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You could pay $14 a drink in New York City with its hustle and bustle, or you could cross the Hudson and spend a third of the dough in Hoboken. Not convinced New Jersey’s nightlife is worth a reverse bridge-and-tunnel commute? You’d best read on. From classic Maxwell’s Tavern where Springsteen once rocked out to a free limo ride to Willie McBride’s, we’ve rounded up Hoboken’s 5 greatest dive bars that each offer their own unique characteristics that make them worth a bar hop.

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First things first. Did you know there are a lot of bars in Hoboken? They’re all walkable and Hoboken has been called the city with the most bars per square mile. (While not technically true, there are still a lot of bars!) So if you don’t find what you like at one spot, simply take a couple (not-so-sober) steps to another. Okay, onto the list.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Dahab

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vahab

1. Scotland Yard (72 Hudson St)

It’s eye-catching exterior—a red, old-fashioned English phone booth with a medieval knight in front of the bar with two Gothic gargoyle statues on top of its roof—is worth visiting just to take a selfie. Literally a hole in the wall (or ground, rather), its location several steps below the street level adds to its allure.

While most bars have some sort of happy hour, nobody seems to do 50 percent off the entire bar except for Scotland Yard. Jameson, for instance, is just $4. Happy hour happens every Monday through Friday from 4pm–7:30pm.

During weekdays the bar is practically empty, making Scotland Yard a great place if you want to chill and not have to compete for drinks. Warning: It can get quite busy on weekends.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vahab

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vahab

2. The Shannon (106 1st St)

Upon initial entry it appears to be just a regular pub. But when you walk to the back room, there’s a door that opens to a whole other space. That space features a dance floor, classic childhood games (life-size Jenga, darts, foosball, beer pong, etc.), TVs and—yes—a whole other bar. This family run pub has been around since 1956, which shows it must be doing something right.


3. Willie McBride’s (616 Grand St)

This traditional Irish bar actually offers free limo service to bring you to the pub and back from anywhere in town, every Friday and Saturday night (yes, a limo). As their branding goes, “Ride in style to Willie McBride’s.”

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Flickr CC: Mike Kuzan

Flickr CC: Mike Kuzan

4. Maxwell’s Tavern (1039 Washington St)

A local classic that’s been around forever, this tavern even has its own Wikipedia page. Located on the corner of Hoboken’s main drag, Washington Street, Maxwell’s is famous for being a live music hub where some of the greats have played—including Springsteen, R.E.M., The Pixies, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. More recently, Justin Timberlake held an impromptu concert here. Maxwell’s is worth the trip for its iconic rock-n-roll history alone.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vahab

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vahab

5. DC’s Tavern (505 8th St)

Consisting of an actual DJ booth with two record players, this bar sure does “bring it back y’all.” As the popular Hoboken Girl blog notes, it is admittedly “a bit off of the beaten PATH (literally)” away from the PATH train, but also away from the juice-head frat types. But you might walk right by it given that its facade is a bland black building with a sign that says “DC’s” and a simple red door with the street number. It’s as if you’re walking into someone’s apartment.


Tagged: City, Food & drink, New York City

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Daniel Vahab

Daniel Vahab

Daniel is a multi-award-winning communications professional with leading Fortune 500 and major brand management experience. He is also a freelance writer, published in numerous top-tier publications such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Mashable, PBS, Yahoo! News and U.S. News & World Report.
Daniel Vahab

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