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The Best Irish Bar in All 50 States

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You can find an Irish pub in just about every town in America, but when St. Paddy’s Day rolls around, where should you celebrate in true Celtic fashion? We’ve gathered together 50 of the best Irish pubs in America to help you figure it out. Below are our picks for the best places to grab a perfect pour of Guinness in every state. Sláinte!

1. ALABAMA // CALLAGHAN'S IRISH SOCIAL CLUB

Location: Mobile, Alabama

Callaghan’s is worth the visit for more than just the beer. It’s been named the best bar in America by Esquire magazine, one of the best small music venues in the south by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and one of America’s best places to get a burger by Travel+Leisure, among others. Located in a historic neighborhood, it’s been open since 1946, when, according to the current owner, it was a private lounge where you had to either ring a buzzer or have a key to get in.

2. ALASKA // MCGINLEY'S PUB

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Irish pubs are few and far between in Alaska, but McGinley’s Pub in Anchorage is always a steady place to grab a Smithwick’s or a Jameson. The bar has an extensive menu that places Celtic favorites like soda bread alongside creative interpretations like tacos stuffed with corned beef and cabbage. The bar hosts live music regularly, including traditional Irish music, as well as events like limerick contests.

3. ARIZONA // RÚLA BÚLA IRISH PUB

Location: Tempe, Arizona

To get a sense of Rúla Búla’s vibe, just look at its name: the phrase is taken from a Gaelic expression for "uproar and commotion." It’s got a popular patio, live music, and some of the best fish and chips in the Phoenix area. The vintage relics imported from Ireland that line the walls give it an authentic Celtic feel, even for a bar located in a 19th-century saddle shop.

4. ARKANSAS // DUGAN’S PUB

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Dugan’s Pub is a neighborhood joint perfect for grabbing a beer and watching the game. Besides serving "proper" pints of Guinness and Smithwick’s (20 ounces instead of 16), Dugan’s has an extensive cocktail list (both warm and cold) and serves three meals a day. It comes highly recommended as a weekend brunch spot, so there’s really no reason to ever leave.

5. CALIFORNIA // TOM BERGIN'S

Location: Los Angeles, California

During the 1800s, Irish immigrants flocked to California in search of Mexican land grants and gold. Tom Bergin’s, which holds one of Los Angeles’ oldest liquor licenses, has been operating since 1936 and claims to have brought Irish coffee to America (years before a San Francisco bar claims to have done the same). The ceiling of the bar is famously covered in cardboard shamrocks bearing the names of regulars from over the years. Bartenders have to vote unanimously to award a regular their shamrock, and if you make it up on the wall, you’ll join a celebrity list that includes Kiefer Sutherland and Cary Grant.

6. COLORADO // THE IRISH SNUG

Location: Denver, Colorado

Denver’s Irish Snug harkens back to the historic Irish institution of a "snug," a small, private room in a public bar that had frosted windows so patrons couldn’t be seen inside. You paid more for drinks inside the snug, but you wouldn’t be seen carousing, either. The Irish Snug has a spacious front bar, but it also has a traditional snug—you can go inside the tiny room and order your drinks by ringing a buzzer, just like those 19th-century Irish women who didn’t want to be spotted drinking in public. Out in the main room, the bar has European soccer playing all day every day and weekly Irish music sessions where you can take part in traditional jigs and reels.

7. CONNECTICUT // ANNA LIFFEY'S

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

The bartenders at Anna Liffey’s pour a certifiably perfect pint of ale, according to its award from Guinness’s St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. The bar was founded in 1997 by Patrick Mansfield, who grew up cleaning tables at his father’s pub in Ireland (which was attached to their house). The Liffey has since become a local institution. It has been voted as the best pub in New Haven, with an award-winning bar menu, and fans describe it as the city’s version of Cheers.

8. DELAWARE // KELLY'S LOGAN HOUSE

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Kelly’s Logan House in Wilmington is the state’s oldest Irish bar, and its proprietors claim it’s the country’s oldest continuous family-owned Irish bar. The pub is housed in a three-story brick building, originally built in 1864 as a hotel called the Logan House. (Gangster Al Capone and gunfighter "Wild Bill" Hickok are rumored to have been guests.) Two Irish immigrants, John D. "Whiskers" Kelly and his wife, Hannah Golden Kelleher Kelly, purchased the building in 1889 and converted its ground floor into a tavern. Passed down through family generations, Kelly’s Logan House is today owned by John D. Kelly’s great-grandson, Michael Kelly, along with his mother, Loretta Kelly.

9. FLORIDA // MCGUIRE'S IRISH PUB

Location: Pensacola, Florida

McGuire’s Irish Pub serves standard Irish food and drinks (and was once named Steak House of the Year). But what really sets the restaurant apart is the story of its founders, McGuire and Molly Martin. The Martins established their bar in 1977, with McGuire serving as cook and bartender and Molly, a talented singer, entertaining guests by singing classic songs in addition to working as a waitress and hostess. In 1982, the pub moved to its permanent location inside an old 1920s firehouse and became famous among locals, thanks in part to the Martins' warmth and hospitality. Early on, Molly established one of the restaurant’s most iconic traditions: After receiving her first tip, she signed her name onto the dollar bill and pinned it to the back bar. Today, the bar says it has more than one million dollar bills, signed by people of Irish descent, covering the restaurant’s ceilings and walls [PDF]. Just make sure you don't get sticky fingers after polishing off a few pints.

