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Dive Bar resturants along east coast

Hi, I'm looking for "old Florida-like" establishments or sometime called Florida Dive Bars between Palm Beach County and Daytona. Places that are sometimes hard to find but worth the effort. Places that you really have to see to appriciate. Bamboo is often involved, and some double as bait shacks, and others look ready to collapse. This mission is more about the atmosphere then the food, as I am trying to get into the roots of this state by imibing at its home grown watering holes.

Let me know what comes to mind. Thanks

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  1. In Melbourne (Brevard County), the Conch Key Grille & Tiki Bar ( http://www.conchkeygrille.com/ ) has three bars. One of them is outdoors, right on the banks of the Indian River, which is part of the Intercoastal Waterway.

    1. There used to be a great one in Melbourne on US 1 and Suntree Blvd. across from the FLORIDA TODAY building called the Pineda Inn-- big patio out on the river, cheap beer, fantastic food. I've heard they changed owners and names, so I can't vouch for the food. :-( But the atmosphere is exactly what you're looking for. Live music and lots of bikers on Sundays.

      If you are more into food than beer, go to Marsh Landing in Fellsmere -- that is 100% old Florida, with gator tail, frog legs, greens, etc.

      JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach would fit your bait-shack bill, not sure about their bar offerings. But like Marsh Landing, the "roots of the state" are found in its seafood, not its beer.

      For more bar less food, try Capt. Hiram's in Sebastian. Might be more of a party place than you're thinking, but you can have a drink on the river in a tiki hut. :-)

      Another dive bar that isn't on the water but I love is Frank N Stein's in Stuart. Cold beer on tap, Sabrett hot dogs, chili cheese fries, funny t-shirts with monsters on them. Old cranky pinball machines, wooden screened patio, interesting characters at the bar.

      This sounds like a great query, I'd love to hear more suggestions.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Covert Ops

        The Pineda Inn is now the Conch Key Grille mentioned above

        1. re: cavandre

          OHHHH! I didn't check the Web site. Thanks cavandre -- is the food the same? I remember during Hurricane Frances Pineda was the only place open and serving food, and it had never occured to me to eat there. DH said it was the best cheeseburger he ever had, bar none.

          1. re: Covert Ops

            Only ate there once...It was last St. Pat's day, so of course we had the Corned Beef special of the day, which was quite good.

        2. re: Covert Ops

          JB's gets a good beer drinking crowd and the sun sets are awesome, they are on the water inlet. I love the seafood here, raw bar, etc.

        3. I recommend the "Waterfront Tiki Grill" in Riviera Beach... It is located at the Riviera Marina on 13th st. ,Next light south of Blue Heron Blvd. It is on the water with a view of Peanut Island. If you wish to explore Peanut Island, It is a short water taxi trip with whom I call Captain Ron, (If you ever saw the movie)... There is snorkeling, camping, picknicing, and you can tour President Kennedy's bomb shelter. Great food, all outside. Try the Tuna Ponzu

          1. The Beach Shack at the west end of Minuteman Causeway in Cocoa Beach. The "food" consists of chips and fritos (no prezels). Cheep booze and beer. No shoes no problem. 50 cent pool tables. Florida Dive Bar...

            1. these are great. Does anyone know anything about Cap't jon's fish camp or maybe it's uncle jon's fish camp around cocca area. I keep hearing about it and have been planning to check it out along with all the others

              4 Replies
              1. re: florida goat boy

                In Cocoa, I think you mean Lone Cabbage Fish Camp. . .or up in New Smyrna, J.B.'s Fish Camp. Those are the names that stick out to me, but perhaps you're thinking of a new place. . .

                1. re: Covert Ops

                  Regarding the Lone Cabbage, it is a bit off the coast and a bit touristy with t-shirts and air boat tours, but is certainly a bit of authentic real-florida flavor (hey, there's nothing un-Floridian about taking money from tourist), and is also certainly water-front on the St. Johns River on highway 520 between Cocoa and Orlando very close to Interstate 95.
                  Also along the St. Johns River:
                  Yellow Bluff Marina in Volusia County east of Sanford,
                  Shady Oak on Highway 46 west of Deland,

                  and back on the coast:
                  Club Breakers, New Smyrna Beach, and
                  Snack Jack's oyster bar in Crescent Beach just a bit north of your described area of interest.

