Dive Bars

What defines a “dive bar” (like Smiley’s shown above)? We asked you, we asked the experts, we racked our brains for descriptors and quickly embraced the notion that some stereotypes are based in truth — and that dive bars are no exception. Here are our findings in the form of eight reader-favorite Marin watering holes from south to north, ending with a West Marin bar that is one of the oldest in the state. To learn more about each dive bar, click on the name.

Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.