CLOSE
Original image
iStock

The Best Breakfast Spot in All 50 States

Original image
iStock

Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, where you choose to break your nightly fast is an important decision. To help you determine where to grab that morning bite, we've made a list of the best breakfast spot in all 50 states. And no matter what type of morning meal you prefer—a cup of strong coffee with a croissant or a full plate of eggs, bacon, and potatoes—we’ve got you covered.

1. ALABAMA // FARMERS MARKET CAFE

Location: Montgomery, Alabama

Farmers Market Cafe is serious about breakfast. Starting bright and early at 5:30 a.m., you can order authentic southern breakfast foods like biscuits and gravy, grits, and fried green tomatoes, made fresh every day.

2. ALASKA // SNOW CITY CAFE

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

This downtown brunch spot offers an espresso counter, "crabby" omelets with snow crab, and the Kodiak Benedict with Alaska king crab cakes. If you love salmon, order the sockeye smoked salmon cakes with two eggs, any style. Voted best breakfast in 2003, they've been serving Anchorage with delicious meals, including vegan and gluten-free options, since 1998.

3. ARIZONA // MORNING GLORY CAFÉ

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Located on the grounds of the Farm at South Mountain, Morning Glory Café is a beautiful, relaxing farm-to-table breakfast and brunch spot to enjoy your first meal of the day. Lounge on the outdoor patio and chow down on the house-smoked trout omelet, huevos rancheros with chorizo, locally made sausages, or the brioche French toast.

4. ARKANSAS // RICK'S BAKERY

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Sweet-tooths can browse Rick's selection of birthday and wedding cakes (or post-breakfast treats like caramel apple turnovers and cream horns) while starting the day with a more substantive ham-and-cheese croissant or sausage roll—a smoked sausage filled with cheese and served in a homemade bread roll.

5. CALIFORNIA // ARIZMENDI BAKERY

Location: San Francisco, California

Besides coffee, espresso, and tea, Arizmendi serves stellar breads and pastries. The worker-owned cooperative sells freshly baked muffins, scones, and sourdough bread with unique flavor combinations such as corn-cherry and fig-fennel, just a few blocks from Golden Gate Park.

6. COLORADO // VILLAGE COFFEE SHOP

Location: Boulder, Colorado

At only 890 square feet, this coffee shop starts serving breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and continues for the next 10 hours. That way, even late risers can partake in a stack of fluffy buttermilk or blueberry pancakes, sides like sausage gravy and golden hash browns, or the breakfast burrito (which is smothered in pork green chili).

7. CONNECTICUT // BELLA'S CAFE

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Bella's Cafe focuses on seasonal ingredients, stylish presentation, and what they call "upscale comfort food." You can’t go wrong with the omelets and pancakes, but consider the corned beef hash or a side of sweet plantains with sour cream for something extra special.

8. DELAWARE // NEWARK DELI AND BAGELS

Location: Newark, Delaware

Newark Deli and Bagels is a Delaware favorite for good reason: you simply can’t beat their bagels. Get a sun-dried tomato or onion bagel and top it with your choice of their homemade gourmet cream cheeses, apple butter, or sliced lox.

9. FLORIDA // ANDY'S FLOUR POWER CAFÉ AND BAKERY

Location: Panama City, Florida

Andy’s Flour Power is all about delicious, homemade food. You can build your own omelet, but the "I Want It All" omelet gives you a taste of everything—bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, onions, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes. And of course, all of that flour power is poured into the bakery, which offers plenty of muffins, rolls, walnut raisin bread, and baklava. Arrive early and bring your appetite.

10. GEORGIA // WEST EGG CAFÉ

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

This Atlanta cafe, named in honor of The Great Gatsby, serves breakfast all day and gives diners a unique take on modern southern food. The sour cream pancakes are served with syrup and spiced honey butter, and the fried green tomato wrap comes with roasted garlic grits.

11. HAWAII // LONGHI’S

Location: Multiple locations, Hawaii

With restaurants on Maui and Oahu, Longhi’s has been a Hawaiian culinary institution since 1976. Since they have access to the best fresh fruit available, having a standard yogurt and granola becomes a heightened experience when you can add a fresh Maui pineapple or papaya. Or, get your guava or passionfruit fix as a mimosa mixer, and go with the also-local banana macadamia nut pancakes for the main course.

12. IDAHO // BACON

Location: Boise, Idaho

Situated in downtown Boise, Bacon offers five flavors of bacon and sells more than eight tons of bacon each year. If you find yourself at this casual spot, try a Bloody Mary and the Boise Basin omelet, which comes with bacon, cheese, onion, and pepper. Plus, Happy Hour is served all day on Mondays (though, with that much bacon on the menu, isn't every hour happy hour?).

13. ILLINOIS // OVER EASY

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Illinois is home to many great breakfast spots, but Over Easy might be the best. To satisfy your sweet tooth, order the candy apple French toast. If you’re lucky, the Fleur-de-Sel Fig French Toast—which is so exclusive it's only served one week each year—will be on the menu. This limited-time special dish features fig jam, hazelnut pastry cream, raspberry coulis, and warm fleur-de-sel salted caramel.

14. INDIANA // CAFÉ PATACHOU

Location: Multiple locations, Indiana

With locations in Indianapolis and Carmel, Café Patachou serves a stellar breakfast to hungry hoosiers. Omelets and broken yolks (two runny eggs) come with toast and a small arugula salad, and the apple fritter French toast is topped with cinnamon sugar.

15. IOWA // DOWNTOWN CENTRAL PERK

Location: Davenport, Iowa

All the menu items at this coffee house and juice bar are vegetarian (and can be made vegan), but carnivores will find plenty of tasty options. Sip on the banana blueberry smoothie, savor a specialty Intelligentsia coffee drink, or eat the breakfast pizza, topped with scrambled eggs, potatoes, and Soyausage.

16. KANSAS // BANJO’S CAFE

Location: Topeka, Kansas

Since the 1980s, Banjo’s has fed hungry diners in a casual, down-home environment. The inexpensive diner—which is known for their huge portions and steaming hot coffee—serves popular items such as homemade buttermilk biscuits with country-style sausage gravy and cinnamon rolls. And be sure to try the chicken fried steak bowl, a local favorite.

17. KENTUCKY // GOLD RUSH CAFE

Location: Paducah, Kentucky

If you like meat with your breakfast, Gold Rush Cafe is the place to go. Their bacon cheeseburger skillet omelet and breakfast burger melts are rich and decadent, but the meatloaf omelet is truly an original. It comes with meatloaf bits, veggies, cheese, and barbecue sauce. If the thought of that much breakfast meat is giving you the sweats, try the bread pudding waffles with baked cinnamon apples on the side.

18. LOUISIANA // SLIM GOODIES DINER

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Although you might find a long line at Slim Goodies, this breakfast is definitely worth the wait. Choose to eat at the counter, in the dining rooms, or on the garden patio, but be sure to order The SinkHole, "the mother of all omelets." It's made with three eggs, cheddar and feta cheeses, chopped bacon, sausage, ham, and veggies, and topped with salsa, jalapeños, and sour cream.

19. MAINE // MAINE DINER

Location: Wells, Maine

Six million customers have eaten at this homey diner since 1983, and for good reason. The homemade biscuit and sausage gravy will stick to your ribs, and the lobster benedict and fresh lobster quiche will make your taste buds appreciate their famous local seafood.

20. MARYLAND // BLUE MOON CAFE

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s Blue Moon Cafe serves breakfast and brunch classics like fluffy omelets, French toast, and egg sandwiches, but you don’t want to miss their specialty pancakes. Try the bacon and apple pancakes for a sweet yet savory dish.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // ANDY'S DINER

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

This Cambridge diner has been a casual dining neighborhood staple since 1958. Some of Andy's weekly breakfast specials (served all day) include banana bread French toast and cranberry pumpkin pancakes. Try the Cambridge Classic: French toast with two eggs, sausage, bacon, and coffee.