                  1. re: Jakamofena

                    How did I forget the Breakers?? I think it was mentioned in another thread.
                    Great burgers, directly on the beach in New Smyrna. Very sand-in-your-shorts type of place.

                    1. re: Covert Ops

                      Breakers is great - especially the three-cheese burgers!

              2. Dade county presents:

                Mac's Club Duece-oldest bar on Miami Beach 14th St in South Beach

                Tobacco Road-Liquor license #1 in Dade County. Blues Bar by the Miami River.

                Abbey Brewing Company-16th St. South Beach. Cure your Microbrew dive bar blues.

                I know the OP said Palm Beach North, but I got to represent the 305 here in the FLA!


                1 Reply
                1. re: netmover

                  Tobacco Road's a good one, Net. Not sure if it fulfills the tiki bar-water view requirement, but it's certainly a dive bar with a history. (Just, um, lock your car doors, OK?) :-)

                2. Two Georges on the intracoastal in Boynton Beach.
                  Archies on South Beach in Ft. Pierce
                  The Cocoanut on Dixie Hwy. in Port Salerno (be ready to fight)
                  Ralph's Stand-Up Bar and Package on Center St. in Jupiter (oldest bar in Palm Beach Co.)
                  The Inlet Lounge in Riviera Beach
                  The Hilltop Tavern in Tequesta
                  Alabama Jack's on Card Sound Road (waaaay South Dade, possibly north Monroe Co.)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Flavrmeistr, are you sure of the name of Ralph's Stand-up bar and the hilltop tavern? I tried to google both and came up empty. also when you say the Old house in Lantana, do you mean the old key lime house? I'm a central Florida redneck, so feel free to dumb it down

                    1. re: florida goat boy

                      "Googling" won't get it, son. Some field work is in order.

                    2. re: flavrmeistr

                      Flavrmeistr, are you sure of the name of Ralph's Stand-up bar and the hilltop tavern? I tried to google both and came up empty. also when you say the Old house in Lantana, do you mean the old key lime house? I'm a central Florida redneck, so feel free to dumb it down

                      1. re: florida goat boy

                        I searched Google too (remember, not all places are online, especially dive bars) and found that Ralph's survived Hurricane Wilma in late 2005, and is on Center St. Whether it still is, I dunno, and I can't help you w/the others.


                        1. re: Covert Ops

                          Ralph's has been there for over 100 years. As the name implies there are no stools at the bar, only a foot rail in the manner of the Old West. Drinks are miniatures with set-ups. No food to speak of besides chips, jerky and the like. It is an old-time dive of the first order. Near Ralph's is the Dune Dog, which serves giant ice-cold beers and excellent grilled slaw dogs in a hybrid tiki-bar/New England clambake atmosphere. It was a Dixie Freeze years ago, as I recall.

                          The Hilltop has changed hands a few times, but has basically been a biker-ish workingman's beer joint in Tequesta since the 1960's. It may be called something else now--who knows? I'll check it out next week when I'm down that way.

                          The Old House in Lantana is literally a big old house right on the water with three bars. You can sit there and feed the fish right from your table. They serve fried seafood and big rum drinks in plastic cups. It's been there since about 1880. It's on Ocean Avenue off Dixie Hwy. There is also Corbett's Hideaway on Old Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Not on the water, but a great dive bar nonetheless.

