Empty bar counter at pub

Are you looking for a low-key spot to pull up a barstool and have some cheap food & drinks? Or maybe you’re looking for that all the time, any time! Well, look no further. We’ve got you covered with 5 of the best dive bars in Detroit. But first, I was curious about what makes a bar a true dive bar for you. I have my thoughts on what that is for me. So, let’s get into that.

What Makes a Bar a Dive Bar

Do you love a good dive bar? What makes it precisely that for you? Well, for me, it’s usually loved by local patrons and has an eclectic vibe about them.  We’re talking no frills, dim lighting, neon beer signs, and cheap drinks. And you’ll probably find a bartender behind the bar, not a fancy mixologist. If you’re looking for tunes, there may be a jukebox or a tiny live stage if you are lucky.

Pretzels and your typical bar snacks are probably the only food you’ll find there unless it’s a special occasion. And forget about advertising. You’re lucky if they have a website and social media.

Honestly, I’d pull up a stool here and lie low rather than hang out at a club. How about you? If you’re reading this now, that’s probably your vibe, too.

The Best Dive Bars in Detroit

Well, Detroit is rich in history regarding bars, especially during prohibition. Some of those places are still around today. Now, there are a lot of places to check out around the city, but we have narrowed the list down to 5 of the best dive bars in Detroit for you to swing by. These spots are great and will welcome you with open arms. But please, stay safe and drink responsibly.

  • Nancy Whiskey

    You can’t come to Detroit without visiting Nancy Whiskey. It’s definitely one of the best dive bars in Detroit. This Irish pub has been around since 1902! That’s over a century of being “Detroit’s Oldest Party.” According to the Corktown Historical Society, there are three spirits who haunt the establishment, if that is your thing! Visit this iconic Corktown dive bar at 2644 Harrison St, Detroit, MI 48216.

    Their hours are:

    Monday-Saturday 11am-2am
    Sunday 12 pm-2 am

  • Old Miami


    The Old Miami is a classic in Detroit. I have been there, and the drinks are cheap. They have a small live band stage if you can catch an act. They also have a pool table and darts. Make a trip to see them at 3930 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

    Their hours are:

    Everyday 12pm-2am

  • Jumbo's Bar

    Jumbo’s Bar in Detroit has no website or social media. Now that’s a dive bar. According to the Metro Times Detroit, Jumbo’s Bar opened in 1940 and is still owned by the same family. The drinks are cheap, and there’s even a small stage for live music. Stop by this Cass Corridor classic at 3736 3rd St, Detroit, MI 48201.

    Their hours are:

    Monday-Saturday 11 am-2 am
    Sunday-11 am-8 pm

  • Two Way Inn

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    4.8 stars on Google is rare in the bar world, especially since it’s the oldest bar in Detroit! Yes. They opened in 1876, first as an inn. As if that’s not cool enough, rumors are it is haunted. According to hauntedplaces.org, the Two Way Inn was “formerly a brothel, a general store, and an old jail. The apparition frequently seen is that of a cowboy wandering through the building, who stayed and passed away in the old inn.” Pull up a bar stool at this legendary spot at 17897 Mt Elliott St, Detroit, MI, United States, 48212.

    Their hours are:

    Sunday & Monday-closed
    Tuesday-11 am-5 pm
    Wednesday & Thursday-11 am-10 pm
    Friday & Saturday-12 pm-12 am

  • Tommy's Bar & Grill

    What a rich history this bar has, including the building it is in. According to their website, this dive bar “occupies a building built in 1840; if these walls could talk! This cozy pub saw the prohibition days in Detroit and served as an outlet for the underground railroad.  The pathway to the underground railroad still exists in the basement.” This dive bar has a full menu that you can check out here. I also hear it’s great to watch sports there, and they offer shuttles to the games. Grab an Uber and head over to 624 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

    Their hours are:

    Monday-Friday 11 am-2 am

    Saturday 4 pm-2 am

    Sunday 11 am-7 pm

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