22. MICHIGAN // THE JAGGED FORK

Location: Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

If you like to get creative with breakfast, head to The Jagged Fork. Sip on freshly squeezed orange juice while you decide whether to order the graham cracker-crusted French toast (with a cream cheese frosting) or the Reuben crepe, which is stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese.

23. MINNESOTA // GOOD DAY CAFE

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Featured on Food Network’s episode "Best. Breakfast. Ever.," Good Day Cafe is the only way to start your day in Minneapolis. Order a chocolate caramel espresso or smoothie, and save room for bakery items like sticky caramel pecan buns and beignets. You may want to end your day there, too. The Bad Day Bar serves up cheap apps, wine, and cocktails every day from 4 to 6 p.m.

24. MISSISSIPPI // THE BAYVIEW GOURMET

Location: Ocean Springs, Mississippi

If boozy breakfasts are your thing, take advantage of the brunch cocktails at The Bayview Gourmet. While you enjoy your Bloody Mary, Irish coffee, or mimosa, chow down on the Ocean Springs wrap, which contains shrimp, crab meat, scrambled eggs, scallions, and cheese.

25. MISSOURI // THE BRUNCHEONETTE

Location: Joplin, Missouri

Although The Bruncheonette has a small menu and tiny seating area, the flavors are larger than life. Start your day (Wednesday through Sunday) with half a bruleed ruby red grapefruit before moving on to the homemade drop biscuits with chorizo, bacon, and gravy. Or try their buttermilk pancakes topped with housemade 80-Acre beer syrup made with beer from Missouri-favorite Boulevard Brewing Company.

26. MONTANA // CAFE ZYDECO

Location: Multiple locations, Montana

This Montana cafe (with four locations in Helena, Billings, Missoula, and Bozeman) gives northern residents a convenient way to satisfy their cravings for deep-south Cajun cooking. Order the crawfish omelet and, if you happen to be there on a Saturday, try their ridiculously tasty beignets.

27. NEBRASKA // BAILEY'S

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Bailey’s provides Omahans with a casual place to dig into comforting, homemade food. Begin your breakfast with a bacon Bloody Mary or Bailey's coffee (named for the restaurant, but spiked with Bailey's Irish Cream), and try the Porkasaurus, a massive plate of ham steak, sausage links, Canadian bacon, Andouille sausage, bacon, red taters, eggs, a biscuit, sausage gravy, and cheese.

28. NEVADA // KIMMIE'S COFFEE CUP

Location: Reno, Nevada

Since 2011, Kimmie's has made dishes that feature fresh produce and never-frozen beef. Although the banana pecan pancakes are popular, you don’t want to miss the bacon avocado benedict, made with cherrywood smoked bacon.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // RIVERWALK CAFE & MUSIC BAR

Location: Nashua, New Hampshire

This café doubles as a music venue, and the coffee—fair trade and roasted on site—is just as heavenly as the live music is. Get the Chunky Spunky Monkey, a blend of espresso, chocolate, milk, banana, and peanut butter or try an egg sandwich with feta, spinach, tomatoes, and pesto.

30. NEW JERSEY // HIDDEN GROUNDS COFFEE

Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

Since 2013, Hidden Grounds Coffee has provided freshly ground coffee, espresso, and bakery items to hungry patrons. While the coffee is exceptional, you’ll want to nibble on some of the spot’s creative foods, like the banana chai loaf, or sandwiches like the spicy grilled cheese or the savory melty bagel egg and cheese with Sriracha and honey drizzle.

31. NEW MEXICO // TECOLOTE

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

This family-owned restaurant serves an authentic Southwestern breakfast. If you find yourself at Tecolote, order the Huevos Yucatecos, a corn tortilla with black beans, eggs, Swiss and feta cheese, pico de gallo, and fried bananas.

32. NEW YORK // JACK'S WIFE FREDA

Location: New York, New York

Although Jack’s Wife Freda is open all day, you’ll want to arrive early to order from the breakfast menu. This modern, healthy Mediterranean spot (with two locations in Manhattan) serves an excellent green shakshuka with challah toast, as well as poached eggs with grilled tomato and haloumi.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // STACKS KITCHEN

Location: Multiple locations, North Carolina

Luckily, Stacks (located in Waxhaw and Matthews) serves breakfast all day to hungry diners. While their omelets and skillets are popular, you can’t go wrong with the banana walnut waffles or chocolate chip pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // LONNIE’S ROADHOUSE CAFÉ

Location: Williston, North Dakota

This café cooks hearty, down-to-earth breakfast staples like chicken fried steak, hash browns, and biscuits and gravy. The walls and ceiling are decorated with ads for local businesses, creating a unique dining atmosphere. Pro tip: Get a side order of the kielbasa.

35. OHIO // KATALINA'S

Location: Columbus, Ohio

At this café, housed in a 100-year-old gas station, you’ll probably be happy feasting on the Mexican French toast, made with brioche toast sticks with grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and Mexican chocolate. But make sure to also order Katalina’s trademarked Original Pancake Balls. The delicious doughy balls can be filled with Nutella, dulce de leche, pumpkin-apple butter, or strawberry jam.

36. OKLAHOMA // BRAMBLE BREAKFAST & BAR

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

This farm-to-table spot in downtown Tulsa takes typical breakfast fare and turns it on its head. Order Bramble's spiced apple steel cut oats (with brown sugar cream and smoked cashews) or the daily quiche, which is served with your choice of toast, duck fat fries, or a hash brown latke.

37. OREGON // THE VICTORIAN CAFE

Location: Bend, Oregon

Bend residents know that waiting in a long line for breakfast at The Victorian Cafe is totally worth it. Feast on creative dishes such as caramel apple French toast or Texas Hold'em Benedict, which features poached eggs alongside spicy barbecue pulled pork topped with ancho chili hollandaise sauce and fresh cilantro. And sip on a Bloody Mary or a mid- or man-mosa, their medium or large versions of mimosas.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // NANCY’S EAST END DINER

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When owner Nancy Bielicki died in 2015 after 30 years of serving up home-cooked meals, new owners took over to continue the legacy of this neighborhood restaurant. Today, this Pittsburgh diner serves omelets, pancakes, French toast, and breakfast sandwiches. Order a bottomless cup of Tanzanian peaberry coffee or Nancy’s Breakfast Special (eggs, toast, and home fries or grits).

39. RHODE ISLAND // ELMWOOD DINER

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Elmwood Diner makes homemade comfort food that will quickly wake up your taste buds. The fried chicken and waffle, soaked in buttermilk and served with two farm eggs, makes for a hearty breakfast, and the corned tofu hash offers vegetarian diners a meat-free option. For a healthier experience, you can also substitute gluten-free pancakes, waffles, or toast and opt for real maple syrup over regular pancake syrup.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // THE DEVINE CINNAMON ROLL DELI

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Cinnamon lovers rejoice! Run by a mother and son team, The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli sells cinnamon rolls (with vanilla butter whipped cream cheese icing) and orange marmalade sticky buns all day. Not sure which cinnamon roll flavor to get? Try the black pepper bacon maple glaze, banana foster, or apple cobbler. For those lacking a sweet tooth, the deli also serves breakfast sandwiches.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // JOSIAH'S COFFEEHOUSE & CAFÉ

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

At Josiah’s, the coffee is strong, the service is friendly, and the food will keep your belly full through lunchtime. Order a cappuccino or iced caramel macchiato and munch on a bowl of steel cut oatmeal, which comes with blueberries, banana, flax, and chia seeds.

42. TENNESSEE // BRYANT’S BREAKFAST

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Bryant’s begins serving breakfast bright and early at 5 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The grits breakfast bowl and cinnamon roll French toast are two standouts, but if you can’t decide on just one thing, Bryant’s has you covered. Order The Sampler, which includes three eggs, three biscuits, country gravy, grits, a potato patty, and a small serving of bacon, pork tenderloin, sausage, and country ham.