                    3. I think flavrmeistr and I share the same ideas as to what makes a place a dive. Keep em coming

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: florida goat boy


                        The Old House in Lantana
                        The Jetty in Ft. Pierce (up the beach from Archie's)
                        The Ramp in Ft. Pierce
                        Le Tub in Dania Beach
                        Any of those weird little bars on the boardwalk in Hollywood
                        Benny's on the Beach at the Lake Worth Pier

                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                          Yes this is one of those whole in wall or shall I say hole on the water places. I haven't been here in years, but have been twice, once with the hubby, nice romantic dinner outside on the water, great view, the best burgers and salads ever. And finally a waitress who knows how to keep the flys away (a much needed skill living in florida). Was there another time with my girlfriend for some cold drinks, sat at their sunken bar, well seemed that way, nice and dark, but the waterview is awesome, no windows, open air, pool table, a lot of one on one attention with the bartendar that day. Your gonna love the decor. Can't wait to visit this one again.

                          Le Tub
                          1100 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019

                        1. personally, i love a good dive bar from time to time.

                          might we broaden the area now that so many great suggestions have already been made for the area initially requested??

                          let's hear it for some more of your favorite dive bars across FL!!!

                          wally's - orlando

                          oasis and/or JJs - sorrento

                          sandbar pub - crescent beach

                          tradewinds - st. augustine -- might be more of a biker bar than a dive bar per say.

                          then again, a good biker bar is yet another extension of the dive bar...maybe a step or two up? ;) and what about some of the killer fish camp places all over FL ??

                          1. Check out the Caribean Club in Key Largo

                            1. Let's hear it for Wally's and the Caribbean Club. Many years ago they used to do a Friday night all you could eat/drink barbecue buffet. Tough sliced pork with Kraft barbecue sauce on it -- but all you could drink beers. Designed to attract the navy guys who, in turn, attracted the ladies.

                              Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . .


                              1. Food Shack in Jupiter offers at least a half-dozen types of fresh fish crusted in your choice of several unique combinations; the food and atmosphere don't match at all because the decor definitely says "dive." The mushroom-gorgonzola-crab soup was delish! Beer & wine only; no booze. Not an extensive list to choose from, but there were a few good beers. Definitely a favorite of the locals. No reservations, so you'll probably have to wait.

                                1. Don't know if it technically qualifies (it's a biker bar), but Froggy's in Daytona is fantastically divey. My fav part is when the "DJ" sends a bucket down on a rope from his perch, and for a donation, he'll play a request. That, plus the fishbowls on the bar filled with condoms.

                                  Good stuff.

                                  1. There was one in Ft. Pierce down at the pier. I think it was called Fuddruckers. I haven't been there in awhile but everytime I go it's still kicking. The building is non-descript but inside are alligator skulls, dollar bills on the walls, the usual florida kitsch. Their food is very good, seafood. On the Gulf Coast, the Swigwam on St. pete beach is a classic.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Tandoori Girl

                                      That was the late Theo Thudpucker's. Great oyster bar and oyster stew. No more, sadly.
                                      The Jetty, next door and Archie's just down the beach still survive.

                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                        They had the freshest, best shrimp I've ever tasted...

                                    2. booohooooohooooo :( it is always so sad when one of the old standbys bites the dust.

                                      1. Try JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach on A1A. Take the south causeway to the beach and make a right on A1A. Follow that several miles and you will be at the best "Old Florida" dive. They are on the riverside (rightside of the road) and if you can get there before sunset and grab a table on the water.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: daytonalucy

                                          I love Alabama Jacks just before the Keys.

                                          The Tub is good in Hollywood.

                                        2. Best Dive Bar Restaurant has to be Lee & Ricks Oyster Bar off Old Winter Garden Road. They have the best oysters in Florida and the place has been around over 50 years and never renovated. It is a hole in the wall but the food and atmosphere are great.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jazzygirl77

                                            We think alike. I always recommend Lee & Ricks. I love sitting at that concrete bar with them shucking the oysters in front of me, as fast as I can eat them. They have great smoked fish as well. They gather their own oysters and I believe do not serve farmed ones. LMF

                                          2. Ocean Deck in Daytona Beach, 40 plus years old..Not as "divey" as it used to be but right on the beach.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: tasoid

                                              oh yah..love the ocean deck, def a must to stop by at if your in that reggae mood with their live music.and back porch right on the sand, love this place. We go there quite a bit when we're in town.

