Buffalo Dive Bar Guide

Communal Dive Bars, Cold Or Not

There’s something about cold weather that kicks a city’s dive bar inventory up a notch or two, the communal requirement to getting through the winter as good excuse as any to make sure corner neighborhood bars stay in business. In the case of Buffalo, a strong appreciation for sports and high motivation to maximize summer months certainly doesn’t hurt.

The Old Pink is Buffalo’s unquestioned dive bar king, a mural disguised as a building frequently cited among the best dive bars in the country. Though the city of Buffalo forced a repainting that took away some of the charm of the green flames that once danced along the dive bar’s exterior, the interior remains untouched, down to the signature steak sandwich in the running for best meal in the city.

Downtown Buffalo’s Electric Avenue Café may not feature The Old Pink’s colorful exterior but shares its divey sensibilities, opened in 1980 and so focused on community that weekday viewings of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy are appointment events (and participatory at that). The unexpectedly cavernous space occasionally hosts live music and includes a futuristic cityscape mural painted by local artist Ramon Dennis.

Of course in a city like Buffalo, redevelopment is bound to catch up with a dive bar or two and such is the case of Del Denby Tavern, now officially referred to as Del’s after its 2015 renovations. What was once a dusty, dingy, classic dive bar vibe is now something a bit more upscale with preserved elements like the bar’s tin roof and welcome new additions like an immaculate bar dismantled and freshly installed at Del’s.

Neighborhood-focus haunts can be found throughout the city, a testament to Buffalo’s ability to keep unique divey drinking spots afloat. Each carries its own merits in complementary fashion to some of the city’s heavyweight institutions like The Old Pink and others.

Dive Bar Map

Buffalo Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Jolly Jug

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Single family ownership and beer chips since 1966.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Old Pink

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Buffalo's dive bar icon fighting the good paint job fight.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Electric Avenue Cafe

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Faded, peeling white brick along a downtown Buffalo corner.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Buffalo Bar & Grille

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Like a dive bar popup, alive for a five hour set each week.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Barry's Bar

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
One of Buffalo's better signs proclaiming parking, AC and beer.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Del Denby's

Review Rating: 6 out of 10
Hidden gem patio renovated beyond its divey roots.

Buffalo 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.

North Tonawanda

Klimek's Tavern

685 Oliver St
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

Adolf's Old First Ward Tavern

555 South Park Ave
Buffalo, NY 14204
Google Map

Arty's

508 Peckham St
Buffalo, NY 14206
Google Map

Audubon North

3050 Sweet Home Rd
Buffalo, NY 14228
Google Map

Avenue Pub

2113 South Park Ave #2215
Buffalo, NY 14220
Google Map

Bases Loaded

3355 Lake Shore Rd
Buffalo, NY 14219
Google Map

Betty's Grill

215 Main St
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Google Map

Black Dog's Tavern

2015 South Park Ave
Buffalo, NY 14220
Google Map

Brandy's Pub

805 Elk St
Buffalo, NY 14210
Google Map

Broadway Hotel

158 Main St
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Google Map

Crabapples

3298 Genesee St
Buffalo, NY 14225
Google Map

Dalmatia Hotel

1187 Tonawanda St
Buffalo, NY 14207
Google Map

Daly's Bar

2423 Seneca St
Buffalo, NY 14210
Google Map

Daren's Tavern

514 Howard St
Buffalo, NY 14206
Google Map

Dick's Eastside Inn

221 Lombard St
Buffalo, NY 14212
Google Map

Dill's Tavern

362 Military Rd
Buffalo, NY 14207
Google Map

Essex St. Pub

530 Rhode Island St
Buffalo, NY 14213
Google Map

Fletcher's Grill

3291 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14217
Google Map

Founding Fathers

75 Edward St
Buffalo, NY 14202
Google Map

Frizzy's Bar & Grill

140 Allen St
Buffalo, NY 14201
Google Map

Gene's Junkyard

501 Young St
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Google Map

Gordy's Inn Too

3220 Seneca St
Buffalo, NY 14224
Google Map

Hopper's Rush Inn

2104 Seneca St
Buffalo, NY 14210
Google Map

Kelly's Korner

2526 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14216
Google Map

Macky's Shamrock Room

1634 Bailey Ave
Buffalo, NY 14212
Google Map

Marinaro's Larkin Tavern

131 Van Rensselaer St
Buffalo, NY 14210
Google Map

McGarrets

946 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Google Map

Mr. Goodbar

1110 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Google Map

Murph's Warsaw Grill

1 Warsaw St
Lackawanna, NY 14218
Google Map

Papa Joe's Sports Bar

1011 Walden Ave
Buffalo, NY 14211
Google Map

Sal's Bar & Grill

283 Olmstead Ave
Depew, NY 14043
Google Map

Swannie House

170 Ohio St
Buffalo, NY 14203
Google Map

Talty's Tavern

2056 South Park Ave
Buffalo, NY 14220
Google Map

Tudor Lounge

335 Franklin St
Buffalo, NY 14202
Google Map

Vinny's

2704 Clinton St
West Seneca, NY 14224
Google Map

Wiechec's Lounge

1748 Clinton St
Buffalo, NY 14206
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

9 + 3 =