Every Beachside Bar in LA
Summer is here, and that means one thing and one thing only: you need to be drinking, and you need to be doing so at a waterfront bar. So here is every single one of your options in LA.
If you can navigate the occasional, temporarily Irish bro-down in the downstairs bar, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning beach view from the upstairs patio. Lose an afternoon during the $5 happy hour with jumbo 23oz domestic brews, or brave the 50oz “world’s largest pint,” which comes with a souvenir glass and the strong likelihood of a fully clothed ocean swim.
Fans of shuttered beachside dive The Poop Deck will be pleased by its recent reincarnation, which now features a noticeable lack of, well, poop. Thankfully, the charms of the fish tank behind the bar, the nautical “island” table, and the billiards remain, as do the wallet-friendly prices with the classy addition of more-than-decent wines
Hawaiian lunch plates, fish tacos, killer views... Watermans has it figured out. Pro tip: head there on a weekday between 3-7pm for half-off alcoholic slushies on the beach.
$15 pitchers! $6.50 flights! Poke wraps! Pulled pork sandos! If only Belmont Brewing was right on the ocean! Oh wait, it is!
With a massive beer menu and super-sexy views of the LB harbor, this actually-pretty-respectable chain offers a rewarding waterside refuge. Order up one of the signature half-yard pours along with an onion ring tower during happy hour, and feel confident that your evening is headed in the right direction. (Because it is.)
Good ol’ Ripples is Long Beach’s most happenin’ gay & lesbian club. It's also packed to the gills with fun events like Dog Beach Day and Beer Busts, with karaoke and BBQs. And you’re probably wondering, “Thrillist, do people get married at Club Ripples?” Well stop wondering. ‘Cause they do. Now 100% legal!!
Belly-up to the cozy bar at this laid-back, panoramic view-offering local favorite, which sits just across from the base of Seal Beach pier. Once you’re appropriately bellied, order the bacon- and shrimp-adorned Bloody Mary. #Trust.
Ocean breeze, TVs, great beer, better wings, and better better clam chowder. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
With totally Instagramable ocean vistas, delicious hula pies, and a mellow vibe inspired by namesake Duke Kahanamoku (the Hawaiian father of international surfing, naturally), you hardly need another reason to head up the PCH to this kitschy surf stalwart. But, just in case: $5 Mai Tais and hula dancers on Fridays.
This beach hideaway may no longer be a secret, but... who cares! It's still one of the only places in LA County to legally drink booze while sticking your feet in the sand, and definitely the only place in LA County you can do that while also eating a gargantuan iced seafood tower.
Perched just above the tumbling waves, with your feet up on a day bed, you won’t care who sees you order another strong, manly drink that definitely is NOT a strawberry daiquiri (OK, it’s probably a strawberry daiquiri). Spend your Sundays wisely at this Malibu classic, poppin’ bubs, devouring tuna tartare, and enjoying the rotating lineup of DJs throughout the summer. And the sunsets. Did we mention the sunsets?
Why bother haulin’ up to land-locked wine country when you can sip vino with a view of the beach at this low-key adult grape-juice hideaway? Thought so. Throw around words like “jam-y” and “tobacco-y” like you know more about wine than what the staff recommends at Trader Joe's, while enjoying quality pours, food truck vittles, and live music.
The Reel Inn boasts a gigantic fish menu, $4.95 beers, brunch specials, and a lot more. Pop quiz: fresh fish + cold beer + ocean breeze = what? Answer: what? = a helluva Sunday funday.
If you’re usually all, “I don’t like beer! I don’t like a huge selection of wine! I don’t like seafood stew, or roasted cauliflower soup! I don’t like ocean views and incredible sunsets!”, well, Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar probably isn’t for you. If you’re usually all, “Exactly the opposite of what that other guy just said,” then... it totally is!
V’s is rockin’ one of the best wine selections in The ‘Bu, as well as great cocktails like tequila lemonade and spicy margaritas. And you wanna wash down some portobello fries with those cocktails, dontcha? DONTCHA??
If you’re not into stuff like watching the sun set on the ocean, bikini-clad volleyball players, and cheap beer, than DON'T GO TO SHELLBACK. And if you are? TOTALLY GO TO SHELLBACK.
If you’re looking for something more swank than shots-shots-shotsshotsshotsshots near the beach, seek refuge in this class act of a bar, which features Tony Stark-worthy views of the Pacific. Order up farmer-friendly cocktails like the optimistic Sunrise Over Manhattan Beach, or take a pour from the futuristic wine dispensers. Then head to the upstairs bar for more drinks and market-driven upscale eats, courtesy of a cast of well-decorated chefs.
The food + drinks menu at Sharkeez seems endless, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Grab some mango ahi poke tacos and a supersized daiquiri (‘cause yes, you can supersize your drinks at Sharkeez) and enjoy the waves.
