Jersey City is home to a lot of fancy establishments, but we thought we'd take the time to highlight the good old classic dive bars instead. Because sometimes you just want to knock back a few in a fun, but no-frills atmosphere, without sending your tab through the roof. Let's dive in.. shall we?
The Keyhole JC
Formerly known as Rolon's Bar–when the bar was recently sold there were questions as to what the fate of the place would be. We are glad they kept it the dive bar we know and love, and the fact that they renamed it "Keyhole," the name by which many locals refer to the bar as anyway. It's just a literal hop away from Newark Ave. The Keyhole is perfect place to pre-game the night. You're not being overcharged for your shots and beers here and the bartenders provide speedy service. Plus, you have the option to order in from JC favorites like Left Bank. 242 Bay St.
A dive bar that has DJ's on the reg and throws parties? This is the type of place that covers the floor in sand for their annual beach party (this year's just passed, so you'll want to mark your calendars for next!) Yeah, it's impossible to have a bad time at Lucky 7's, and they often have Ladies Night and Industry Night specials. To keep up with everything they have going on be sure to follow them on Facebook. 322 2nd St.
The Golden Cicada Tavern
Yet another dive bar staple in Chilltown. Many frequent patrons claim it has a "Cheers" vibe. Can you ever really go wrong with cheap drinks and karaoke on demand all the time? If you're brave enough take their "Chinese Fire Water" shot, you'll get a golden cicada necklace as a prize. 195 Grand St.
This long-time neighborhood bar in The Heights is currently being revamped. According to Jersey Digs, the new owners are all Jersey City born and raised and plan on keeping the "old-school Jersey City" environment. The bar is currently closed during the week, but is open Friday and Saturday 4pm-3am and Sundays from 12pm-12am. The new features will include full food service, Karaoke on Fridays, and live music. 49 Beacon Ave.
O'Leary's Publik House
O'Leary's is a laid-back bar with with plenty of seating, including a large back patio area. The Bergen-Lafayette joint also servers up some amazing, juicy (and cheap!) burgers among other delicious bar food. They even serve brunch now! O'Leary's opened its doors just 3 years ago and is owned by local Jersey City fireman Kevin Hennessy who wanted a place that catered to and celebrated the working class of Jersey City. The walls are decked out in patches and old photos. 788 Garfield Ave.
Journal Square Pub
Located just across from PATH Plaza, it's a warm environment with friendly staff bringing some nightlife to the developing area. The pub gets a mixed and diverse crowd of commuters and locals alike. Customers rave about the very conveniently priced drinks. What sets this place apart is the hours: 6am to late night (2am-3am), 7 days a week. 50 Journal Square Pl.
Taqueria makes the list because it has dive bar vibes for sure. There is a reason why this spot is alway packed and there is typically a wait for a table on busy nights. It's $8 for a margarita, but they are well worth it, and some might even say they have the best (aka the strongest) margs in Jersey City. The crowded taco-marg powerhouse is covered in wall-to-wall vintage posters and signs and hot-pepper-shaped string lights. It gets even more packed in the warmer months when the back patio is open. Just as a heads up they typically close by midnight and the kitchen is open to 10:45pm nightly. 354 Grove St.
Astor Bar & Grill
Common consensus on Yelp: "Good food, great people." This is the type of place where the owners are heavily involved and it's been in the family for years, which is refreshing to see nowadays. The last time the place was probably renovated was 70's. And did we mention $3 drafts including Guinness, Yuengling, and Miller Lite. Don't sleep on Astor Bar & Grill–it has all the makings of a great dive bar. 725 Montgomery St.
Their motto is "Good Food, Good Drink, Good People" and that's exactly what you'll find at Healy's Tavern. And if you are looking for properly poured Guinness this is the place, as it's a true Irish pub, that is a top priority. Enjoy your typical bar food while catching the game of your choice. 374 Newark Ave.
Grape Vine Tavern
No place can beat their drink prices. $3.50 for Becks and $5 shots. The decor is ordinary, but they do have juke box. Some claim it's an "old man's" bar, but if you don't mind that and like cheap drinks this place is for you! 657 Newark Ave.
Written by Kaitlyn De Leonardis
Jersey City born, Kait loves how the city has flourished since her childhood, and the fact that she can now enjoy it as an adult. She can often be found running by the waterfront, in the local vintage shops or killing it on the foosball table at South House. Her hobbies include brunch, shopping, and Instagram. What like those aren't hobbies? Follow her outfits and antics @outfittedand_about!