Best Dive Bars in Buffalo & WNY 

Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers / Step Out Buffalo

Authors: Adrianne Salmon (@buffalobrunch) & Natalie Brown (@diveintobuffalo)

The first question we asked ourselves when we were asked to write this article was: How does Buffalo define a dive bar? In a town where the bars run deep and the lines are blurred between social and physical comfort, friendliness, bang for your buck, and overall cleanliness, it’s hard to really pinpoint what the average Buffalonian is willing to determine is a dive bar. Being a couple gals, albeit wild, we had to take it upon ourselves to really DIVE in (chuckle) and let Buffalo know what’s up. 

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Allow us to elaborate. One of the first things we had to do is figure out our WNY boundaries. Right there, we had to make the cut: real dive bars simply do not exist in towns like East Aurora, Williamsville, and Lewiston. Sorry to burst y’alls bubbles, but they don’t. I can definitely admit that Wallenwein Hotel and Dave’s Last Chance Saloon are really riding the line, but one trip to Brandy’s Pub will definitely sway your definition. I mean, guys – if you Google “dive bars Williamsville NY,” Moor Pat, The Irishman, and Eagle House Restaurant populate the results. Nope. 


The List



Adolf’s Old First Ward Tavern

555 South Park Ave, Buffalo



508 Peckham St, Buffalo


Avenue Pub

2113 South Park Ave, Buffalo 


Bases Loaded 

3355 Lake Shore Rd, Buffalo


Brandy’s Pub

805 Elk St, Buffalo


The Buffalo Bar & Grill

307 Louisiana St, Buffalo 


Buffalo Tap House

85 W Chippewa St, Buffalo


Dalmatia Hotel 

1187 Tonawanda St, Buffalo


Daly Tavern

2423 Seneca St, Buffalo


Daren’s Tavern

514 Howard St, Buffalo 


Eddie Brady’s

97 Genesee St, Buffalo


Essex St. Pub

530 Rhode Island St, Buffalo


Electric Ave

300 Ellicott St, Buffalo


Founding Fathers

75 Edward St, Buffalo



140 Allen St, Buffalo


Gene McCarthy’s

73 Hamburg St, Buffalo


Gordy’s Inn Too

3220 Seneca St, Buffalo 


Gray’s Place 

3682 Delaware Ave, Buffalo


Griffin’s Irish Pub

81 Abbott Rd, Buffalo


Hopper’s Rush Inn

2104 Seneca St, Buffalo 


Jolly Jug 

797 Niagara Falls Blvd, Buffalo


Jordan’s Ale House

107 Abbott Rd, Buffalo


JP’s Checker’s

1854 Hertel Ave, Buffalo


Kelly’s Korner

2526 Delaware Ave, Buffalo


Macky’s Shamrock Room

1634 Bailey Ave, Buffalo 



946 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo


Molly’s Bar

1803 South Park Ave, Buffalo


Mr. Goodbar 

1110 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo


Molly Maguire’s

834 Abbott Rd, Buffalo 


Nine-Eleven Tavern

11 Bloomfield Ave, Buffalo


Schupper House

2115 Seneca St, Buffalo


Swannie House

170 Ohio St, Buffalo 


Talty’s Tavern 

2056 South Park Ave, Buffalo


The Old Pink

223 Allen St, Buffalo


Tudor Lounge

335 Franklin St, Buffalo


Washington Square 

295 Washington St, Buffalo 


Wiechec’s Lounge

1748 Clinton St, Buffalo



Betty’s Grill

215 Main St, North Tonawanda 


Broadway Hotel 

158 Main St, North Tonawanda


Cagneys Too 

1254 Electric Ave, Lackawanna


Caputi’s Sheridan Pub 

2351 Sheridan Dr, Tonawanda


Devlin’s Deuce 

2335 Sheridan Dr, Tonawanda



113 Lake Ave, Blasdell

Klimeks’ Tavern 

685 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda


Pour House

23 S Buffalo St, Hamburg 


Pyramid Lounge

187 Buffalo St, Hamburg



1186 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda



205 Martin Ave, Blasdell


The Village Inn

869 Oliver St, North Tonawanda


Witter’s Sports Bar & Grill 

300 Oliver St, North Tonawanda 



So you have scanned our list and you might be asking yourself, what makes these millennial gals the experts on dive bars? Well, we’d like to think we’ve spent enough time in them in order to create the following list.  


How we define a WNY dive bar:

  • When you walk in the door, everyone turns to see who walked in. 
  • The bathroom is questionable due to a lack of cleanliness, quirky decorations or smell. 
  • Speaking of smells, dive bars often have a “unique” smell that only the true dive bar lovers appreciate. 
  • Good music is playing or is available via jukebox.   
  • If you’re lucky, frosty cold mugs are offered for beer (the best thing since sliced bread).
  • Paying with cash is always preferred and many times the only acceptable payment. 
  • Some sort of salty snack, wings or fried food is offered – amazing fish fries are a plus! 
  • You will no doubt meet a cast of lively characters both working behind the pine and in the bar stools next to you. People like “Wolfman” from Dalmatia Hotel, Hoover and Buntsy from The Pink, and Patty from Broadway Hotel are standard names and people you will get to know, buy shots for, and overtip because hey, they deserve it!
  • A round of shots and beers costs less than $30 and everyone at the bar buys them for each other throughout the night. 
  • Bar games are offered on a partly broken or very worn out dart board or pool table (with missing darts, pool balls and broken sticks). The hours will go by quickly as you play game after game. 
  • Sticky floors. 
  • No frill drinks – stick to beer or cocktails that involve alcohol + one mixer. 
  • Walls are adorned with framed photos from a million years ago, covered in dust. Some newer dive bars are covering their walls with chalk art and paintings (Dalmatia Hotel art by MJ Myers). 
  • Every dive bar has its own unique vibe based on the regulars who visit the establishment and people stopping by for their first time. You should feel comforted by the crazy, tipsy within an hour of being there and full of gratitude that these magical little places still exist in a city that is transforming in front of our eyes.

And with that, we conclude: Cheers to many more cheap thrills and good times!

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