Sometimes, you just want to go where everyone knows your name; that safe, familiar dive where the drinks are cheap, the lighting is low, and you can always get away with wearing sandals and a T-shirt with stains on it. Because the only thing anyone cares about at a dive bar is shootin' the shit and knocking back the next cold one, you can let the world outside the grime-coated walls melt away.
When you can't be bothered by things like mixology or a button-down shirt, a good dive will always be there to help raise your spirits and make you feel really great about yourself afterward. Thankfully, no matter where you are here in South Florida, there are probably at least five dive bars within a one-mile radius. To make your life easier, we've compiled a list of the top ten dives near Fort Lauderdale.
10. Bimini Bay Bar
There's a reason this place has no windows. If you can't handle the occasional porn playing on the TV or bartenders sporadically taking out their
9. Play by Play
Play by Play in Pompano Beach has everything you could want in a dive
8. Le Tub
Secluded waterfront tables, gigantic burgers, and a no-BS service attitude
7. Elbo Room
The longest-surviving bar on Fort Lauderdale Beach, this spot has seen it all. Its corner location right across from the beach is perfect for permanent spring breakers both old and young to congregate for cheap beer, live music, wet T-shirt contests, and general debauchery.
Billed as Broward County's second-oldest bar, this Sunrise dive has been around for over 60 years. The front room has retro-looking bar stools with TVs and a jukebox, while the secret (hush hush) back room is where you can shoot pool, throw darts, and even play Ping-Pong.
If you think of PRL Euro Café and envision all plaid shirts and bearded dudes in glasses, think again. PRL is the beer aficionado's dream come true, featuring several beers with an alcohol content of more than ten percent along with an eclectic, laid-back atmosphere and a younger, busy crowd on the weekends.
Arcade games, pool tables, a massive bar filled with friendly bartenders, and a virtually all day, every day happy hour make this Fort Lauderdale Beach dive a staple. Sure, it can tend to have that grimy, acrid smell familiar to any formidable dive, but no matter what time of day, this place is always poppin' off, and you can always count on getting shamelessly checked out — and also on checking out mentally.
This Fort Lauderdale favorite, conveniently located right across the street from a jail, gets rave reviews for its quality, well-priced food and drinks, consistently relaxed atmosphere, and ideal riverfront views. You also have to appreciate the fact that it's a historic building, something not to be taken for granted in our ever-transient home state.
2. The Dive Bar
This one was a no-brainer. Named for the snorkelers and divers who've made this Fort Lauderdale Beach spot their hangout, the Dive Bar has the perfect recipe of pool tables, an enormous bar, and a stage for live music to make it the locals-only dive.
Holding it down in Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village since 2003, Original Fat Cat's tops our list of best dive bars for lots of reasons. The dark, Americana-littered walls as well as an eclectic program of local live music and a formidable selection of cheap beer make it the perfect dive for those seeking a grittier alternative to the suits-and-heels scene on Las Olas. Shoot a game of pool, groove to the live reggae on Wednesday nights, or hang out on the front patio; this place makes for primo people-watching.