43. TEXAS // PARIS COFFEE SHOP

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Sip on coffee or orange juice between bites of French toast with turkey sausage or sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos. Whatever you order, your appetite will be sated by the Paris Coffee Shop’s home-cooked meals, which they’ve been happily serving for 85 years.

44. UTAH // THE BAGEL PROJECT

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

The Bagel Project elevates the humble bagel to another stratosphere. Using a traditional fermentation process, the shop hand-shapes each bagel and eschews sugar, honey, eggs, and preservatives. Try a bialy (a baked roll with caramelized onions and poppy seeds) with a cup of kombucha.

45. VERMONT // DOWN HOME KITCHEN

Location: Montpelier, Vermont

Vermont probably isn’t the first place you’d think to go for Southern soul food, but Down Home Kitchen just might change that. After opening in Montpelier last year, it’s already wowed Vermonters with its Biscuit Benedict (served all day!) and country-fried chicken. Sip on a latte with a shot of maple or mocha, and try the homemade granola, made with Vermont maple syrup and honey.

46. VIRGINIA // DE CLIEU COFFEE & SANDWICHES

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

This spot serves coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and lattes made with beans from local, small-batch roasters. Once you’ve taken a bite of the Belgian waffle, sprinkled with chocolate chips and banana, or the broccoli cheddar quiche (on a homemade deep-dish crust) you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.

47. WASHINGTON // SAVOR CREPERIE

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Owned by a French Canadian chef, Savor Creperie is a crepe-lover's paradise. The crepe scrambles come with fresh fruit and are filled with meats, veggies, and cheese. Get a small French press filled with Valhalla French Roast coffee, and if you’re gluten-free, ask for your crepe to be made with rice flour.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // BLUE WHITE GRILL

Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia

At this all-American diner, sit at the counter or hop in a booth to enjoy a classic breakfast. The blueberry hot cakes and vegetarian omelet are particularly tasty, and the framed photo of Elvis Presley on the wall will make you feel as though you’ve traveled back to a simpler time.

49. WISCONSIN // MARIGOLD KITCHEN

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Marigold Kitchen uses fresh, local ingredients to create an extraordinary breakfast experience. Tired of regular old coffee? Order the hazelnut almond mocha or maple latte (made with pure Wisconsin maple syrup). Come hungry, too: You’ll want to devour the chili poached eggs. We also suggest the roasted sweet potato, kale, and basil walnut pesto hash.

50. WYOMING // THE BUNNERY BAKERY AND RESTAURANT

Location: Jackson, Wyoming

This bakery and restaurant has served baked goods like turnovers, scones, and flaky croissants to customers for four decades. Choose between a variety of quiches, omelets, and scrambles, and grab an O.S.M. roll, which contains oats, sunflower seeds, and millet, to take home.

Original image
dschreiber29/iStock
arrow
Lists
The Smallest Town in Each of the 50 States
Original image
dschreiber29/iStock

From a central Florida enclave where the mermaids outnumber the residents to the town that changed its name to Joe, Montana, there’s a lot of quirky history in America’s least populated places. We’ve combed the country to find the most interesting tiny town in each state—ranging in population from one to more than 1000. Some entries describe the state’s smallest incorporated town, while others highlight the smallest census-designated place. We picked the one with the wackiest, cutest, or most surprising story.

1. MCMULLEN, ALABAMA // POPULATION: 9

In 2000, McMullen was one of the only all-black towns in America, with a population of 66. But a series of recent natural disasters has pushed residents away, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to an EF2 tornado that destroyed 13 homes in February 2016. Now only nine people remain in the rural western Alabama town, according to a 2016 population estimate from the Census Bureau.

2. HOBART BAY, ALASKA // POPULATION: 1

Moonrise on Hobart Bay

Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps (ret.) // Wikimedia Commons

David Jorgensen has Hobart Bay all to himself. The 62-year-old has been the sole caretaker for the abandoned logging camp, accessible only via floatplane or boat, for nearly a decade. He used to live in Hobart Bay with scores of neighbors before the logging dried up in the late ‘90s. The population plummeted from 187 in 1990 to just David Jorgensen by 2010. Now Goldbelt, Inc., a former logging company which owns 30,000 acres in and around Hobart Bay, wants to turn the place into a cruise ship destination and clam farm.

3. JEROME, ARIZONA // POPULATION: 455

Jerome holds simultaneous claims as the smallest incorporated municipality in Arizona and the largest ghost town in America. Founded in 1876, the city grew out of a copper mining camp into the fourth largest city in Arizona Territory. Workers poured in to climb down the town’s mine shafts and extract as many as 3 million pounds of copper each month. The vast number of saloons and brothels that cropped up to cater to the miners in their off-work hours led the New York Sun to dub Jerome “the wickedest town in the west” in 1903. Today, Jerome’s small population of artists, shopkeepers, and hospitality workers bring the ghosts of its past to life for visiting tourists.

4. MAGNET COVE, ARKANSAS // POPULATION: 5

Magnet Cove was named for the abundance of magnetite (lodestone) in its soil, which early settlers discovered when they felt their plows and other tools strangely attracted to the ground. It remains a popular site for rockhounding thanks to its unusually rich [PDF] diversity of minerals. Today, the only businesses in Magnet Cove are a gas station and two novaculite quarries. (Novaculite is a mineral used to make whetstones, and Magnet Cove produces some of the purest novaculite in the world.)

5. VERNON, CALIFORNIA // POPULATION: 209

Vernon was founded in 1905 as an “exclusively industrial” city just south of downtown Los Angeles. Until 2015, Vernon housed about 1800 businesses employing roughly 55,000 workers —but was home to only 100 residents. The city kept its population low on purpose. All residences were owned by the city government, which evicted its political rivals and tore down houses to prevent newcomers from moving in. This enabled a ruling family to control the electorate, run the city “like a fiefdom,” and pay one city administrator a salary of $1.65 million one year. In 2015, under threat of dissolution from the state, Vernon agreed to adopt a series of reforms, including the construction of a new privately-owned apartment building that doubled the city’s population.

6. BONANZA, COLORADO // POPULATION: 1

Bonanza got its name in 1880 from silver miners who thought they’d struck it big. Over the next few decades, Bonanza grew into a copper, zinc, and silver mining boomtown, home to thousands of miners, two hotels, seven dance halls, a newspaper, a candy store, and even a baseball team. Today the town is mainly a summer vacation getaway. Although as many as 200 people own property in Bonanza today, only one man lives in town year-round: Mark Perkovich, a retired hotshot firefighter who moved in 22 years ago seeking solitude.

7. UNION, CONNECTICUT // POPULATION: 843

Trees reflected in Bigelow Pond in Union, Connecticut

Jesse Goodier // Wikimedia Commons

Founded on rough terrain with poor soil, Union was the last town settled east of the Connecticut River. James McNall, the town’s first settler, arrived from Ireland in 1727, and Union was officially incorporated in 1734. Legend has it that the town got its name because it was formed from the “union” of leftover plots of land that surrounding towns hadn’t incorporated. Today Union is a quiet residential community that prides itself on its scenic hills, trees, and wildlife.

8. HARTLY, DELAWARE // POPULATION: 71

After 280 years of townhood, Hartly faced an existential crisis in 2014. The town had no functioning government. It hadn’t collected taxes in two years. And it was somewhere between $20,000 and $36,000 in debt—no one knew exactly how much the town owed because Hartly had stopped paying for the P.O. box where it received its bills. To make matters worse, a former treasurer, convicted in 2004 of embezzling $89,000 from Hartly’s coffers, still hadn’t repaid the town for his theft. Then in December, more than 100 people, mostly out-of-towners, assembled at the local fire station to come up with a plan to save Hartly. They formed a new council and got to work reviving the town, inspiring the 2016 documentary A Hope for Hartly.

