Best Dive Bar

City Paper

421 E. Baltimore St., (410) 727-5054

The Midway has as much character as all the other bars in Baltimore put together. It is dark and friendly, but not too friendly. If you wanna use the bathroom but you’re not buying a beer—you’re gonna pay. And you’ve got to get buzzed in. The bartenders are gruff, the jukebox loud, the lights dim, and the clientele decidedly unconcerned with seeing or being seen. It’s the only non-strip-bar on the Block, so it’s where the entertainers used to—and sometimes still—hang out between sets. The walls are lined with pin-up pics of erstwhile dancers from the Block’s glory days, and the beers—cash only—are priced more in accord with yesteryear too, at least for the Block. If there is a Platonic form for dive bar, it’s the Midway, even if there’s nothing platonic about it. 

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