As a Market Manager I visit A LOT of bars. I genuinely like most that I find myself in, but I do feel drawn to a specific type of bar; the dive bar. You love them, I love them, we all love them… but why? I like to think that dive bars take you back to an era but more importantly, a feeling. Back when there was no frill. A coffee was a coffee, not a pumpkin spiced latte with oat milk and no whipped cream. Back when there were only 5 light beers to choose from. You didn’t need $100 to go out with your friends to have a good time. Back to the time when Budweiser still showed the ‘bud girls’ in high waisted bikinis. Back when Anheuser-Busch wasn’t AB-InBev. Back when Bud really was the ‘king of beers’. My STL roots are really showing right now but I don’t even care. To paint a clearer image, I want to list what I love most about dive bars and name the best I’ve visited throughout the state.
Here’s what I love…
Vintage wall tin tackers
Mirrors with brands of beer that no longer exist
Neon signs that buzz loudly because they haven’t worked properly since the early 2000’s
Games with broken elements – ex. Pool tables with a broken quarter function
A moderate amount of old smoke residue on every surface
Men above the age of 60 sitting alone with a beer in hand
A bartender who’s worked there since before I was born
Bars I’ve personally visited that are worth drinking a cheap beer at (listed in order of best route of travel so you can hit them all)
- Knotty Pine Tavern (Westport)
- Green Lantern Tavern (Copalis Beach)
- Ace of Clubs Tavern (Hoquiam)
- Tower Tavern (Centralia)
- Pioneer Bar & Grill (Mossyrock)
- Bucksnort (Morton)
- Big Bottom Saloon (Randle)
- Sure Shot Pub (North Bend)
- Joe’s Bar & Grill (Seattle)
- The Central (Seattle)
- Quarter Lounge (Seattle)
- Five Point Cafe (Seattle)
- Streamline Tavern (Seattle)
- J Michael’s Pub and Eatery (Redmond)
- The Old Inn Tavern (Snohomish)
- Soundview Tavern (Everett)
- Anchor Pub (Everett)
- Toby’s Tavern (Coupeville)
- Brown Lantern Ale House (Anacortes)
- Evelyn’s Tavern (Sedro Woolley)
- Longhorn Saloon (Edison)
- Cap Hansen’s Tavern (Bellingham)
- Up & Up (Bellingham)
- Village Inn Pub (Bellingham)
- Cocoanut Grove (Bellingham)
Do you love dive bars? Prove it… Visit every bar that Crystal has visited then let us know!
These are personal recommendations from Crystal. This is not a list of IHB accounts.
2 words, Brooklyn Tavern.
Best tavern in Washington
Was gonna add that one myself.
You have miss the Blinker in Kent and a few others.
Red top tavern, Darrington
Red Top is a must for this list!
Definitely should have The Cabin Tavern omg Shoreline. Definitely a diamond in the rough. Open since 1933 with a slanted bar and floor, it is a well kept secret worth checking out!
Try the Cedar Stump in Arlington. And the Local Tavern in Grayland. Chester’s in South Bend. The Blue Herron in Bay Center. And a couple you’ll never get to visit, The Oxbow and the Red Rooster in Humptulips. And the Showboat and the Wig Wam in Hoquiam.
Not a single bar east of the mountains? GTFO
We’re doing a follow up one with Eastern WA & then one for Central WA. Do you have any suggestions we should include?
Knotty Pine Bar – awesome people working there, friendly atmosphere with locals and tourists talking about crabbing and clamming and who has the best fish story. Add in the best burgers in Westport and drunk shuffleboard, and it’s definitely a great place to check out.
You’ve got to stop at The Landmark in Tenino WA! Great local watering hole!