August 12, 2018

The Real Drinker's Guide to Cleveland's Essential Dive Bars

Cleveland proper is home to dozens of hole-in-the-wall watering holes (we’re not kidding, most of these places don’t have their own websites). And these spots are just begging to help quench your thirst for dirt-cheap drinks, food, billiards and other bar staples. Here are our picks for the dive bars that absolutely define Cleveland. 

Cleveland proper is home to dozens of hole-in-the-wall watering holes (we’re not kidding, most of these places don’t have their own websites). And these spots are just begging to help quench your thirst for dirt-cheap drinks, food, billiards and other bar staples. Here are our picks for the dive bars that absolutely define Cleveland. 

Scroll down to view images
 B and G Tavern
4150 Lorain Ave. | (216) 651-0883
This affordable Ohio City long time hangout is lit, thanks to its literal beer light decorations and classic pool table. 
Photo via savage.chicago.yeah/Instagram

B and G Tavern

4150 Lorain Ave. | (216) 651-0883

This affordable Ohio City long time hangout is lit, thanks to its literal beer light decorations and classic pool table.

Photo via savage.chicago.yeah/Instagram
 Wilbert’s Food & Music
812 Huron Rd. E. | (216) 375-5966
This place is literally right next to the Scene office, and we always get good vibes (and barbecue smells) from it (only during game and event days though).
Photo via dirtyblanketband/Instagram

Wilbert’s Food & Music

812 Huron Rd. E. | (216) 375-5966

This place is literally right next to the Scene office, and we always get good vibes (and barbecue smells) from it (only during game and event days though).

Photo via dirtyblanketband/Instagram
 Smedley’s Bar & Grille
17004 Lorain Ave. | (216) 941-0124
With cheap drink specials, live music and food deals, Smedley’s always keeps it fresh by changing up the pub’s calendar. Patrons note that the staff is friendly and the food is even to die for.
Photo from Scene archives

Smedley’s Bar & Grille

17004 Lorain Ave. | (216) 941-0124

With cheap drink specials, live music and food deals, Smedley’s always keeps it fresh by changing up the pub’s calendar. Patrons note that the staff is friendly and the food is even to die for.

Photo from Scene archives
 Nick’s Sports Corner
615 Prospect Ave. E. | (216) 781-0966
This classic neighborhood bar, near the always exciting, legendary East 4th Street, lets you choose its music with its TouchTunes machine, and choose from cheap beer options. Plus, sports!
Photo via adamdavidschmitz/Instagram

Nick’s Sports Corner

615 Prospect Ave. E. | (216) 781-0966

This classic neighborhood bar, near the always exciting, legendary East 4th Street, lets you choose its music with its TouchTunes machine, and choose from cheap beer options. Plus, sports!

Photo via adamdavidschmitz/Instagram
 Little King’s Lounge 
3061 Payne Ave. | (216) 621-2888
This intimate cash-only bar has been slinging drinks near Asia Town for decades. You might not feel like a king as this bar’s name suggests, but you’ll certainly be satisfied if you’ve come for a cheap drink and a round of pool.
Photo from Scene archives

Little King’s Lounge

3061 Payne Ave. | (216) 621-2888

This intimate cash-only bar has been slinging drinks near Asia Town for decades. You might not feel like a king as this bar’s name suggests, but you’ll certainly be satisfied if you’ve come for a cheap drink and a round of pool.

Photo from Scene archives
 Lincoln Park Pub
2609 W. 14th St. | (216) 621-2240
Cleveland is full of hidden gems, and this place is one of them. The drink options aren’t too overwhelming, which is nice when you want something simple and making up your mind takes forever. You can also play pinball here.
Photo via elgoeneg/Instagram

Lincoln Park Pub

2609 W. 14th St. | (216) 621-2240

Cleveland is full of hidden gems, and this place is one of them. The drink options aren’t too overwhelming, which is nice when you want something simple and making up your mind takes forever. You can also play pinball here.

Photo via elgoeneg/Instagram
 Funhouse
1539 W. 117th St. | (216) 815-5866
This place doesn’t have many food options, but it makes up for it with its extensive bar (that’s how that works, right?). The popcorn is free, though, so have as much as you want along with your shot, beer, slushie or lemonade. Affectionately naming itself “Cleveland’s sweetest little bar,” the joint features live punk music, a jukebox with a catalog of local bands and just enough surprises jumping out at you to remind you that you’re actually in a funhouse.
Photo via crispormusic/Instagram

Funhouse

1539 W. 117th St. | (216) 815-5866

This place doesn’t have many food options, but it makes up for it with its extensive bar (that’s how that works, right?). The popcorn is free, though, so have as much as you want along with your shot, beer, slushie or lemonade. Affectionately naming itself “Cleveland’s sweetest little bar,” the joint features live punk music, a jukebox with a catalog of local bands and just enough surprises jumping out at you to remind you that you’re actually in a funhouse.

Photo via crispormusic/Instagram
 Hoopples 
1930 Columbus Rd. | (216) 575-0483
If you want to watch a sports game projected onto a bridge while overlooking the Cuyahoga River, look no further than Hoopples. This bar has basic pub grub plus views of the Cleveland skyline and a 1936 car guide for the nerd in us all.
Photo via bluehorsey/Instagram

Hoopples

1930 Columbus Rd. | (216) 575-0483

If you want to watch a sports game projected onto a bridge while overlooking the Cuyahoga River, look no further than Hoopples. This bar has basic pub grub plus views of the Cleveland skyline and a 1936 car guide for the nerd in us all.

Photo via bluehorsey/Instagram
 The Harbor Inn
1219 Main Ave.| (216) 241-3232
This is Cleveland’s oldest, original dive bar. It dates back to the 19th century when sailors would stop in for a drink after a long day at sea. With more than 100 different beers and homemade lunches during the week, you’d be crazy not to stop by.
Photo via rchillman/Instagram

The Harbor Inn

1219 Main Ave.| (216) 241-3232

This is Cleveland’s oldest, original dive bar. It dates back to the 19th century when sailors would stop in for a drink after a long day at sea. With more than 100 different beers and homemade lunches during the week, you’d be crazy not to stop by.

Photo via rchillman/Instagram
 Jukebox
1404 W. 29th St. | (216) 206-7699
Some bar needs to represent Cleveland’s relationship with rock n’ roll, and this music-centered bar with a physical jukebox is the place. Drink to your liver’s discontent and enjoy lots of pierogies, sandwiches and late night ramen.
Photo via bgoers/Instagram

Jukebox

1404 W. 29th St. | (216) 206-7699

Some bar needs to represent Cleveland’s relationship with rock n’ roll, and this music-centered bar with a physical jukebox is the place. Drink to your liver’s discontent and enjoy lots of pierogies, sandwiches and late night ramen.

Photo via bgoers/Instagram