10. GEORGIA // KEVIN BARRY'S PUB

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Last year, the Irish Pubs Global Federation—an international professional network for Irish pub owners and managers—honored Kevin Barry’s Pub as the "Most Authentic Irish Pub" in the world. Even though Savannah is thousands of miles away from the Emerald Isle, the choice is apt: Instead of simply celebrating leprechauns, shamrocks, and all things lucky, Kevin Barry’s wall decorations pay homage to Irish revolutionaries, heritage, and history. The bar is named after Irish freedom fighter Kevin Barry and was founded November 1, 1980, on the 60th anniversary of the 18-year-old's execution. Any given night of the week, patrons can enjoy authentic live Irish music, played by visiting entertainers.

11. HAWAII // MURPHY'S BAR & GRILL

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

The island of Oahu is a far cry from the rainy Old Country, but Murphy’s Bar & Grill in Honolulu keeps the motherland’s spirit alive. The saloon/eatery opened in 1987, inside a historic 19th-century hotel that’s rumored to have once counted King Kalākaua and writer Robert Louis Stevenson among its guests. While Murphy’s offers patrons an assortment of classic Irish beers (in addition to Irish and American foods), the establishment’s real draw is its annual St. Patrick’s Day block party, which reportedly draws thousands of people each year.

12. IDAHO // MICKDUFF'S BREWING COMPANY

Location: Sandpoint, Idaho

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, but if you live in Idaho and want to expand your horizons (or palate), try visiting the Irish-themed MickDuff’s Brewing Company. Located in the lakefront city of Sandpoint, MickDuff’s—named for its founders, brothers Mickey and Duffy Mahoney—offers pub food and microbrews. Swing by their separate production hall and tasting room to sample some local brews like the Idaho Arm Curl, the Tipsy Towhead Blonde, or the Irish Redhead.

13. ILLINOIS // CHIEF O'NEILL'S PUB

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is particularly proud of its Irish-American heritage, and Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant pays homage to Chief Francis O’Neill, an Irish immigrant who served as the city’s Chief of Police from 1901 to 1905. (O’Neill also founded the city’s Irish Music Club of Chicago, and collected, transcribed, and published thousands of traditional Irish tunes to help preserve the art form.) In addition to Irish food and drink, the pub frequently offers live Irish music, hosts a popular weekly pub quiz, and is decorated with memorabilia from the Old Country, courtesy of co-owner Siobhan McKinney, who still has relatives in County Cork.

14. INDIANA // THE IRISH LION RESTAURANT & PUB

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington resident Larry McConnaughy opened The Irish Lion Restaurant & Pub in 1982 inside a restored 19th-century tavern, hotel, and—according to legend—brothel. Today, the bar serves up classic Irish dishes like mutton pie and corned beef and cabbage, in addition to more modern fare like burgers, salads, and club sandwiches. As for the Irish Lion’s drink menu, it lists more than 160 small-batch bourbons, Irish whiskeys, and Scotches—and patrons aren’t the only ones enjoying the goods: The Irish Lion is reportedly haunted, and come closing time, bartenders are asked to leave a shot of whiskey at the end of the bar to appease any lingering spirits.

15. IOWA // SULLY'S IRISH PUB

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Irish brothers Jerry and Kevin Sullivan opened Sully’s Irish Pub in 1977. Since then, the bar has changed hands through several different owners, but save a few minor renovations, it still maintains its original appearance. Each St. Patrick’s Day, Sully’s erects a giant, heated tent and hosts a party for hundreds of town residents, complete with bagpipes, drums, drink specials, and more. But if locals simply want to swing by for a pint or two, Sully’s door is quite literally always open: The establishment stays in operation 365 days each year.

16. KANSAS // MARFIELD'S IRISH PUB

Location: Leavenworth, Kansas

Before Marfield’s was a pub, the building served as the carriage house for a local mansion in the late 19th century before being converted in 1903. Today, Marfield’s serves Irish classics like bangers and mash and corned beef and cabbage (and nearly every brunch entree comes with a side of potatoes O'Brien).

17. KENTUCKY // THE IRISH ROVER

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Pub owner Michael Reidy isn’t the only Irish import patrons will find at The Irish Rover (they boast that "the owner's brogue comes direct from County Clare"). The bar serves a handful of authentic Irish beers on tap, including Harp Lager, Smithwick’s Irish Ale, and Guinness Stout, as well as dozens of varieties of Irish whiskey. As for the menu, items like the Shanagarry Fish Cakes take their recipe straight from the Irish Ballymaloe Cookery School, and locals recommend ordering a scotch egg with your pint.

18. LOUISIANA // FINN MCCOOL'S

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Named after the legendary giant of Celtic folklore, Finn McCool’s has been offering booze and grub in a genuine Irish setting since 2002. The pub is a popular neighborhood spot for watching soccer games taking place in the U.S. and overseas (they have both indoor and outdoor screens, and post full game schedules on their site). It also hosts regular trivia nights, Scrabble tournaments, and Irish dancing performances. Still not convinced that Finn McCool’s is the real deal? In 2015, The Irish Times named them one of the world’s top 10 Irish bars outside of Ireland.

19. MAINE // BLACK BEAR CAFE

Location: Naples, Maine

Irish native John Bohill brought a piece of his home to Naples, Maine when he opened Black Bear Cafe there in 2002, and each year he takes a group of American tourists to Ireland to see the sights and drink in the atmosphere. The pub evokes the feeling of the "public houses" of southern Ireland, with perfectly poured pints of beer, a bar stocked with whiskey, and live Irish music on the weekends. And you can't miss the establishment’s signature dessert—a chocolate orange cake made with Guinness.

20. MARYLAND // THE JAMES JOYCE

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

The James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant is as authentically Irish as the writer it’s named after. The structure itself was designed and fabricated in Ireland before it was shipped to Baltimore in 2002, and the pub prides itself on being "Baltimore’s Home of Irish Hospitality." It’s a great spot for enjoying traditional Irish fare—like the beef and Guinness stew or the Irish lamb stew—or for enjoying discounted booze on "Wednesday Whiskey Nights."

