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The Poop Deck offers prime views of waves crashing in and people walking by en masse on busy weekends.
The Poop Deck

Imbibe at These 16 Galveston Dive Bars

At these bars, you can mingle with islanders and watch the waves crash in

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The Poop Deck offers prime views of waves crashing in and people walking by en masse on busy weekends.
| The Poop Deck

Unbeknownst to some, Galveston is a dive bar town. From the Seawall to Broadway, streets are lined with dimly-lit joints stockpiled with cold longnecks, an assortment of whiskeys, and laid-back vibes that are welcoming to locals and tourists alike.

Chances are, if you order a martini, they might not have the ingredients. But these dives are less about the fancy stuff, and more about the things that matter — imbibing in good company. So grab a few bucks for the jukebox, some quarters for the pool table, and get comfortable with an unfussy drink that might be served in a plastic cup. The atmosphere will make up for it. Here are Galveston’s best dives.

NEXT STORY: Eat Like a Local at These 20 Galveston Restaurants

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sandy's Country Store

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Decorated with seashell creations hanging from the ceiling and a sleepy, overweight bar cat that takes refuge on the counter, Sandy’s is one of a kind. Though you won’t find martinis or Moscow mules, cans of beer and shots of whiskey are promised. If the doors are open, be sure to stop in. The hours are random. 

Murphy's Pub

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This old-school dive offers an impressive beer selection, a pool table, and late-night pizza served until 2 a.m. Located near a port with tourists disembarking from cruise ships, it’s also a great place to meet people passing through.

Patrick’s Bar

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The Strand’s go-to dive is a nice respite on the island, offering a place to bask in the ice-cold air conditioning while hitting the tourist beat. Daily drink specials range from draft beers and Deep Eddy bloody marys to cheap buckets during football season, with a big-screen TV to watch sports.

Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

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If you’re a music lover, chances are you’ve heard of this iconic venue, which promises beer, wine, and coffee only. A must-stop for up-and-coming singers from Texas and beyond, the Old Quarter features live blues, jazz, and acoustic performances every night of the week.

O'Malley's Stage Door

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A favorite among bartenders, this watering hole is always brimming with interesting people and beckons casual conversation with its wraparound design. Don’t miss out on the kitchen specialties like the classic Reuben sandwich and the daily specials at its low-key happy hour, which keep guests in stitches from the wild stories that locals share.

Old Cellar Bar

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This island standard is two bars in one. Molly’s, on the left, features a long bar with plenty of space to talk in private, while Old Cellar bar has its own bartender, jukebox, and a dartboard for those up for a challenge. For the Irish whisky drinkers, both have plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to ask for Snow, one of the city’s beloved bartenders.

Jack's Pub On Post Office

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Another true local hangout, Jack’s has a killer kitchen that serves late-night fried pork chops, big steaks, juicy burgers, and pizza loaded with toppings. Here, you’ll rub elbows with bartenders and the guys pulling the daily catch out of the Gulf’s waters.

Press Box

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Known for its older, less rowdy crowd, this hole in the wall offers a laid-back island vibe, with plenty of chilled-out conversation. Hungry? Grab the best mushroom and swiss burger on the island and breathe in the salty air on the back patio.

Albatross

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Though dancing and karaoke are typical offerings, Albatross also offers impromptu barbecue, shot-chugging contests, and live music depending on the night. On any day, though, expect strong drinks, plenty of people watching, and the best kind of chaos.

The Library Bar

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This library is less about books and more about drinks and vibes. Found right off the beach, this skateboarder hangout is an island dream that’s open seven days a week from 2 p.m. until midnight. Visitors can jam out to punk rock tunes from live bands, and check out the waves crashing in while enjoying their drink of choice.

Island Pier Club

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Whether this neighborhood hangout is the best dive in town is up for debate. What sets it apart, though, is the loud music, the fun bartenders ready to party, and its great service.

Robert's Lafitte

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This gay dive features a popular drag show, beach views, and a back patio that can go from mild to wild within a song. Plus, there’s a swimming pool and occasional late-night movie showings on the big screen outside.

Gizmo Bar

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An authentic neighborhood sports bar, Gizmo is a hot spot for islanders just getting off work or tourists in the know. In it for a cold Bud Light and an Astros game? This is the spot.

The Poop Deck

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Watch the waves — and interesting strangers — roll in at this no-frills seawall spot. The Poop Deck offers prime views of the Gulf and people walking by en masse on busy weekends. Known for notoriously cheap drinks, this bar also promises riveting pool matches, a cast of regulars, and a mean margarita.

