Dive bars your thing? This list says Florida has some of the best in the South. Here’s where

With fancy cocktail bars costing an arm and leg for just one drink, there's nothing better than relaxing at your local dive bar and grabbing a beer with your friends.

Southern Living recently compiled a list of what it reveres as "The South's Most Legendary Dive Bars," with eight Florida bars making the list.

But first, why do they call it a dive bar?

According to Urban Dictionary, a dive bar is a "well-worn, unglamorous bar, often serving a cheap, simple selection of drinks to regular clientele." It can range from your basic neighborhood pub to the city's grimy hole in the wall. They are usually dimly lit and have dated decor, as well as neon beer signs and packaged beer sales.

In parts of Northern and Western Europe, dive bars are referred to as "brown bars" or "brown pubs."

Here's what Florida bars made Southern Living's "25 Legendary Dive Bars in the South":

Green Parrot Bar in Key West, Florida

601 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040

While Southern Living doesn't claim the list has any sort of ranking to it, Floridians will still be delighted to see Key West's Green Parrot at the top.

"A favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Green Parrot Bar has been a Key West institution since 1890. Expect a jukebox and frequent live music, which can be anything from a 10-piece Latin-funk group to a band playing old-school hits by The Beatles," the magazine details. "You never know what to expect, and it's hosted every sort of gathering, including poetry slams, divorce celebrations, memorial services, and hurricane parties."

No Name Pub in Big Pine Key, Florida

30813 Watson Boulevard, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Southern Living writes that many of the best dive bars are the ones that don't even have a sign out front to let you know the name, with this Big Pine Key landmark honoring that sentiment with its namesake.

"After planting its roots in the 1930s, when it started out as a general store and bait-and-tackle shop, the bar has remained 'A Nice Place If You Can Find It,' per its catchphrase. The legendary pizza recipe, which dates back nearly 60 years, is preserved on the kitchen wall."

AJ's Grayton Beach in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

63 Defuniak St, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

This eclectic Panhandle seafood joint turns into dive bar once the sun goes down.

"As town squares and pastel cottages sprouted in areas down the road, Grayton Beach has kept its shell-speckled, sandy roads, sea-weathered homes, and groovy attitude—and AJ's fits right in. You'll even find bottomless mimosas and live music on Sundays."

Flora-Bama in Pensacola, Florida

17401 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL 32507

Named for its location on the Florida-Alabama state line, this Pensacola oyster bar touts itself as one of America’s last great roadhouses.

"Tourists and locals saddle up to any of the building’s multiple bars or perch on the massive deck, which boasts an idyllic view of the Gulf of Mexico. Order a 'Bushwhacker,' a creamy frozen cocktail legendary in the area for its potency, and mark your calendar for the bar’s annual Mullet Toss where patrons compete by slinging mullets–yes, we do mean the fish–across the Florida state line into Alabama."

Sloppy Joe's in Key West, Florida

201 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

Make sure to grab one of this bar's notorious Sloppy Rita’s or Sloppy Joe sandwiches.

"Sloppy Joe's has existed in Key West since the 1930s, one legend suggesting Hemingway named it after the floors in a favorite Cuban spot—perpetually drenched with spilled alcohol and melting ice. A rowdy and independent bunch of islanders drink here, and it's open 365 days a year until 4 a.m."

The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida

70 Hotz Ave, Grayton Beach, FL 32459

Another Grayton Beach dive, this bar is described as a "scarlet-lit, bohemian anomaly on the polished, planned-community-lined Highway 30A."

"… this Grayton Beach mainstay somehow combines a ’70s Parisian beatnik bistro with a beach vagabond vibe. Come for the perfectly blackened grouper, stay for the house margaritas and live music by The Red Bar Jazz Band. After a devastating fire took down the original building in 2019, but it has since reopened with the same energy and style of the original building."

The Palace Saloon in Fernandina Beach, Florida

117 Centre St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Fernandina locals are fiercely protective of this historic saloon, according to Southern Living writers.

"Like many dive bars, sentimental value is a huge part of what keeps The Palace Saloon churning. Not to mention, it's said to be the oldest still-operating bar in Florida, since its opening in 1903. Vintage murals, mosaic floors, and classic cocktails only add to the historic charm."

Harry's Banana Farm in Lake Worth Beach, Florida

1919 N Dixie Hwy, Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460

A true Florida landmark, located in Lake Worth Beach.

"Since its first drink in 1954, Harry's Banana Farm in the West Palm Beach area of Florida has been serving up well drinks and plenty of sass, which can usually be seen on the ever-changing and cheekily phrased marquee sign out front. Part of its signature "take it as it is" attitude included allowing patrons to smoke inside until January 2020, when it was officially prohibited."

What other dive bars made the list?

Southern Living also highlighted these southern dive bars around the region:

  • Earnestine and Hazel's, Memphis, Tennessee

  • Port of Call, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • The Esso Club, Clemson, South Carolina

  • Planet Marfa, Marfa, Texas

  • Nowhere Bar, Athens, Georgia

  • Scotty's Beach Bar, Surfside Beach, South Carolina

  • The Garage, Birmingham, Alabama

  • Donn's Depot, Austin, Texas

  • The Virginian, Charlottesville, Virginia

  • The Griffon, Charleston, South Carolina

  • Pirate's Cove, Elberta, Alabama

  • The Backstreet Pub, Beaufort, North Carolina

  • The World Famous, Athens, Georgia

  • Santa's Pub, Nashville, Tennessee

  • Johnny's Hideaway, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Callaghan's Irish Social Club, Mobile, Alabama

  • Dixie Chicken, College Station, Texas

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Southern Living's 'legendary' dive bars: 8 found in Florida. See where