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D.C.'s 20 Iconic Dive Bars: Updated October 2014

Find a generous pour, halfhearted food and a feisty bartender, if you're lucky.

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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 (even since Eater last updated this list), these dive bars keep on serving inexpensive beer and their special style of service to their customers. Here are the city's classics. Think otherwise? Opine in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

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331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-2725
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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

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1716 I St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 298-8488
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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

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6666 Arlington Boulevard
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 241-9504
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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

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3114 N 10th St
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 527-3093

The ultra-relaxed Jay's, off the beaten path in Clarendon, has an eclectic crowd, cheap beer and cheap food. They probably won't be around much longer, though (apartments are planned for the lot).

5. The Big Hunt

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1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 785-2333
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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

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3125 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 387-8411

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

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

8. Galaxy Hut

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2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
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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

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1823 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 296-6686

Oh, Recessions. The basement location. The carpet. The karaoke. The happy hour. The puzzling decor.

10. Trio / Fox and Hound

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2142 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

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

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8401 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring
MD, 20910
(301) 587-8350
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A change in ownership several 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

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1942 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-6590
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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. Kelly's Irish Times

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14 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 543-5433
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This no-frills Irish bar brings together college students, Hill workers and locals.

14. Dan's Cafe

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2315 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-9241

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.

15. Post Pub

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1422 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 628-2111

Post Pub: where one can still find folks drinking during lunch hours — and they aren't necessarily journalists.

16. The Zoo Bar Cafe

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3000 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 232-4225
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Live music and plenty of locals populate this Woodley Park neighborhood spot.

17. Millie & Al's

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2440 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 387-8131
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Adams Morgan drinkers have been going to Millie & Al's for more than 50 years now.

18. Stan's Restaurant & Lounge

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1029 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4488
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Stan's will always pour you a stiff drink, even if it can be a bit of an intimidating place for non-regulars.

19. Vienna Inn

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120 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA 22180

Head to Vienna Inn for a chili dog - just don't expect a cocktail.

20. The Players Lounge

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2737 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 574-1331

You might spot Marion Barry there — if not, there are always wings and a stiff drink ready.

1. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 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, D.C. 20003

2. Bottom Line

1716 I St NW, Washington, D.C. 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, D.C. 20006

3. J.V.'s Bar & Restaurant

6666 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA 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 Boulevard
Falls Church, VA 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 probably won't be around much longer, though (apartments are planned for the lot).

3114 N 10th St
Arlington, VA 22201

5. The Big Hunt

1345 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 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, D.C. 20036

6. Raven Grill

3125 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, D.C. 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 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

7. Red Derby

3718 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

Red Derby has a relaxed rooftop, board games and affordable prices. Canned beers, cash only.

3718 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 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, D.C. 20036

Oh, Recessions. The basement location. The carpet. The karaoke. The happy hour. The puzzling decor.

1823 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

10. Trio / Fox and Hound

2142 O St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

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.

2142 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

11. Quarry House Tavern

8401 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD, 20910

A change in ownership several 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, D.C. 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, D.C. 20009

13. Kelly's Irish Times

14 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

This no-frills Irish bar brings together college students, Hill workers and locals.

14 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

14. Dan's Cafe

2315 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 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, D.C. 20009

15. Post Pub

1422 L St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Post Pub: where one can still find folks drinking during lunch hours — and they aren't necessarily journalists.

1422 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

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16. The Zoo Bar Cafe

3000 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

Live music and plenty of locals populate this Woodley Park neighborhood spot.

3000 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

17. Millie & Al's

2440 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Adams Morgan drinkers have been going to Millie & Al's for more than 50 years now.

2440 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

18. Stan's Restaurant & Lounge

1029 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Stan's will always pour you a stiff drink, even if it can be a bit of an intimidating place for non-regulars.

1029 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

19. Vienna Inn

120 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180

Head to Vienna Inn for a chili dog - just don't expect a cocktail.

120 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA 22180

20. The Players Lounge

2737 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC 20032

You might spot Marion Barry there — if not, there are always wings and a stiff drink ready.

2737 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20032

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