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A Handy Guide to Iconic Dive Bars in Los Angeles

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Dive bar culture in Los Angeles is wide and varied, from classic haunts in Hollywood and its outskirts to funky restaurants and clubs that retain a an unfussy feel with some extra amenities, such as table games, chicken wings to order, and maybe even a burlesque dancer or two. There are so many great dive bars for this list that it could easily number fifty if locales like The Valley were included. For the most part, these bars have strong, inelegant drinks and a familiar list of beers served without pretense or high cost. Presenting a handy guide to Iconic Dive Bars in Los Angeles.

Feel like your local dive isn't included? Make a case for your favorite in the comments.

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Tiki Ti

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This Tiki classic is still going strong after all these decades, with Hurricanes, Scorpions, and Blood & Sands flowing through the night. The vibe is extremely communal, with twenty-some seats packed into a tiny space. Tiki-Ti is one of the few places in LA where one can legally smoke inside, because only family members are employees here.

The Roost

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This dive at the edge of Los Feliz and Atwater Village smells a bit like old plastic and feels like an old haunt in Chinatown. Drinks are stiff and cheap, the stale popcorn flows, and old TVs show sports highlights and cheesy movies. As quintessential as a dive can get.

Frolic Room

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Sporting the best dive bar neon anywhere, Frolic Room's alcove next to the massive Pantages Theater makes for great pre or post-show drinking, at a fraction of the cost of places nearby. The funky, colorful decor is marginally clean, and the drinks, while not especially strong, are still finely constructed.

Frank N Hank's

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This tiny joint in the middle of Koreatown has the most eclectic crowd in town, packed together to enjoy their merriment. Still, the diversity doesn't seem to bother anyone, with typical cheap drinks and chilled beer. Amusement includes video poker and electronic darts.

Chez Jay

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Though more of a restaurant than a dive bar, Chez Jay has remained a Santa Monica institution for over fifty years, with its mix of seafood and steaks served in an old-timey room. Drinks aren't too expensive and the decor fitting - peanut shells on the ground and kitsch all around.

Ye Rustic Inn

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The TVs and great wings make this Los Feliz institution a convivial place to have a drink. Celebrities sometimes poke inside while normal folks can down stiff drinks in the low-lit bar any time of day and late into the night.

The Daily Pint

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It's always stuffy and hot in here, but that doesn't stop the locals from filling the place every night. With one of the best craft beer lists in the city and definitely the best whiskey list in LA, The Daily Pint lives up to its stature as a dive.

Cinema Bar

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The regulars cram into the boisterous room on the edge of Culver City and West LA, where the dingy chairs and walls mesh with the seemingly endless (and loud) blues rock coming from the live bands.

There's a secret password required to enter at this dark, pirate-themed dive in Koreatown, but a world of merriment awaits inside. A small stage sometimes hosts ragtag bands while bartenders dole out shots and cheap beer for all.

Club Tee Gee

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Though perhaps lacking a distinctive feature, Club Tee Gee somehow manages to be the most average bar in the city, with strong drinks purchasable only in cash, in a blase, dark room with green booths, sturdy chairs, and slightly sticky tables. Actually, that's exactly what a dive should be.

Lost & Found

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The Westside doesn't seem to have many places like Lost & Found - genuine, laid-back, inexpensive - all in a strip mall next to Whole Foods and Starbucks. The drinks seems even cheaper after comparing the prices to other local bars, while the pool table, plastic darts, and jukebox round out the dive bar accessories.

Cozy Inn

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There are plenty of bar games like billiards and shuffle board at this Culver City, perhaps a little generic otherwise, but still a popular hangout for locals looking for a strong drink. The jury's out as to whether they accept credit card, but last word is that they do now.

Gold Room

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Despite plenty of hipsters in Echo Park, Gold Room manages to keep it real. Dodger fans can catch a drink before or after the game. It's all very simple. Oh, and there's also that $4 deal of a shot of tequila, pint of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon for the non-hipsters), and free tacos. Yes, you heard that, free tacos.

The Short Stop

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Though it's become more of a hipster dance club, The Short Stop manages to be one of the best places to catch a drink and hang out with friends. The back room has arcades and a pool table, along with plenty of seating. There's a smoking patch behind the building, but the loud hip hop or old-school tunes coming from the DJ will be sure to get you up and shaking.

Bar 107

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This Downtown dive gets packed on a nightly basis, the cheap drinks and funky decor drawing hipsters and locals alike. Happy hour is a good time to enjoy the space without feeling crammed in.

Jumbo's Clown Room

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Though more of a burlesque, strip bar (non-nude) than a dive, Jumbo's is now an LA institution for those looking to have a little bit of fun without feeling sleezy. As with most dive bars, drinks are cheap and strong.

Red Lion Tavern

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The old-time Bavarian vibe never dies at Red Lion, with the bottom floor and mezzanine giving the most dive-like experience in Silver Lake. Old guys play busted up synthesizers for music while waitresses look straight out of old town Munich, dishing sausages of questionable origin and large steins of German beer.

Mandrake Bar

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One of the more "cool" dives in L.A., this spot in Mid City feels like a place where one can actually have a decent conversation and not feel like their shoes are going to be sticky when they leave. The drinks are respectable and the beers are quite good.