21. MASSACHUSETTS // PLOUGH & STARS

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Plough & Stars is one of the hippest literary landmarks in the Boston area. Philip Roth drank there, the founders of the journal Ploughshares used it as a meeting place, and even famous Irish poet Seamus Heaney paid regular visits. Writers and non-creative types alike will enjoy the hearty food, refreshing pints, and nightly live performances the pub has to offer.

22. MICHIGAN // CONOR O'NEILL'S

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Conor O’Neill’s is the place to go in Ann Arbor for a foamy pint of beer. Their draft menu alone includes 23 selections, six of which are imported from Ireland, like the Kilkenny Cream Ale or the Magners Cider. Also imported from Ireland? The entire front of the pub, which was designed as a traditional "pub shop," where locals would pop in to buy local eggs and milk while grabbing a beer with friends.

23. MINNESOTA // RED'S IRISH PUB

Location: Swanville, Minnesota

Retirement didn’t last long for high school sweethearts and Swanville locals Kelly and Bryan Allen. The couple used their newfound free time to open Red’s Pub five years ago, and it’s since become the most beloved Irish bar in the state. The establishment is a popular spot for playing indoor bar games and nursing beers on the patio during the summer months.

24. MISSISSIPPI // FENIAN'S PUB

Location: Jackson, Mississippi

A lively atmosphere and solid drink selection have made Fenian’s a local favorite for years. What sets it apart, though, is a food menu that offers traditional Irish dishes made with locally sourced ingredients—and often, with a twist. Never had Cajun-spiced corned beef and cabbage, or Irish chicken curry with Delta Blues rice? Here’s your chance.

25. MISSOURI // JOHN D. MCGURK'S

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

What began as a one-room pub in 1978 has expanded into a 20,000 square-foot celebration of Irish food, drink, and culture, right in the heart of St. Louis's downtown Soulard bar district. McGurk's slings more Guinness than any bar in the state, and patrons can usually count on live music direct from Ireland (plus, rumor has it the musicians tend to sleep above the bar, so they rarely stick to the usual set time limits). There’s also an enormous outdoor garden area that offers a more contemporary setting in which to enjoy brews and traditional Irish dishes like the potato soup and soda bread (though you'll also want to order a plate of the toasted ravioli, a regional delicacy).

26. MONTANA // CELTIC COWBOY

Location: Great Falls, Montana

Located in a former livery stable that dates back to 1890, this bar honors one of Great Falls’s pioneering citizens, Robert Vaughn, a.k.a. the "Celtic Cowboy," the first European immigrant in the region. Stay over in the adjacent Hotel Arvon (named for "R. Vaughn"), then come back the next morning for some Corned Beef O’Brien or Irish porridge.

27. NEBRASKA // BRAZEN HEAD PUB

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

The name Brazen Head Pub derives from Dublin’s oldest bar (which dates to 1198 CE)—a place that was frequented by soldiers and revolutionaries for centuries. In order to capture some of the spirit of its namesake, Omaha's Brazen Head was designed in Dublin and constructed in Wexford, then shipped to the U.S. where its installation was overseen by Irish joiners. After marveling at all the history, make sure to order a cold brew and a boxty, a traditional Irish potato cake.

28. NEVADA // CEOL IRISH PUB

Location: Reno, Nevada

"It’s traditional, not trendy" is Ceol's mantra, and it holds to that ideal with a robust selection of Irish whiskeys—from Two Gingers to Yellow Spot to a brand called, simply, Feckin. There’s plenty of beer on tap, too, and spirited service that’ll keep your drink filled, whatever your fancy. Naturally, a place named after the Gaelic word for "music" has plenty of live acts, including many traditional Irish performers.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // MAY KELLY'S COTTAGE

Location: North Conway, New Hampshire

Old world to its core, this small-town pub hosts weekly seisiuns, or sessions in which traditional Irish musicians come from far and wide to play together. Enjoy a cold Guinness while you watch the jam each Sunday, or head out to the back deck and marvel at the view overlooking the Saco River while eating calves liver with onions or a ploughman's dinner steak.

30. NEW JERSEY // MCGOVERN'S TAVERN

Location: Newark, New Jersey

In 1936, County Cavan native Frank McGovern opened this Newark establishment as a place for Irish immigrants to meet up, dance, and enjoy a pint or two. Back in the day, he even enforced a strict dress code on the men, ensuring they were wearing suits and ties before heading to back rooms to converse with the ladies. Eighty years later, McGovern’s is still known as a gathering place, where construction workers, college students, and business suits converge and enjoy some beers and pub grub.

31. NEW MEXICO // TWO FOOLS TAVERN

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Two Fools name jokingly refers to the two owners after their years-long quest to build an authentic Irish pub in New Mexico—and one with a fireplace, no less. After enjoying the craic (say, a stout and some fish and chips, accompanied by "the merriment of friends"), though, you’ll probably think they’re pretty smart. And naturally, they offer some Breaking Bad themed merchandise, which is also pretty smart.

