What is a dive bar? Everyone knows New York has plenty, but what binds them all together? Are there organizing themes? Or is it more like pornography—you know it when you see it.
Much like with hipster bars, there are certain generalizations you can make—filth, Christmas lights, cheap drinks, undrinkable drafts—but there are exceptions to every rule. For every time you say no dive could possibly serve food, there's a dive that just happens to make incredible pulled pork sandwiches. And this goes on and on.
But let's get off the dictionary tip, and get to the list. These bars are all dives. Ultimately, what do they have in common? They're great places to drink. Here are the 50 Best Dive Bars in NYC.