There’s really nothing like a good dive bar. Small, casual dives that are low-key and filled with just the right amount of people are the best. You can always find a stool, there’s usually live music, and the beer tends to be cheaper than at ritzier joints. Texas has no shortage of good dives. Some have been serving thirsty Texans for so long that they are now treasured landmarks, if not official historical ones. There are so many great dive bars in Texas that it would be impossible to rank them, but here are just ten that are pretty darn great.
Hanover’s – Pflugerville
Hanover’s was first opened in Pflugerville in 1903. After spending some years as a hardware store, Hanovers reopened in 1999 as a bar in its original location. Hanover’s has a yard where volleyball tournaments frequently take place. There’s also Gano’s, a little kitchen with a window through which hungry patrons can purchase barbecue.
Woody’s Lounge – Odessa
Woody’s Lounge in Odessa is a favorite haunt of locals. The bar has four pool tables and a great atmosphere for hanging out. It was even covered in an article from the Houston Press.
The Grapevine Bar – Dallas
The Grapevine Bar is a Dallas institution. Located in the Oak Lawn area, The Grapevine Bar has a basketball court, a front patio upstairs and a pool room.
The Abbey Underground – Denton
Pool, karaoke and live music of all genres, what else could you ask for in a dive bar? The Abbey Underground in Denton is a local favorite.
The Little Longhorn Saloon – Austin
If you thought you couldn’t find chicken shit bingo in Austin, think again. The fun doesn’t stop at gambling on poultry excrement, though. The Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin has free hot dogs, live music, and only serves beer. Dive bar: Texas style. A few years ago the bar underwent a renovation, but it maintains the character that made it one of Austin’s most beloved dive bars.
Sofie’s SS Saloon – McAllen
You don’t make it down to the Rio Grande Valley often enough. The next time you’re down there, check out Sofie’s “double s” Saloon. It’s got cheap beer, a great sound system and a huge outdoor area for those hot summer nights.
Snuffy’s Place – Hutto
If you see ghosts while Visiting Snuffy’s, don’t be alarmed. They’re just there for a good time, like the rest of the patrons. Word around Hutto is that Snuffy’s used to be an old mortuary. It’s no longer so creepy, though, with karaoke and good times to be had all around.
Lola’s Depot – Houston
Lola’s may not be the fanciest joint in town, but it’s a treasured dive in Houston. Located on Montrose, the little bar is a dive lover’s heaven. There’s a little patio with a fully stocked bar, cheap drinks, and native Houstonians aplenty.
Hole in the Wall – Austin
Try as they might, Austin just can’t get rid of its most iconic dive bar. Situated on the main drag of UT campus, Hole in the Wall has had rumors of its demise swirling in the Capital City for many years now, but so far it has managed to defeat the strong arm of progress. When rent for the little bar went up from $15,000 to $20,000 per month last year, the rumors resurfaced. Despite the rent increase, Hole in the Wall is still there, carrying on a tradition of awesome dive drinks and music that first began in 1974.
Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar – Bandera
Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon isn’t just a mouthful, it’s a Texas tradition. Located in the “Cowboy Capital of the World” in Bandera, Texas, this little watering hole has been in business in some form since 1921. Robert Earl Keene and Willie Nelson are just a few of the acts who have performed there. The venue became known as Arkey Blue’s in 1968 when it was purchased by singer Arkey Juenke.