May 16, 2022 - Food and Drink

A guide to some of the Triangle's best dive bars

The outside of Slims in downtown Raleigh

The outside of Slims. Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

They're low-key, often dimly-lit and cheap. Dive bards are the beloved drinking holes of regulars, and the places we go when we can't stomach another fancy cocktail or 9% double IPA.

We've compiled a short list of some best dive bars across the Triangle.

📣No slight to any great establishments not listed. Instead, let us know your favorite!

🪗 Accordion Club in Durham

  • Opened in 2017 by a Durham bartending vet, the club has established itself as one of the more laid-back dives in Durham's popular nightlife district around Geer Street. The name is an ode to the owner's grandfather, who was a traveling accordion player.
  • Location: 316 W. Geer St.
  • Pro tip: Order the hot dog with green chile — a topping that is a callback to the owner’s native New Mexico — and head out to the back patio.

🎸 Slims in Raleigh

  • One of the true OG bars in downtown, Slims is about as laid back as you can find. If you like heavy metal, you’ll likely find new friends here.
  • Location: 227 S. Wilmington St.
  • Pro tip: Go upstairs and play pool.

🥃 Bowbarr in Carrboro

  • You can spot this intimate bar by its large mural of a mustachioed man. It's a perfect oasis for townies in a sea of bars catered to students.
  • Location: 705 W. Rosemary St.
  • Pro Tip: Follow up your trip to Bowbarr by walking to one of the many taco trucks that set up shop in downtown Carrboro at night.

🍻 Nash Street Tavern in Hillsborough

  • You can't often beat a summer evening around downtown Hillsborough, especially if there is live music at Nash Street Tavern.
  • Location: 250 S. Nash St.
  • Pro Tip: Sneak over next door and grab some Whit's Frozen Custard.

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