Want to see a city’s true colors? Check out its dive bars.
Start your Charleston-area “Dive Bar Tour” in Nitro with a Bloody Mary at Castaways – served in a solo cup, of course. You’ll feel like you were picked up and dropped in the middle of Key West.
Next, you’re just a short Uber or Lyft ride from Drummy’s Bar and Grill in St. Albans, a local institution serving up the coldest beer in town. Flat-screen TVs on every wall make this a great place to catch a game. Don’t leave St. Albans until you’ve visited Club El Dorado Bar and Grill as well. Sit on the lounge side, surrounded by velvet paintings of bull fighters, or grab a spot outside to enjoy a cold drink on the patio.
Your next stop needs to be Denver’s Depot on Charleston’s West Side. This train-themed local bar features Charleston’s best pool tables – but fair warning, it’s cash only, so be prepared.
After you work up an appetite shooting pool, head downtown to Big Joe’s on Capitol Street for epic burgers and the region’s best homemade soups. Order the chicken tortellini and kale soup, you’ll thank us later.
Just a few doors down from Joe’s is Sam’s Uptown Café, where you can grab a drink downstairs or head up to the second floor to hang out on old sofas, play Connect Four and listen to an assortment of old vinyl records on the in-house turntable.
As we fade into the homestretch of our tour, it’s off to Charleston’s East End and two of the city’s most iconic dives. First up, The Red Carpet Lounge. In the shadow of the Capitol dome, you’ll rub elbows with legislators, government employees, reporters and neighborhood folks who love “The Carpet” for its great beer selection and popular outdoor patio.
Cap the day, which has now become the night, with live music at the world famous Empty Glass. Don’t let the low ceilings and the wooden floor fool you, more award-winning artists have played this venue than anywhere in the city.