For all their differences in environment, air quality and general sanitation, we love our dive bars just as deeply as our trending restaurants. The reason: Dive bars don't care what the world wants of them, and that same thinking is extended to us. We can be ourselves in a dive bar, even if that means behaving in ways that we'll regret by morning.
The best dive bars in Atlanta:
1058 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta
Northside Tavern is already the best gas-station-turned-blues bar in Atlanta and a quintessential dive bar by any measure. It's a great place to cut loose with friends, and it's a staple of life on the west side. The only thing better than the music are the prices.
Euclid Avenue Yacht Club
1136 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta
There is no body of water in Little Five Points large enough to support yachting. The décor inside the club is "nautical" in the same sense that saltwater-induced delirium is nautical. Yet, YC is the kind of place where people come together. Whether it's the food, the darts or the respectable prices, Atlanta's only Yacht Club is exactly the kind of fun you'd expect at a L5P dive bar favorite.
The Clermont Lounge
789 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E., Atlanta
No article about dive bars in Atlanta would be complete without the obligatory nod to The Clermont Lounge -- that world-famous Poncey-Highland nudie bar behind and below the currently under renovation Clermont Hotel. Don't bring a camera but do bring cash. The Clermont is a cash-only establishment with a strict "no pictures" rule. As a public service to those who've recently emerged from extended hibernation, it should be noted that Clermont visitors expecting a standard strip club experience might be surprised. But those same visitors are encouraged to stick around. Seeing Blondie and friends work their magic is an Atlanta rite of passage.
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1091 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta
Nine out of 10 "doctors" agree: Elmyr (pronounced el-meer) will cure your ills. The Tex-Mex food is so delicious, the restaurant's Kirkwood spinoff location -- amusingly named Elmyriachi -- sometimes runs out of food. One Google review of the famous L5P hangout summarized it perfectly in noting, "You'd have to be a stupid, uptight jerk not to love this place."
Chaplins Restaurant and Bar
555 S. Atlanta St., Roswell
Outside the perimeter, there are few dive bars more beloved than historic Roswell's favorite karaoke spot. Chaplins (no apostrophe because, of course, they wouldn't) is where you end a night OTP. It is a deep dive. Yet, it is a dangerously fun place to drink and people-watch. The patrons are a mix of 20-and-30-somethings who've made their way from trendy Canton Street establishments for a karaoke nightcap and bar flies taking in the scenery.