Charleston, WV Dive Bar Guide

Old School West Virginia Drinking

Nothing beats dive bar drinking in the shadow of the golden dome.
Painted Lady Lounge - Detroit Dive Bar - Interior
The Empty Glass

Charleston, West Virginia, dive bars blend elements of small town, locals-only spots and more urban, corner bars. Drinking is universal, of course, but the inventory of options in Charleston bears a resemblance to the city itself, an area that feels both big thanks to Charleston’s status as West Virginia state capitol and small due in part to a limited footprint.

The classic Charleston, WV, dive bar is no doubt The Empty Glass, the sticker-laden live music institution nestled into a block just off the city’s downtown core. The stage itself is an attraction at The Empty Glass, a platform that has hosted bands as notable as The Avett Brothers.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Wild Wiley’s At The Depot, a tiny triangle of a dive bar framed by an adjacent railroad track. Gaming machines, dusty pool tables and an ancient bar create the quintessential vibe inside where newcomers are definitely given an extra glance when walking through the door. Of course, other options sit in between these two extremes, dotted throughout Charleston’s modest West Virginia sprawl.

Dive Bar Map

Our Charleston, WV Dive Bar Recommendations

While we’ve done our fair share of drinking, we haven’t yet hit every Charleston, WV Dive Bar. The recommendations below are sorted into tiers to help guide your choices depending on how much time you have to explore Charleston, WV. Where we’ve reviewed a location, a score is given.

SFG Reviews

We’ve been lucky enough to visit the locations below in Charleston, WV. Each location includes a full review and SFG score to help you decide on how to prioritize your travels.

The Empty Glass

SFG Rating: 9 out of 10
Nightly live music in a sticker-encased Charletson staple.

Wild Wiley's at the Depot

SFG Rating: 7 out of 10
The tiny triangle dive bar near the train tracks.

SFG Recommendations

We have not yet been lucky enough to visit the Charleston, WV options below, but research, word of mouth and reader submissions have led us to recommend these must-visit options.

Club Eldorado Bar & Grill

Dive bar under the awning on the outskirts of Charleston.
Google Map

Other Options

Below you’ll find the truly deep cuts, gems in waiting that we have not yet been able to visit. Let us know if you find a particularly potent destination.

Blue Parrot

14 1/2 Capitol St, Charleston, WV 25301
Google Map

Bo Daddy's

318 7th Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303
Google Map

Buck's Place

2202 Sissonville Dr, Charleston, WV 25387
Google Map

Cantina 22

4102 MacCorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304
Google Map

The Red Carpet Lounge

308 Elizabeth St, Charleston, WV 25311
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

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