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A dark bar that’s positively crowded with bottles of booze
Dive bar vibes for V-Day
Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

The Twin Cities’ Best Dive Bars for Avoiding Valentine’s Day

Dark corners and great drinks far away from the schmoopy crowd

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Dive bar vibes for V-Day
| Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

While some are cutting out hearts, casing aisles for discount chocolate, or going to Jared, Eater focuses on a long-standing tradition of avoiding Valentine’s Day as best as possible. It’s often an over-crowded dining experience full of high costs and frazzled restaurant staff. Much better to spend the night tucked into a dark corner, nursing a tall glass of something strong and cheap. These are our picks for the best in local dive bar dining and drinking for this Friday night.

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CC Club

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The CC Club opens early every day and serves cheap pitchers of beer alongside proper good bar food. Immortalized in a Replacements song this watering hole is a part of the fabric that makes up Minneapolis.

Inside the historic bar at the CC Club
Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

It's the oldest operating neighborhood gay bar in Minneapolis and it still fits like a favorite old pair of Levis. With great pool tables, old school video games and cheap drinks.

Tony Jaros River Garden

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This room is a dominated by the round bar and that is exactly as it should be. The famous Greenies are served (some kind of crazy powder and vodka based elixer that will likely be regretted in the near future), but there are affordable drinks and plenty of beers served here, too. Grab one of the juicy smashed burgers from Burger Dive served out of the kitchen and relish the fact that there are zero obligations to share any of it.

A brick exterior with a neon sign
A Northeast icon by the Lowry bridge
Tony Jaro’s [Official]

Dusty's Bar

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Whiskey drinks like water inside this Northeast fixture. Buy a couple of pull tabs in the hopes of getting lucky, and don’t forget to order one of those famous Dago sandwiches.

Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

Shaws Bar & Grill

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This Northeast spot is steeped in blues vibes. Hear that whine of a lonesome guitar, a gravely voice remembering what was lost, and dig into a stacked burger with a whiskey back.

Palmer's Bar

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Raise a toast to the freedom from tasting menus inside this Minneapolis bar icon with an Anti-VDay musical line up including the Von Tramps. Cover is just $5 and music starts at 10 p.m.

Manning's Cafe

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Onion rings are the only talk of rings worth mentioning around here. Thickly battered, these are made even better by a boot of cold beer.

Merlins Rest

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The whisky bible inside this Lake Street dive is legendary, as is the minister of culture. On any given night inside Merlin’s Rest there might be bagpipers, geek trivia or a collection of neighborhood regulars who appreciate the English pub fare.

Do these guys know how to party, or what?
Eater File Photo

Skinner’s

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A classic neighborhood bar, Skinner’s serves fantastic pizza and other pub fare at really reasonable prices. Snuggle up under the giant painting of Mad Dog Vachon (or is it a...clock?) Grab a stack of pull tabs and a couple of beers for a good, long night in the warm embrace of St. Paul.

Mancini's Char House & Lounge

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The bar is a slice of American history that lives and serves great Old Fashioneds. Elvis wouldn’t look out of place in this 70’s Vegas styled room. An architectural ode to days gone by, the bar makes everyone who drinks here look and feel primed for long, great nights.

Still run by the Mancini Family, the steakhouse barroom is a glory to behold.
West 7th Business Association

Tappers Pub

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This is a killer neighborhood bar for those lucky enough to live near by. Dip in for a night of affordable drinks and a Coney Island pizza. Enjoy those crunchy raw onions as a V-Day rebellion against good breath.

Brunson's Pub

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This is a historic neighborhood bar on the eastside, but it’s also home to some fantastic bar food and cocktail-snob-approved drinks. Whether sipping one of the local beers on tap with a whisky bump, or attempting to conquer the giant No Payne burger, good times are always assured in this place.

CC Club

The CC Club opens early every day and serves cheap pitchers of beer alongside proper good bar food. Immortalized in a Replacements song this watering hole is a part of the fabric that makes up Minneapolis.

Inside the historic bar at the CC Club
Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

19 Bar

It's the oldest operating neighborhood gay bar in Minneapolis and it still fits like a favorite old pair of Levis. With great pool tables, old school video games and cheap drinks.

Tony Jaros River Garden

This room is a dominated by the round bar and that is exactly as it should be. The famous Greenies are served (some kind of crazy powder and vodka based elixer that will likely be regretted in the near future), but there are affordable drinks and plenty of beers served here, too. Grab one of the juicy smashed burgers from Burger Dive served out of the kitchen and relish the fact that there are zero obligations to share any of it.

A brick exterior with a neon sign
A Northeast icon by the Lowry bridge
Tony Jaro’s [Official]

Dusty's Bar

Whiskey drinks like water inside this Northeast fixture. Buy a couple of pull tabs in the hopes of getting lucky, and don’t forget to order one of those famous Dago sandwiches.

Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

Shaws Bar & Grill

This Northeast spot is steeped in blues vibes. Hear that whine of a lonesome guitar, a gravely voice remembering what was lost, and dig into a stacked burger with a whiskey back.

Palmer's Bar

Raise a toast to the freedom from tasting menus inside this Minneapolis bar icon with an Anti-VDay musical line up including the Von Tramps. Cover is just $5 and music starts at 10 p.m.

Manning's Cafe

Onion rings are the only talk of rings worth mentioning around here. Thickly battered, these are made even better by a boot of cold beer.

Merlins Rest

The whisky bible inside this Lake Street dive is legendary, as is the minister of culture. On any given night inside Merlin’s Rest there might be bagpipers, geek trivia or a collection of neighborhood regulars who appreciate the English pub fare.

Do these guys know how to party, or what?
Eater File Photo

Skinner’s

A classic neighborhood bar, Skinner’s serves fantastic pizza and other pub fare at really reasonable prices. Snuggle up under the giant painting of Mad Dog Vachon (or is it a...clock?) Grab a stack of pull tabs and a couple of beers for a good, long night in the warm embrace of St. Paul.

Mancini's Char House & Lounge

The bar is a slice of American history that lives and serves great Old Fashioneds. Elvis wouldn’t look out of place in this 70’s Vegas styled room. An architectural ode to days gone by, the bar makes everyone who drinks here look and feel primed for long, great nights.

Still run by the Mancini Family, the steakhouse barroom is a glory to behold.
West 7th Business Association

Tappers Pub

This is a killer neighborhood bar for those lucky enough to live near by. Dip in for a night of affordable drinks and a Coney Island pizza. Enjoy those crunchy raw onions as a V-Day rebellion against good breath.

Brunson's Pub

This is a historic neighborhood bar on the eastside, but it’s also home to some fantastic bar food and cocktail-snob-approved drinks. Whether sipping one of the local beers on tap with a whisky bump, or attempting to conquer the giant No Payne burger, good times are always assured in this place.

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