You usually can't tell what kind of bar you're in within the first five minutes. You've got to sit for a minute, watch the other patrons, let the jukebox play a few selections, let the bartenders do their thing, perhaps even order some food. Sure, you may know you're in a dive by the general smell and look at the place, but it'll take a round or two to know whether you're in a great dive. Esquire magazine has scoured the country in search of the best bars: the diviest dives, the pubiest of pubs, and martini lounges that serve more that neon drinks lit by neon lights.
They're pretty generous, not opting for a top ten in only the majorest of cities, but sharing at least one entry for every state, with most having between three and ten. Even if you're not much of barfly (I'm certainly not), it's still fun to see if you've heard of the spots in the cities you know the best.
The Best Bars in America [Esquire.com]