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Northeast is ground central for the best neighborhood bars.
Northeast is ground central for the best neighborhood bars.
Katie Cannon

14 Dive Bar Icons of Northeast Minneapolis

Neighborhood gems, every one of them.

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Northeast is ground central for the best neighborhood bars.
| Katie Cannon

What makes a dive bar? Is it the neon "Miller-Lite" signs; the stacks of pull-tabs; the Heggie's pizzas; the scrawled handwriting that covers the bathroom stalls? Or does it all come down to the slightly crusty, yet comforting, pleather seats? Whatever it is that you love about your favorite neighborhood haunt, Northeast Minneapolis has the perfect bar for the occasion. From the 331 Club’s drunk spelling bees to karaoke at Vegas Lounge every single night – you can count on these beloved dives to provide the space, entertainment and, most importantly, affordable drinks for an ideal drinking experience.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack

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Proudly divey, the string of bras and shot up police car door that adorn the walls are working class badges of honor. That they serve Smack Shack lobster mac and cheese alongside those stiff pours doesn't hurt, either.
Photo courtesy of 1029 Bar

331 Club

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Dark but not dingy, the 331 Club is a dive for those craving a little different atmosphere than bingo and meat raffles. Check out their happy hour, every weekday from 1p.m. to 6 p.m. where you can get Surly and Summit pints, smoked brats or a hot polack, each for just $3 a piece.

Dusty's Bar

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Nurse a shot of whiskey while working your way through a stack of pull tabs as the griddle sizzles to life with a slab of Italian sausage, onions and red peppers. The Dago is the dish du jour at Dusty's - a squishy bun cradled, hangover busting beauty of a sandwich. This is the ideal bar for knocking off after a long day of hard work.
Katie Cannon

Grumpy's Bar

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This bright blue dive bar on the corner of 4th Street NE and 22nd Avenue NE has a few other locations around the Twin Cities including West Bank. With a limited kitchen, don't come hungry. Grumpy’s Northeast focuses on their craft beer and cocktails, which you can top off with a nostalgic visit to the jukebox. It's a favorite haunt for local musicians.

Jimmy's Bar & Lounge

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This joint functions as the tiny dive bar heart of the Northeast community. Cheap drinks purchased with cash only, meat raffles, and a dedicated group of regulars make this place enjoyable.

Knight Cap Bar & Lounge

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They call it the Knight Cap, but it might as well be, "Don't Make Any Further Plans." The cash only bar serves a serious, cheap pour and the Heggie's pizza is your friend.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Mayslack's

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Pass on the famous (and over-rated) roast beef and head straight for the taps. Mayslacks is a Northeast staple in the dive bar business. Check it out for the loud random jukebox plays, dark lighting, ancient booths and interesting mix of customers.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Moose on Monroe Bar & Grill

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Neon is everywhere here. If you’re into that, “south of the border” nights, pull-tabs, bingo, meat raffles and killer karaoke.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Northeast Palace

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Armed with a dartboard and nice outdoor patio, Northeast Palace is a lively dive tucked inside a little red building. Drink like a king for just a couple of bucks.

Northeast Yacht Club

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Don’t be fooled - there are no yachts here, just people hanging out, drinking things and playing pool. It’s a relaxed place with an eclectic mix of people who don't like to spend too much on a cocktail.

Otter's Saloon

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Located at the scalene intersection of Central Avenue SE and 1st Avenue NE, this dive isn’t only named Otter’s – it’s got otters in it. Deeply disturbing paintings and wooden sculptures of this furry creature can be found among the neon lights. Also of note, Heggie’s is sold here for your pizza-loving pleasure.

Terminal Bar

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Many have a love/hate relationship with this dive bar, a landmark in Northeast nearly from it’s inception all the way back in 1932. It’s the place to get stiff drinks cheap with the bonus of an occasional live band. Might want to skip the $2 mystery shots, but if that’s your thing – by all means.

