Sometimes you want to get all dolled up and sip a fancy, fussy cocktail. And sometimes you want to stand at an old school bar in a beer-scented room that looks like it hasn't been redecorated since early in the Nixon administration and throw back a beer and a shot.
Thrillist went looking for America's divey-est dive bars, and liked Nye's Polonaise Room in Northeast Minneapolis enough to place it on its second-annual list of what it called "the best no-frills bars in the country."
The website noted that Nye's offers "music you'll want to drink to," which includes polka on one side of the house and piano on the other. The reasonably priced drinks, red vinyl booths and tasty pierogies helps Nye's achieve "a perfectly divey vibe." Nye's is in exclusive company with its presence on the list; only one other spot in the Upper Midwest, the Back Porch B & B Bar in Spearfish, South Dakota, was included among the 21 dive bars on the Thrillist list.
Nye's, which stands on the corner of Hennepin Avenue a stone's throw from the Mississippi River, has enjoyed its share of accolades and attention. It was twice featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with host Guy Fieri sounding giddy about its "polka music, Polish party atmosphere and great-tasting food."
Eight years ago, Esquire magazine named Nye's the country's best bar. The magazine returned to Minneapolis in search of dive bar nirvana, and earlier this year named Palmer's Bar in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood the best.