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Katie Cannon

11 Iconic Minneapolis Dive Bars

Cheap beer and crispy fried food

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These are just a few of the cities most comfortable, well-worn, quick-serving bars that have become a part of the fabric of this city. Each historic spot is blessedly dark, easy on the wallet and usually an ideal location to steal away far from the maddening crowds. So, ditch the tasting menus for and indulge in a night out the old fashioned way, with cheap beer and whiskey inside these Minneapolis neighborhood bars.

Bars are in geographical order from North to South.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tony Jaro's River Garden

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Pinkies and greenies are the beverage of choice here, that curious mix of vodka and something akin to Kool-Aid. The wholesalers room is a centerpiece round bar. All the seats are the best seat in the house. The bar has recently added a whole burger making kitchen operation from celebrated chefs Josh Thoma and Nick O’Leary. Don’t worry - it’s still dive bar food - the proof is in the slightly spicy jalapeño cheese curds with a proper side of ranch.

Grumpy's Bar

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Distinctive wallpaper, plenty of great beer and they serve a perfectly cheesy bar pizza, cut in proper squares. This popular gathering spot for local musicians.

Dive bar with a top shelf beer selection
Grumpy’s Northeast/ Google Images

Dusty's Bar

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Whiskey drinks like water inside this Northeast fixture. Note the curious booth - a relic from the olden times when phones came attached to walls. Buy a couple of pull tabs to while away the minutes while waiting for one of their famous Dago sandwiches.

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The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack

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Want a lobster dinner without the major dent in the wallet? Hit the 1029 Bar for the best of high and low brow: lobster in the mac and cheese plus a slew of local, craft beers and stiff cocktails. Note the string of bras across the ceiling for that added dose of romance.

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Northeast Yacht Club

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One thing must be made abundantly clear: there is no yachting chting at the Northeast Yacht Club. It is a little, cheap bar that is only somewhat located near the Mississippi River. There’s a menu with a few snacks, but the main reason to come here are the kind pours and rustic non-nautical ambiance.

A yacht club for people that can’t spell “yacht.”
Northeast Yacht Club/Google Images

Cuzzy's Grill & Bar

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Cool since the North Loop was just an isolated hood adjacent Warehouse District. Cuzzy's is dark, comfortable and always the antidote to any day - especially the saccharine, commercial kind.

Palmer's Bar

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Palmer’s was already a beloved bar institution,but it’s gotten even better since local musician Tony Zaccardi took over ownership. That means in addition to cheap drinks inside the dark interior, there is the occasional band tucked into a snug corner.

Eater file photo

Still hanging on as the neighborhood around it is suddenly besieged by condos. The 19Bar is the best gay dive bar in the city, with cheap beer and pool tables usually prowled by people who know how to rack ‘em up and knock ‘em down.

Perfect for a game of pool and beers with friends
19Bar/Facebook

Liquor Lyle's

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Plowing through the late night two for ones inside Lyle's is a rite of Minneapolis passage. Drinks are cheap as hell and you never know what kinds of friends you'll meet here (all the way up to five minutes to closing time.)

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CC Club

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Cheap enough to continue to inspire rock n' roll miscreants who make the local music we love and dark enough to fall in love with a new friend (or another bottle of beer.)

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Merlins Rest

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If you can't find something to love in this bar's whisky bible, you are in possession of a cold, dank heart we don't even want to know. Plus, there are often men in kilts, which is awesome.

Tony Jaro's River Garden

Pinkies and greenies are the beverage of choice here, that curious mix of vodka and something akin to Kool-Aid. The wholesalers room is a centerpiece round bar. All the seats are the best seat in the house. The bar has recently added a whole burger making kitchen operation from celebrated chefs Josh Thoma and Nick O’Leary. Don’t worry - it’s still dive bar food - the proof is in the slightly spicy jalapeño cheese curds with a proper side of ranch.

Grumpy's Bar

Dive bar with a top shelf beer selection
Grumpy’s Northeast/ Google Images

Distinctive wallpaper, plenty of great beer and they serve a perfectly cheesy bar pizza, cut in proper squares. This popular gathering spot for local musicians.

Dive bar with a top shelf beer selection
Grumpy’s Northeast/ Google Images

Dusty's Bar

Katie Cannon

Whiskey drinks like water inside this Northeast fixture. Note the curious booth - a relic from the olden times when phones came attached to walls. Buy a couple of pull tabs to while away the minutes while waiting for one of their famous Dago sandwiches.

Katie Cannon

The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack

Katie Cannon

Want a lobster dinner without the major dent in the wallet? Hit the 1029 Bar for the best of high and low brow: lobster in the mac and cheese plus a slew of local, craft beers and stiff cocktails. Note the string of bras across the ceiling for that added dose of romance.

Katie Cannon

Northeast Yacht Club

A yacht club for people that can’t spell “yacht.”
Northeast Yacht Club/Google Images

One thing must be made abundantly clear: there is no yachting chting at the Northeast Yacht Club. It is a little, cheap bar that is only somewhat located near the Mississippi River. There’s a menu with a few snacks, but the main reason to come here are the kind pours and rustic non-nautical ambiance.

A yacht club for people that can’t spell “yacht.”
Northeast Yacht Club/Google Images

Cuzzy's Grill & Bar

Cool since the North Loop was just an isolated hood adjacent Warehouse District. Cuzzy's is dark, comfortable and always the antidote to any day - especially the saccharine, commercial kind.

Palmer's Bar

Eater file photo

Palmer’s was already a beloved bar institution,but it’s gotten even better since local musician Tony Zaccardi took over ownership. That means in addition to cheap drinks inside the dark interior, there is the occasional band tucked into a snug corner.

Eater file photo

19 Bar

Perfect for a game of pool and beers with friends
19Bar/Facebook

Still hanging on as the neighborhood around it is suddenly besieged by condos. The 19Bar is the best gay dive bar in the city, with cheap beer and pool tables usually prowled by people who know how to rack ‘em up and knock ‘em down.

Perfect for a game of pool and beers with friends
19Bar/Facebook

Liquor Lyle's

Katie Cannon

Plowing through the late night two for ones inside Lyle's is a rite of Minneapolis passage. Drinks are cheap as hell and you never know what kinds of friends you'll meet here (all the way up to five minutes to closing time.)

Katie Cannon

CC Club

Katie Cannon

Cheap enough to continue to inspire rock n' roll miscreants who make the local music we love and dark enough to fall in love with a new friend (or another bottle of beer.)

Katie Cannon

Merlins Rest

If you can't find something to love in this bar's whisky bible, you are in possession of a cold, dank heart we don't even want to know. Plus, there are often men in kilts, which is awesome.

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