9. WEEKI WACHEE, FLORIDA // POPULATION: 5

Weeki Wachee is home to a state-estimated five human beings—and roughly 28 mermaids. More than 250,000 visitors drive each year to the small central Florida town, an hour north of Tampa, to see the Weeki Wachee Mermaids perform 30-minute live shows in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The show began in 1947, when a navy veteran named Newton Perry figured out a way to breathe underwater using an air hose and a compressor. He built an underwater theater into the springs’ limestone and sought out “pretty girls” to train as mermaids. Today, the mermaids swim and dance alongside manatees, otters, turtles, and even alligators, stopping only occasionally to catch a breath through tubes at the bottom of their tank. The mayor of Weeki Wachee, Robyn Anderson, is a former mermaid.

10. TATE CITY, GEORGIA // POPULATION: 16

Tate City, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “isn’t really a city, more an assortment of fancy, second-home homes owned by Atlantans and Floridians and more utilitarian houses for residents working in Clayton or Dillard.” The town sprang up around a ruby mine that once attracted more than 1000 residents, and later switched to logging. (A man named Tate owned the biggest logging camp, hence the name.) After the loggers stripped Tate City of its forests, they moved on and left little behind. The sleepy town didn’t get electricity until the early 1970s.

11. MANELE, HAWAII // POPULATION: 29

Evans / Getty

Manele is the site of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, on Hawaii’s sixth largest island. Through most of the 20th century, Lanai was the site of the Dole pineapple plantation, once the most productive in the world. But today, 97 percent of the island belongs to Larry Ellison, founder of the software firm Oracle and the fifth-richest person in the world. Ellison bought the land, along with a third of Lanai’s housing, the water utility, two resort hotels, the cemetery, and most other businesses in a single real estate deal in 2012. He plans to turn the island into a luxury resort destination for the super-rich, prompting concerns for the future of the island’s residents.

12. WARM RIVER, IDAHO // POPULATION: 3

Warm River became a city thanks to a quirk in Idaho’s 1947 liquor laws that restricted liquor licenses to establishments within municipal borders. That year, Fred Lewies, an Estonian immigrant who owned and operated the Warm River Inn and Rendezvous Dance Hall, incorporated the city so that he could legally serve drinks at his bar. The town has had three mayors: Fred’s wife Berta, their daughter Lillian, and their granddaughter Lonnie. Today, Warm River still has its dance hall, but it’s also a fishing destination and a stop for tourists on their way into Yellowstone National Park.

13. MOONSHINE, ILLINOIS // POPULATION: 1

There’s one business, one house, and one person in Moonshine, and they’re all under one green tin roof. Helen Tuttle owns the Moonshine Store, a country store and restaurant she operates out of a century-old building in the middle of Eastern Illinois farmland. Each day, Tuttle serves 140 Moonburgers to customers visiting from surrounding farms (and sometimes ranging from the far flung corners of 50 states and 45 countries). The burgers aren’t very elaborate. Tuttle serves a gas-grilled beef patty on run-of-the-mill buns. But guests are invited to jazz them up themselves from a condiment table featuring mustard, mayonnaise, onions, hot pickle relish and horseradish. For years, Moonshine had a second resident: Roy Lee, Helen’s husband. But Roy died in 2015, and now Helen lives alone in the six rooms above the Moonshine Store.

14. NEW AMSTERDAM, INDIANA // POPULATION: 27

New Amsterdam was born and nearly destroyed on the banks of the Ohio River. Until 1937, the town thrived on the riverbank. It had two general stores, its churches’ pews were packed, and the houses along the river held upwards of 400 people. Then a 1937 flood wiped out most of the city and drove many of its residents away for good, but the remaining folks didn’t give up. In 2015, New Amsterdam celebrated its bicentennial.

15. BEACONSFIELD, IOWA // POPULATION: 15

US astronaut Peggy Whitson tests her space suit before blasting off to the International Space Station
Kirill Kudryavtsev / Getty

Beaconsfield may be tiny, but it punches above its weight class in terms of bragging rights. The Iowa town was the birthplace of the Hy-Vee grocery store chain, which operates more than 240 stores in the Midwest. The founders Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg (Hy-Vee, get it?) opened their first store in Beaconsfield, right at the onset of the Great Depression in 1930. Beaconsfield is also astronaut Peggy Whitson’s hometown [PDF]. In April 2017, Whitson broke the NASA record for most total days in space (at the time, 534). She’s also the first woman ever to command the International Space Station twice. 

16. FREEPORT, KANSAS // POPULATION: 5

Freeport is a dwindling town that refuses to go softly into the night. For years, the town boasted in its motto that it was “the smallest incorporated city in the United States having a bank.” But the bank left in 2009. Two years later, the post office tried to leave, too, but Freeport residents put up a fight. They petitioned the U.S. Postal Service to review its decision and hung a sign in city hall, housed in the abandoned bank building, urging visitors to “Help Keep Our Post Office—Buy Stamps.” Ultimately, the USPS was no match for Freeport’s residents. The post office remains, along with a grain elevator, a church, and five stubborn Kansans.

17. SOUTH PARK VIEW, KENTUCKY // POPULATION: 7

South Park View is quickly disappearing beneath the air traffic of Bowman Field. Since 1994, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority has been buying up homes and relocating residents under the path—and wall-to-wall noise—of arriving and departing planes. Over two decades, the program bought out more than 2000 homes at a cost of more than $260 million. But seven holdouts in South Park View have refused to accept the voluntary buy-outs.

18. MOUND, LOUISIANA // POPULATION: 18

Mound got its name because its founders built the town on top of a Native American burial mound. A century ago, Mound was a collection of cotton plantations owned by a few landed families. In those days, a planter named George S. Yerger controlled 50,000 acres and paid his workers in a made-up currency they could only spend at his company store. He also acted as town sheriff and kept prisoners in a subterranean jail buried under his store. Today, corn and soybeans grow in the fields, but the same families still live in their ancestral homes and own much of the land. Margaret Yerger, who is married to George Yerger’s grandson, is mayor.

19. HIBBERTS GORE, MAINE // POPULATION: 1

A gore is an unincorporated area, usually created when land surveyors make mistakes that leave irregularly shaped hunks of unaccounted land between town boundaries. In Maine, Hibberts Gore is home to one resident, Karen Keller, who lives 100 yards from the nearby town of Palermo. Curious reporters have been seeking her out for stories since the Boston Globe ran a profile on her in 2001, but Keller doesn’t like the attention. “These people from these big papers come. Why? What have I done? It’s a bunch of lines on a map. Nothing else.” Keller told Sunday Salon in 2013. “What have I accomplished? What have I ever done to make anyone’s life better? What good for the planet? What good for people? What good for anybody? Why? It’s hogwash.”

20. PORT TOBACCO, MARYLAND // POPULATION: 13

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Port Tobacco was Maryland’s second largest port and the seat of Charles County. Historians say it rivaled Williamsburg and Philadelphia among colonial ports, and that George Washington used to pass through town regularly on his way to see his doctor. Today, Port Tobacco still operates under an 1888 charter that bars women from holding office, imposes a $1 tax on every dog and prohibits any resident from allowing “his swine to run at large within said village.” Mayor John Hyde, a mortician by trade, told the Washington Post in 2006 that the town never got around to changing those laws, but it doesn’t enforce them anymore.

21. GOSNOLD, MASSACHUSETTS // POPULATION: 75

An 1858 landscape of Cuttyhunk Island by painter Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt // Wikimedia Commons

Gosnold comprises the Elizabeth Islands off the southern coast of Massachusetts. Most residents live on the island of Cuttyhunk, the town seat. According to news reports, in the summer Cuttyhunk’s population can swell up to 400, but in the winter, the island’s 150 golf carts far outnumber its 20 year-round residents. Cuttyhunk is home to a one-room schoolhouse with one teacher and two students. It is only accessible by a ferry which in the winter runs twice a week across Buzzards Bay, carrying food, fuel, mail, and people.

