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.Read More
14 Dive Bar Icons of Northeast Minneapolis
Neighborhood gems, every one of them.
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The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Moose on Monroe Bar & Grill
Neon is everywhere here. If you’re into that, “south of the border” nights, pull-tabs, bingo, meat raffles and killer karaoke.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Known for their nightly karaoke, Vegas Lounge also boasts cheap drinks and surly regulars.
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