Food & Drink

Baltimore’s Bottoms Up: Diving into the City’s 14 Best Dive Bars

Baltimore is a city that is full of surprises. It's a place where you can find hidden gems around every corner, and that's especially true when it comes to dive bars.

These establishments may not have the fancy decor or the trendy crowd, but they have something that draws people in. Maybe it's the cheap drinks, the local charm, or the sense of community that you can only find in a place like this.

The best dive bars in Baltimore are the ones that have been around for years. They have seen the city change and evolve, but they have remained the same.

They are the places where you go to escape from the world for a little while and just be yourself. Whether you're looking for a place to have a drink after work, catch up with friends, or just people watch, the dive bars in Baltimore have you covered.

Each dive bar in Baltimore has its own unique atmosphere and personality. Some are dark and gritty, while others are cozy and welcoming. Some have live music, while others have pool tables or darts.

But no matter what kind of dive bar you're looking for, you're sure to find one in Baltimore. So, get ready to explore the city's best dive bars and discover the hidden treasures that are waiting for you.

1. Cat's Eye Pub

Cat's Eye Pub
1730 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Cat's Eye Pub is a long-standing dive bar that has been around since 1975. It offers nightly live music and dozens of tap brews to choose from.

The cozy bar has a friendly atmosphere and is a great spot to chill, drink, and listen to some great blues and jazz.

The bartenders are fantastic and make sure that everyone is taken care of. Although the bathrooms could use some love, the overall experience is worth it.

If you're looking for a place to enjoy some live music and good beer, Cat's Eye Pub is definitely worth a visit.

2. Benders

301 S Ann St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Benders is the perfect place to grab a drink and unwind after a long day. This dive bar boasts a great selection of beers on tap and a friendly atmosphere.

The bartenders are knowledgeable and always happy to recommend a new brew. The pool table in the back is a great way to pass the time with friends.

The jukebox is always playing a great mix of tunes, adding to the lively vibe of the bar. Although there is no food on site, they have a menu from a local kitchen. Benders is a great spot to catch up with friends or watch the game.

The owner and bartenders make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. If you're looking for a fun, low-key night out, Benders is definitely worth checking out.

3. Idle Hour

Idle Hour
201 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230 (Google Maps)

Idle Hour is a neighborhood dive bar with a speakeasy vibe. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and they make fantastic cocktails.

The bar is cozy and laid back, with great lighting and music. The art-filled digs and turntable add to the eclectic atmosphere.

Idle Hour is definitely a rare gem in an overall mediocre bar scene. If you're a fan of Chartreuse and rye, this is the place for you.

It can get crowded, but it's worth it for the authentic and wonderful experience.

4. Swallow At the Hollow

Swallow At The Hollow
5921 York Rd, Baltimore, MD 21212 (Google Maps)

Swallow At the Hollow is a hidden gem of a dive bar that is worth checking out. With a range of basic, cheap beers to more craft beer choices, this bar has something for everyone.

The menu features traditional pub fare and daily specials that are sure to please.

The friendly staff and fun group of regulars make for a great atmosphere. And if you're a fan of wings, be sure to try the Honey Ghost Pepper wings – they're fantastic.

Although the bar is small and cozy, it's a great spot to grab a quick bite or a drink with friends.

5. Mt Royal Tavern

Mt Royal Tavern
1204 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217 (Google Maps)

Looking for a classic dive bar experience in the city that oozes character and charm without breaking the bank on overpriced drinks and food menus that you can't pronounce half the items on it, then look no further than Mt Royal Tavern.

This cash-only establishment boasts an eccentric vibe and friendly atmosphere that attracts a diverse crowd of blue-collar workers, students, and locals looking for a good time.

The drinks are strong, the pours are generous, and the jukebox selection is top-notch. Don't forget to take a look at the replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on display.

If you're looking for a place to unwind and meet new people, Mt Royal Tavern is a must-visit.

6. Blarney Stone Pub

Blarney Stone Pub
704 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Blarney Stone Pub is a classic dive bar with a great atmosphere. The friendly bartenders make you feel like family, and the regulars are always welcoming.

The absence of a kitchen means you can bring in food from nearby restaurants.

The jukebox plays rock and punk music, and there are big TVs and free pool. The whiskey selection is impressive, and prices are reasonable.

Blarney Stone Pub is the perfect spot for a laid-back night out with friends or a solo adventure.