Hurricane II

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Drive by this nondescript building with its simple sign, and you’ll wonder what kind of magic happens inside. Take the gamble. Strong vodka sodas, whiskey Cokes, and a whole lot of island locals ready to cut up await — plus a pool table with some friendly competition.

Woody's Bar

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Near the island’s end, Woody’s offers stunning views of a quiet Gulf from all sides. The bottles of beer are cheap, and whatever the drink order — be it cranberry and vodka or a double Jameson — it’s coming strong. If you’re coming to the island on your Harley, this out-of-the-way joint is worth the ride.

Sandy's Country Store

Decorated with seashell creations hanging from the ceiling and a sleepy, overweight bar cat that takes refuge on the counter, Sandy’s is one of a kind. Though you won’t find martinis or Moscow mules, cans of beer and shots of whiskey are promised. If the doors are open, be sure to stop in. The hours are random. 

Murphy's Pub

This old-school dive offers an impressive beer selection, a pool table, and late-night pizza served until 2 a.m. Located near a port with tourists disembarking from cruise ships, it’s also a great place to meet people passing through.

Patrick’s Bar

The Strand’s go-to dive is a nice respite on the island, offering a place to bask in the ice-cold air conditioning while hitting the tourist beat. Daily drink specials range from draft beers and Deep Eddy bloody marys to cheap buckets during football season, with a big-screen TV to watch sports.

Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

If you’re a music lover, chances are you’ve heard of this iconic venue, which promises beer, wine, and coffee only. A must-stop for up-and-coming singers from Texas and beyond, the Old Quarter features live blues, jazz, and acoustic performances every night of the week.

O'Malley's Stage Door

A favorite among bartenders, this watering hole is always brimming with interesting people and beckons casual conversation with its wraparound design. Don’t miss out on the kitchen specialties like the classic Reuben sandwich and the daily specials at its low-key happy hour, which keep guests in stitches from the wild stories that locals share.

Old Cellar Bar

This island standard is two bars in one. Molly’s, on the left, features a long bar with plenty of space to talk in private, while Old Cellar bar has its own bartender, jukebox, and a dartboard for those up for a challenge. For the Irish whisky drinkers, both have plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to ask for Snow, one of the city’s beloved bartenders.

Jack's Pub On Post Office

Another true local hangout, Jack’s has a killer kitchen that serves late-night fried pork chops, big steaks, juicy burgers, and pizza loaded with toppings. Here, you’ll rub elbows with bartenders and the guys pulling the daily catch out of the Gulf’s waters.

Press Box

Known for its older, less rowdy crowd, this hole in the wall offers a laid-back island vibe, with plenty of chilled-out conversation. Hungry? Grab the best mushroom and swiss burger on the island and breathe in the salty air on the back patio.

Albatross

Though dancing and karaoke are typical offerings, Albatross also offers impromptu barbecue, shot-chugging contests, and live music depending on the night. On any day, though, expect strong drinks, plenty of people watching, and the best kind of chaos.

The Library Bar

This library is less about books and more about drinks and vibes. Found right off the beach, this skateboarder hangout is an island dream that’s open seven days a week from 2 p.m. until midnight. Visitors can jam out to punk rock tunes from live bands, and check out the waves crashing in while enjoying their drink of choice.

Island Pier Club

Whether this neighborhood hangout is the best dive in town is up for debate. What sets it apart, though, is the loud music, the fun bartenders ready to party, and its great service.

Robert's Lafitte

This gay dive features a popular drag show, beach views, and a back patio that can go from mild to wild within a song. Plus, there’s a swimming pool and occasional late-night movie showings on the big screen outside.

Gizmo Bar

An authentic neighborhood sports bar, Gizmo is a hot spot for islanders just getting off work or tourists in the know. In it for a cold Bud Light and an Astros game? This is the spot.

The Poop Deck

Watch the waves — and interesting strangers — roll in at this no-frills seawall spot. The Poop Deck offers prime views of the Gulf and people walking by en masse on busy weekends. Known for notoriously cheap drinks, this bar also promises riveting pool matches, a cast of regulars, and a mean margarita.

Hurricane II

Drive by this nondescript building with its simple sign, and you’ll wonder what kind of magic happens inside. Take the gamble. Strong vodka sodas, whiskey Cokes, and a whole lot of island locals ready to cut up await — plus a pool table with some friendly competition.

Related Maps

Woody's Bar

Near the island’s end, Woody’s offers stunning views of a quiet Gulf from all sides. The bottles of beer are cheap, and whatever the drink order — be it cranberry and vodka or a double Jameson — it’s coming strong. If you’re coming to the island on your Harley, this out-of-the-way joint is worth the ride.

Related Maps