32. NEW YORK // AN BEAL BOCHT CAFE

Location: Bronx, NY

Called "an oasis of creativity and music" by The Irish Times, An Beal Bocht embodies the Irish spirit of community and welcome. The bar takes its name (Gaelic for "the poor mouth") from the title of a classic novel by Flann O’Brien and has become a hub for local artists, offering an art gallery and theater space in addition to live music.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // TRA'LI

Location:  Brier Creek and Morrisville, North Carolina

Helmed by County Galway-born chef Eamonn Kelly, Tra’Li prides itself on its relaxed, friendly atmosphere, its top-rate drink menu, and, of course, its satisfying food. Kelly has perfected pub standards and Irish classics alike, from the Irish Egg Rolls, filled with corned beef and cabbage, to the Molly’s Sister—chicken cutlets stuffed with bacon and herbed cream cheese and served with a Tullamore Dew sauce.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // BLARNEY STONE PUB

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Patrons looking for a livelier evening can’t miss the Blarney Stone Pub in Bismarck. The bar’s dark wood furniture, hearty bar food (their peasant soup—or soup of the day—is served in a sourdough bread bowl), and friendly atmosphere can get rambunctious in the evenings as the volume gets turned up on conversation and music alike.

35. OHIO // THE HARP

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

A homey bar with a lovely view of Lake Erie, The Harp is the place to go for good music, good conversation, and good food. Weekly live music performances, an Irish brunch, and a wide drink menu have earned it spots on multiple lists of the best Irish bars in the country, and its large outdoor seating area makes it perfect for savoring a mixed draught (like a Snakebite—part Angry Orchard Cider and part Harp) on a fair-weather day.

36. OKLAHOMA // KILKENNY'S IRISH PUB

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

If St. Patrick’s Day has got you longing for rustic, hearty Irish fare, look no further than Kilkenny's in Tulsa. In addition to an extensive drink selection, the pub offers an impressive heart- and belly-warming menu of Irish classics like cottage pie, corned beef and cabbage, and an Irish breakfast, as well as more creative options like a Tullamore Dew cheese torte and Oysters Graiguenamanagh (good luck ordering that on the first try!).

37. OREGON // KELLS IRISH RESTAURANT AND PUB

Location: Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish has four locations, but its Portland Pub is the only one with a cigar room hidden in the city's infamous Shanghai Tunnels underneath the main pub. It also boasts of Pacific Northwest twists on classic Irish food and the region's largest selection of single-malt Scotches and whiskeys, making the pub (and its rumored resident ghost) particular favorites.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // BILLY MURPHY'S IRISH SALOON

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are hidden gems, and then there’s Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon, tucked happily into a mostly residential neighborhood in East Falls, Philadelphia. The community favorite, which is now run by Billy's wife and his son, melds a friendly Irish atmosphere and drinks menu with standard local fare like cheesesteaks and hoagies.

39. RHODE ISLAND // DOHERTY'S EAST AVE IRISH PUB

Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island 

You could try a new beer a couple of times a week at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub and it would still take months to get through their selection. With 83 different varieties on tap and another 80 bottled options, plus a hearty bar menu full of wings, steak tips, and chili made with Murphy's Irish Stout, the pub knows how to satisfy its patrons.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // DUNLEAVY'S PUB

Location: Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

Family owned and operated for over 20 years, Dunleavy’s continues to stand out in a sea of chain "faux" Irish pubs in the tourist-friendly beach area of Sullivan's. Stop in and you might get a chance to overhear the pub’s "Liar’s Club," a group of regulars who come in for drinks and to tell increasingly outlandish stories in an effort to top one another.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // MCNALLY'S IRISH PUB

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Home to some very solid pub burgers, McNally’s succeeds in bringing the small details of a conventional Irish pub to South Dakota. Fireplaces adorn the premises, and private rooms allow small parties to socialize over drunken mussels away from the noise. They’re also renowned for knowing exactly how to pull a draft of perfect Guinness—when you’re not ordering one of their original brews, that is.

42. TENNESSEE // MCNAMARA'S

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Established in 2010, McNamara’s has quickly garnered national acclaim for its devotion to the classic Irish look and feel of a watering hole. Check out its historic photographs, live music (heavily curated by owner Sean McNamara, who spent years as a traveling musician and fronting local house bands), and menu full of classics like bangers and mash and bread pudding (which also includes a "Leprechaun Menu" for any wee lads and lassies).

43. TEXAS // FADÓ IRISH PUB

Location: Austin, Texas

Who says Irish pubs need to be frozen in time? A popular destination for Austinites, Fadó (which is Gaelic for "long ago") combines a classic Irish pub food menu with sustainably caught cod from Iceland and custom-cut meat fresh from Vermont. You’ll also find four distinctly designed areas inside, including an ornate Victorian pub and space inspired by the general-store element of classic Irish hangouts.

44. UTAH // PIPER DOWN

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

The owners originally wanted to name Piper Down "Temple Bar," after the famous Dublin neighborhood, but encountered tense resistance from Mormon locals who opposed using the word "temple" to denote anything other than a house of worship. But since 2003, Piper Down has emerged as Utah’s most respected Irish-themed destination. Plus, they offer a sizeable vegan menu, alongside their beer-battered Alaskan fish and chips and various wraps and salads.

45. VERMONT // RED FOX INN

Location: Bondville, Vermont

Conceived as a "bed and brew," the Red Fox Inn has been a Vermont institution for decades, serving up pints in a nine-room inn that was once a three-story barn. Their famous apple pie has been hailed as the best in the state and can be enjoyed along with braised lamb shank. The Inn is said to move more Guinness in Vermont than any other pub.

46. VIRGINIA // SAMUEL BECKETT'S IRISH GASTRO PUB

Location: Arlington, Virginia

With a surplus of actual Irish employees, owner Mark Kirwan boasts of having the most authentically Irish pub in the state. Backing him up is the fact that virtually every piece and fixture of Samuel Beckett’s was purchased in Ireland and shipped over in 42 containers. Kirwan and his family also spent time working for Guinness, ensuring a healthy knowledge of how to deliver the best beer.

