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These are Columbus’ coolest, essential dive bars, says underground travel guide

These are Columbus’ coolest, essential dive bars, says underground travel guide

Sav McKee

Columbus is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, and with that, comes new and exciting bars. And with those new and exciting bars comes long wait times and $17 cocktails. We can’t forget the places that started it all though – the ones that have been here with us throughout the countless years of quick transformations and new trends – the establishments that, well, might smell awful, but still offer $4 drinks.

Scoundrel’s Field Guide, a travel publication that seeks out the coolest, underground spots in a variety of cities, has rated what they consider the best dive bars in Columbus.

Here are their top 10 picks, what they said about each spot, and photos they’ve taken, too:

10. MEISTER’S BAR – 1168 Chambers Rd.
Review Rating: 8 out of 10
“Home of Columbus’ finest deep-dish pizza, Meister’s Bar is a dive bar between neighborhoods, a pizza oasis among offices and side streets.”
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Columbus - Meisters Batch 2 (9)

9. O’REILLY’S PUB – 2822 N. High St.
Review Rating: 8 out of 10
“Home of a sunken bar that invites an interesting interpersonal dynamic between standing patron and eye-level bartender.”
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Columbus - O Reillys (1)


8. CHAR BAR – 439 N. High St.
Review Rating: 8 out of 10
“Sitting within a certainly haunted building that opened as a funeral parlor in 1847, Char Bar is the dive bar stalwart of downtown Columbus.”
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Columbus - Char Bar (2)

7. BOB’S BAR – 4961 N. High St.
Review Rating: 9 out of 10
“Self-proclaimed or not, the Cultural Hub of the Midwest wears a dive bar exterior that houses one of the best beer selections in the state.”
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Bob's Bar - Columbus Dive Bar - Exterior

6. DOLPHIN LOUNGE – 45 Agler Rd., Gahanna, OH
Review Rating: 9 out of 10
“There’s nothing quite like drinking in grandma’s front room, an experience recreated and made even better through Midwestern karaoke.”
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Dolphin Lounge - Columbus Dive Bar - Outside Sign

5. DICK’S DEN – 2417 N. High St.
Review Rating: 9 out of 10
“The neon sign out front reads “Why Not?” Hard to argue with when the wooden-clad Columbus dive bar interior of Dick’s Den beckons.”
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Columbus - Dicks Den - 2022 (3)

4. BECK TAVERN – 284 E. Beck St.
Review Rating: 9 out of 10
“Beck Tavern offers inexpensive beer in pleasantly cramped, beer-soaked, dive bar quarters in German Village.”
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Columbus - Beck Tavern (4)

3. RUCKMOOR LOUNGE – 7496 N. High St.
Review Rating: 10 out of 10
“The Ruckmoor Lounge is a cash-only, off-the-highway dive bar miracle, a maze of a building warmed with a main room fireplace.”
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Ruckmoor Lounge - Columbus Dive Bar - Fireplace

2. LISSKA BAR & GRILL – 2665 E .5th Ave.
Review Rating: 10 out of 10
“Dating back to the 1930s, the Lisska Bar & Grill feels preserved since then, down to the diner menu prices.”
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Columbus - Lisska (3)

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
“Nestled among ranches and converted apartments on a sometimes dimly lit side street, Johnnie’s may just be the perfect Columbus dive bar.”
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Columbus - Glenn Avenue Grill Batch 2 (6)

Honorable Mentions:
#11: Johnnie’s Tavern
#12: Ruby Tuesday Live
#13: Bier Stube
#14: Betty’s Bar
#15: Out R Inn
#16: St. James Tavern
#17: Short North Tavern
#18: Mickey’s
#19: High Beck Tavern
#20: Byrne’s Pub
#21: Rehab Tavern
#22: Zeno’s
#23: Ledo’s Tavern
#24: Eldorado Food & Spirits
#25: Hey Hey Bar & Grill
#26: Brew-stirs Clintonville Tavern
#27: Mike’s Grill
#28: The Thirsty Scholar
#29: The Library Bar
#30: Oldfields
#31: Pointe Tavern
#32: India Oak Grill
#33: Brew-stirs Beechwold Tavern

What are some of your favorite, no-frills spots for a good beer or gin&tonic?

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