Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Why Dive Bars Rule My World

September 26, 2016

As a "t-shirt and jeans" girl (or an "anything-but-high-heels" girl, really), I have always felt at home in a local dive bar. There are MANY reasons it's such a moth-to-a-flame situation for me.


Within the dive bar culture, no one cares what neighborhood you live in or how much money you make. Egos are not welcome and the playing field is level. Don't bring your drama inside, but if you need some friendly advice, you'll likely find that in your bartender. Typically, they've heard it and seen it all. And if you really need to blow off steam, the pool tables or dart boards can be very therapeutic. Furthermore, you're probably going to find a Golden Tee or Big Buck Hunter to work on your extra curricular skills and hobbies.


My favorite dive bars in Western Washington have always brought about good times and memorable nights. From north to south, here's my rundown of top picks:


1. Cap Hansen's Tavern - Bellingham, WA: Well, first off, they have a popcorn machine, and that in and of itself is awesome. It's nice and dark inside, the beers on tap are top notch, and their jukebox has one of the best collections of music I've ever seen. Also, you know I'm a sucker for karaoke, and they have that, too. Basically it's everything I love in one place.


2. The Town Pump - Mt. Vernon, WA: When my best friend and her husband lived down the road, we used to walk here ALL THE TIME to take over their jukebox, play hours of pool, and order giant, greasy pizzas before stumbling back home. The bartenders are awesome and the vibe is insanely laid-back. A favorite Skagit Valley watering hole for sure!  


3. Ed's Kort Haus - Seattle, WA: My girlfriends lived down the street from Ed's for YEARS, and when they moved, I was furious because I knew we wouldn't be regulars anymore. I still make stops to visit Ed himself, and this is one of my favorite places to prefunk before a rock show in Seattle. They also have one of the widest and WILDEST selections of exotic meat I've ever seen. Ostrich burger, anyone? 


4. The Brotherhood Tavern - Olympia, WA: The first thing I notice here was the art on the walls. You have to take a minute to walk around and appreciate it! I've heard it referred to as "The BroHo" by locals, but I'm not sure I can get away with that, being an outsider. ;) It's hard to lump it into the "dive bar" scene because it has some really special features, like the occasional aerialist performance and movies shown on a projector. Way cool all around. 


5. Fat Moose Bar & Grill - Woodland, WA: This is truly a community hot-spot, filled with friendly locals. There are moose tracks on the ceiling and lots of beer neons - my kind of mood lighting! It's a great place to unwind after hiking or fishing with micro brews at good prices and awesome food specials. 


What's the name and location of your favorite dive bar? Leave your recommendations in the comments! I might have to pay it a visit here soon.


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly