Dive bars set the bar for what’s truly cool in this always rockin’ town. Sticky floors, exposed brick walls, dingy dance floors, narrow walkways, and crummy crappers can be found in most of these watering holes, but we’ve compiled a list of the ones we find ourselves diving into again and again and highly recommend you do the same. Oh yeah, did we mention that perhaps our favorite dive bar trait are the cheap drinks and happening happy hours most offer? We collected some of Atlanta’s best dive bars and came up with a pretty impressive list, the Clermont Lounge, the Highlander, the Northside Tavern, The Euclid Avenue Yacht Club and the Earl.

(credit: northsidetavern.com)

The Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 874-8745

If the altered aadage is true, “an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of annoying, ” then the Northside is your spot. There’s not one molecule of pretension at this Howell Mill institution, which features live blues daily. Weekends are particularly popular, as is any night when local favorite Danny “Mudcat” Dudek plays. Plan wisely, the line for the bathrooms can sometimes get a little ridiculous.

(credit: clermontlounge.net)

Clermont Lounge

789 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-4783

There are a number of things about the Clermont you may need to know about like first, “Don’t ever touch the jukebox-only strippers are allowed to do so.” And second, there are strippers. Thirdly, “get there early for a lower cover and to get a parking spot in their lot around back. Be advised that Tuesday is karaoke night and Thursday is live music night, and the strippers still strip.” The girls here run the gamut from lightly terrifying to super pretty, thing is, they’re all super friendly and full of energy and conversation. The cheap beer’s not bad either.

(credit: thehighlanderatlanta.com)

The Highlander

931 Monroe Dr NE Ste 101
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-0060

They say about The Highlander that you can get a contact-drunk from just walking in this place. A great place for a big diverse group since there is so much going on. There’s the nice and attentive staff, an impressive food menu, pool tables, air hockey, golden tee, real bowling and bar-top video games. The place has the feel of a heavy metal / biker bar. If you like beer, fun and rock, the highlander is your place!

(credit: theeayc.com)

The Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 688-2582

Trendy scenes come and go, but the Yacht Club seems to never change. Regulars agree, it’s the “cheap beer, good food, great dart board, no pretentious people, great service crew, good rock n roll,” that make the Yacht Club one of Atlanta’s favorite dive bars. Others say it’s the cool staff and interesting mix of characters. Many different crowds that call this place home, from hippie to Harley, preppie to punk. The food is known to be really good, but due to its location, parking can be a nightmare.

(credit: badearl.com)

The Earl

488 Flat Shoals Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 522-3950

In the back room you can hear some amazing live music, there’s dancing, cheap beers, way-better-than-bar food despite the smoke and some of the hipsters in the crowd. It seems everyone raves about what goes on in the back, too, where a serious small-time indie-music scene explodes. Oh, and on Sunday’s, not for the early risers, or even midday risers, but the Earl offers “dunch” (not quite dinner, not quite lunch). The menu is small, but even still people seem to have a hard time choosing something.