47. WASHINGTON // MULLEADY'S

Location: Seattle, Washington

In the mood for a Guinness beef pot pie? Mulleady’s has you covered. The gastro pub focuses on seasonal ingredients for their food menu to complement their drink selection. Once you’ve imbibed, you can check out their regionally famous urinal, which was rescued from an old Seattle theater circa the 1920s. (Women can ask a staff member to accompany them for a viewing. Seriously.)

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE IRISH PUB ON WASHINGTON STREET

Location: Lewisburg, West Virginia

With its no-frills approach to pubbing—it doesn’t even bother with a clever name—The Irish Pub has been voted the best in the region time and again in reader and media polls. Open seven days a week, it hosts a popular trivia night and features some surprising Louisiana flavors like hot sauce on its corned beef hash or red beans and rice listed right next to potato leek soup: its owners are originally pub owners from New Orleans.

49. WISCONSIN // COUNTY CLARE IRISH INN AND PUB

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

With gorgeous stained glass surrounding its "Saint's Snug," a burning woodstove, and a massive wood bar, County Clare serves up the perfect Irish ambiance to go along with their standout Guinness—they pour so much of it that it’s always fresh. Or, if you prefer beer cocktails, they serve six variations, including the Lady Guinness (Guinness and Chambord) and a Black Vanilla Bean (Smirnoff Vanilla and Guinness).

50. WYOMING // PAT O'HARA BREWING

Location: Cody, Wyoming

Named for a 19th-century trapper who met the town's namesake, "Buffalo Bill" Cody, on at least one occasion, Pat O’Hara Brewing serves up 15 craft brews from the region. Soak it up with the local-favorite Irish sandwich, piled high with corned beef. Patrons can even watch the brew tanks churning on the main floor.

By Michele Debczak, Kirstin Fawcett, Shaunacy Ferro, Kate Horowitz, Jake Rossen, and Jeff Wells.

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The Funniest Town Name in All 50 States
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Lucy Quintanilla/Mental Floss

You can send your Christmas wish list to Santa Claus, Indiana, or get a refill in Hot Coffee, Mississippi. Whether honoring its founders, a local landmark, or its reputation for rowdy bar-brawling, the funniest town names in all 50 states show a sense of humor and personality.

1. ALABAMA // SCREAMER

Screamer, an unincorporated community in southeastern Alabama, has a noisy history. According to a local historian, the name may have two origins. In one version of the story, it comes from the fact that 19th century Native Americans used to loudly heckle white train travelers as they passed by what was then a reservation. The "screaming" could have also referred to the din made by local bears, panthers, and wildcats.

2. ALASKA // UNALASKA

unalaska, alaska
Weston Renoud, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Don’t let the name fool you; Unalaska is as Alaskan as it comes. With a little more than 4500 residents, Unalaska is the largest city in the Aleutian Islands. Originally, Unangan residents named it Agunalaksh, a word that means "near the peninsula." As Russian fur traders arrived, the spelling morphed into Ounalashka, which eventually became Unalaska.

3. ARIZONA // WHY

Why call a town "Why?" This teeny-tiny community near the U.S.-Mexico border is named after the Y-shaped intersection of two nearby highways. But because of an Arizona law requiring place names have at least three letters, "Y" became the much more existential "Why."

4. ARKANSAS // SMACKOVER

This town of 1800 people in southern Arkansas, at one point one of the nation’s biggest oil producers, was settled by French trappers in the early 19th century. The name Smackover may have come from the French name for the local creek, Chemin Couvert, which means "covered way"—and "sumac couvert" means a covering of sumac trees, a local plant. Alternate theories trace the name back to the legend of oil streaming "smack over the derrick" or a settler jumping "smack over the creek," according to the state’s website.

5. CALIFORNIA // ROUGH AND READY

rough n ready california
Isaac Crumm, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The early residents of Rough and Ready, California, were prepared to get down and dirty for their independence. Named after a mining company with the same moniker, the town—with a current population of about 1581—was the first to secede from the Union and become its own “republic” in 1850 as a protest against mining taxes, prohibition mandates, and laws that weren’t enforced. Though their rebellion was laughably short-lived (the town rejoined the United States three months later), its residents still pay homage to Rough and Ready’s spirited past with a celebration on the last Saturday in June.

6. COLORADO // NO NAME

What started out as a temporary solution has become a point of pride for locals (currently fewer than 200 in number) in No Name, Colorado. According to reports, a government official first marked a newly constructed exit off I-70 with a sign reading “No Name” as a placeholder. By the time officials got around to officially labeling it, “No Name” had the support of the community and it stuck. Visitors can find the spot near the No Name tunnels, No Name Creek, and the No Name hiking trail.

7. CONNECTICUT // HAZARDVILLE

Hazardville, Connecticut, began as a 19th-century industrial village that made gunpowder. Thankfully, that’s not how it got its moniker: The town was named after Colonel Augustus George Hazard, who purchased and expanded the company in 1837.

8. DELAWARE // CORNER KETCH

It’s rumored that Corner Ketch—an unincorporated community in New Castle County, Delaware—got its name from a rough-and-tumble local bar, whose patrons were so quarrelsome that townspeople would warn strangers, "They'll ketch ye at the corner."

9. FLORIDA // TWO EGG

Two Egg, Florida, got its name during the Great Depression. According to local lore, two young boys were so strapped for cash that they paid a local shopkeeper for sugar by giving them two eggs. These make-do business transactions occurred so regularly that patrons began referring to the establishment as a “two egg store.” Eventually, the name caught on with traveling salesmen, who spread it to other towns.

10. GEORGIA // CLIMAX

Founded in the 1880s, the tiny town of Climax, Georgia, got its name from its location: It sits at the highest point on the railroad between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River.