Renee's Courtyard Cafe

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There are dolls everywhere, and if that might be disconcerting, take comfort in the relaxed atmosphere and low-key vibe. Drinks are strong, as expected, and the food actually passes as edible, which is something that most bars can't boast of.

La Cita Bar

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This little slice of Guadalajara or Tijuana sure feels authentic, though hipsters have found the wonderful irony of partying it up with middle-aged women and rancheros sporting real cowboy hats. The tequila and Mexican brews are a-plenty, as are the eclectic tunes and dance floor space.

Burgundy Room

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This dim alcove along Hollywood's Cahuenga Blvd feels strangely comfortable. Drinks aren't that cheap, or strong, for that matter. But the place sure feels like a Hollywood dive bar might look in a movie, which counts for something.

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Tiki Ti

This Tiki classic is still going strong after all these decades, with Hurricanes, Scorpions, and Blood & Sands flowing through the night. The vibe is extremely communal, with twenty-some seats packed into a tiny space. Tiki-Ti is one of the few places in LA where one can legally smoke inside, because only family members are employees here.

The Roost

This dive at the edge of Los Feliz and Atwater Village smells a bit like old plastic and feels like an old haunt in Chinatown. Drinks are stiff and cheap, the stale popcorn flows, and old TVs show sports highlights and cheesy movies. As quintessential as a dive can get.

Frolic Room

Sporting the best dive bar neon anywhere, Frolic Room's alcove next to the massive Pantages Theater makes for great pre or post-show drinking, at a fraction of the cost of places nearby. The funky, colorful decor is marginally clean, and the drinks, while not especially strong, are still finely constructed.

Frank N Hank's

This tiny joint in the middle of Koreatown has the most eclectic crowd in town, packed together to enjoy their merriment. Still, the diversity doesn't seem to bother anyone, with typical cheap drinks and chilled beer. Amusement includes video poker and electronic darts.

Chez Jay

Though more of a restaurant than a dive bar, Chez Jay has remained a Santa Monica institution for over fifty years, with its mix of seafood and steaks served in an old-timey room. Drinks aren't too expensive and the decor fitting - peanut shells on the ground and kitsch all around.

Ye Rustic Inn

The TVs and great wings make this Los Feliz institution a convivial place to have a drink. Celebrities sometimes poke inside while normal folks can down stiff drinks in the low-lit bar any time of day and late into the night.

The Daily Pint

It's always stuffy and hot in here, but that doesn't stop the locals from filling the place every night. With one of the best craft beer lists in the city and definitely the best whiskey list in LA, The Daily Pint lives up to its stature as a dive.

Cinema Bar

The regulars cram into the boisterous room on the edge of Culver City and West LA, where the dingy chairs and walls mesh with the seemingly endless (and loud) blues rock coming from the live bands.

R Bar

There's a secret password required to enter at this dark, pirate-themed dive in Koreatown, but a world of merriment awaits inside. A small stage sometimes hosts ragtag bands while bartenders dole out shots and cheap beer for all.

Club Tee Gee

Though perhaps lacking a distinctive feature, Club Tee Gee somehow manages to be the most average bar in the city, with strong drinks purchasable only in cash, in a blase, dark room with green booths, sturdy chairs, and slightly sticky tables. Actually, that's exactly what a dive should be.

Lost & Found

The Westside doesn't seem to have many places like Lost & Found - genuine, laid-back, inexpensive - all in a strip mall next to Whole Foods and Starbucks. The drinks seems even cheaper after comparing the prices to other local bars, while the pool table, plastic darts, and jukebox round out the dive bar accessories.

Cozy Inn

There are plenty of bar games like billiards and shuffle board at this Culver City, perhaps a little generic otherwise, but still a popular hangout for locals looking for a strong drink. The jury's out as to whether they accept credit card, but last word is that they do now.

Gold Room

Despite plenty of hipsters in Echo Park, Gold Room manages to keep it real. Dodger fans can catch a drink before or after the game. It's all very simple. Oh, and there's also that $4 deal of a shot of tequila, pint of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon for the non-hipsters), and free tacos. Yes, you heard that, free tacos.

The Short Stop

Though it's become more of a hipster dance club, The Short Stop manages to be one of the best places to catch a drink and hang out with friends. The back room has arcades and a pool table, along with plenty of seating. There's a smoking patch behind the building, but the loud hip hop or old-school tunes coming from the DJ will be sure to get you up and shaking.

Bar 107

This Downtown dive gets packed on a nightly basis, the cheap drinks and funky decor drawing hipsters and locals alike. Happy hour is a good time to enjoy the space without feeling crammed in.

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Jumbo's Clown Room

Though more of a burlesque, strip bar (non-nude) than a dive, Jumbo's is now an LA institution for those looking to have a little bit of fun without feeling sleezy. As with most dive bars, drinks are cheap and strong.

Red Lion Tavern

The old-time Bavarian vibe never dies at Red Lion, with the bottom floor and mezzanine giving the most dive-like experience in Silver Lake. Old guys play busted up synthesizers for music while waitresses look straight out of old town Munich, dishing sausages of questionable origin and large steins of German beer.