The Ten Best Dive Bars in St. Louis
(4573 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-6423)
The Central West End is known as a bourgeois neighborhood with impressive houses, world-class restaurants, very expensive cocktails and impossible parking. Though located on the poppin' south edge of the CWE, Rosie's Place is kind of the opposite of all of that. The parking still blows goats, but the bar is more in step with the working-class parts of the city. The drinks are affordable and the rules are loose; patrons can light up a cigarette or stumble in with man's best friend: Yep, you can even bring your dog inside. Rover loves Rosie's, too.
(3805 Meramec Street; 314-457-9112)
Many people know about the Time Out bar on Gravois Avenue near the corner at Chippewa Street, but this Time Out is its laid-back sister establishment. While the Gravois location offers multiple rooms, club lights and a near Landing-like experience after midnight, the Meramec location is just a classic, lazy dive bar. It's quiet and low-lit, with many people drinking on their own or just enjoying a beer after work. There's a pool table that seems constantly in use, and the clacking of the pool balls are frequently the only noise in the room. Patrons here tend to keep to themselves and it's a great place to grab a cheap drink and dig into a good book.
Jaime Lees Jimmy Mack's
(5838 Southwest Avenue; 314-645-5777)
Located just around the corner from a sort-of classy dive, the Hideaway, Jimmy Mack's is anything but classy. It's rough in every aspect, from the bartenders to the patrons to the décor. But it's also the place to go if you want to be amused by strangers and if you know how to keep your mouth shut. Daytime drunks will stumble into your table and it gets a little raucous at night, but it's all in good fun. The bar offers a greater liquor variety than the average dive, but don't ask for a fancy cocktail or you'll be outed as an interloper.
(5918 Hampton Avenue; 314-481-4122)
The square footage is slightly more impressive, but Area IV is considered the sister bar of the South side's Silverleaf bar. And though the front door opens to the busy stretch of Hampton Avenue just south of Chippewa Street, this Princeton Heights bar feels like a hidden neighborhood watering hole. It's decorated to honor firefighters, with pictures of firemen and firewomen who are friends of the bar featured prominently on the walls. There are a few televisions and a computerized jukebox, but that's about it. Not that it matters, really. People don't come here for the amenities. They come for the friendly vibe, the laid-back atmosphere and the cheaper-than-cheap beer.
3442 Hereford St., Saint Louis, MO