November 19, 2021

The Real Drinker's Guide to 24 Cincinnati's Essential Dive Bars

The Queen City is home to dozens of hip and trendy bars that offer excellent Instagram photo ops and cute bathrooms, but when you're interested in a no-frills joint where the drinks are as strong as they are cheap, these dive bars are the perfect place to knock a few back.
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Milton’s
301 Milton St., Prospect Hill
Prospect Hill’s neighborhood joint is chatty, diverse and full of character. A great place to have a beer, relax and chat it up with the regulars. 
Photo: Holden Mathis

Milton’s

301 Milton St., Prospect Hill
Prospect Hill’s neighborhood joint is chatty, diverse and full of character. A great place to have a beer, relax and chat it up with the regulars.
Photo: Holden Mathis
Gypsy's
641 Main St., Covington
Located in the heart of Covington, Gypsy’s is a neighborhood bar that has a back patio, specials on beer and bourbon and over 60 different beer options. If you need a push, they’re dog-friendly.
Photo: Facebook.com/GypsysCovington

Gypsy's

641 Main St., Covington
Located in the heart of Covington, Gypsy’s is a neighborhood bar that has a back patio, specials on beer and bourbon and over 60 different beer options. If you need a push, they’re dog-friendly.
Photo: Facebook.com/GypsysCovington
Miller’s Fill-Inn
52 Donnermeyer Drive, Bellevue
Surprisingly, there are plenty of cozy spots and corner bars in Northern Kentucky with vintage electro-mechanical coin-op bowling games, but something about Miller’s Fill-Inn makes it one of our favorites. Enjoy live cover bands or a Blues jam over affordable suds and a basket of popcorn, then head to the side room, past the pool tables, and bowl to your heart’s content. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Miller’s Fill-Inn

52 Donnermeyer Drive, Bellevue
Surprisingly, there are plenty of cozy spots and corner bars in Northern Kentucky with vintage electro-mechanical coin-op bowling games, but something about Miller’s Fill-Inn makes it one of our favorites. Enjoy live cover bands or a Blues jam over affordable suds and a basket of popcorn, then head to the side room, past the pool tables, and bowl to your heart’s content.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Fries Cafe
3245 Jefferson Ave., Clifton
Before opening as a bar in the 1930s, Fries Cafe was a Kroger grocery store. It offers a large selection of craft beers on tap. If you’re in the mood for games, Fries offers three floors of shuffleboard, dart boards and pool tables. Head out back and check out the massive patio set-up. 
Photo: https://www.facebook.com/friescafe

Fries Cafe

3245 Jefferson Ave., Clifton
Before opening as a bar in the 1930s, Fries Cafe was a Kroger grocery store. It offers a large selection of craft beers on tap. If you’re in the mood for games, Fries offers three floors of shuffleboard, dart boards and pool tables. Head out back and check out the massive patio set-up.
Photo: https://www.facebook.com/friescafe
City View Tavern
403 Oregon St., Mt. Adams
A hillside dive and home of one of the best spicy bloody marys and best views in town. The burgers are damn tasty, too. Meet the Big Ted Deluxe: eight ounces of griddle-cooked, handmade beef patty with American cheese, mustard, lettuce, pickles, mayo, onion, ketchup, tomatoes, served in a plastic basket with a bag of chips. 
Photo: Holden Mathis

City View Tavern

403 Oregon St., Mt. Adams
A hillside dive and home of one of the best spicy bloody marys and best views in town. The burgers are damn tasty, too. Meet the Big Ted Deluxe: eight ounces of griddle-cooked, handmade beef patty with American cheese, mustard, lettuce, pickles, mayo, onion, ketchup, tomatoes, served in a plastic basket with a bag of chips.
Photo: Holden Mathis
O’ Malleys in the Alley
25 W. Ogden Place, Downtown
O’Malleys in the Alley is a straightforward imbibing experience with homemade dishes that have stood the test of time. Daily drink specials and its proximity to Great American Ball Park make this a must before Red’s games.
Photo: Facebook.com/OMalleysInTheAlley1

O’ Malleys in the Alley

25 W. Ogden Place, Downtown
O’Malleys in the Alley is a straightforward imbibing experience with homemade dishes that have stood the test of time. Daily drink specials and its proximity to Great American Ball Park make this a must before Red’s games.
Photo: Facebook.com/OMalleysInTheAlley1
Junkers Tavern
4156 Langland St., Northside
This proud dive bar serves the usual, low-cost domestic beers in a down-to-earth pub. It hosts karaoke nights and live music. If you get hungry, select something tasty from the infamous wall of chips.
Photo: Holden Mathis

Junkers Tavern

4156 Langland St., Northside
This proud dive bar serves the usual, low-cost domestic beers in a down-to-earth pub. It hosts karaoke nights and live music. If you get hungry, select something tasty from the infamous wall of chips.
Photo: Holden Mathis
Dunlap Cafe
1926 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine
This joint has been open since 1936, making it one of the longest-running establishments in Over-the-Rhine. It offers cheap beer and cheap food as well as merch for especially dedicated regulars.
Photo: Paige Deglow

Dunlap Cafe

1926 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine
This joint has been open since 1936, making it one of the longest-running establishments in Over-the-Rhine. It offers cheap beer and cheap food as well as merch for especially dedicated regulars.
Photo: Paige Deglow
JD's Honky Tonk and Emporium
2406 Spring Grove Ave., Camp Washington
This dive bar is known for its burgers, fried bologna sandwiches, bloody marys and jukebox.
Photo: Liz Davis

JD's Honky Tonk and Emporium

2406 Spring Grove Ave., Camp Washington
This dive bar is known for its burgers, fried bologna sandwiches, bloody marys and jukebox.
Photo: Liz Davis
C&D Cafe
1714 Hanfield St., Northside
This Northside dive offers pool, Friday night Euchre, to-go beer, happy hour specials and cocktails. 
Photo: Liz Davis

C&D Cafe

1714 Hanfield St., Northside
This Northside dive offers pool, Friday night Euchre, to-go beer, happy hour specials and cocktails.
Photo: Liz Davis