11. HAWAII // VOLCANO

A cozy little burg near Hilo, Volcano is adjacent to several volcano hot spots. (Sorry.) You can walk the dormant Kilauea Iki Trail, the site of a 1959 eruption, and then stop by the Lava Rock Café for a coffee before heading to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

12. IDAHO // SLICKPOO

Near Culdesac, Idaho, sits the multiple-house assembly of Slickpoo, a slice of real estate that may barely qualify as a town but was once a bustling village. Originally the site of a Catholic mission, it was said to have been gifted to the missionaries by landowner Josiah Slickpoo.

13. ILLINOIS // SANDWICH

No, it’s not named after the cold-cut concoction. Originally called Almon after land developer Almon Cage when it was founded in 1855, Sandwich got its name when a train stop liaison named it after his hometown of Sandwich, New Hampshire. It still capitalizes on the connotation, though: The town holds a Sandwich Festival annually.

14. INDIANA // SANTA CLAUS

santa claus indiana
Doug Kerr, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

It feels like Christmas every day in Santa Claus, Indiana. But the origin of the name wasn’t quite so festive. As the story goes, the town was first named Santa Fe. In 1896, when the town wanted to secure a post office, postal officials told it to pick another name since Santa Fe was already taken. Someone thought Santa Claus was an acceptable alternative, and the post office agreed. To their dismay, children began mailing letters to Santa Claus, Indiana, with regularity.

15. IOWA // WHAT CHEER

A former coal mining town in the southeast of the state, What Cheer was christened Petersburg by Peter Britton, who settled here in the 1850s. But enterprising shop owner Joseph Andrews, who created the town post office, suggested calling it What Cheer, possibly after an old English greeting. Britton protested, but the name stuck. Today What Cheer has about 600 residents—down from a peak of 5000—and hosts a seasonal flea market and musical events at its opera house.

16. KANSAS // GAS

The wags in Gas know what you're thinking. "You just passed Gas." "Gas Kan." "Get Gas!" The jokes write themselves. Gas got its name when, no surprise, natural gas was discovered in the area in 1898. Farmer E.K. Taylor promptly sold 60 acres of his land to industrial interests and subdivided the rest into lots, laying the groundwork for Gas (a.k.a. Gas City). Today it's home to around 600 people.

17. KENTUCKY // BUGTUSSLE

bugtussle kentucky
Brian Stansberry, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

The name of this tiny hamlet on the Kentucky-Tennessee border is an homage to, you guessed it, the local bug population. The town’s oldest residents say that when workers helped out during the harvest, they would sleep in barns—on hay that was infested with doodlebugs. Legend has it that the workers stayed so long that the bugs grew big enough to “tussle” for the prime napping spots.

18. LOUISIANA // UNEEDUS

The Lake Superior Piling Company established a settlement of model farms here in the 1920s, bringing prosperity to this corner of rural Louisiana. The company’s owners tweaked their corporate slogan, “you need us,” into the town’s new name—and apparently, the feeling was mutual. Residents allegedly founded another model farm community nearby and dubbed it Weneedu.

19. MAINE // BURNT PORCUPINE

It’s easy to imagine where this island off the coast of Maine got its unusual name—just squint at it. Located near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, Burnt Porcupine has nearby sister islands with equally intriguing names: Bald Porcupine, Long Porcupine, and Sheep Porcupine.

20. MARYLAND // BORING

The village of Boring could have avoided all of the jokes if they had just stuck with the town’s original name—Fairview. But there are a lot of other Fairviews in the U.S., so when a post office was established in the village in 1880, the postal service requested a rename. Residents voted to honor their first postmaster, David J. Boring—and he surely thought the recognition was anything but.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // BELCHERTOWN

While we had hoped that Belchertown was named for the aftermath of a particularly tasty meal, the real story is a bit less delicious: It’s named after Jonathan Belcher, a colonial governor of Massachusetts.

22. MICHIGAN // HELL

Yes, there is a Hell on Earth, and it’s 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor. There are several stories floating around about how this name came to be, but the one the town itself declares official is this: In the 1830s, the town settler, George Reeves, made a deal with local farmers to trade his homemade whiskey for the grain they grew. When the farmer’s wives knew their husbands were off dealing with Reeves, they were known to remark, “He’s gone to hell again.” The name stuck.

23. MINNESOTA // NIMROD

Nimrod Minnesota
Lorie Shaull, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s a pretty exclusive group of Minnesotans who can lay claim to being an official Nimrod: just 69 at last count. Though the town takes up just one square mile of the Gopher State, it’s got one big claim to fame: It’s the hometown of Dick Stigman, a pro baseball player who pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Red Sox in the 1960s. As for the name itself, it’s a Biblical reference. In the book of Genesis, Nimrod is described as “a mighty hunter before the Lord” and is credited with overseeing the construction of the Tower of Babel.

24. MISSISSIPPI // HOT COFFEE

Back in the horse-and-carriage days, the spot where the town of Hot Coffee, Mississippi, now sits marked the midpoint between Natchez, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama—two popular travel destinations. In the late 1800s an inn was erected and, recognizing a good business opportunity when he saw one, a man named L.N. Davis built a store to replenish the supplies of weary travelers and hung a coffee pot outside, which advertised "the best hot coffee around.” His secret? He used spring water to brew New Orleans beans, then sweetened the drink with molasses drippings. Though the store is no longer there, Davis’s java made enough of an impression to become the town’s namesake.

25. MISSOURI // TIGHTWAD

Most legends surrounding the town’s name tend to trace it to a postmaster who was upset with a cheapskate watermelon farmer who sold a promised melon out from under him for an extra 50-cent profit. But these days, the main draw to this tiny town in central Missouri is its bank—customers from all over the country open accounts here just to be able to send checks with the Tightwad logo on them.