Tony Jaros' River Garden

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Named Anthony Jaros who played for the Minnesota Lakers in the late 1940s. He owned this place until his death in 1995. The drink of choice at the Rivergarden is a sugar spiked vodka concoction coming of dubious origins. Pick your Pinkie or Greenie poison (tastes like a hangover inducing melted popsicle.) The giant circular bar dominates the room, brace yourself for crowds on the weekend.

Vegas Lounge

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Known for their nightly karaoke, Vegas Lounge also boasts cheap drinks and surly regulars.

The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack

Photo courtesy of 1029 Bar
Proudly divey, the string of bras and shot up police car door that adorn the walls are working class badges of honor. That they serve Smack Shack lobster mac and cheese alongside those stiff pours doesn't hurt, either.
Photo courtesy of 1029 Bar

331 Club

Dark but not dingy, the 331 Club is a dive for those craving a little different atmosphere than bingo and meat raffles. Check out their happy hour, every weekday from 1p.m. to 6 p.m. where you can get Surly and Summit pints, smoked brats or a hot polack, each for just $3 a piece.

Dusty's Bar

Katie Cannon
Nurse a shot of whiskey while working your way through a stack of pull tabs as the griddle sizzles to life with a slab of Italian sausage, onions and red peppers. The Dago is the dish du jour at Dusty's - a squishy bun cradled, hangover busting beauty of a sandwich. This is the ideal bar for knocking off after a long day of hard work.
Katie Cannon

Grumpy's Bar

This bright blue dive bar on the corner of 4th Street NE and 22nd Avenue NE has a few other locations around the Twin Cities including West Bank. With a limited kitchen, don't come hungry. Grumpy’s Northeast focuses on their craft beer and cocktails, which you can top off with a nostalgic visit to the jukebox. It's a favorite haunt for local musicians.

Jimmy's Bar & Lounge

This joint functions as the tiny dive bar heart of the Northeast community. Cheap drinks purchased with cash only, meat raffles, and a dedicated group of regulars make this place enjoyable.

Knight Cap Bar & Lounge

Photo courtesy Yelp
They call it the Knight Cap, but it might as well be, "Don't Make Any Further Plans." The cash only bar serves a serious, cheap pour and the Heggie's pizza is your friend.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Mayslack's

Photo courtesy Yelp
Pass on the famous (and over-rated) roast beef and head straight for the taps. Mayslacks is a Northeast staple in the dive bar business. Check it out for the loud random jukebox plays, dark lighting, ancient booths and interesting mix of customers.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Moose on Monroe Bar & Grill

Photo courtesy Yelp
Neon is everywhere here. If you’re into that, “south of the border” nights, pull-tabs, bingo, meat raffles and killer karaoke.
Photo courtesy Yelp

Northeast Palace

Armed with a dartboard and nice outdoor patio, Northeast Palace is a lively dive tucked inside a little red building. Drink like a king for just a couple of bucks.

Northeast Yacht Club

Don’t be fooled - there are no yachts here, just people hanging out, drinking things and playing pool. It’s a relaxed place with an eclectic mix of people who don't like to spend too much on a cocktail.

Otter's Saloon

Located at the scalene intersection of Central Avenue SE and 1st Avenue NE, this dive isn’t only named Otter’s – it’s got otters in it. Deeply disturbing paintings and wooden sculptures of this furry creature can be found among the neon lights. Also of note, Heggie’s is sold here for your pizza-loving pleasure.

Terminal Bar

Many have a love/hate relationship with this dive bar, a landmark in Northeast nearly from it’s inception all the way back in 1932. It’s the place to get stiff drinks cheap with the bonus of an occasional live band. Might want to skip the $2 mystery shots, but if that’s your thing – by all means.

Tony Jaros' River Garden

Named Anthony Jaros who played for the Minnesota Lakers in the late 1940s. He owned this place until his death in 1995. The drink of choice at the Rivergarden is a sugar spiked vodka concoction coming of dubious origins. Pick your Pinkie or Greenie poison (tastes like a hangover inducing melted popsicle.) The giant circular bar dominates the room, brace yourself for crowds on the weekend.

Vegas Lounge

Known for their nightly karaoke, Vegas Lounge also boasts cheap drinks and surly regulars.

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