The Ten Best Dive Bars in St. Louis

Categories: Best Of

The-Silverleaf-Lounge.jpg
Jaime Lees
The Silverleaf Lounge
Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2012 wasn't easy. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. This week: The best dive bars in St. Louis.


The Silverleaf Lounge
(3442 Hereford Street; 314-481-4080)
The bartenders here claim that the Silverleaf is the smallest bar in the city of St. Louis, and that's a believable claim. The entire room holds just a few small tables and a row of stools along the bar, and what also must be the smallest bathrooms in the city of St. Louis. But the patrons are chatty and welcoming to non-regulars, and the tiny jukebox is stuffed with new country and old blues. Don't expect many frills here, but the tiny draft-beer selection and limited cocktail options are more than made up for with the friendly spirit of the bar and the Etta James on the jukebox.

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Red's Eighth Inning
Red's Eighth Inning Bar
(6412 Michigan Avenue; 314-353-1084)
This rowdy little establishment is situated right in the middle of a neighborhood, near the corner of Michigan and Holly Hills avenues. The huge jukebox is constantly blaring, and the people there are always looking to see or be seen. It's a great people-watching bar, not least of all because the modern rock music is usually playing so loud that neighboring tables can't hear you shit-talking with your friends. The bartenders don't take any crap and won't hesitate to kick you out if they don't like you, or hug you and offer you a free drink if you manage to get on their good side. Old school.

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Google Maps
Highlights Bar and Grill
(7301 South Broadway; 314-351-2422)
There's a little smattering of dive bars on South Broadway (just down the river from Bellerive Park) that welcome newcomers and make exploring new establishments easy with their fabulous prices. The corner space occupied by Highlights was formerly called Kathleen's Steak House. The drinks are cheap here, but know what you want because there isn't a drinks menu to be found. It's the kind of bar where people are friendly, but they won't really bother you. And though the bar stools may all be full, it's still easy to get the attention of the bartender. This place does offer something extra that is lacking in many dive bars: food. The pizza selection is limited, but hey -- dive-bar pizza!


Location Info

Venue

Map

The Silverleaf Lounge

3442 Hereford St., Saint Louis, MO

Category: Music

Red's Eighth Inning Bar

6412 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Rosie's Place

4573 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Time-Out Sports Bar & Grill

3805 Meramec St., St Louis, MO

Category: Music

Area IV

5918 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Cat's Meow

2600 S. 11th St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Area IV

5918 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
90 comments
Dawn Waters
Dawn Waters

R U Kidding! Why not you know me and Joe will drink anywhere!

Kalie Long
Kalie Long

pshhh... CBGBS in by far the top dive bar in STL.

Sherie Oberkramer
Sherie Oberkramer

Dee Martin, not any more, but im sure we have been to every dive bar here in St. louis at some point in time. :)

Dee Martin
Dee Martin

Sherie Oberkramer hahaha u and Scott frequent any of these!!!??!!

Heidi Joplin-Donovan
Heidi Joplin-Donovan

Blake Hodge James Donovan Rachel Umbright Conan Berry Dawn Waters Lisa Johnston.....we should all go tries these out!

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Kickers Corner is da bomb. They seriously don't get any better than Kickers. Great food, great people and ungodly inexpensive!

Dodie Pollard Dickey
Dodie Pollard Dickey

Check this out, Katina Strange & Erika Dickey... Cat's Meow made the list!

Paul Byrne
Paul Byrne

Some good spots but where's the 1-Nite Stand, Iowa Buffet or Benny's? Some of the places listed don't even sell pints of liquor to go. Wtf?

Missie Evert
Missie Evert

Carrie Fregalette Amy Amy Wilmesher Fregalette. Ideas for Saturday

Nancy Zundel
Nancy Zundel

Wouldn't it be fun to organize a stumble to stop at each of these! The final destination could be the River Des Peres Yacht Club! LOL! PS: I'll be the bus driver for the event!

Jeff Moenkhaus
Jeff Moenkhaus

I consider myself a complete failure. I have not been to any of these worthy establishments. Embarrassed.

Dan Blake
Dan Blake

Silver leaf is awesome, recognize

Dennis Knapik
Dennis Knapik

Cat's Meow was an old med school hangout....can't believe it's still around!

irwinjes1
irwinjes1

J&a's in the central west end kicks all of these in the balls. It;s so dive the RFT doesn't even know it exists. also, no Iowa Buffet on here...


Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

As a patron of Jimmy Mack's and friend to two of the bartenders I must take exception with being characterized as 'rough.' I bet whatever hack wrote this is so fugly that their face would make a freight train take a dirt road.

Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton

Surprised Friendly's or the Black Thorn in Tower Grove were not on here.

Eric Darling
Eric Darling

Been to highlights a few times, the guys who run it were great to have a drink and chat with, definitely recommend for a laid back drink.

Colin Feeney
Colin Feeney

I live in walking distance of two of the bars mentioned--Red's and Highlights. Both of them very cool spots for sure!

Hank McArdle
Hank McArdle

How many times are you going to recycle this shit?

Rebecca Wagner Smith
Rebecca Wagner Smith

I love Time Out! I used to live right around the corner and wow, was that a good and a bad thing.

Vinyl Bitchie
Vinyl Bitchie

"I Don't Know" should have been on this list LOL!!!

Terry Blastenbrei
Terry Blastenbrei

I wouldn't classify Tin Can as a dive, though it's cool. I literally lived around the corner from Silverleaf...took less than 2 mins to walk there.

Chris Reimer
Chris Reimer

Silverleaf all the way. Pickles in a bag

Charlie Marcallini
Charlie Marcallini

Hmmm... I live in South City and have actually been to most of these places at one time or another... not sure what that says :-)

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