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13 Iconic Houston Dive Bars, Mapped

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Time now to celebrate the dive bar. While definitions vary, there are some essential components. First, it should be an important part of the neighborhood in which it is located. Second, it should have minimal decor. The beer should be cheap, and the jukebox should feel out of time. If the regulars feel a little hostile to outsiders, so much the better. All of the spots on this map meet these criteria. While bars like Poison Girl or Cecil's are nice places to drink, they don't quite fit the definition and so aren't on the map.

Finally, any compilation of Houston dive bars owes a debt to John Nova Lomax's definitive work on the subject Houston's Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the Bayou City. Houston Press cocktail columnist Glenn Livet also compiled a helpful guide.

· Houston's Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the Bayou City [Amazon]
· The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Dive Bars [Eating Our Words]
· All Icons on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

West Alabama Ice House

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What this bar lacks in air conditioning, it makes up for in retro charm. When the weather's nice, splitting a bucket of domestic lagers and Tierra Caliente tacos with friends makes for a highly pleasant afternoon.

Chez lounge

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It's proximity to a major food truck commissary makes it a popular spot for the crews that work them. New ownership looks like it's trying to class the place up, but it still maintains an old-school charm.

Lone Star Saloon

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Some people knock the Lone Star Saloon for its strictly measured pours, but Lone Star's location in the heart of the downtown business district, shabby decor and iconic sign mean that no list of Houston dive bars is complete without it.

T A's Cargo Club

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Located in a strip-mall, this Oak Forest institution is known for its solid jukebox, reasonable prices and being generally welcoming to newcomers who behave themselves.

Lola's Depot

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Although it's at the risk of becoming one of those ironic dives, Lola's will maintain enough authenticity to merit a spot on this map as long as patrons have a legitimate feeling that they might become a crime victim when they leave it.

Tall Texan Drive Inn

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Classic jukebox? Check. Cheap draft beers? Double check. Bartender who's completely indifferent to your existence? Iconic dive bar status achieved.

Warren's Inn

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In a world where many people worry about the state of the downtown scene, Warren's, located on historic Market Square, endures for the same reasons all of these bars do: unpretentious atmosphere, reasonable prices and a low tolerance for bullshit.

Rose Garden

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Another Heights neighborhood spot with a friendly atmosphere, a solid jukebox and cheap Shiner.

Hunter's Pub

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Someday more people who work in the Medical Center will figure out that Westbury offers a lot of suburban charm without a long commute. When they do, Hunter's Pub will be where they go for a beer after work. Yelpers seem to like their Thursday night steak night, too.

Blue Lagoon Club

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A perennial contender in any "best dive bar" list, the Blue Lagoon remains a Spring Branch institution. That half the posts on its Facebook are in all caps is reassuring, somehow.

D&W Lounge

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Located east of downtown near the coffee plant, D&W has been a neighborhood fixture long before anyone thought to call it EaDo. The Saturday karaoke night is always a good time.

Ruthie's Place

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As described by The Pass & Provisions beverage director Fred Jones in a recent interview with the Chronicle's Greg Morago, Ruthie's is "an old, seedy dive with posters of Rockets cheerleaders from the mid-'90s and a shoddy pool table that looks like it was pulled from a dumpster after "The Color of Money" wrapped."

Shady Tavern

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A classic ice house with a relaxed, friendly vibe. It's dog friendly, which is nice, and the annual chili cook-off always attracts a good crowd.

West Alabama Ice House

What this bar lacks in air conditioning, it makes up for in retro charm. When the weather's nice, splitting a bucket of domestic lagers and Tierra Caliente tacos with friends makes for a highly pleasant afternoon.

Chez lounge

It's proximity to a major food truck commissary makes it a popular spot for the crews that work them. New ownership looks like it's trying to class the place up, but it still maintains an old-school charm.

Lone Star Saloon

Some people knock the Lone Star Saloon for its strictly measured pours, but Lone Star's location in the heart of the downtown business district, shabby decor and iconic sign mean that no list of Houston dive bars is complete without it.

T A's Cargo Club

Located in a strip-mall, this Oak Forest institution is known for its solid jukebox, reasonable prices and being generally welcoming to newcomers who behave themselves.

Lola's Depot

Although it's at the risk of becoming one of those ironic dives, Lola's will maintain enough authenticity to merit a spot on this map as long as patrons have a legitimate feeling that they might become a crime victim when they leave it.

Tall Texan Drive Inn

Classic jukebox? Check. Cheap draft beers? Double check. Bartender who's completely indifferent to your existence? Iconic dive bar status achieved.

Warren's Inn

In a world where many people worry about the state of the downtown scene, Warren's, located on historic Market Square, endures for the same reasons all of these bars do: unpretentious atmosphere, reasonable prices and a low tolerance for bullshit.

Rose Garden

Another Heights neighborhood spot with a friendly atmosphere, a solid jukebox and cheap Shiner.

Hunter's Pub

Someday more people who work in the Medical Center will figure out that Westbury offers a lot of suburban charm without a long commute. When they do, Hunter's Pub will be where they go for a beer after work. Yelpers seem to like their Thursday night steak night, too.

Blue Lagoon Club

A perennial contender in any "best dive bar" list, the Blue Lagoon remains a Spring Branch institution. That half the posts on its Facebook are in all caps is reassuring, somehow.

D&W Lounge

Located east of downtown near the coffee plant, D&W has been a neighborhood fixture long before anyone thought to call it EaDo. The Saturday karaoke night is always a good time.

Ruthie's Place

As described by The Pass & Provisions beverage director Fred Jones in a recent interview with the Chronicle's Greg Morago, Ruthie's is "an old, seedy dive with posters of Rockets cheerleaders from the mid-'90s and a shoddy pool table that looks like it was pulled from a dumpster after "The Color of Money" wrapped."

Shady Tavern

A classic ice house with a relaxed, friendly vibe. It's dog friendly, which is nice, and the annual chili cook-off always attracts a good crowd.

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