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El Chapultepec
El Chapultepec
Photo: Len Borden

Denver's Iconic Dive Bars

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El Chapultepec
| Photo: Len Borden

Denver loves its restaurants and upscale cocktail bars, but the neighborhood dives, the iconic ones, the beloved ones, home to bar flies, dirty pool tables, juke boxes, and below-average food, have a special place in the Mile City's heart.

A collective sigh was heard when one of the oldest dives in Denver, the Lancer Lounge, closed a few weeks back. Thankfully, many others remain open and ready to pour cheap stiff drinks to faithful patrons. Eater, with able help from bar-hopper Jon Hartman, presents the map of Denver's Iconic Dive Bars.

Update: by popular demand, Eater added CandleLight Tavern to the map.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

El Chapultepec

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Right by the Ballpark, in a hot location, El Chapultapec is a landmark dive bar of the highest caliber that has had great live jazz since 1978. It is still going strong.

3 Kings Tavern

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Your local Punk Rock tavern. Some of the worst (and best) bands have cut their chops in this little slice of south Broadway.

PS Lounge

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This place is literally a hole in the wall. Everyone that comes in gets a free rose and a free alabama slammer. Rockstar bartender Anika Zappe worked here back in the day.

Thunderbird

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A tiny 400 square foot neighborhood dive with regulars propping up the bar, an old pool table and cheap drinks. 400 square feet, the Squeeze is easily the teeny-tiniest joint in town. The annual car show is a highlight.

Sputnik

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This is in the 'high' class of dive bar with real upholstered booths, edible food and rotating art exhibits every month. It used to be connected to the Hi-Dive, but since these Siamese twins got separated, you can find a DJ or similar playing live music in the corner.

Sancho's Broken Arrow

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Sancho’s location (next to the Fillmore, down Across the street from the Fillmore Auditorium, this dive has both the down and dirty vibe and dash of coolness to be popular. Cheap drinks flow and the smell of patchouli permeates the air. Happy hour starts at 4:20 p.m.

Don's Club Tavern

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Just your average neighborhood dive bar, cheap drinks. Cheaper people.

Berkeley Inn

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Dimly lit, home to many bar flies, filled with some arcade cabinets, pool tables, and a juke box, this place defines neighborhood dives.

Campus Lounge

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A college dive bar, Campus Lounge serves decent Mexican and American food. Reasonable prices, friendly service, tiny bathrooms, and a jukebox are to be found there.

Carioca Cafe

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Bar Bar, officially named Carioca Cafe, is favorite of hipsters and homeless alike. There are dirty bathrooms, smoking inside, passed out homeless in the bathroom. The Breakfast special (no, they don't serve food) is the eye-opener, available from 7 to 10 am: 3/4 shot of vodka and an 8 oz of beer.

Crash 45

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This has been a bar since Denver was new. There have been a number of changing hands, but it forever was and forever will be a dive.

The Filling Station

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Old thrift store and patio furniture inside, a jukebox where none of the songs are in English, and $2 pints in chilly cold glasses. What could be better? Cash only .

Lion's Lair

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Old Style on draft, live music, and velvet paintings of lions on the wall. Irresistible.

Lost Lake Lounge

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Decorated like a dad's basement from the 70s, Lost Lake serves its signature drink 'the horse feather' out of thrift store mugs.

Candlelight Tavern

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Neighborhood dive with expected greasy grub - think $3 burgers- great shuffle board and other bar games, microbrews, and friendly staff. This place gets loud and bustling at night.

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El Chapultepec

Right by the Ballpark, in a hot location, El Chapultapec is a landmark dive bar of the highest caliber that has had great live jazz since 1978. It is still going strong.

3 Kings Tavern

Your local Punk Rock tavern. Some of the worst (and best) bands have cut their chops in this little slice of south Broadway.

PS Lounge

This place is literally a hole in the wall. Everyone that comes in gets a free rose and a free alabama slammer. Rockstar bartender Anika Zappe worked here back in the day.

Thunderbird

A tiny 400 square foot neighborhood dive with regulars propping up the bar, an old pool table and cheap drinks. 400 square feet, the Squeeze is easily the teeny-tiniest joint in town. The annual car show is a highlight.

Sputnik

This is in the 'high' class of dive bar with real upholstered booths, edible food and rotating art exhibits every month. It used to be connected to the Hi-Dive, but since these Siamese twins got separated, you can find a DJ or similar playing live music in the corner.

Sancho's Broken Arrow

Sancho’s location (next to the Fillmore, down Across the street from the Fillmore Auditorium, this dive has both the down and dirty vibe and dash of coolness to be popular. Cheap drinks flow and the smell of patchouli permeates the air. Happy hour starts at 4:20 p.m.

Don's Club Tavern

Just your average neighborhood dive bar, cheap drinks. Cheaper people.

Berkeley Inn

Dimly lit, home to many bar flies, filled with some arcade cabinets, pool tables, and a juke box, this place defines neighborhood dives.

Campus Lounge

A college dive bar, Campus Lounge serves decent Mexican and American food. Reasonable prices, friendly service, tiny bathrooms, and a jukebox are to be found there.

Carioca Cafe

Bar Bar, officially named Carioca Cafe, is favorite of hipsters and homeless alike. There are dirty bathrooms, smoking inside, passed out homeless in the bathroom. The Breakfast special (no, they don't serve food) is the eye-opener, available from 7 to 10 am: 3/4 shot of vodka and an 8 oz of beer.

Crash 45

This has been a bar since Denver was new. There have been a number of changing hands, but it forever was and forever will be a dive.

The Filling Station

Old thrift store and patio furniture inside, a jukebox where none of the songs are in English, and $2 pints in chilly cold glasses. What could be better? Cash only .

Lion's Lair

Old Style on draft, live music, and velvet paintings of lions on the wall. Irresistible.

Lost Lake Lounge

Decorated like a dad's basement from the 70s, Lost Lake serves its signature drink 'the horse feather' out of thrift store mugs.

Candlelight Tavern

Neighborhood dive with expected greasy grub - think $3 burgers- great shuffle board and other bar games, microbrews, and friendly staff. This place gets loud and bustling at night.

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