The criteria for a great dive bar are pretty straight-forward: dimly lit, no frills, cheap drinks, and, hopefully, a pool table and a jukebox to help the time melt away.
In our list of Hollywood's best dive bars, we've included a varied array of lovable holes-in-the-wall, from a rock 'n' roll hipster haunt to an intimate craft beer haven.
Pull up a well-worn stool, order a cold glass of the usual, and read on for our picks of Hollywood's five best dive bars:
19th Hole Sports Bar at the Alley106 E. Pembroke Rd., Hallandale Beach
Housed inside one of a handful of remaining classic bowling alleys in South Florida, this smokey dive will make you feel like you've stepped back in time to the 1970s, or onto the set of The Big Lebowski. Technically located in Hallandale, it's just a five-minute drive from Downtown Hollywood, and totally worth venturing outside official city limits if you're looking to change things up a bit. Buy a few games of bowling, or don't. Either way, 19th Hole's super-cheap beer pitchers and strong cocktails go great with its pool tables and jukebox, karaoke and comedy nights, and classic bar food.
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Mickey Byrne's Irish Pub1921 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Located across the street from Octopus Garden, Mickey Byrne's does the classic Irish pub justice, housing a long wooden bar with framed portraits of Irish athletes scattered on the walls. Plenty of Irish brews on tap (Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, etc.) are complemented by dartboards, a pool table, and a collage of the usual beer signs and gag posters. Plus, you can always count on Mickey's to run the big soccer games on its TV screens. All in all, it's as authentic an Irish pub as you'll find in South Florida.
Octopus Garden Bar1942 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
"Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!" reads the sign above the front door at Octopus Garden. Dark, dingy, and unapologetically haphazard in terms of decor and overall mode of operation, this pirate-themed dive just off Young Circle offers all the trappings of a reliable neighborhood dive — including the colorful crowd — plus all-day happy hours and outdoor seating when the smokiness becomes too much to handle. Locals love the karaoke, strong pours, and cheap beer, but you may want to go with bottled beer over draft, since word on the street is these scallywags get a tad lazy when it comes to cleaning out their lines.
Old Hollywood Beerhouse2019 Harrison St., Hollywood
This cash-only downtown beer garden offers fast service and plenty of outdoor seating to be enjoyed with its expansive roster of craft and microbrews that all ring in at a cool $4. Fans of the quaint mom-and-pop shop located inside a charming old Hollywood house rave about the friendly owners and bartenders, hundreds of beers in constant rotation, and fun touches like the screening of classic films and an entire room for playing board games. Like any great dive, this hidden gem keeps things simple: no liquor or wine and no food — just great cheap beer in a cozy, secluded garden setting.
PRL Bar1904 Hollywood Blvd. A, Hollywood
Opened in 2005 as PRL Euro Cafe, the bar's shortened name gets straight to the point. Boasting self-described "European/NYC" vibes in the heart of Downtown Hollywood, this edgy-yet-friendly nook with just the requisite amount of grime has been catering to the area's young alternative set for nearly 15 years, hosting live music, DJs, and other programming throughout the week. They serve up a vast selection of exotic, European, and craft beers with a full liquor bar focusing on small-batch whiskeys and bourbons. PRL is a five-time Best of Broward/Palm Beach winner and is open seven days a week until 4 a.m.