22. POINTE AUX BARQUES, MICHIGAN // POPULATION: 10

Pointe-Aux-Barques Lighthouse
Cliff Kinney // Wikimedia Commons

Pointe Aux Barques is a resort town on the tip of the thumb of Michigan’s mitten. It got its name in 1665 from French priest Claude Alouez, who thought the rocky coast resembled the prow of a ship. From 300 BCE to 600 CE, the land Pointe aux Barques would occupy was a sacred place for an ancient indigenous culture. After its disappearance, the land went unoccupied for a millennium until European colonists showed up and began logging the forest in the 17th century. In 1896, railroad baron Stanford Crapo built a resort, connecting Pointe aux Barques to wealthy Detroit families who fled to the rural township in the summer.

23. FUNKLEY, MINNESOTA // POPULATION: 10

Green Funkley Road Sign
Ed Kohler // Wikimedia Commons

Funkley mayor Emil Erickson will serve anyone who visits his town a drink—provided that they go to the Funkley Bar and Lounge, which he owns, and pay using Funkley Bucks, a made-up currency with his face on it that he prints and doles out to tourists. Erickson presides over the bar with his dog Chopper, who likes to sit on a stool next to the patrons. In the fall, big crowds of hunters visit. In the summer, Funkley gets bikers. Otherwise, there aren’t many new faces in Funkley. The city’s population recently doubled to its current 10 residents after a five-person family moved in.

24. SATARTIA, MISSISSIPPI // POPULATION: 53

Satartia’s main claim to fame is the Satartia Bridge over the Yazoo River in the Mississippi Delta. Its concrete, steel, and rust aesthetic has landed it on a website that catalogues ugly bridges. But most infamously, a team of paranormal investigators has claimed the Satartia Bridge is haunted: They saw mysterious floating flights, heard phantom moans, and smelled rotting flesh coming from the water in 2003. They suggested the source could be the indigenous Yazoo people, who according to legend were marched into the river to their deaths after refusing to surrender to the conquering French. Another theory claims the river is haunted by the crew of one of the 29 ships sunk here during the Civil War.

25. BAKER, MISSOURI // POPULATION: 3

Baker is tiny— less than a quarter-square-mile of land. But the town’s only family farms 3,300 acres of rice, soybeans, and wheat in fields that extend beyond Baker’s boundaries. Mark Rinehart took the land over from his father, Max, and now works it with his son, Eric. Mark told the Missouri News Scene his proposal for boosting the U.S. rice market in 2014: “Drink more beer, eat more rice, or both.”

26. ISMAY, MONTANA // POPULATION: 21

Ismay wasn’t always named Ismay. Until the 1910s, the town was called Burt. Then a railroad division superintendent renamed the place Ismay, a mashup of his two daughters’ names, Isabella and Maybelle. Then, in 1993, as part of a Kansas City radio station’s publicity stunt, the town agreed to change its name to Joe, Montana, in honor of the NFL quarterback who had just been traded to the Chiefs. Sports Illustrated picked up the story, and soon the town was selling hundreds of “Joe, Montana” t-shirts, coffee mugs, and golf balls. More than 2000 visitors descended on the town the first time it hosted “Joe Day.” And the Kansas City Chiefs flew the entire town down to see a game and hang out with Joe Montana. When Ismay ended the stunt eight years later, the town had enough money to buy itself a new fire truck and build a community center—named for Joe Montana.

27. MONOWI, NEBRASKA // POPULATION: 1

Elsie Eiler is all that’s left of Monowi, the only incorporated town in America with one inhabitant. She is the mayor and the owner of the Monowi Tavern, the only business in town. She lives half a mile away from the bar in a mobile home. Each year, she taxes herself to raise the money to keep Monowi’s four streetlights on. For decades, there was another resident in Monowi: Eiler’s husband Rudy, an avid reader. He died in 2004. The next year, Elsie built a library behind the tavern and stocked it with 5000 books. The library was her husband’s lifelong dream, and Elsie dedicated the building to Rudy.

28. CALIENTE, NEVADA // POPULATION: 1108

The land that would become Caliente was first settled in the early 1860s by Ike and Dow Barton, two escaped slaves from Arkansas. For a while the place was called Culverwell, after Charles and William Culverwell, who owned a ranch on the land. In 1901, when Union Pacific and another railroad got into a territory dispute over who could lay down track in a narrow canyon near the ranch, William Culverwell ended the land battle “with his shotgun.” He gave Union Pacific the right to build a railroad grade through his property and the rival company dropped its claim. The town quickly grew to more than 5000 residents thanks to the train depot. It was renamed Caliente after the discovery of nearby hot springs.

29. DIXVILLE NOTCH, NEW HAMPSHIRE // POPULATION: 8

A man casts his ballot in Dixville Notch's midnight primary election in 2016
Alice Chiche // Getty

The residents of Dixville Notch have cast the first votes in every U.S. presidential election and primary since 1960. Thanks to an obscure New Hampshire law, voting precincts with fewer than 100 voters can open their polls at midnight on election day and close them as soon as everyone has cast their vote. A local hotelier started driving his employees to the polls at midnight in 1960 as a publicity stunt for his resort. The polls closed at 12:07 a.m., and the town became the first precinct to report election results. It wasn’t long before presidential candidates began visiting Dixville Notch every four years.

30. TAVISTOCK, NEW JERSEY // POPULATION: 5

A group of golfers founded Tavistock in 1921 to evade blue laws in nearby Haddonfield that banned sports on Sundays. When 19 former members of the Haddonfield Country Club got fed up with the restrictive rules, they incorporated Tavistock, a quarter-mile splinter of Haddonfield. There they created a new country club with a new golf course, which stays open seven days a week. The Tavistock government also lets its country club sell liquor, which is illegal in Haddonfield.

31. WHITES CITY, NEW MEXICO // POPULATION: 7

Kentucky teacher Charlie White founded this town near the entrance of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the 1920s. White built tourist accommodations on the only road in or out of the park. “White’s Cavern Camp,” a collection of 13 visitor rooms, a gas station, and a house for his family, grew into Whites City. White’s children and grandchildren eventually added a theater, a saloon, and a museum of curios including a stuffed two-headed snake. In 2008, the White family auctioned off the entire city for $1.55 million. (Before the final auction, the family listed it on eBay for $5 million.) The new owners sold Whites City again in April for an undisclosed sum.

32. OIL SPRING RESERVATION, NEW YORK // POPULATION: 1

A Franciscan missionary named Joseph DeLa Roch D’Allion made the first recorded mention of oil in North America here in 1627. The Seneca and earlier indigenous peoples knew about the oil long before, and used the spring’s petroleum-laden waters for medicinal purposes. The U.S. federal government officially recognized Oil Spring as a Seneca reservation at the end of the 18th century, but by the 1850s white squatters, including future New York governor Horatio Seymour, had taken up residence. The Seneca waged a legal battle to evict the squatters and have retained control of the land ever since [PDF].

33. DELLVIEW, NORTH CAROLINA // POPULATION: 13

In 1925, the Dellinger family had a problem: stray dogs kept raiding their chicken coops and killing their poultry, but local laws prevented them from shooting the mongrels on sight. Luckily, they had a cousin in the state assembly. That year, state representative David R. Dellinger proposed a bill to incorporate the town of Dellview, populated almost exclusively by Dellingers. The town never collected taxes, provided a police force, or offered water or sewer services. But it did pass a local ordinance that made it legal to shoot stray dogs. In 1978, no one in Dellview responded to a Census Mapping Survey and the state declared the town inactive.

