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TLM’s ultimate guide to the best dive bars in Bandra

Drink your way through a list of affordable watering holes in Bandra, a suburb usually associated with trendy and expensive bars.
Dive bars in Bandra

Bandra has now become a suburb where every week a new restaurant pops up with flamboyant interiors, menus serving food from across the globe, and mind-boggling alcohol concoctions. Yet, just like most areas, even Bandra has its dive bars with a dedicated crowd.

According to Wikipedia, a dive bar is typically a small, unglamorous, eclectic, old-style drinking establishment with inexpensive drinks; it may feature dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs, packaged beer sales, cash-only service, and local clientele.

In colloquial terms, one might even call dive bars shady or uncle bars. But before you think of these as creepy places with drunkards, unsafe establishments, and not fit for women, I urge you to read this article. As a woman in her 20s, I have been to most, if not all of these dive bars in Bandra and I have not felt uncomfortable the majority of the time.

10 dive bars in Bandra you must visit

Soul Fry

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Instagram

Entering Soul Fry is like stepping into a Catholic Goan home. From tiny decorative show pieces to colourful lights, and seafood thalis—it’s a mini-Goa in the heart of Bandra. To add more to this vibe, Soul Fry is known for its English-only karaoke. Think sing-alongs to Elvis Presley, Queen, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Abba, and more classics while you enjoy your drinks with seafood as your munchies. We recommend a plate of Prawn Loncha, Fish & Chips, among other Goan classics like a Mutton Vindaloo or a Fish Curry.

Janata Bar & Restaurant

If you are in the mood to go bar hopping then after a fun karaoke session at Soul Fry, head to Janata Bar & Restaurant. A less than five-minute walk will take you to this tiny but popular dive bar in Bandra. Perhaps you can opt for this as a spot to pre-game at before you head to a trendier space to dance, catch an artist’s performance, or whatever else your big Bandra plans might be.

The downstairs non-AC section resembles a traditional Udupi restaurant across the city. The upstairs has two AC sections. The highlight of Janata is that they provide alcohol in sealed bottles. Your standard desi Chinese at dive bars is what goes well when drinking but also opt for the Chicken Lollipops, or seafood at Janata. The staff is friendly and always ensures that women are not mistreated.

Toto’s Garage

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Justdial

Walk another five minutes from Janata and you will reach Toto’s Garage—which has almost a cult-like status among the dive bars in Bandra. This garage-like bar is known for its rock music, and a car suspended on top of the bar. Whenever at Toto’s drink beer, and pair it with their bar snacks like Masala Peanuts, Chilli Paneer or Chicken, or a classic Tandoori Chicken.

Yacht Resto Bar

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Mappls

This dive bar in Bandra is common among college students. A benefit for Yacht is that it is almost walking distance from bandstand—another common hangout spot for youngsters. I hear they serve great Punjabi food and a garlic naan. The rates are low, and you can opt to sit in the AC or non-AC room. Don’t be surprised to see several orders of chilled beer or Old Monk rum do the rounds.

Old Street Café & Bar

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Instagram

Bang opposite Yacht, you will find Old Street Café & Bar. If a shady, dingy place is what you had in mind, you’ll be surprised when you enter. This café-like place serves affordable alcohol and what college students usually order is Punjabi food. The music is usually upbeat and deep into the night, it’s the neighbourhood’s go-to for a quick dinner with a side of budget-friendly drinks.

BKC Dive

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Instagram

This place literally has Dive in its name. Known for its constant happy hour offers and inexpensive cocktails and drinks, BKC Dive quickly became the go-to place for many youngsters. With a menu catering to many cuisines and an expansive drinks menu, this dive bar in Bandra East also acts as a clubbing space with live DJ and popular Bollywood tracks. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative that allows you to turn the bar into a dancefloor as well, BKC Dive is a great bet.

Chinar Bar & Restaurant

Known as the al-fresco dive bar in Bandra East, overlooking BKC is Chinar Bar & Restaurant. Unlike other places, you will not find students here instead, the bar will be filled with working professionals from the offices nearby. Besides an al-fresco area, they also have a rooftop terrace seating and an AC section on the ground floor as well. My personal favourites would be the cheese garlic naan and hara bhara kebab.


PJ’s is a little different than the usual dive bars in Bandra. Mainly because it is nestled inside Bandra’s SAISA Gymkhana. While the alcohol would be affordable since PJ’s is inside a gymkhana, an entry fee of Rs.50 from Sunday to Thursday and Rs.100 on Friday and Saturday, is mandatory but even after that it is a cheaper option than any of your fancy restaurants. Known for its seafood, but as a vegetarian, my go-to has to be chili cheese toast. Meat eaters will love their Chicken Cordon Blue, Pork Chilly, Fish Fingers, among other items.

The Den

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Instagram

This quaint little bar comes alive almost every night. Besides karaoke, The Den is also known for its live DJ music, cheap drinks, and continental food. Since it is open till 1 am, the place is filled with young adults, singing along or dancing the night away. The Den also makes their drinks fairly potent, so while the cocktail may not be stirred excellently, it’s at least potent. For nibbles, you can trust their Fries, Chorizo Pav, Bacon Wrapped Prawns, among other items.

Quarter Pillar

Dive bars in Bandra

Photo: Instagram

A popular spot among college students and working professionals, Quarter Pillar is known for good music and match screenings. Fondly known as QP, it is known for providing alcohol by the quarter. While bar bites here are quite classic, you won’t be disappointed. The menu features a host of tandoori and Indian Chinese options that you can munch away.