Sacramento Dive Bar Guide

California DIve Bar Breeding Ground

California is closely associated with densely packed cities flocked to by people from all around the country. But Sacramento flies under the radar in that respect, a city that might just be the perfect size, taking advantage of California weather without the crowds. As far as dive bars go, the ingredients make for a particularly potent set of destinations, the city’s downtown core quickly dissipating into chains of residential neighborhoods perfect for corner dive bars.

Sacramento’s dive bar heavy hitters exist on the fringes of the city, Swiss Buda embodying the classic California strip mall dive but with a robust backstory that includes the intentional misspelling of Buddha as one of its chapters. The Trap, aptly named in the way it absolutely evaporates a sense of time within what looks like a lean-to barely hanging on, anchors south Sacramento in a building said to date to the 1860s. And maybe the best of the lot, Mother Lode Deli & Bar, exists on a backroad of a backroad northeast of the city with one of the best dive bar karaoke nights in the country.

Neighborhood haunts are prolific, including the appropriately named Round Corner, you guessed it, a curved façade on a residential corner with a deep appreciation for a game of pool. Socal’s Tavern, Club 2 Me, Cheaters Sports Bar, they all weave themselves naturally into the fabric of the community that surround them, all serving up a welcoming vibe populated by locals and regulars.

And there is more to be found, from a surprisingly pure British pub drinking experience in Bonn Lair to a hidden, back alley discovery in an otherwise touristy area in Back Door Lounge. All told, for those who haven’t had the chance to experience Sacramento, there are dive bar surprises around each corner, a network of extremely livable and attractive neighborhoods paving the way for community watering holes throughout.

Dive Bar Map

Sacramento Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Mother Lode Deli & Bar

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
A community so pure that regulars bring in baked goods to share during the city's best karaoke nights.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Trap

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
A building erected in the 1860s that looks every bit of its age, in the best possible way.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Swiss Buda

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
South Sacramento strip mall dive bar with an epic backstory and prolific taxidermy.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Club 2 Me

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Twsting green shamrock neon sets the bar for the string light-driven vibe inside.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Round Corner

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Nothing like a fantastic piece of dive bar neon and a supremely literal name.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Chambers Room

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
The downtown dive with freshly painted art and fantastically old beer signs.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Ernie's Interlude Lounge

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
No windows, all mirrors, a horseshoe bar and a very lounge-like vibe.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Back Door Lounge

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Down an alley and under a building in otherwise touristy Old Sacramento.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Socal's Tavern

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
The tri-color local spot that embodies the corner neighborhood pub.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Happy Bar

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
On the fringes of the city, a sun-drenched ode to John Wayne.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Cheaters Sports Bar

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Like a sports bar and a true neighborhood dive crossed paths.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Bonn Lair

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Unexpectedly faithful British pub experience in east Sacramento.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Flame Club

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
The square brick building with one epic dive bar sign in a gravel lot.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Q Street Bar & Grill

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Long narrow front room that gives way to a hidden, airy patio in back.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Mushroom Lounge

Review Rating: 6 out of 10
As strip mall dive bar as it gets with the occasional stapled dollar bill.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Zebra Club

Review Rating: 5 out of 10
The zebra sign remains but renovations have overtaken the ex-dive.

Sacramento Bar Crawls

Bier Stube - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

East Sacramento

Sacramento's slightly off-center district offers affordable drinks, a neon shamrock and even a pasty.
Beck Tavern - Columbus Dive Bar - Interior

Midtown Sacramento

The true gems are a bit off the beaten Midtown path, including some of the best dive bar neon in the city.
Mickey's Dive Bar Columbus

Downtown Sacramento

Starting in an alley in Old Sacramento, our crawl winds through Sacramento's downtown core.

Sacramento Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Downtown

Old Ironsides

1901 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95811
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

Reader Submitted

Old Tavern Bar & Grill

1510 20th St
Sacramento, CA 95811
Google Map

Almond Tree Grill

214 Harding Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
Google Map

Bear Dive

1330 H St Entrance on 14th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Google Map

Bob's Club

9039 Elk Grove Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Google Map

Chargin's Bar & Grill

4900 J St
Sacramento, CA 95819
Google Map

Club Raven

3246 J St
Sacramento, CA 95816
Google Map

Elixir Bar & Grill

1815 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95811
Google Map

Hilltop Tavern

4757 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95819
Google Map

Maple Room Lounge

2740 Arden Way # 1
Sacramento, CA 95825
Google Map

Pied Piper Lounge

3415 El Camino Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821
Google Map

Pine Cove Tavern

502 29th St
Sacramento, CA 95816
Google Map

Pocket Club

5043 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822
Google Map

Pre Flite Lounge

1011 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95819
Google Map

Tallac Lounge

3982a 60th St
Sacramento, CA 95820
Google Map

The Cinders Bar

5340 Auburn Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95841
Google Map

Torch Club

904 15th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Google Map

X-O Lounge

1400 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

12 + 9 =

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