Best Dive Bar

The Graduate


Dive bars are a dime a dozen in the East Bay, but discerning what, exactly, the difference is between any old trashy bar and the kind of trashy bar that keeps its regulars coming back night after night is both difficult and highly subjective. For that reason, explaining what sets The Graduate so far apart from all the others is difficult, but let’s start with this: $1.50 PBR. Beyond that, there’s the free popcorn, which is self-serve, seemingly bottomless, and best smothered in the Sriracha that accompanies it. There’s the clientele — eclectic, unpretentious and extremely loyal, a mix of blue-collar locals, grad students, and, of course, hipsters. There’s the location, a nestled on a quiet corner far enough from campus to avoid being completely overwhelmed by undergrads. But the real draw here, as at any good dive, is the dirt-cheap drinks: In addition to the aforementioned PBR, the Grad offers $11 pitchers, $4 well drinks, and, for students, $3 pints of Sierra Nevada.