34. RUSO, NORTH DAKOTA // POPULATION: 4

Ruso was founded in the early 20th century by protestants from Ukraine who wanted to escape the influence of the Russian Orthodox church. Many took homesteads for farming and ranching in North Dakota. By 1910, 71 percent of the state’s population was first- or second-generation immigrants. The new arrivals named Ruso nostalgically, either after a Russian word meaning “south of us” or a combination of the first letters in SOuth RUssia.

35. RENDVILLE, OHIO // POPULATION: 36

Rendville is a former coal mining town with an outsized influence on the history of labor and civil rights in the U.S. Founded in 1879 by William P. Rend, the town quickly gained notoriety as a place where black men could get work as coal miners. Rend hired black and white workers in large numbers, despite violent threats from white miners in neighboring towns. Rendville produced the first black man and woman to serve as mayors in Ohio—Isaiah Tuppins and Sophia Mitchell—along with the country’s first black woman postmaster general, Roberta Preston. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor and cofounder of the National Urban League, and Richard L. Davis, cofounder of the United Mine Workers of America, both worked in Rendville.

36. LOTSEE, OKLAHOMA // POPULATION: 2

George Campbell had been letting Boy Scouts and church groups camp on his ranch for years. But in 1963, the nearby cities of Tulsa and Sand Springs were racing to annex as much surrounding land as possible, and Campbell worried that if either city gobbled up his ranch, he would have to follow local ordinances prohibiting the campers. So he filed to incorporate a new town and named it after his daughter, Lotsee. Today, Lotsee Spradling and her husband Mike are the only two residents in town and their ranch takes up nearly all of its area.

37. GREENHORN, OREGON // POPULATION: 2

With an elevation of 6306 feet, Greenhorn is Oregon’s highest city. Founded during an 1860s gold rush, Greenhorn now serves as a vacation retreat and hunting outpost for a handful of part-time residents. Two people, Joyce Pappel and Ron Bergstrom, account for the town’s entire permanent population. Greenhorn collects no taxes and has no sewers, power lines, or police.

38. CENTRALIA, PENNSYLVANIA // POPULATION: 5

A smoking crack opens in a highway near Centralia, Pennsylvania caused by underground coal fires
Don Emmert // Getty

In 1962, a trash fire in Centralia’s dump spread into an underground coal seam and wouldn’t stop burning for the next two decades. In 1981, a 12-year-old boy was nearly sucked into the subterranean inferno when the ground gave out beneath him. Two years later, Congress set aside $42 million to buy out the town’s 1100 residents, but nine holdouts refused. After another two decades, they won the right to stay in their homes. Those that remain alive are Centralia’s last residents.

39. WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND // POPULATION: 154

Watch Hill is a blue-blooded beachside village—home to the Ocean House, a grand hotel built here just after the Civil War—where wealthy families have spent their summers for more than a century and resisted letting newcomers into their enclave. But in 2013, nouveau-riche pop star Taylor Swift plunked down $17.75 million in cash for a 16-room waterfront mansion. For the rest of us, one of two Watch Hill beaches is open to nonresidents.

40. JENKINSVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA // POPULATION: 43

A nuclear reactor in Jenkinsville, South Carolina at sunset

DJSlawSlaw // Wikimedia Commons

Jenkinsville successfully installed sidewalks, curbs, and streetlights through federal grants. But Jenkinsville is also the site of a slightly larger construction project: two nuclear reactors. Joining its existing 30-year-old reactor is a pair of new 1117-megawatt reactors, the first such structures built in the U.S. in three decades. They’re scheduled to start running by 2021, and each will provide enough electricity to power 640,000 homes.

41. HILLSVIEW, SOUTH DAKOTA // POPULATION: 2

It might be hard to find Hillsview, a half-square-mile patch of territory near South Dakota’s northern border. There used to be two signs that pointed toward the town from the highway, but vandals stole one of them, and the county took down the other down, reasoning that they couldn’t direct drivers to a place with no services to speak of. Now Hillsview’s two residents, a mother and son named Helen and Cletus Imberi, use the town’s only revenue—a small transportation allotment—to keep the Hillsview’s eight streetlights on, which illuminate their home, an abandoned school, and a hardware store.

42. SAULSBURY, TENNESSEE // POPULATION: 112

Saulsbury used to be renowned for its valuable sand. In the 1870s, the sand mining industry took off and the town shipped 47 different kinds of sand to nearly every state in the country.

43. LOS YBANEZ, TEXAS // POPULATION: 19

In 1980, Israel Ybanez snapped up an auctioned parcel of government land in western Texas with one goal: open dry Dawson County’s only liquor store. He incorporated the town in 1983, installed his wife as mayor, got his liquor license, and opened a take-out beer store. For three decades, Ybanez did brisk business as the only booze merchant for miles, eventually expanding to also sell wine and spirits. Ybanez died in 2014, but there are three liquor stores in Los Ybanez today.

44. BONANZA, UTAH // POPULATION: 1

Bonanza is a company town, owned by the American Gilsonite Co., at the center of the only commercial gilsonite mining operation in the world. You may not have heard of gilsonite, but this shiny black subspecies of asphalt is the stuff that shades the ink in your printer and seals your car to keep dust from drifting in from the road. Most of the company’s 225 workers live 48 miles away in Vernal, but Bonanza still encompasses 26 houses, processing plants and administrative buildings.

45. NEWFANE VILLAGE, VERMONT // POPULATION: 113

Newfane Village is a small incorporated enclave within the larger town of Newfane—a cluster of old, historic homes and small stores surrounded by forest. The settlement dates back to 1825 and its “village” status is a holdover from an archaic local government structure that Vermont abandoned by the 1930s. With its idiosyncratic government and its 60 white-clapboard, black-shuttered homes, Newfane Village has been described as a “microcosm of Vermont” and the “epitome of small-town New England.”

46. CLINCHPORT, VIRGINIA // POPULATION: 66

Clinchport started as a port for loggers transporting logs down the Clinch River to Chattanooga. The loggers rode the logs downstream, guided them into port at Chattanooga, and then hitched a ride back to Clinchport to chop down another tree. The town grew until 1977, when the Clinch River flooded and washed away many of its homes and businesses. Clinchport was never rebuilt. Today the Clinch River is renowned for its biodiversity. With over 130 species of fish and 40 species of mussels—many of them threatened or endangered—it is the most biodiverse river in the country.

47. KRUPP, WASHINGTON // POPULATION: 49

The town of Krupp was incorporated in 1911 and still officially bears that name—but everybody calls the place Marlin, because of a grudge against the Germans that dates back to World War I. During that conflict, the German Krupp gun factory manufactured much of the artillery the Axis powers fired on Allied soldiers. Queasy about this association, the town started calling itself Marlin, after John Marlin, the town’s first white settler.

48. THURMOND, WEST VIRGINIA // POPULATION: 6

William D. Thurmond, a former captain in the Confederate army, got 73 acres of land along the New River Gorge in 1873 as payment for his work as a surveyor. With rich coal fields and access to a nearby railroad junction, Thurmond’s property quickly attracted miners and merchants from across West Virginia. Saloons and gambling houses quickly followed. The town of Thurmond came to be known as the “Dodge City of the East” and was described as “hell with a river through it.” As the coal industry dried up, so did the town, until only five residents remained by 2015. That year, Thurmond became the smallest town in America to unanimously ban housing and employment discrimination against LGBT people.

49. ODANAH, WISCONSIN // POPULATION: 13

Odanah is the seat of government of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians on the Bad River Reservation. During the 1850 Sandy Lake Tragedy, 400 Chippewa died of disease, starvation, and cold when the federal government tried to force them to relocate west of the Mississippi. In 1854, the government granted the tribe permanent reservations in Wisconsin. Today, the Bad River Band has more than 7000 members, most living on the roughly 125,000 acres of undeveloped land in the reservation.