26. MONTANA // PRAY

While it’s true that you’ll likely spend more time staring at the heavens while in Big Sky Country, the town of Pray, Montana, wasn’t named as a religious suggestion. Founded in 1907, it was named for then-state representative Charles Nelson Pray.

27. NEBRASKA // MAGNET

magnet, NE
z2amiller, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

After mapping out a town in northeast Nebraska, settler B.E. Smith was tasked with naming it. He wanted an attractive name for the community that would draw visitors across its borders, so he christened it Magnet in 1893. Today the locale is home to about 75 residents.

28. NEVADA // JIGGS

About 30 miles south of Elko, Nevada, sits the small town of Jiggs. In 1918, businessman Albert Hankins owned the local hotel, dance hall, and general store—which basically meant he owned the whole town. Looking for a new name for the place, he took a suggestion from his kids. “Jiggs” was the top hat-wearing, Irish-American protagonist of their favorite comic strip Bringing Up Father. Following the name change, the women’s organization in town dubbed itself Maggie’s Club after the character’s wife.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // SANDWICH

The Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague, did more than invent a lunchtime staple. In 1763, he chartered a town between the Lakes Region and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And just like the edible kind of sandwich, the town of Sandwich was named after him. The earl also lent his title to the nearby Sandwich mountain range and Sandwich dome.

30. NEW JERSEY // LOVELADIES

loveladies new jersey
Lauren Spinelli

The town of Loveladies, New Jersey, was actually named after a man, not a group of women. Located on Long Beach Island, it got its start as one of the life-saving stations that appeared on the Jersey shore in the 1870s. The station borrowed its name from a nearby island owned by Thomas Lovelady, a local hunter and sportsman. When the community grew into a town it tested out several new titles, including Club House and Long Beach Park. In 1952, the early name of Loveladies became official.

31. NEW MEXICO // CANDY KITCHEN

Sandwiched between Zuni and Navajo reservations in western New Mexico, Candy Kitchen Ranch purportedly got its name when a local moonshine distiller needed a front to hide his illicit operations during Prohibition. To secure the sugar necessary to concoct barrels of hooch, the moonshiner established a confectionery that produced pinion nut candy on the side. Candy Kitchen isn’t the only sweet-toothed locale in this neck of rural New Mexico, either: 85 miles down the dusty trail sits a place called Pie Town!

32. NEW YORK // NEVERSINK

The old town of Neversink is currently sunk under about 175 feet of water. Named for the Neversink River, the longest tributary of the Delaware River, the city of 2000 was one of the unlucky Catskill towns flooded in the 1950s to create reservoirs that would provide water to New York City. Luckily, the town relocated in the 1950s shortly after its old Main Street was sunk for good. Not all neighboring locales were so fortunate, though. The flooding forced locals to give a bittersweet goodbye to the now-underwater town of … Bittersweet.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // WHYNOT

whynot, north carolina

Around 1860, residents living in the fertile heart of central North Carolina had no name for their home. But when the United States Post Office planned to put down roots in the area, the townspeople convened to decide on a name. Debate ensued: Why not name it this? Why not name it that? The discussion dragged on until one frustrated local butted in and said, “Why not name the town Why Not and let’s go home?” Ambivalence won the day.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // CANNON BALL

Cannon Ball, North Dakota gets its name not from a battle, but from geological curiosities called concretions. Millions of years ago, sediment naturally cemented around plants or shells in the Peace Garden State and hardened into rock, forming unusually perfect spheres that—you guessed it—resemble cannonballs. While these round rocks dot the local Cannonball River, you can ogle at more if you drive 170 miles west to the northern stretches of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

35. OHIO // KNOCKEMSTIFF

Though nobody can quite pinpoint when the town of Knockemstiff acquired its odd name, they can at least agree that it certainly earned it. Most of the stories about the area’s early days, before it got its foreboding name, involve bar brawls, moonshine, and other types of delinquency. The most famous origin tale, though, centers on the advice of a preacher. When approached by a woman asking him how to keep her cheating husband home and faithful, the preacher responded simply: “Knock ‘em stiff.” Take that advice however you want. The town received mainstream attention in 2008 when author Donald Ray Pollock, a native of Knockemstiff, published a book of 18 short stories that shine a gritty light on life in this rough Midwestern community.

36. OKLAHOMA // GENE AUTRY

The community formerly known as Berwyn, Oklahoma, took on the name of the famous singing cowboy after the man himself came to town and purchased a 1200-acre ranch that he would turn into the headquarters of his Flying A Ranch Rodeo. A few years after the purchase, Cecil Crosby, the deputy sheriff of Carter County, where Berwyn was located, suggested the town change its name to honor Autry. The town’s 227 residents all signed a petition in favor of the change, with the post office and railroad agreeing to alter their names soon after. On November 16, 1941, the town of Berwyn officially became Gene Autry, Oklahoma. Though Autry sold the Flying A Ranch after World War II, the town that bears his name still recognizes the late cowboy actor with a museum and film festival in his honor.

