Sometimes all you need is a stiff drink and some good company, and thanks to Louisville’s various dive bars, you’re sure to find a place that will make you feel right at home. Whether you’re looking for a cozy, dimly-lit dive or a high-intensity music-and-game-filled bar, we have you covered. Read on to see what local neighborhood dives you need to explore and incorporate into your future plans.
1250 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 • (502) 451-0659
Hours: Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The Back Door is a go-to dive when you want the world’s best chicken wings, ultimate nachos and cheap drinks. This hangout is known as a place where you can play pool and shoot darts in a laid-back environment. Its cast of beloved regulars has literally become an integral part of this haunt as the walls are adorned with murals of The Back Door’s regulars. This hidden gem is behind ValuMarket in Mid City Mall, so you’ve got to have the inside scoop to know about it. If you decide to stop by for a cold one, dress sensibly — they have a stricter dress code than most bars (no backpacks or cropped t-shirts, in particular). Otherwise, plan to let loose at this beloved local dive.
916 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204 • (502) 583-4661
Hours: Everyday, 2 p.m. to 4 a.m.
This local dive has been around for almost 40 years. Its friendly staff is known to treat every guest like family. And they treat the joint like their own living room, adorning the bar with touches of personality and decorating for every holiday. We visited in early October, and the bar was decked with all things fall. Upon entry, you see the laid-back bar area. Venture a little further, and you’ll come across all the fun — a dart board, pool table, ping-pong table and pinball machines. Bring a few competitive friends and have a fun-filled game night.
1611 Norris Pl, Louisville, KY 40205 • (502) 454-3919
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to midnight
In the heart of the Highlands and within walking distance from Bellarmine University, this Irish pub has a large, handsome wrap-around patio accented by hanging ferns. Whether you’re coming to watch a game or to celebrate a friend’s birthday, be sure to try their crowd-pleasing appetizers, which include pretzel bones and beer cheese and their stuffed potato skins. Shenanigans is also known for some of the best battered fried cod sandwiches and Irish chips in town. And, if you’re looking for fun with friends, go on a Wednesday for trivia night. Shenanigans also offers Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — we recommend the Ultimate Bloody Mary.
1398 S 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40208 • (502) 637-9052
Hours: Everyday, 3 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Inspired by its cross-street name, “Magnolia Street,” Mag Bar came about in Old Louisville in 1962. This eclectic dive hosts regular customers and features local bands. If the weather is nice, be sure to check out their large patio space with long wooden picnic tables in the rear of the bar. The crowd is filled with all ages and backgrounds for a true community feel. Stop by for a drink, some good tunes and a fun environment. Afterwards, we recommend heading next door to their neighborhood friend, Pizza Donisi for awesome pizza and even better fried ravioli.
1607 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205 • (502) 485-0114
Hours: Everyday, 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“Find it. You’ll like it!” And the Hideaway Saloon’s motto still rings true after all these years. This Highlands venue said farewell to the live music they once featured and hello to games galore. The bar houses a game room upstairs and darts and video games downstairs. Known for their inexpensive drinks and — if you’re feeling brave — their $1 Jell-O shooters, this fun neighborhood haunt has a positive down-to-earth vibe that keeps its regulars coming back to play games and chill with friends. It has been said of this authentic dive, “If the tourist bars are not your thing, go here.”
10432 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40223 • (502) 244-0165
Hours: Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Like all great dive bars, Mr. G’s offers cheap drinks and an unpretentious atmosphere. Add in karaoke, darts, a dance floor and corn hole, and you’ve got the recipe for some unparalleled people watching and old-fashioned fun. Among those familiar with this lively joint, some say, “you don’t go to Mr.G’s, you end up there.” With its great location in Middletown next to Roosters, it’s easily accessible to a diverse cross-section of Louisvillians. It’s a great place to make some memories that you may not actually remember.
Rally your friends and enjoy the unique charm of Louisville’s best dive bars!
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