                                            2. "Redfish Inn" in Hardeeville just south of Titusville on the Intercoastal.
                                              "Riverdock Lounge" in Titusville also on the Intercoastal.
                                              "Pats Place" in Christmas, a true Florida dive (not on the water, but near the St.Johns River).
                                              "Bottlecaps Saloon" in Bithlo (not on the water)
                                              "Th Hitchin' Post" in Chuluota (not on the water)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mattytude

                                                Rattlesnake Jake's tex mex on the little stretch of Hillsboro Blvd in Deerfield Beach over by A1A (across street from Whale's Rib). Not quite an old dive but if you eat at the counter it's a semi-genuine Florida beach-bum/fisherman/rastaman experience. Especially try to go on Wed or Thursday eves when the owner, Junior, is working and often has fresh-caught seafood, and I DO mean fresh. Recommend dish: Dolphin Fajitas.

                                              2. I know they aren't in your range but Club Deuce in South Beach and Alabama Jack's on Card Sound on the way to Key Largo are two of my favorite dive bars anywhere!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: BlueHerons

                                                  Alabama Jacks is great fun, went one Sunday at lunch time, they had a country band, we sat by the water and had beer and fried chicken on paper plates and plastic cutlery. Great atmosphere and lots of Harleys parked out front.

                                                  The Ugly Mug in Delray on Atlantic Ave is quite a fun dive bar. Quiet until about midnight then the place rocks especially at the weekend. Food is average - chicken tenders, wings, philly cheesesteaks etc.Open till 5am and smoking permitted

                                                  Benny's Ice House in Boynton is another rocking dive bar. Didnt eat there so don't know. Open late.Smoking permitted.

                                                2. Square Grouper Tiki Bar at Castaways Marina in Jupiter...Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett did "it's 5 o"clock somewhere" there...beer, wine, some frozen drinks and bar food.....right on the intracoastal waterway~

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: crosby_p

                                                    went to the Square Grouper last summer. No one there, it is seasonal. Loved the name. Square Grouper is a code name for marijuana bales. LOL. LMF

                                                  2. Despite my name, I'm Dive Bar Central for Merritt Island. Nicest on the mainland side of Intercoastal is Bonefish Willie's on Pineapple in Melbourne. Has taken the place of Pineda Inn, Conchy Joe's, and other sadly lost tiki taverns (and has prob'ly the best food in Melbourne, as well as the deck and view.) But you wanna really go diving, go over the 520 causeway from Cocoa to Merritt lsland, immediately turn left and drive along the dirt on the north side of the causeway. Stop before you get wet and go into the bait shop there. Two pool tables, a coupla rotting picnic table out on the water, cold beer, no attitude, unless you've got NY license plates...... Can anybody help me with the name? Oh yeah, and the Sand Bar at 520 and the ocean. Do NOT order the Category 5 Hurricane......

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: SanFranciscoJim

                                                      I can't consider "Bonefish Willie's" a dive bar. It's too spiffy, they don't serve whiskey & have folksingers!

                                                      The Conch Key Grille & Tiki Bar is in the space that used to be the Pineda Inn. The still have the bar right on the banks of the Indian River.

                                                    2. Try Waldens on Beach Street in Daytona. Just south of the municipal marina. Near the Charthouse. Old gas station turned into a bar. Lots of bikers in attendance. One of the greatest small dive bars I've ever seen.

                                                      1. Tip a Few Tavern in Cape Canaveral is one of my favs. Its not on the water, right next door to the liquor store, lol, has outdoor seating, so u can watch the cars go by, no view whats-so-ever, however the inside, is dark & dingy, pool table, small bar, loud music on the jukebox, some live acts every now and then, feels like your hanging out at someones house, since half the bar is like someones living room, black slippery couches, coffee table, big ass tv, that has a lovely yellow tone to it with the commode right there and let me tell ya its unique, you wont miss the game or whatever your watching since their a tv in the bathroom. Now, the food is the best, you would never think too, but it is. Basically beer and wine, no liquour, so thats the only downfall, since I like my liquor. Btw everyone seems to know everyone here, def a local bar.