Despite their gritty appearance and sometimes weird smell, there’s something delightfully alluring about a dive bar. And while they’re wonderful for many reasons, they’re not where we’re heading for fancy cocktails or world-class mixology. When you find yourself in the cozy quarters of one of these bars, ordering a drink shouldn’t be a chore. With slim mixer options, it’s good to stick with something familiar and straightforward.

If you’re a frequent patron or occasional visitor to the dive bar scene, you likely have a set drink of choice to avoid risking a bad night. But if you’re looking to change it up, we’ve compiled a few of our go-to dive bar orders, no Vodka Sodas allowed. Read on to see the go-to drinks VinePair staffers order when they find themselves at a dive bar.

Tequila soda with a splash of pineapple juice is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda..

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“My standard dive bar order is a tequila soda with a splash of pineapple juice. Simple yet delicious.” —Katie Brown, associate editor

Guinness is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“If they don’t have Guinness on tap, I’ll usually go with a simple tequila and soda with a splash of pineapple juice, or whatever juice they’ve got. Bonus points if there’s more to their selection than just well tequila.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor

Tequila soda with lime is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“My go-to is tequila soda with lime. It’s like the fun sister of a vodka soda — refreshing, easy to order in a noisy bar, and it’s never let me down.” —Nicolette Baker, news writer

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PDR) is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“Depending on when I’m there, I’ll either order a tequila with soda and lime (beginning of the night), or a PBR (end of the night).” —Joanna Sciarrino, editor-in-chief

The 7 & 7 is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“For me, it’s a good ol’ 7 & 7 with Seagram’s 7 and 7Up. It’s simply delicious!” Lyndsey Corin, director, brand partnerships and sales

The boilermaker, a shot of whiskey and a draft beer, is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“My go-to order at a dive bar is usually a whiskey and a draft beer, a.k.a. the classic Boilermaker. It’s a safe order so that’s always a good call. —Adam Teeter, CEO and co-founder

This Sidecar hack is a great drink to order at a dive bar that isn't a vodka soda.

“Any spirit plus soda plus 10 dashes of Angostura bitters (they all have it) and a lime. Or I’ll go for my Margarita or Sidecar hack, where I order tequila on the rocks with a small splash of Cointreau and about five lime wedges. Then I squeeze them in myself and make a bootleg Marg. You can do the same hack for a Sidecar, using Cognac and lemons.” —Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales and partnerships

A mexican mule is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“I’m more of a tequila person than vodka so I always go for a Mexican Mule over a Moscow Mule.” —Ariela Basson, associate designer

A gin and tonic with lemon is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“My go-to drink at a dive bar is always Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray and soda water with a lemon on the side.” —Jessica Fields, assistant editor

 

Draft cider is a great drink to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“I go to dive bars pretty often. Welcome to the Johnsons and Peculier Pub are two of my favorite spots in NYC. If I’m not drinking a basic well drink, I typically opt for whatever cider they have on draft or for their beer-and-shot special –– after all, we love a dive bar for a good deal!” —Bobbie Thorn, account manager, brand partnerships

 

A beer and a shot are great drinks to order at a dive bar that's not a vodka soda.

“As long as there is a solid beer and a shot combo, that’s always a good call.” — Josh Malin, president and co-founder

“I walk in and smell the room. If the tap lines aren’t clean and the place reeks, I get a shot and beer in a can, then ask where the closest karaoke bar is.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director

 

Modelo especial is a good beer to accompany a shot for a drink at a dive bar that isn't a vodka soda.

“My dive bar go-to is a Boilermaker. Assuming the establishment’s lines are in need of some TLC, I’ll usually opt for something out of a can — Modelo Especial will do just fine. And if the accompanying shot is poured from a bottle bearing the scowling glare of Ol’ Abraham Overholt, it’s sure to bring a smile to my face.” —Tim McKirdy, senior staff writer

Pickleback shots are a great drink to order at a dive bar that isn't a vodka soda.

“If I’m going to a dive bar, I’m usually in the mood for a crisp beer (an ice-cold Rolling Rock comes to mind). I stick very close to the dive bar mantra of ordering a beer and a shot. While a Pickleback is usually my go-to, there are certainly some bars that make tolerable Jell-O shots that I’ll go for as well.” —Allison Kuklinski, manager, brand partnerships and activations