50. (PHINDELI TOWN) BUFORD, WYOMING // POPULATION: 1

All of Buford belongs to Pham Dinh Nguyen, a Vietnamese businessman who bought the place solely to promote his brand of gourmet coffee. He even unofficially renamed it PhinDeli Town Buford after the coffee. Nguyen, who reportedly walks around his native Ho Chi Minh City wearing a cowboy hat and calling himself “the mayor,” paid $900,000 in an online auction to buy Buford’s five buildings in 2013. He leases the town to a caretaker named Jason Hirsch, who runs a convenience store and gas station called the Buford Trading Post. It is the town’s sole business and the only place in America where you can buy PhinDeli coffee. Hirsch, however, doesn’t live in town. Buford’s one resident is Brandon Hoover, who lives in a modest house behind the gas station. Hoover shares Buford with a horse named Sugar, Buford’s unofficial mascot.

Original image
iStock
arrow
travel
The Best Dive Bar in All 50 States
Original image
iStock

Dive bars are the perfect antidote to exorbitant cocktail prices and highfalutin mixologists who insist on putting a dozen ingredients into your whiskey sour. These casual, unpretentious spots serve a variety of inexpensive beers, cocktails, and (occasionally) snacks. Although there are tons of dive bars scattered across the country, we’re choosing the best dive bar in every state, based on the bar’s drink menu, reputation, and overall aesthetic.

1. ALABAMA // THE UPSIDEDOWN PLAZA

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded in 1962, the Upsidedown Plaza might be the ultimate spot for good drinks and good times. It stays open until 2 a.m. every night, giving patrons plenty of time to play pool, dance to oldies, and sing karaoke.

2. ALASKA // SANDBAR

Location: Juneau, Alaska

Sandbar serves Alaskan beer on tap and delicious halibut fish and chips. The friendly bartenders, three pool tables, and golf game machine keep customers coming back.

3. ARIZONA // RIPS BAR

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

People come to Rips Bar to let loose and forget their troubles. Expect to find killer ales and cocktails, a fun rockabilly vibe, and bar games including pinball, pool, and darts. There’s also karaoke, open mic events, and all-day drink specials.

4. ARKANSAS // THE WHITE WATER TAVERN

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Head to this hole in the wall for strong whiskey, cheap beer, and live music. The atmosphere is eclectic, with tons of twinkle lights, graffiti on the walls, and a Miller Lite clock behind the bar. There’s also a canoe hanging from the ceiling.

5. CALIFORNIA // CLOONEY’S PUB

Location: San Francisco, California

Situated in the Mission district, Clooney’s Pub is a casual spot famous for its circular bar and friendly service. Happy hour starts bright and early—at 6 a.m.—and for entertainment, there's a pool table and TV.

6. COLORADO // THE SINK

Location: Boulder, Colorado

bar back at The Sink
The Sink

With $3 well drinks, $4 drafts, and $5 martinis during happy hour, the Sink knows how to please. Everyone from chef Anthony Bourdain to former President Barack Obama has visited the bar, which has been open since 1923. Order the bar’s legendary burger and pizza as you marvel at the trippy artwork on the walls and ceiling.

7. CONNECTICUT // THE HUNGRY TIGER

Location: Manchester, Connecticut

Originally a soda and ice cream shop, the Hungry Tiger is now a beloved dive bar and music venue. Sunday brunch features cheap Bloody Marys and Bud Light pitchers, and the spot serves delectable burgers, wings, and sliders.

8. DELAWARE // FAMOUS TOM’S TAVERN

Location: Hockessin, Delaware

With $3 beer and $4 wine and liquor, Famous Tom’s brings the boozy goods. The TVs play plenty of NFL games, so you can watch your favorite teams as you sip your drink.

9. FLORIDA // FREE SPIRITS SPORTS CAFE

Location: Miami Beach, Florida

Bartenders pour generously at this Miami Beach bar. After you knock back a few drinks, try the perfectly greasy chicken fingers and fries and relax in front of a sports game.

10. GEORGIA // NORTHSIDE TAVERN

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

North Side Bar
Daniel B., Yelp

Built in the ‘40s, Northside Tavern was a neighborhood grocery store and gas station before it morphed into a blue-collar bar. With live music seven nights a week and paintings on the wall dedicated to blues and jazz musicians, this dive bar is a music lover’s paradise.

11. HAWAII // HANKS CAFE HONOLULU

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Located in Honolulu’s Chinatown, Hanks Cafe Honolulu is a tiny bar with a big heart. The bartenders are friendly, the walls feature island-inspired portraits, and a jukebox and live music keep guests happily entertained.

12. IDAHO // WHISKEY RIVER

Location: Nampa, Idaho

Whiskey River has been around for almost a decade, offering a full liquor bar and tons of bottled beers. There’s a dance floor, darts, pool tables, and a jukebox, and the bar stays open until 1 a.m. every night.

13. ILLINOIS // THE DOUBLE BUBBLE

Location: Chicago, Illinois

People rave about the Double Bubble. The neighborhood bar serves craft beers at reasonable prices, and the TVs play plenty of football games. If you’re an Irish whiskey fan, be sure to get a Jameson shot.

14. INDIANA // CHECKERED FLAG TAVERN

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Checkered Flag Tavern
Linda M., Yelp

Checkered Flag Tavern has a great selection of draft beers, liquor, and burgers. Named for the Indy 500, naturally, the bar has plenty of non-alcohol related entertainment including a photo booth, pool table, darts, and live music on the weekends.

15. IOWA // THE HIGH LIFE LOUNGE

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

The High Life Lounge is a popular destination for beer aficionados. Lovers of Miller High Life (the “champagne of beers”) will especially love this bar, which has a ‘60s and ‘70s vibe thanks to the vintage beer signs and retro wood paneling. If you work up an appetite, try the fried dill-pickle spears and the cheese curds.

16. KANSAS // JOHNNIE’S ON SEVENTH

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

Established in 1934, Johnnie’s On Seventh has long been one of Kansas’ favorite watering holes. The retro vibe and friendly regulars will make you feel right at home, and the darts, shuffleboard, and popcorn machine will keep you entertained all night.

17. KENTUCKY // T. EDDIE’S BAR AND GRILL

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

If low-key bars that serve cheap beer are your thing, head to T. Eddie’s Bar and Grill in Germantown. With 42 craft beers, a fenced-in back patio, and karaoke nights, you can’t go wrong.

18. LOUISIANA // SNAKE AND JAKE’S CHRISTMAS CLUB LOUNGE

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Katie D., Yelp

Situated in a dark shack, Snake And Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge gives all who enter it the ultimate dive bar experience. Christmas lights illuminate the tiny space year-round, and the bar serves cheap local beers and shots every night (including Christmas).

19. MAINE // SPRING POINT TAVERN

Location: South Portland, Maine

Drink specials, good pub food, and live music? Check. Spring Point Tavern serves well drinks and Jell-O shots, and there are darts and pool to help guests unwind from the day’s stresses.

20. MARYLAND // BUCK MURPHY'S BAR

Location: Odenton, Maryland

Walking down the stairs to this basement dive bar will transport you to a simpler time and place. Everyone seems to know everyone else, and the cold beer and homemade spicy chili will make you feel right at home.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // THE VICTORIA BAR

Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts

The Vic is the ultimate place to down lagers, fireball shots, and Irish coffee while you watch a Red Sox game. The family-owned and -operated bar also has three big-screen TVs, a jukebox, and darts.

22. MICHIGAN // BANFIELD'S BAR

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Banfield’s Bar opened in 1982 and has been drawing in locals ever since. The hole-in-the-wall serves strong drinks and tasty burgers, and it hosts events such as ‘70s karaoke nights.

23. MINNESOTA // SKINNERS PUB & EATERY

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Owned by husband and wife duo Pete and Molly Skinner, Skinners Pub & Eatery is a laid-back bar that serves beer on tap, wine, tacos and pizza. The big TV screens by the bar, plus the low prices, make regulars come back again and again.

