Minneapolis has been famous for dive bars since the Gateway District. Minneapolis even has its own flavor of dive bar that is intangible and uniquely its own. These are the top dive bars in Minneapolis.
Things to Do in Minneapolis: Dive Bars
CC Club – What makes a a dive bar, a dive bar is hard to define, but CC Club has it all. Cheap drinks, mellow clientele, aloof servers, wear and tear, and one string of Christmas lights up all year long. n the heart of Uptown, the CC Club pulses with history and dive bar charm. Step inside and sit in a well-worn booth below a dusty beer sign. Clicking billiards mix with friendly chatter, creating a laid-back vibe that welcomes all comers. Burgers and bar food fuel up the regulars, while cheap drinks quench thirsts. It’s not fancy, but the CC Club offers a sense of community and nostalgia that keeps Minneapolis coming back for another round.
Terminal Bar – This bar has never made a “Top List” in its life, but that’s why it is the perfect dive bar. $3 drinks? Ok, I’ll put up with the bathrooms. It has been family owned forever, but the son is now running the show, and he has brought in new ideas, like live music and mopping the floor. Nestled in Northeast, Terminal Bar isn’t your average dive. Opened in 1932, it boasts a rich history, serving drinks during Prohibition through creative means. Wood paneling and a makeover in the 1980s whispers tales of blue-collar workers and artists seeking refuge. Today, the historic charm remains, with the original bar and classic Hamm’s still flowing. Live music and open mic nights fill the air.
Dusty’s Bar – Dusty’s hasn’t given up any of its old charm, or nostalgia as it has aged. It is not trying to be something special, and the regulars love it. You can’t stop looking around the bar at the happy customers and the pieces of memorabilia that Dusty’s is either clinging to, or forgotten that the rest of the world has left behind. Established in 1952, making it one of Northeast’s oldest bars. Located at 1301 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Known for its classic “dive bar” atmosphere, featuring a vintage cash register and worn-in booths. Offers a casual menu of bar food, including their signature “Dago Sandwich” featuring Italian sausage, peppers, and onions. Live music events in the “Big Green Booth” showcase local talent across genres. Open daily from 11am to 2am, with food service ending at midnight. Cash-only establishment with ATM available on-site. Dog-friendly patio is a popular hangout during warmer months. Offers pull-tab games for a chance to win cash. Frequently referred to as a “no-frills” and “authentic” Northeast establishment.
Palmer’s Bar – Of any bar in Minneapolis this old dive bar has a soul and you can feel it when you walk in the door. It is the oldest bar in Minneapolis and still embraces the way the old neighborhood used to operate. Don’t expect anything fancy at Palmer’s, but don’t expect the cold shoulder either. Palmer’s gets tourists and they will run the rag over the bar for you. Established in 1906, Palmer’s Bar is a historic dive bar located in the Cedar-Riverside. It survived Prohibition, rumored to operate a secret tunnel connecting it to another bar during that era. Known for its strong drinks, live music scene, and unpretentious atmosphere. Features various themed nights like Whiskey Wednesday and New Band Night. Has hosted renowned musicians like Spider John Koerner, a regular patron for 60 years. Offers a mix of local regulars, students, artists, and anyone seeking a no-frills bar experience. Boasts a spacious patio amidst the bustling city life. Last remaining bar on a historic stretch of Cedar Avenue, making it a local landmark.
Grumpy’s – This is a famous Minneapolis dive bar that is trying to gentrify with the rest of Northeast. It is still a dive bar at its core, even though a lot of the new patronage are tourists to a dive bar. The history is all around in the this great old bar, with good drinks and suddenly socially conscious staff. Grumpy’s Bar was built in 1906 as a watering hole, has been rebranded several times, and was a cop bar for the past few decades. Recently rebranded again in 2014, it is still a Northeast Minneapolis dive bar known for its laid-back atmosphere and affordable drinks. Open daily from 11 AM to 3:45 AM, it offers a classic bar environment with dim lighting, vintage décor, and a jukebox. Menu options are limited, primarily featuring bar snacks and frozen pizza. While reviews on service and ambiance vary, its central location and late-night hours attract those seeking a casual post-work or weekend hangout.
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