Hidden among the gastropubs, wine bars and craft cocktails, you’ll also still find plenty of good ol’ neighborhood dive bars in Philadelphia. Known for their casual, unpretentious atmosphere, the spots listed here put you in control of the music by way of the classic jukebox. Leave any snobbery at the door and get ready play your favorite tunes.
Doobies Bar
2201 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 546-0316

Doobies is a low-key neighborhood favorite with a living room atmosphere, complete with over 30 board games, located in the Fitler Square/Rittenhouse area. It’s well known for its involvement in animal rights activism — no Eagles games were shown while Vick was on the team. But The Birds are now welcome again, and events like “dollar dogs” during Phillies home games, quizzo, and “Pub Letter” nights keep people coming back night after night. The old school curated CD jukebox adds to that laidback, fun vibe. There’s a wide range of music highlighting several local bands and rock classics such as Johnny Cash, Madonna, Dusty Springfield, Moby, The Smiths, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Muse, Cheap Trick, Bee Gees, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, B52s, Clash, Bob Marley, Patsy Cline, PJ Harvey, Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Young, Tom Waits, the Replacements, Beatles, Duffy, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire, The Stooges, Genesis and lots of David Bowie.

McGlinchey’s Bar & Grill
259 S. 15th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 735-1259

McGlinchey’s is a no-frills, gritty bar that’s a bit like stepping back into time — a time where smoking was allowed in bars and restaurants, to be precise. With colorful regulars that keep coming back for some of the cheapest beers in the city and 75-cent hot dogs, it’s likely that McGlinchey’s is never changing. In fact, the jukebox – now replaced by the newer Internet versions – is probably one of the few things that has changed in the past 20-something years. While it seems a little out of place in this otherwise completely old school establishment, it does provide the benefit of being able to play whatever you want.

Oscar’s Tavern
1524 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 972-9938

Oscar’s isn’t going to win awards for its bathroom cleanliness any time soon, but its friendly atmosphere, eclectic clientele and great food and drinks specials did rate it the number one spot on Playboy’s 2015 list of “Philadelphia’s Top Dive Bars, Ranked.” The 1-1/2 cheesesteak special, 23-oz. beers and massive Long Islands are the most popular picks, and music from the jukebox sets the tone for the night. Choose from Top 40 and oldies with Weezer, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Prince, Billy Idol, Van Halen, Steely Dan, Tom Waits, The Doors and more.

Related: Top Dive Bars In Philadelphia

Royal Tavern
937 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 389-6694

At this Bella Vista hangout, you can enjoy pub comfort food such as daily soup specials, grilled cheese made with gouda, goat cheese and provolone; and the famous “Royal Burger.” Pair your grub with a local brew and play some tunes on the jukebox. The jukebox has a bit of everything — alternative rock, death metal, classic soul and more. A taste would include Patsy Cline, Beastie Boys, The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen, Love, Talking Heads, Metallica, Dr. Dre, Fleetwood Mac, Rick Ross, Kanye West and The Clash.

Tattooed Mom
530 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-9880

Tattooed Mom is a South St. favorite, offering cheap drinks, a killer happy hour with half price drafts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., and popular nightly food specials, like Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays and Burger Wednesdays. In addition to free candy and random small toys at tables as well as pool tables for entertainment, Tattooed Mom also boasts two old-style wall mounted CD jukeboxes. The upstairs jukebox features an eclectic mix, covering 70 years of music and ranging from Count Basie to Ex Hex, the Shangri-las to FKA Twigs, Pharrell to Phantogram and Nine Inch Nails to B-52s. The jukebox upstairs is a bit edgier with classic and current metal, indie, rap and punk music along with a dash of classics from the 60s and 70s. The selection includes Slayer, Run the Jewels, Royal Blood, Irom Maiden, Blink 182, Brand New, Sleater Kinney and many more. Both jukeboxes contain over 100 CDs and three plays will cost you a dollar.

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Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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