Cincinnati Dive Bar Guide

Dive Bars Winding With The River

Cincinnati is a confluence of forces in a number of way, inclusive of the Ohio River of course but also in the cultural combinations that create interesting dive bars throughout the city. At the juncture of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, influences can be found from any number of sources, including geography that is anything but flat. City View Tavern and other dive bars in Mount Adams and elsewhere benefit from some of that variation.

Xavier institution Dana Gardens adds another dimension to the dive bar mix, adding a classic college dive bar to a host of other options. Nearby Pilot Inn looks and feels like it has been serving lunch since the city was founded and neighbor Edge Inn Tavern looks like it could have been about the first building constructed (ok, not quite that old).

Dive drinking options encircle the city of course, but downtown Cincinnati hides one gem in plain sight, the aptly named O'Malley's in the Alley that sits, you guessed it, down a quiet alley. Options expand to all reaches of Cincinnati and Newport, Kentucky, in particular, just across the river, making for a varied dive bar scavenger hunt across hills, flatland and three different states.

Dive Bar Map

Cincinnati Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

City View Tavern

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
Few dive bars rival the unmissable view from the City View Tavern back patio.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

O'Malley's In The Alley

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
It's a dive bar down an alley in downtown Cincy. It's right there in the name.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

JD's Honky Tonk & Emporium

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Nothing says dive bar like highway overpass and this is Cincy's representative.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Dunlap Café

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Breakfast, beer and limited hours at one of the city's oldest institutions.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Dana Gardens

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Signature-covered Xavier University tradition with one epic roof design.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Larry's

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Timeless Corner Club in Covington with let's say a rich history.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Edge Inn Tavern

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
The building may look closed, but try the handle to be sure for a worthwhile experience.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Pilot Inn

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Like a lunch counter crossed with a dive bar that has changed little over the years.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Friendly Stop Bar & Grill

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
License plates cover the bar where Sandy Koufax signed his first pro contract.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Crowley's Irish Pub

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Cincinnati's oldest Irish bar perched atop Mount Adams and behind the family crest.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Murphy's Pub

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Winding collection of student-friendly, dart-filled drinking nooks.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Up Over

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
New Orleans, Germany and Kentucky converge in this unique dive bar mix.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Few dive bars celebrate Spring quite like this Prospect Hill spot with a goat above the door.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

B List

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Nothing says class like a chandelier in the corner of this renovated, beautiful Kentucky dive.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Cindy's Friendly Tavern

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Lakewood drinking in a dive bar, pool table-filled sun room.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Stanley's Pub

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
One of the longest running music venues in the city with Mario Kart thrown in.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Madonna's Bar & Grill

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Half a disco ball, sneaky good chicken wings and walls covered in mirrors can't be wrong.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Gypsy's Mainstrasse

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Hockey-friendly drinking in Covington's Mainstrasse Village district.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Knockback Nats

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
As classic as a sports bar can be complete with house-smoked wings & brisket.

Cincinnati 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.

Newport

Coach's Corner

317 E 6th St
Newport, KY 41071
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

Boswell Alley

10 E Columbia Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Google Map

Bramble Patch

1686 Blue Rock St
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Google Map

Brother's Café

6768 Bramble Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45227
Google Map

C&D Tavern

7208 Montgomery Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Google Map

Crazy Fox Saloon

1714 Hanfield St # 1
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Google Map

Crow's Nest

5744 Springdale Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45247
Google Map

Flying Pig Irish Pub

901 Washington Ave
Newport, KY 41071
Google Map

Fries Café

4544 W 8th St
Cincinnati, OH 45238
Google Map

Happy Hollow Inn

3247 Jefferson Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Google Map

Liberty Inn

2430 Park Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45212
Google Map

Madonna's Bar & Grill

10 W 7th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Google Map

Montgomery Towne Tavern

7163 Princeton Rd
Liberty Township, OH 45044
Google Map

Northside Tavern

11 E 7th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Google Map

Old Time Saloon

10813 Montgomery Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Google Map

Old Towne Tavern

4163 Hamilton Ave A
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Google Map

rhinehaus

4901 Cleves Warsaw Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45238
Google Map

Tammy's Airport Inn

35 W Pike St
Covington, KY 41011
Google Map

The Arena Lounge

119 E 12th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Google Map

The Backyard Bar

4101 Airport Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45226
Google Map

The Comet

4208 Plainville Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45227
Google Map

The Pike Bar & Grill

4579 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Google Map

The Vogue

10010 Springfield Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Google Map

The Wood Bar

8441 Vine St
Cincinnati, OH 45216
Google Map

Trios

1763 Sherman Ave
Norwood, OH 45212
Google Map

Twenty Mile Tavern

3221 Montgomery Rd
Loveland, OH 45140
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

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