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Top Dive Bars In Philadelphia

They're dark, dingy and full of strange odors. But dive bars are also cheap, unique and full of stories. Here are a few places where we like to hide from the outside world and drink cheap beer. - Ted Scheid

Bob & Barbara's
Behind the bar at Bob & Barbara's. (credit:

Bob & Barbara's

1509 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-4511
Bob & Barbaras

It's hard not to notice the devotion to the dive aesthetic when you walk into Bob & Barbara's: it's plastered all over the wall. With nearly every piece of Pabst Blue Ribbon paraphernalia imaginable, it's pretty easy to guess what the drink of choice is at this iconic South Street watering hole. Be sure to bring cash though, because you can't get the $3.50 "special" (PBR and a shot of Jim Beam) without it.

Dirty Frank's Bar

13th and Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 732-5010
Local Directory

There's no sign for Dirty Franks, just a riddle. Gaze upon the mural on the outside of this incredible dive, and you'll realize how it got its name. Don't expect anything fancy: Frank's is cash only and the bathrooms are filthy. But this is truly a glorious place to spend a low-key evening.

The Dive Bar

947 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 465-5505
Local Directory

Perhaps the most obvious entry on this list, the Dive Bar is a fitting place to go for a few cheap drinks and some Chef Boyardee. When its not packed with budget-minded folks, you can occasionally catch a bad movie at the bar or partake in a rock/paper/scissors tournament. It's kind of like drinking in your friend's smelly, awesome basement.


2201 Lombard St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 546-0316
Local Directory

It may qualify as a dive bar, but Doobie's is also much more. With a surprising beer selection and an even more surprising menu, there's a lot to love when walking into this tiny establishment. Play a little Connect 4, talk about literature, drink up and enjoy.

Oscar's Tavern

1524 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 972-9938
Local Directory

Walk through the red door and look around. Your eyes will have trouble adjusting to the dark, and then you'll stumble across a burly man at the narrow bar. You'll wonder how you got here, but then you'll smell it: cheesesteaks and beer. Ahh, you aren't in a nightmare; you're in Oscar's, and you're about to have massive beer and a cheesesteak and a half! Sigh appreciatively: Life is good.

Sugar Mom's
The pool table at Sugar Mom's. (credit:

Sugar Mom's

225 Church St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-8219

Whenever you walk downstairs into Sugar Mom's, you get the feeling you're about to have an adventure. Located in the basement of an apartment complex, this surprisingly large dive has atmosphere for days and is perfect for the blindest of blind dates. Have a seat in a bumper car, play some pinball and sip on some of the best cheap beer around. Just be careful when you leave--that sun will blind you!

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