6 Dive Bars to Add to Your Michigan Bucket List

By Karel Vega

July 28, 2023

These down-to-earth hangouts are guaranteed to provide good drinks and great company.

MICHIGAN—The Mitten is well known for its top-notch breweries and restaurants. But if you’re traveling through the state, you might be looking for a more low-key hangout to meet locals or just get a good bite of bar food. Take a trip with us as we introduce you to six dive bars guaranteed to make you feel at home.

(Photo via jm3 on Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

The Bronx Bar

4476 2nd Ave, Detroit

This Midtown dive is known for its cheap drinks and old-school vibe. It also serves up delicious bar classics like fried pickles, burgers, and sandwiches. The Bronx has been around for decades, and while the surrounding neighborhood has undergone many changes since the bar’s founding, one constant remains the Bronx—a guaranteed good time.

(Photo via Stober’s Bar on Facebook)

Stober’s Bar

812 E Michigan Ave, Lansing

The oldest bar in Lansing, walking into Stober’s Bar feels like stepping into history. One of Stober’s coolest aspects is the actual bar, where patrons can sit and admire a stained glass inlay of Merlin the Magician and three mahogany-carved griffins. The owners pride themselves on being a venue with low prices and a friendly, open atmosphere. There’s a limited food menu, but make sure to try their pickled eggs.

(Photo via Rubble’s Bar on Facebook)

Rubble’s Dive Bar

112 W Michigan St, Mt. Pleasant

This no-frills college town venue wears its dive identity proudly. It’s known for two things: live music and cheap drinks. Rubble’s is a great place to get your dance on, but as one Tripadvisor reviewer put it best: “If you want atmosphere, go someplace else.”

(Photo courtesy of Old Dog Tavern)

Old Dog Tavern

402 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo

Old Dog Tavern features excellent entertainment options but retains a rustic feel. Along with serving great food, the bar also hosts live music. When you’re ready for some games, play pinball or challenge a friend to ping pong.

(Photo via Brady’s Bar on Facebook)

Brady’s Bar

401 S Union St, Traverse City

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, Brady’s Bar is a Traverse City institution. It’s very much a locals’ bar, but as the owners put it, it’s a place “where you’re only a stranger once.” Food is a highlight here, with some of the most popular items being its burgers, pizzas, wings, and fish dishes.

(Photo via Wooden Nickel on Facebook)

Wooden Nickel

1751 Presque Isle Ave, Marquette

This Upper Peninsula bar oozes atmosphere. Wooden Nickel is known for its outstanding service and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Check out the Superior Dome while you’re there—it’s right across the street.


  • Karel Vega

    Coming from a long background in public radio, Karel Vega strives to find stories that inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The ‘Gander, Karel served as managing editor at WKAR, the NPR affiliate in East Lansing, Michigan.


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