24. MISSISSIPPI // THE PROJECT LOUNGE

Location: Biloxi, Mississippi

Customers rave about the friendly service, strong drinks, and rib-eye steak sandwich at the Project Lounge. The dark, smoky dive bar has an electronic jukebox and is cash-only.

25. MISSOURI // THE HAUNT

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

The haunt
Terri Daniels

Billed as a tavern for the macabre at heart, the Haunt is a Goth-themed dive bar with $2 well drinks, $11 domestic buckets, a pool table, and live music. If Halloween is your favorite holiday, you’ll love the spooky décor and horror films playing on the TV.

26. MONTANA // THE RHINOCEROS

Location: Missoula, Montana

Since 1987, the Rhino has impressed customers with its beer and scotch selections. With 50 beers on tap and more than 50 single-malt scotches, this dive bar also offers pool, shuffleboard, and plenty of good times.

27. NEBRASKA // BEER CITY

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Across from Hitchcock Park is Beer City, a bar that offers $2 fireball shots every Monday, $5 pitchers on Wednesday, and karaoke on Friday nights. There are also free peanuts and popcorn, pool and darts, 11 TVs, and mini-golf in the back.

28. NEVADA // DOUBLE DOWN SALOON

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

double down bar exterior
Jonathon S., Yelp

Since 1992, Double Down has been a haven for people who want to break away from the pricey Vegas strip. Dubbed the anti-Vegas, this bar serves eye-popping drinks like the original bacon martini (Slim Jim garnish and all). There’s also pool, pinball, and live music.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // PENUCHE’S CONCORD

Location: Concord, New Hampshire

Penuche’s really promotes music and emerging artists. Bands play often and open mic opportunities abound. Whether you order beer or cocktails, this bar will put you in a partying mood.

30. NEW JERSEY // JIMMY GEEZ

Locations: Haledon and Oak Ridge, New Jersey

Jimmy Geez
Jonathan M., Yelp

Jimmy Geez dominates the north Jersey dive bar scene. You’ll find more than 20 beers on tap, chicken wings galore, and plenty of TVs tuned to sports games. Jimmy Geez also hosts live music and trivia nights, making it the ultimate hangout spot.

31. NEW MEXICO // SILVA’S SALOON

Location: Bernalillo, New Mexico

In 1933, a former bootlegger and moonshiner named Felix Silva opened Silva’s Saloon. Today, the biker bar is the longest continuously running business on historic Route 66. Dollar bills, raunchy photos, and old liquor bottles decorate the space.

32. NEW YORK // MILANO’S BAR

Location: New York, New York

Located on Houston Street a few blocks north of Little Italy, Milano’s Bar might be Manhattan’s best old-school dive bar. It’s been open since 1880! All-day-and-night specials include Tecate, Narragansett, and Rolling Rock.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // LOCAL BAR

Location: Apex, North Carolina

Local Bar began in the ‘30s as a gas station, but today it serves cold drinks to happy customers. Besides $1 Jell-O shots and Monday movie nights, the bar also has live music, pool tables, horseshoe pits, and dart boards.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // BORROWED BUCKS ROADHOUSE

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

There’s something for everyone at Borrowed Bucks, from beer pong on Tuesdays to ladies’ night on Wednesdays (women can get $2 Schooners). Between sips of your beer, munch on the pizza and wings.

35. OHIO // BECKY’S BAR

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Although Becky’s Bar is near Cleveland State University, it’s not just for students. Since 1986, Becky’s has served a diverse group of diehard customers who enjoy the PBRs and IPAs, mozzarella sticks, and arcade games. There’s also a jukebox, biweekly karaoke, and multiple big screen TVs that play football, baseball, and basketball games.

36. OKLAHOMA // ORPHA’S LOUNGE

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Located in downtown Tulsa, Orpha’s Lounge is a small, welcoming joint with two pool tables and plenty of drink specials. Just be aware that some patrons still smoke inside.

37. OREGON // THE LOW BROW

Location: Portland, Oregon

Opened in 1998, The Low Brow might be the best place to unwind in Portland. The dimly lit bar discourages patrons from being glued to their screens, and the menu includes everything from nachos to kale salad.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // JAMES BAR

Location: Enola, Pennsylvania

For more than two decades, James Bar has served cheap drinks to thirsty Pennsylvanians. A neon Bud Light sign in the window greets customers, who can sip beer from Mason jars and play tunes on the bar’s jukebox.

39. RHODE ISLAND // CAPTAIN SEAWEED'S FAMILY PUB

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Captain Seaweed’s is a true dive bar—and proud of it. The walls of the Fox Point bar feature nautical décor, making it the right place for people who like sipping beer near ship wheels, life ring buoys, pirate paraphernalia, and whale artwork.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // TATTOOED MOOSE

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

the tattooed moose
Jimmy S., Yelp

Despite its extensive craft beer selection and tasty food, this downtown dive is down-to-earth and unassuming. Get the grilled cheese sandwich or the bar’s namesake burger, and wash it down with your choice of pale ales, pilsners, and porters.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // THE THIRSTY DUCK

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Thirsty Duck is a popular destination for affordable drinks, great pizza, and live music. You’ll find groups of friends and coworkers singing karaoke, playing pool, and tossing darts.

42. TENNESSEE // DINO’S

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Dino's
Alex W., Yelp

As East Nashville’s oldest dive bar, Dino’s has built a rock-solid reputation as a top-notch spot. Beers include a selection of Coors, Budweiser, Stiegl, Yuengling, Miller High Life, and Tecate. Food options include cheeseburgers, fries, and fish and chips.

43. TEXAS // THE ABBEY UNDERGROUND

Location: Denton, Texas

This British tavern, located in Courthouse Square, has a little something for everyone. From imported beers and ciders to stouts and lagers, the Abbey Underground has an impressive alcohol menu. Different nights have musical themes ranging from big band and funk to disco trash and ‘90s dance.

44. UTAH // X-WIFE’S PLACE

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Having fun at X-Wife’s Place won’t break the bank, thanks to cheap beer cans and shots. Customers can play pool inside or head to the big outdoor patio to play cornhole.

45. VERMONT // OTHER PLACE

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Other place
Matt S., Yelp

Dive bar connoisseurs love Other Place (The OP), where there’s plenty of beer, mimosas, and Bloody Marys to go around. The sports-themed tabletops, pool table, and occasional movie nights make The OP a neighborhood institution.

46. VIRGINIA // LYNNHAVEN PUB

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Friendly bartenders and a stellar selection of seasonal and Virginian craft beers make Lynnhaven Pub stand out from other bars. The mouthwatering brisket and barbecue tacos are also beloved.

47. WASHINGTON // THE MULE TAVERN

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Although the Mule Tavern serves an abundance of beer and cocktails, Moscow Mules are its specialty. Bartenders make ginger beer from scratch by juicing lemons and ginger, adding cane sugar and water, and carbonating the liquid. Moscow Mules are $4 during happy hour, and well drinks are just $3.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE BOULEVARD TAVERN

Location: Charleston, West Virginia

At the Boulevard Tavern, craft cocktails focus on bourbon and gin. You can’t go wrong with any of the bar’s signature cocktails, the best of which is the West Virginia Coal Rush, a honey-infused bourbon. Live music and open mic nights, as well as reggae Sundays, keep excitement levels high.

49. WISCONSIN // SILVER DOLLAR TAVERN

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Less crowded than nearby bars, Silver Dollar Tavern has been a family-owned bar since 1933. The shuffleboard, darts, and pool are a big hit with loyal customers. The bar is cash-only, but there’s an ATM inside.

50. WYOMING // THE BUCKHORN BAR & PARLOR

Location: Laramie, Wyoming

Buckhorn bar
RunAway B., Yelp

The Buckhorn Bar is older than you. It’s been around since 1900, and today visitors can see the bar’s famous bullet hole, elk, and two-headed calf on display. Tuesday is $1 pint night, Wednesday is karaoke night, and Thursday is the night for $1 jack-and-Cokes.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios