Food & Drink

The 20 best bars in Long Beach

Published On 03/05/2014 Published On 03/05/2014
Roxanne's
Belmont Brewing Company

Belmont Brewing Company (click here for address and deets)
Only in Long Beach would Southern California’s oldest operating brewpub also be the city’s best oceanfront bar. Mononymous Brewmaster Blackwell has been cranking out stellar craft beers since the mid-’90s and regulars always come in droves for BBC’s happy hour, where cheap pitchers and pizzas accompany sunset views.

Stache Bar

Stache Bar (click here for address and deets)
Yes, the bars name is short for “moustache”, but you won’t find any pretentious hipsters at this 4th St dive. Even though they have more high-end bottles of small-batch spirits (think: Rogue’s Spruce Gin and Hudson’s Manhattan Rye Whiskey) than anywhere else in the city, this is still a hidden gem where prices are low enough to make more Northernly Angelenos be all, "Man, those are low prices".

Shannon’s Bayshore Saloon

Shannon’s Bayshore Saloon (click here for address and deets)
If you’re into the 2nd St scene (i.e. you don’t mind a proliferation of local bros and college kids), Shannon’s -- or "the Bayshore” (as some older locals refer to it) -- is an old-school Long Beach classic. The house drink, called “Shoot the Root”, includes a shot of Root Beer Schnapps dropped into a tumbler of Coors Light.

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing (click here for address and deets)
Located on the 3rd St end of the Promenade in Downtown, Beachwood is not really a bar in the truest sense, but it is one of the best craft breweries in the country and features a guest tap list that brings other Los Angeles craft beer bars to their craft beer-knees. Oh, and the food ain’t too bad, either -- tater tot poutine, anyone?

Pike Restaurant and Bar

Pike Restaurant and Bar (click here for address and deets)
Situated right in between the 4th St dive bars and Retro Row shopping district, The Pike -- owned by Chris Reece of Social Distortion fame -- is one of LB’s most versatile bars. The schizophrenic decor of retro punk, nautical, and grand-prix themes perfectly matches the diverse crowd of locals who frequent the place. A family-friendly restaurant during the day, The Pike turns into one of LB’s most crowded drinking spots on weekend nights.

Congregation

Congregation (click here for address and deets)
Just three doors down from Beachwood, the original monastic-themed Congregation Ale House solidifies the Downtown Promenade’s nickname of “Barley Block”. In addition to a diverse tap list, Congregation also has a full bar and food menu perfect for late-night hangs or Catholic school girl ogling.

Crow’s Cocktail

Crow’s Cocktail (click here for address and deets)
As the saying goes, “Crow’s doesn’t get good until an hour after you get there”. And don’t try showing up an hour later, because that’s just not how this place works. Hidden among fancy restaurants and Bay-front homes on Naples Island, Crow’s is an upscale Long Beach dive where the seasoned bartenders don vests for their night of pouring, and the cheap well drinks flow like... uh... glasses of cheap well drinks!

Red Room

4th Street Dive Bar Crawl: V Room (click here for address and deets), Red Room (click here for address and deets), Ashley’s (click here for address and deets), and Fern’s (click here for address and deets)
For six glorious blocks between Alamitos and Cherry Avenues, this normal-enough drag teams with a high concentration of actually great, dirty punk-rock dives. Start at V Room on the Western end and crawl your way East through Red Room, Fern’s, and Ashley’s, stopping only to 1) pump quarters into the epicly curated jukeboxes, and 2) down $3 well drinks.

Thirsty Isle

Thirsty Isle (click here for address and deets)
With frosty mugs and macro beer stored at sub-freezing temperatures, Thirsty Isle prides itself on having the coldest beers in town. They also have some of the biggest: your icy, golden brew comes in a 34oz Gibraltar mug.

The Parlour Lounge

The Parlour Lounge (click here for address and deets)
Long Beach’s Federal Bar beats out its North Hollywood big brother with one simple word: speakeasy. 30ft beneath the Federal’s main floor lies The Parlour Lounge, a red-boothed, 75-seat drinkery that was built into an old bank vault and serves up classic cocktails by the glassful. It’s only accessible through a secret door in the back by the bathrooms -- that is, if you have the secret password...

Joe Jost's

Joe Jost’s (click here for address and deets)
JJ’s has been serving up libations to Long Beachers since it began life as a speakeasy in 1924. Today, it’s a hardcore locals-only spot with time-capsule decor and a pool room unchanged since Prohibition was repealed. Ice-cold beer is still served dirt-cheap in giant, frozen Schooner glasses, and food stays old-school with snacks like “The Special” sandwich, house-made pickled eggs, and peanuts from a 100-plus-year-old roaster that lives in the back room.

Prospector

Prospector (click here for address and deets)
By day, Prospector is a windowless steakhouse with creepy exterior paintings of miners and their wenches. By night, though, the kitchen closes down and it’s a windowless steakhouse with creepy exterior paintings of miners and their wenches AND a closed kitchen that specializes in two things: cheap drinks and local shows.

Gallagher’s Pub & Grill

Gallagher’s Pub & Grill (click here for address and deets)
It may not be as famous as Belmont Shore’s Legends, but Gallagher’s is still one of the best sports bars in town. From all the local teams to MMA and World Cup matches, this Irish-themed pub is perfect for watching fat Alex Rodriguez not play baseball in a relaxed, neighborhood atmosphere. Bottomless mimosas and double Bloody Mary’s make Sundays at Gallagher's the place to be during football season, but expect to see a lot of red and gold as this is the Long Beach home of the Niners empire.

Hamburger Mary’s

Hamburger Mary’s (click here for address and deets)
A recent move to Pine Ave Downtown hasn’t changed the popularity of Long Beach’s largest gay bar -- but if you're straight, don't let that designation scare you away: people of all sexual preferences get a kick out of Mary’s famous drag shows, karaoke nights, and epic Sunday brunches.

Roxanne's

Roxanne’s (click here for address and deets)
In the quaint North Long Beach neighborhood of California Heights lies a house of craft unlike any other in town. Latin-inspired food meets pre-Prohibition cocktails, in this classy/casual lounge that has a secret extra bar in the back (just knock on the telephone booth door).

Flickr/sookiebontemps

Alex’s Bar (click here for address and deets)
If raucous and packed punk-rock shows aren’t your thing, fret not, because Long Beach’s most noteworthy music venue is also worth drinking at on non-show nights. A winning combo of quality tunes, quality craft beer, and a quality cocktail program, Alex’s is one big, open room that somehow manages to stay charmingly intimate.

Fourth Street Vine

4th Street Vine (click here for address and deets)
Though there’s now a location in the impressive new terminal at the Long Beach Airport, the original 4th Street Vine is exactly the kind of wine bar you’d expect from LBC. Found in the heart of Retro Row, this small and unpretentious adult-grape juice pusher has a carefully curated selection of wine and craft beer, and is a big supporter of the local music scene.

Sarah Bennett and Aaron Carroll are the Editors of Beer Paper LA; hit 'em up on Twitter at @beerpaperla.

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1. Belmont Brewing Company 25 39th Pl, Long Beach, CA 90803 (Long Beach)

The oldest brewpub the LA area has been serving quality food and drinks for more than 25 years (you better have gotten them something something silver for their anniversary, or did you forget about it?). Menu items include seafood, salads, poultry, and breakfast meals. Stop in for happy hour from 3-6pm Monday-Friday for 40% off appetizers. Plus, it’s hard to beat the oceanfront location.

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2. Stache Bar 941 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Celebrating mustaches like no other, this hidden gem serves high-end bottles of small-batch spirits (as well as the usual suspects) at a surprisingly low price. Shoot pool with the hipsters and go HAM on beer and shot specials. If cocktails are more your thing, The Stache has a nicely curated menu of organic handicrafted spirits and libations.

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3. Shannon's Bayshore 5335 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803 (Long Beach)

This classic Long Beach haunt is a top notch spot to grab a drink and hangout. Locals love this dependable, dive-like spot, where you can counter cold beers and quality conversation 365 days, 7 days a week. Depending out how you want your night to pan out (wild or tame), we recommend Shannon's house special: a drink called “Shoot the Root”, which includes a shot of root beer schnapps dropped into a tumbler of Coors Light.

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4. Beachwood BBQ & Brewing 210 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Beachwood's Long Beach location is perfect for relaxing after catching some surf -- get a few brews, an indulgent entree (mac and cheese, without a doubt), and kick back. Beachwood specializes in BBQ fare in a laid back, diner-style setting. Quaint midcentury modern touches take the decor one step farther and go perfectly with the "so good it must be homemade" plates.

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5. Congregation Ale House 201 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

The Congregational Ale House is a monastic-themed bars turned brewery with outposts in Long Beach, Azusa and Pasadena. CAH sought to bring a community and the spirit of Old World beers to LA. The chapters serve weekly drink and meal specials, including Serves food and weekly specials, including a la carte and combo options. With a diverse tap list, Congregation’s pourin’ for the masses.

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6. Crow's Cocktail 5728 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90803 (Long Beach)

Hidden among fancy restaurants and bay-front homes on Naples Island, Crow’s is an upscale Long Beach dive serving cheap drinks.

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7. V Room 918 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

With super-cheap drinks and quality talent on the juke box, this dive is a must for anyone looking for a low-priced good time.

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8. The Red Room 1227 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

With great drink specials every day of the week, this Long Beach watering hole is a classic neighborhood dive bar.

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9. Ashley's Bar & Grill 1731 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Established in 1938, Ashley's is a primo spot whether you want to chow down on tasty pub grub or sample a few of their of their 31 different brews.

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10. Fern's 1253 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

With one of the best jukeboxes and awesome drink specials every day of the week, Fern is a great bet if you're looking to tie one on and hear some sweet tunes.

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11. Pike Bar & Fish Grill 1836 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Owned by Chris Reece of Social Distortion, Pike Bar sports an interior decorated with retro punk, nautical, and grand prix themes and if a tasty family resto during the day and a popular drink spot at night. Chow down on fresh seafood, pasta and sandwiches for dinner and stay late for DJ sets and dance parties.

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12. Roxanne's 1115 E Wardlow Rd, Long Beach, CA 90807 (Long Beach)

This bar/resto serves Latin-inspired food and pre-prohibition cocktails in a classy atmosphere. It also has a secret extra bar in the back (just knock on the telephone booth door to get in).

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13. 4th Street Vine 2142 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814 (Long Beach)

Located in the heart of Retro Row, this small and unpretentious vino joint offers a vast selection of wine and craft beer and is a big supporter of the local music scene.

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14. Alex's Bar 2913 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804 (Long Beach)

Opened in 2000, this Long Beach drinkery is a perfect divey spot to drop by for a game of pool, some quality tunes, and cheap drinks.

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15. The Prospector 2400 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804 (Long Beach)

This bar/resto/nightclub is a quality spot for cheap drinks, tasty eats, and great music.

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16. Gallagher's Pub & Grill 2751 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803 (Long Beach)

This Irish pub and grill is a perfect spot to watch a game, order up a cheap drink, and listen to talented local musicians.

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17. Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille 330 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Come for the tasty food and cheap drinks and stay for the amazing Shows and super-fun dance floor.

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18. Thirsty Isle 4313 E Carson St, Long Beach, CA 90808 (Long Beach)

Thirsty Isle is a great little dive in the heart of LBC -- head here for some cheap brews, great grub, and a rowdy local atmosphere.

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19. The Parlour Lounge 102 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

This secret speakeasy within The Federal is just the tip of the iceberg in coolness (see what we did there?). Set inside an old bank vault, cozy up on one of their couches and get a zesty 'tail.

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20. Joe Jost's 2803 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804 (Long Beach)

This mostly locals-only LBC hotspot is doling out cheap brews and even cheaper pickled eggs and roasted nuts to snack on.

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