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Best Dive Bars in Madison

Caribou Tavern

703 E Johnson St, Madison, WI 53703
Sun, Tues-Thurs 11am-2am
Fri & Sat 11am-2:30 am
Mon 3pm-2am

For over forty years, Caribou Tavern has been Madison’s number one dive bar. Offering Taco Tuesday and Philly Cheesesteak Friday, Caribou offers random lunch specials of stroganoff and homemade lasagna. Be sure to check their Facebook page to stay in the loop for daily deals and events happening at Caribou. Whether you’re looking for a fantastic spot to watch the game or hang out with your friends, Caribou Tavern has a good time in store for you.

Silver Dollar Tavern

117 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703
Sun Closed
Mon-Thurs 8am-2am
Fri & Sat 8am-2:30am

Quoted as being “one of the best dive bars in America,” Silver Dollar Tavern was “Bestest Dive Bar” from 2010 to 2021 and “undisputed titleholder.” Caribou Tavern might beg to differ, but it all depends on which side of the city you are in. Located on Mifflin Street, Silver Dollar Tavern is a must-stop during the Mifflin Street Block Party. With drinks being mixed correctly, “there is no need to order a double.” Pop in and get a classic Wisconsin cocktail and relish in good times and vibes.

Paradise Lounge

119 W Main St, Madison, WI 53703
Mon-Thurs 9am-2am
Fri 9am-2:30am
Sat & Sun 12pm-2am

Paradise Lounge is known for being the cheapest place around and “a breath of fresh air from all the trendy nonsense downtown.” With new lunch and drink specials daily, Happy Hour is from 4pm-6pm. Gather up your friends and shoot pool for free on Mondays and Thursdays from 6pm to close! Catch a drink and hot meal after work with food service until 1:30am.

Up North
150 Blair St, Madison, WI 53703
Sun & Mon 2:30pm-2am
Tues-Fri 2:30pm-2am


A “quaint yet rocking little bar” with a woods-esque vibe in the center of downtown Madison. With the self-proclaimed “best drink specials around,” stop in and enjoy a different and unique special each day of the week. What separates Up North from most bars is that they supply live music Monday through Wednesday. Check out the lineup tab to see what local or touring acts will be making an appearance at Up North.

Woody & Anne’s

2236 Winnebago St, Madison, WI 53704
Sun 10am-12am
Mon-Sat 10am-2am

Woody & Anne’s is a small bar near East High School just on the other side of Highway 151. You don’t have to worry about maxing out your credit card at this cash-only establishment. With a casual atmosphere and known for their mid-afternoon crowd, Woody & Anne’s is an excellent place for an after-work drink with coworkers or friends. Challenge your friends to shuffleboard and other bar games. Everyone is welcome at Woody & Anne’s with their wheelchair-accessible entrance.

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