37. OREGON // ZIGZAG

The unincorporated community of Zigzag, Oregon, is a scenic spot that rests in the middle of Mount Hood National Forest. The community itself is named after the Zigzag River, which drains from the Zigzag Glacier. Though the history of the name is unknown, it might be traced back to Joel Palmer, a pioneer of the Oregon territory, who described the erratic movements needed to descend through a ravine near Mount Hood: “The manner of descending is to turn directly to the right, go zigzag for about one hundred yards, then turn short round, and go zigzag until you come under the place where you started from; then to the right, and so on, until you reach the bottom.” Though it was used to describe one particular ravine, the name stuck, and it eventually morphed into becoming a local community. In addition to a town, river, and glacier, Zigzag also lends its name to a volcanic mountain and canyon.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // INTERCOURSE

Ken Lund, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, village of Intercourse knows what you’re thinking. “It’s okay, you can giggle!” the village’s website says. “We’re happy with our name. It’s the perfect conversation starter.” Just how did the town come by its unusual moniker, which it adopted in 1814? There are several possibilities. According to one theory, the name came from the fact that the town—which was originally called Cross Keys after a local tavern when it was founded in 1754—was at the intersection of two major roads. Another theory posits that the name is an evolution from “Entercourse” because, at the time, the town was located next to the entrance of a racetrack. The final theory revolves around the original meaning of the word intercourse: “connection or dealings between persons or groups; exchange especially of thoughts or feelings.” The sexual meaning of the word intercourse didn’t come into popular use until the late 18th century. Intercourse isn’t the only Pennsylvania town name likely to delight 12-year-olds: Less than 20 minutes up the road is the town Blue Ball. It was named after an 1850s inn.

39. RHODE ISLAND // WOONSOCKET

The sixth largest city in Rhode Island was historically known as la ville la plus française aux États-Unis, which translates to “the most French city in the United States.” Although during the Depression three-quarters of Woonsocket’s residents were of French-Canadian descent, by the 2000 census, that number had dipped to 46.1 percent. “Woonsocket,” though, does not come from French. Historians agree that the town’s whimsical name is a corruption of a word from a Native American language, but they don’t agree on the language, much less the word, from which it derives.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // KETCHUPTOWN

This Horry County town got its name from a country store built by Herbert Small in 1927, but not because of the condiments it sold. Every week, farmers would flock to Small’s store to “catch up” on news and gossip. As a town grew up around the store, the name stuck.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // MUD BUTTE

Mud Butte was named for a nearby barren butte—that is, an isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top. In 1981, archeologists digging around in Mud Butte unearthed the sixth Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, after a local rancher finally got around to calling a museum about the dinosaur bones he’d seen jutting out of a cliff on his property for years.

42. TENNESSEE // DIFFICULT

There are competing theories on the genesis of Difficult’s name. One holds that when town residents applied for a post office, the U.S. Postal Service responded, “your name is difficult,” referring either to its pronunciation, spelling, or the handwriting on the application. Residents took the letter as an order, and accepted the name Difficult. The other theory goes that the town named itself Difficult out of spite after a postal official suggested its name was too hard to pronounce.

43. TEXAS // DING DONG

Upon learning that the town of Ding Dong is located in Bell County, Texas, you might reasonably conclude that the two facts are related. But you’d be wrong. The community was named after its founders, the Bell family—but they’re unrelated to Governor Peter Hansborough Bell, in whose honor the county was named.

44. UTAH // MEXICAN HAT

Visitors to Mexican Hat, Utah, never have to wonder how the community got its name. The answer is as plain as day: a 60-foot-wide, sombrero-shaped rock formation on the northeast side of town.

45. VERMONT // SATANS KINGDOM

If New England town names are any indication, Satan’s been awfully busy. The prince of darkness evidently has franchises in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont—the latter of which was purportedly named by a resentful settler who "expected fertile, rolling acres and had received rocks and hills instead."

46. VIRGINIA // BUMPASS

It’s pronounced “bump-iss,” the locals will tell you—if they tell you anything at all. Many Bumpass residents have developed a no-talking-to-strangers policy. Maybe they're just tired of being the butt of every joke.

47. WASHINGTON // HUMPTULIPS

humptulips washington

This tiny town, located about 25 miles north of Aberdeen (famous as Kurt Cobain's birthplace), was once a major logging center. Today it's better known for its unusual name, which comes from a local Native American word meaning "hard to pole." The phrase is a reference to the nearby Humptulips River, which Native Americans used to canoe by propelling themselves along with poles. The unusual-sounding term has brought the area a bit of fame: Humptulips is mentioned in the books Another Popular Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins and The Long World by Sir Terry Pratchett.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // LICK FORK

While the name of this unincorporated community might whet your appetite, it's likely named for a nearby salt lick, which was probably more appealing to horses and wild animals than humans. There's a Lick Fork creek, road, and more nearby, so there's no shortage of photo opportunities.

49. WISCONSIN // BOSSTOWN

This Richland County, Wisconsin, community reportedly takes its name from William Henry Dosch. Nickname: Boss. According to The Romance of Wisconsin Place Names, Dosch was sick as a boy, and he got so used to the attention he received while ill that he later became rather bossy with his family. Later, he owned a store on the site of an old saw mill.

50. WYOMING // CHUGWATER

It’s Chug-water, not Chug-water. The land that this tiny Wyoming town calls home was once the territory of the Mandan tribe, whose chief was reportedly injured during a buffalo hunt and sent his son to lead the hunting party in his place. According to Chugwater’s website, the son determined that the easiest way to kill the buffalo was to drive them off the local chalk cliffs. “The word ‘chug,’” the town’s website notes, “is said to describe the noise that the buffalo or the falling chalk made when it hit the ground or fell into the water under the bluff, depending on which version of the legend you wish to believe. Indians began to call the area ‘water at the place where the buffalo chug.’” When white settlers came to the area, they used the Native American terminology for the land, dubbing it Chug Springs. A local stream was named Chugwater Creek (after Chug Springs), and that’s where the town gets its name.

By Erika Berlin, Stacy Conradt, April Daley, Michele Debczak, Kirstin Fawcett, Shaunacy Ferro, Kate Horowitz, Kat Long, Bess Lovejoy, Erin McCarthy, Jen Pinkowski, Lucas Reilly, Nico Rivero, Jake Rossen, Jay Serafino, and Jenn Wood.

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The Best Dive Bar in All 50 States
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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.

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