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9 Iconic Dive Bars Across Charleston

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Big John's Tavern, King of the Dives[Photo: Facebook]

The Holy City isn't exactly known for its seedy clubs and gritty bars. But there are a few places to get reasonably-priced brews that haven't gone all chichi with the decor and won't necessarily be serving you with a sidecar of Southern hospitality. Or if they are pouring your drink with a smile, it's likely because you're a regular. In honor of Cocktail Week, cast aside your gingham bow tie and raise a sturdy glass to Charleston's slightly less polished (though no less adored) places to tipple the day away.

Don't throw cans of PBR at your laptop if your favorite was overlooked. Just tell us which bars you think should be on the list in the comments.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

A.C.'s Bar & Grill

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A.C.'s is the kind of place that'll make you feel your age. Those who've hit a certain number will likely start whining about how loud and crowded it is, especially on weekends. But, as one Yelper said, "This place pretty much lets you do whatever the heck you want." Toss that in with their cheap drinks and eats, and it's got a certain timeless appeal.

The Griffon Pub

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The bills and brews are plentiful at this English-style pub. Smack-dab in the middle of the touristy part of town, The Griffon has a soul and, in the words of their website is "STILL KICKIN' ASS."

Upper Deck Tavern

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Ah, to be in college again. This dive caters to the under-25 set, but given it's somewhat hidden location, it's possible to stumble across Upper Deck and stay for the cheap drinks.

Moe's Crosstown Tavern

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It's hard to gauge the exact percentage of Wagener Terrace residents that pour in for Burger Night, but it often feels like the entire neighborhood is crammed in there. It's low-key, full of locals and homier than the exterior gives away.

Big John's Tavern

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With lots of specials on the chalkboard and bras on the ceiling, Big John's seems to breed debauchery. Even their phone number spells out DIVE. But with The Green Door moving into the back, they might be cleaning up their act. Maybe.

Tattooed Moose

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Tattooed Moose may have duck fat fries, but the spirit of the place is pure dive. The patio overlooks nothing picturesque and that's just part of the enduring charm.

The Pour House

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It gets hot and crowded, but the vibe at this rock 'n' roll dive venue is always good...and a little trippy.

Richard's Bar & Grill

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A bar straight from another era, Richard's still allows smoking and has a jukebox. Best of all, none of it's in an ironic way.

Recovery Room

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Give it just a passing glance from King Street, and the Rec Room can look sketchy. But then you quickly realize everyone you know is there, sipping on some of the best happy hour specials and all-day deals in town.

A.C.'s Bar & Grill

A.C.'s is the kind of place that'll make you feel your age. Those who've hit a certain number will likely start whining about how loud and crowded it is, especially on weekends. But, as one Yelper said, "This place pretty much lets you do whatever the heck you want." Toss that in with their cheap drinks and eats, and it's got a certain timeless appeal.

The Griffon Pub

The bills and brews are plentiful at this English-style pub. Smack-dab in the middle of the touristy part of town, The Griffon has a soul and, in the words of their website is "STILL KICKIN' ASS."

Upper Deck Tavern

Ah, to be in college again. This dive caters to the under-25 set, but given it's somewhat hidden location, it's possible to stumble across Upper Deck and stay for the cheap drinks.

Moe's Crosstown Tavern

It's hard to gauge the exact percentage of Wagener Terrace residents that pour in for Burger Night, but it often feels like the entire neighborhood is crammed in there. It's low-key, full of locals and homier than the exterior gives away.

Big John's Tavern

With lots of specials on the chalkboard and bras on the ceiling, Big John's seems to breed debauchery. Even their phone number spells out DIVE. But with The Green Door moving into the back, they might be cleaning up their act. Maybe.

Tattooed Moose

Tattooed Moose may have duck fat fries, but the spirit of the place is pure dive. The patio overlooks nothing picturesque and that's just part of the enduring charm.

The Pour House

It gets hot and crowded, but the vibe at this rock 'n' roll dive venue is always good...and a little trippy.

Richard's Bar & Grill

A bar straight from another era, Richard's still allows smoking and has a jukebox. Best of all, none of it's in an ironic way.

Recovery Room

Give it just a passing glance from King Street, and the Rec Room can look sketchy. But then you quickly realize everyone you know is there, sipping on some of the best happy hour specials and all-day deals in town.

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