When you step into Aceitunas Beer Garden from the Doniphan entrance, you enter a very small bar that is all dive. The tiny room barely has enough space for the bar and handful of patrons, and that's without the usual blaring live music. But continue on through to the back garden and maybe the reason Tunas, as Westsiders call it, was voted Best Dive is because beyond the enclosed structure you could almost call it the anti-dive. The garden is a patio complete with koi streams, tall trees and chirping birds (which are mechanical, perhaps to ward off any unpleasant landings in your hair or drink). Come Thursday nights this mini Oasis turns into one of the hottest spots in town. You will see everyone from business owners, local celebrities to UTEP's freshly-turned 21. But this scene is anything but pretentious, because you know, you're still hanging out in a dive, albeit the best. 5200 Doniphan Dr., 915-581-3260.
2. Erin's - 6306 N. Mesa St., 915-833-4661.
3. King's X - 4119 N. Mesa St., 915-544- 4795.