There are few places better suited to dive bars than Midwestern towns with urban centers, allowing for a mix of downtown divey drinking and hidden gems strewn throughout the less populated areas of the city. Dayton is one such city, not as big as some of its Ohio neighbors but home to a bustling city core with its fair share of drinking options in addition to outskirts with neighborhood haunts.
White Sail Inn
is about as ‘neighborhood haunt’ as it gets, the only business for blocks around and a seamless extension of its surroundings. The building that houses White Sail Inn looks a bit like a miniature, white barn complete with a pitched roof that makes for airy drinking in profoundly residential surroundings.
Downtown, Southern Belle Tavern
provides a Dayton dive bar experience on the opposite side of the spectrum, its location among one of the older buildings in the city. The brick-lined exterior provides no hint of the hunting lodge-like dive bar experience inside, exposed brick mingling with an explosion of wood paneling and wooden beams.
Beating both in the way of historical roots, Kramer’s Party Supply
can trace its lineage to a gas station opened in 1933 that eventually blossomed into a dive bar that serves most of its beer in 40-ounce bottles and specializes in well-loved pizza. In the shadow of the University of Dayton, Kramer’s is a go-to destination before and after university sporting events.
The mix is eclectic in Dayton thanks to the city’s confluence of urban options and hidden gem neighborhood offerings. That kind of assortment makes for enjoyable dive bar hunting in a city with friendly dive bar traits.