiple rooms and animal print decor.

6. Raven Grill

Copy Link
3125 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 387-8411
Visit Website
Mount Pleasant's Raven Grill (they don't serve food, despite the name) is one of the oldest bars in DC. It's cheap and its jukebox is well-worn.

7. Red Derby

Copy Link
3718 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 291-5000
Visit Website
Red Derby has a relaxed rooftop, board games and affordable prices. Canned beers, cash only.

8. Galaxy Hut

Copy Link
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
Visit Website
Galaxy Hut may push the limits of the "dive bar" definition (but hey, it's also Arlington). The bar has a stripped down menu of fried fare and serves beer almost exclusively.

9. Recessions

Copy Link
1823 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 296-6686
Visit Website
Oh, Recessions. The basement location. The carpet. The karaoke. The happy hour. The puzzling decor.

10. Fox and Hound

Copy Link
1537 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
This cheap 17th Street bar is known for its generous pours (get a bourbon and ginger ale and you'll get a glass of bourbon with a ginger ale). The inside, with its vinyl booths and salty service, is where Fox and Hound feels most divey.

11. Quarry House Tavern

Copy Link
8401 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-8350
Visit Website
A change in ownership years back upgraded the food at this basement bar. But you can still find a mixed crowd, plenty of whiskey and graffiti-laced bathrooms at this Silver Spring venue.

12. Solly's U Street Tavern

Copy Link
1942 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-6590
Visit Website
Solly's is the hipster answer to the dive bar. The two-floor location recently added a food menu to its offerings. But it's still a place to order a tall boy and play Buck Hunter.

13. Lil Pub

Copy Link
655 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-5526
A possible building sale may put the status of this Capitol Hill bar in jeopardy. But for now, patrons still can head here for a cheap beer, and to chat with the regulars.

14. Kelly's Irish Times

Copy Link
14 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 543-5433
Visit Website
This no-frills Irish bar brings together college students, Hill workers and locals.

15. Dan's Cafe

Copy Link
2315 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-9241
Visit Website
Don't expect anything fancy at this boarded up, casual Adams Morgan destination. Just cheap beer, a very limited liquor selection and a pool table.

16. Toledo Lounge

Copy Link
The bar, which obtained new ownership last year, is currently in the midst of renovations, but is expected to still emerge as an Adams Morgan dive bar.

Loading comments...

1. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
This bar got a little cleaner and a little classier after a post-fire renovation, but you still can find the taxidermy decorations, cheap beer and all-day breakfast.
331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

2. Bottom Line

1716 I St. NW, Washington, DC 20006
A taco bar. $1 Miller Lites. Tot-chos (tater tots + nachos). That sums up this underground bar in a nutshell.
1716 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20006

3. J.V.'s Bar & Restaurant

6666 Arlington Blvd, Providence, Virginia 22042
This dive bar, located in a Falls Church strip mall, is one of the oldest watering holes around. It's known for its live music.
6666 Arlington Blvd
Providence, Virginia 22042

4. Jay's Saloon & Grille

3114 N 10th St, Arlington, VA 22201
The ultra-relaxed Jay's, off the beaten path in Clarendon, has an eclectic crowd, cheap beer and cheap food. They'll celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.
3114 N 10th St
Arlington, VA 22201

5. The Big Hunt

1345 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Is The Big Hunt a dive bar? A theme bar? A bar trying to be a dive bar? It can be debated, but patrons head to this casual establishment for its beer events, multiple rooms and animal print decor.
1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. Raven Grill

3125 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Mount Pleasant's Raven Grill (they don't serve food, despite the name) is one of the oldest bars in DC. It's cheap and its jukebox is well-worn.
3125 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

7. Red Derby

3718 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Red Derby has a relaxed rooftop, board games and affordable prices. Canned beers, cash only.
3718 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

8. Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Galaxy Hut may push the limits of the "dive bar" definition (but hey, it's also Arlington). The bar has a stripped down menu of fried fare and serves beer almost exclusively.
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

9. Recessions

1823 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Oh, Recessions. The basement location. The carpet. The karaoke. The happy hour. The puzzling decor.
1823 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036

10. Fox and Hound

1537 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
This cheap 17th Street bar is known for its generous pours (get a bourbon and ginger ale and you'll get a glass of bourbon with a ginger ale). The inside, with its vinyl booths and salty service, is where Fox and Hound feels most divey.
1537 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

11. Quarry House Tavern

8401 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
A change in ownership years back upgraded the food at this basement bar. But you can still find a mixed crowd, plenty of whiskey and graffiti-laced bathrooms at this Silver Spring venue.
8401 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

12. Solly's U Street Tavern

1942 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Solly's is the hipster answer to the dive bar. The two-floor location recently added a food menu to its offerings. But it's still a place to order a tall boy and play Buck Hunter.
1942 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

13. Lil Pub

655 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
A possible building sale may put the status of this Capitol Hill bar in jeopardy. But for now, patrons still can head here for a cheap beer, and to chat with the regulars.
655 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

14. Kelly's Irish Times

14 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001
This no-frills Irish bar brings together college students, Hill workers and locals.
14 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

15. Dan's Cafe

2315 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Don't expect anything fancy at this boarded up, casual Adams Morgan destination. Just cheap beer, a very limited liquor selection and a pool table.
2315 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Related Maps

16. Toledo Lounge

2435 18th St NW
The bar, which obtained new ownership last year, is currently in the midst of renovations, but is expected to still emerge as an Adams Morgan dive bar.

Related Maps