There is a romance about dive bars which the more expensive places would never be able to match or emulate. They have something intangible that allow them to exist, quirks and all. A dive is generally not the kind of place that makes for great Instagrams and Snapchats, but by your third drink, you’re already friends with the bartender, and know you’ll be coming back - hopefully soon. Here are the nominees for the Best Dive Bars at INCA Awards
Mumbai - Ghetto
The shady interiors - they’re almost pitch black and lit by neon lights - the corner pool table, and the invitation to leave your mark on the walls. They’re all an integral part of what makes the Ghetto a firm favourite, with a certain crowd.
Kolkata - Olypub
The bi-level pub on popular Park Street doesn’t seem to have much going for it, but cheap beer and a great location are good enough. The Continental fare on the menu harkens back to another time, and that’s a part of Olypub’s appeal.
Hyderabad - Tiki Shack
A rooftop bar that has ambience in spades, the orange glow that is the Shack’s signature is complimented by its pun-filled menu. With a choice of indoor and outdoor seating, you’re spoiled for choice.
Bengaluru - Watsons
A gastropub that gets its food right, Watsons now has three city locations. Offering live music, a choice of drinks and more, this mini-chain has figured out how to replicate its young, fresh attitude across the city.
NCR - My Bar
Mughlai food is the best lining for the kind of night that My Bar inspires. Its reasonable pricing, and multiple outlets ensure that you’re never too far away from a reason to drink.
Pune - High Spirits
A dive bar with its own app might seem like a misnomer, but High Spirits is both a live music venue and the living room you wish you had - with a great sound system, stellar drinks and a gathering of your favourite friends.
Goa - Katzensuppe / Mafia Cocktail/ Top Gear
Three local nominees in Goa is indicative of the large number of restaurants, shacks and options that cater to tourists of all stripes, from DIY endeavours (Mafia Cocktail) to others that are more polished (Katzensuppe and Top Gear).
Chennai - Sera Tapas Bar
Dim lighting and Italian food are the hallmarks of Sera Tapas Bar. The bar menu serves cocktails, cheesy names notwithstanding, but really if you go with a group of people it’s the company that counts.