7. 1919

1919 Fleet St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Looking for a laid-back bar with a unique atmosphere and friendly staff in the city center of Baltimore, Maryland, then "1919" is the place for you.

This dive bar offers a great selection of drinks and often features live music, Honky Tonk, Alt Country, Rockabilly, and Roots Rock.

On quieter nights, it's a great spot to relax, enjoy a drink, and watch the world go by. The bar is well-maintained, and the bathrooms are always spotless.

If you're looking for a no-frills dive bar with a welcoming crowd and a great vibe, "1919" is definitely worth checking out.

8. Butt's & Betty's Tavern Inc

Butt's & Betty's Tavern Inc
2200 Gough St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Butt's & Betty's Tavern Inc is a cozy little dive bar that offers some of the best-priced beer in town.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a welcoming atmosphere. The bar has a pool table and touch tunes, perfect for entertainment.

It is a locals bar, so be prepared for a few side eyes, but that only adds to the fun. The jukebox is one of the best in the city, making it a great spot for music lovers.

If you're looking for a friendly, casual spot to grab a cold beer and shoot some pool, Butt's & Betty's Tavern Inc is the place to go.

9. Mary's Tavern

Mary's Tavern
2057 Gough St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a dive bar with a vintage feel, Mary's Tavern is the spot for you. From the moment you walk through the door, you'll be transported back to a simpler time.

The owner and bartender, Jim, is friendly and takes pride in serving up the coldest beer in town.

The decor is straight out of the 50s or 60s, complete with vintage signs and a colorful jukebox playing classic tunes.

This neighborhood bar is clean and has excellent prices. If you're in the area, Mary's Tavern is definitely worth checking out.

10. Shamrock Inn

Shamrock Inn
6044 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214 (Google Maps)

Shamrock Inn is a neighborhood dive bar that offers a casual atmosphere and friendly bartending staff.

The bar has pool tables and a jukebox, making it a great spot for a night out with friends. The food is good and reasonably priced, and there are daily food specials.

On weekends, there is live music, which can be a bit loud for some. The regulars are inclusive, and the prices for drinks are affordable.

Shamrock Inn is the perfect spot for those looking for a fun night out without breaking the bank.

11. Iampieri's Bar

Iampieri's Bar
5320 Edmondson Ave, Baltimore, MD 21229 (Google Maps)

Looking for a no-frills, family-owned dive bar with friendly service and great drinks at reasonable prices, then check out Iampieri's Bar.

The bar has a welcoming atmosphere and ample parking.

The bartender, Joe, is excellent and even gives great music suggestions.

If you're lucky, Brad will be working the bar and you can try his famous Bradarita. It's a great local spot where everyone knows your name.

12. Sherry's On Broadway

Sherry's On Broadway
238 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a no-frills dive bar with a welcoming atmosphere, Sherry's On Broadway is a great spot to check out.

Despite its slightly shady-looking neighborhood, the crowd is fun and friendly, and the bartenders are always ready with a cold beer.

With a jukebox, pool table, and a mix of nationalities and income levels, this bar has something for everyone.

Plus, it's open from 6 am to 2 am every day of the week, so you can stop by no matter what your schedule looks like. Check out Sherry's On Broadway for a laid-back and relaxing night out.

13. Zissimos Bar

Zissimos Bar
1023 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211 (Google Maps)

Zissimos Bar is a neighborhood favorite with a classic dive bar feel. The long, thin bar against one wall and jukebox provide the perfect ambiance for a casual hangout with friends.

The friendly bartenders serve up cheap drinks and good local beers on tap.

Upstairs, guests can enjoy comedy shows and live jazz in a cozy atmosphere. While there is no food served, the packaged snack game inventory is robust.

Zissimos Bar is the perfect spot to unwind and have a good time without breaking the bank.

14. Lil' Phil's

Lil' Phil's
706 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231 (Google Maps)

Lil' Phil's is a great dive bar for those looking for a low-key night out. The staff is friendly and welcoming, creating a warm atmosphere.

The bar doesn't serve food, but guests are welcome to bring their own. The drinks are cold and the bartender is customer-oriented, making some awesome drinks.

The pool table is available for $1 per game, and the 10 for $10 jello shots are a must-try.

The bathroom is one of the cleanest in the area. If you're looking for a break from the crowded bars, Lil' Phil's is the perfect spot.