Growing up in Savannah, GA, you become well-versed in the bar scene and develop an innate sense of which spots are worth spending your nights in.
My love for a dive bar nightcap began as a necessity since, oftentimes, these joints are the only spots open late enough by the time our bar shifts ended.
But now, even on nights off, a PBR and a shot of Montenegro in a dimly lit booth are infinitely more appealing than sipping an overpriced Aperol Spritz surrounded by tourists at the Plant Riverside District.
Here are seven of my favorite dive bars located in Downtown Savannah, according to a bartender who was born and raised in the Hostess City.
The Original Pinkie Masters
Address: 318 Drayton St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: This long-standing, cash-only establishment is quintessential to Savannah's bar scene. It opened on the corner of Drayton and Harris St. back in 1953 and has been serving no-frill drinks to locals ever since.
Over the years, Pinkie's has hosted several celebrities, characters, and even U.S. presidents, which you can see pictured in black and white photos plastered on the walls. However, it is the local scene that makes this place so special.
The Original Pinkie Masters is the king of all Savannah dive bars, and there's no better place to end a long night than cozied up on the torn red booth next to the jukebox.
Abe's on Lincoln
Address: 17 Lincoln St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: This casual tavern has become a reliable watering hole to service industry locals who tolerate the rowdy tourists who make their rounds due to the bar's proximity to Bay and Congress St.
The bar staff is friendly, and the drinks are cheap. The ambiance is fun because patrons can draw their caricatures of Abraham Lincoln to be taped on the walls of the room.
Overall, Abe's is a reliable and fun spot to end your night.
Totally Awesome Bar
Address: 107B Whitaker St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: Totally Awesome Bar is a basement bar located just off Broughton St.
This 90s-themed bar hosts fun, low-key events like silent disco, drag shows, and other rowdy events that you can wash down with cheap drinks and laughs with friends.
Address: 21 E McDonough St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: McDonough's Pub is nothing if not reliable. They host karaoke from Thursday to Monday and serve some of the best late-night bar food in town.
Ending a night with chicken fingers and ABBA karaoke at McDonough's is a win in my book. The cheap drinks are just a bonus.
Address: 1108 Bull St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: Located right off Savannah's famous Forsyth Park, this no-frills establishment serves as a watering hole for locals from all walks of life.
Their pool tables and outdoor patio provide plenty of entertainment as you nurse their dirt-cheap drinks. This spot is cash-only, so come prepared or utilize their ATM.
Portal Arcade, Cafe & Bar
Address: 408 W Broughton St., Savannah, GA
Why You Need To Go: Portal is the perfect spot to hit late at night if you want to unwind with a hot dog and cheap arcade games.
This place has more than 25 arcade and pinball games that will keep you busy while you wait on your food. It's a great spot to end the night with air hockey or a Chicago dog with your best buds.