Brewco proudly rocks a rotating tap of California breweries like Strand, Smog City, and even Anchor. Its cans and bottles, though, are from all over the place, so you’d struggle to find a beer you won’t like. “I assume it doesn’t also have a wine selection, cocktail menu, and full food menu, too, right?” Well, you know what happens when you assume.
Ninkasi! Bootleggers! Golden Road! Abbey Brewing! Simmzy’s has its beer selection figured out, as well as great eats like soy-marinated short ribs, pork chili verde breakfast burritos, and bacon-wrapped jalapeños that are stuffed with cheese, pepitas, and green onions, before being covered in mango glaze. Like all bacon-wrapped jalapeños should be.
While you're not likely to get too sandy on the outdoor patio of Tony P’s, you will enjoy sweet-ass marina views, a relaxing ocean breeze, and -- if you're smart (you are) -- a 25oz mug filled with something from the dizzying array of draught beers. And yes, that's a collection of 1,400 tap handles.
With 180-degree views of the harbor, roaring fire pits, and an extended happy hour, you’re likely to make the patio at Whiskey Red’s your second home this summer. Wait... can we actually do that for real?
Bin 73 has a nutso collection of wines (including flights!) in addition to some great happy hour bites (like $4 grapes rolled in goat cheese and candied walnuts on balsamic reduction). You can(/WILL) also build your own meat and cheese board from a huge selection of goodies.
Because sometimes you need a classy beachfront bar to impress your parents, and sometimes you need alcohol to spend any amount of time with your parents, sometimes you need Coast, which delivers on both.
This sprawling, classy, indoor/outdoor surf bungalow nails the rustic charm at every turn, but to catch an ocean breeze, you’ll want to head to the lantern-lit patio. Tough life for you. Order a market-fresh marg at the outdoor bar, then cozy up around a fire pit at night or step up to the ping-pong table to show off your two-handed backhand loop shot.
It may feel like you’ve been sucked into a tourist vortex, but the “macho mega”-sized margaritas and unbeatable ocean views at this end-of-the-pier standby will ease the suck. And should its extensive and potent cocktail menu leave you feeling “macho mega”-hungry, the tableside-prepared guac and massive nachos will restore peace to your world. Probably.
This on-the-pier classic just updated their sound system and stage, which means better bands and bigger drinks: the 20oz "Shark Bite" selections are loaded up with 151 and Grand Marnier.
Don your favorite pair of faded madras shorts, and reminisce about your crushing victory at the Figawi regatta at this Nantucket country club-styled beach bar. Oh, that wasn’t you? It’s cool, you’ll still enjoy yourself at this slick hideaway with a Hot Sandy Beach (tequila, basil, jalapeño, lime juice), Pier Pressure (rum, lime juice, grenadine, egg whites), or a classic Dark ‘n Stormy.
Bury your feet in the sand, order up a craft beer, and bid a fond farewell to any commitments you had for the rest of the day at this low-key, right-on-the-damn-beach go-to. Order up the respectable burger, or fish & chips, or... really, it doesn't matter, as long as you're holding a beer while doing it.
The beer and wine is good, and so are the sandwiches, and the burgers, and the dogs, and the tacos, and the wings... you know what, just order all of them. (With a side of clam chowder.)
Situated right on the Venice boardwalk, this beachside retreat offers an impressive rotating selection of mostly local microbrews. Indecisive imbibers fear not: the skateboard-served flight of beers will help you find the perfect pairing for the tasty and sustainable gastropub bites.
Because you need more grit in your life, this sandy, well-worn Venice institution will satisfy your rough-around-the-edges desires and curiosity for confusing murals. A solid beer selection and $3 Bloody Marys & mimosas on the weekends offer a refreshing respite from an afternoon of broiling on the beach.
Personality goes a long way at this boardwalk dive, especially when that personality is accompanied by stiff drinks. Once you’ve killed it with “Takin’ Care of Business” on the karaoke mic downstairs, head up to the porch to catch an epic sunset view.
Throwing back half-liters of German brews and snacking on oversized Bavarian pretzels would be a respectable way to pass the afternoon in a dimly lit beer hall, but doing so on the sun-soaked strand of Venice is, without doubt, a more respectable way to pass the afternoon. Lederhosen optional. Kinda.
Take the less than 10-minute walk from Abbot Kinney and peep Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar (assuming you haven't already while you were completing the LA Bucket List). The sea breeze goes great with one of the craft cocktails or some mahi-mahi tacos. Easy street parking and incredible sunsets are also a major plus.
Larry’s happy hour will fill all comers with $10 pizzas, $8 tacos and burgers, $5 beers, and $7 cocktails. We love you, Larry.
You love burgers, you love beer, and you love the beach. Which means you love Hinano. It was also famously Jim Morrison’s favorite Venice hangout, so go check out the window box where he carved his name. Oh, and also: free popcorn!
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Wilder Shaw is a regular Thrillist contributor who just realized there’s no reason to ever go back to bars where you can’t see the ocean. Drink with him this summer on Twitter at @WilderShaw_ and Instagram at @wildershaw.