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

Map

The Silverleaf Lounge

3442 Hereford St., St. 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

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


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168 comments
Kurt Jarvis
Kurt Jarvis

Cousin Hugo's is the best! Not on the list.

Bob Swanger
Bob Swanger

I am embarrassed that I have only been to one

Josh Holschen
Josh Holschen

jimmy macks is one of the first bars i ever went too

Josh Holschen
Josh Holschen

ha i used to hang at most of those places lol

Rachel Holschen Pena
Rachel Holschen Pena

I don't but it definitely was a dive bar but a great time! Just stay away from the mind erasers!

Christina Eldridge
Christina Eldridge

I've only been to two but Cats Meow is 3 blocks from my house so I've been there ALOT. My guy saves the half dollars we get as change from there and puts them in a friends 9 y/o daughters savings account lol

Rick Sparling
Rick Sparling

Have you ever been to BJ's bar in Florissant?

Jackie Schwieger- Adams
Jackie Schwieger- Adams

Rachel Holschen Pena- do you remember when the Maple Leaf was voted Best Dive Bar?! LONG time ago but it was definitely a fun place!

Rachel Holschen Pena
Rachel Holschen Pena

It did say BEST dive bars. Don't think the bars in the county can be as divy as in the city.

Anthony Grace
Anthony Grace

I say no to cat's meow, when the bar owner is an alderman there is something not right!

Roger Herin
Roger Herin

Mary Miller your aunts bar made the list

Connie George
Connie George

Been to 7 of the ones listed! Could think of a few more to add to the list! River City on Gravois (in the county, but close enough to the city) Palladora on Grand, Slo-Tom's and Libby's to name a few!

Beth Barry
Beth Barry

Douglas Cleveland I have only been to Cat's Meow...

Laura Calvey
Laura Calvey

Marian we should make a night of dive bars. Lol

Mark Anthony Jones
Mark Anthony Jones

There are several North Side bars that could have been included on this list...why were some of them not included? Waldorf Lounge, Valerie's Sit & Sip, Zodiac Lounge, The Palomino Lounge and a few others...

Rick Sparling
Rick Sparling

All "conveniently" located in the city. Hey, RFT, ever heard of St. Louis County?

Beth Kroll Hughes
Beth Kroll Hughes

Kelly Kamper-Butler I think I know some of these from the bad bar bus tour! ;)

Ashley Drury
Ashley Drury

Ya know, my sister and I decided to go down this last one night and some of these places are sketchy at best!

Angela Weakley Hill
Angela Weakley Hill

RIP to the best dive St. Louis ever had, Frederick's Music Lounge. Loved that place and the people so much that I traveled 800 miles to be there on the last night it was open.

Daniel Myers
Daniel Myers

Putting this on my to do list. I miss STL

Sheryl Peltz
Sheryl Peltz

My son Jim and my almost-daughter-in-law Maria Rask will appreciate this.

cmwiley2
cmwiley2

You've been to more you just don't remember

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