Photo credits: Nostalgia Bar and Lounge

10 Best Bars In Santa Monica To Drink At In 2024 (+ What To Order)

When it comes to nightlife in Santa Monica, there is always something for every kind of nightlife-goer.

From throwback dives to cocktail bars on the beach, we have dozen of choices when it comes to best bars in Santa Monica. 

Here, we have gathered all the best places to drink (and to eat) in Santa Monica. Let’s dive right in!

1. The Misfit Bar & Restaurant

Photo credits: Misfits Bar and Restaurant

Located close to the Third Street Promenade, The Misfit Bar & Restaurant has long been the locals’ favorite for good reasons. They have absolutely creative handcrafted cocktails, along with food that is hard to beat. Their happy hour is one of the best in town, so take your time and savor the lengthy happy hour by sitting out in the sunshine and watching people passing by.

Highlights of the menu include French Apple Cart,  Fin n’ Juice, and Goodnight Emily. The French Apple Cart is sweet and boozy with calvados apple brandy, Cointreau, lemon, and hints of fresh spices, while Fin n’ Juice is juicy and minty with cucumber and mint. End your night right with Goodnight Emily, a fruity yet bold drink with gin, honey, and Peychaud’s bitters.

Don’t be shy, have some food to accompany you! We highly recommend you the Spicy Red Pepper & Walnut Dip, which is super mouth-watering, or the Thai Curried Clams & Mussels if you’re a seafood lover!

What to order: French Apple Cart, Fin n’ Juice, Goodnight Emily, Spicy Red Pepper & Walnut Dip, Thai Curried Clams & Mussels

Address: 225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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2. Nostalgia Bar and Lounge

Photo credits: Nostalgia Bar and Lounge

Nostalgia Bar and Lounge have always been a great casual hangout spot with a playful drink menu, a large outdoor patio donned with string lights, and wooden picnic tables. There are choices of old-school board games to play, like Operation, Sorry, Jenga, and Battleship as you sip their signature cocktails.

The star of the show is definitely Apples To Oranges, a smooth distillation of bourbon whiskey, apple brandy, blood orange liqueur, and apple cinnamon syrup. Its taste ain’t like any other drinks you have tried before, surely worth every penny!

For an even more unique one, you can order the Bread & Butter Martini, which is a classic martini turned sophisticated with brioche soaking and fat washing gin, and rosemary scented. Or the Sorry Not Sorry is pretty impressive with a fresh spicy aroma of ginger and passionfruit. Stunning!

What to order: Apples To Oranges, Steak Frites, Bread & Butter Martini, Sorry Not Sorry

Address: 1326 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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3. Bar Chloe

Photo credits: Bar Chloe

If you’re looking for a traditional and vintage-style bar to spend the evening at, stop by Bar Chloe in Hotel Carmel on 2nd Street. This place is a wonderful date spot with low-lit chandeliers, chaise lounge chairs, and absolutely no windows into the bar, giving you tons of privacy and assisting you in forgetting what time it is outside the walls! 

The drinks are more on classic cocktails with staples like Vintage Cosmo with a splash of dry gin, fresh raspberries, and lemon juice, garnished with an orange twist. For a fancier one, Ultima must be a good fit, which is made with smoky mezcal to create plenty of complexity in flavor without adding additional citrus juices.

If you’re hungry, Bar Chloe offers some small and simple bites that are stunning! Especially the Cheese Boards and some marinated olives. For a hearty meal, we bet you might want to try the signature Chloe Burger with English cheddar, caramelized onions, and lettuce. Feels like heaven in every bite!

What to order: Cheese Boards, Grilled Chicken Skewer, Chloe Burger, Vintage Cosmo, Ultima

Address: 1449 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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4. JuneShine

Photo credits: marktran714

JuneShine is all about bright, open, laid-back vibes, along with stunning hard kombucha that is worth the visit. This place can make you feel as if you have walked into a seaside cabana with tons of couches, chairs, and wooden tables, or you can sit on the outdoor patio is a solid addition to take in some sunshine!

Hands down to their hard kombucha! Their tasting room has plenty of options for different flavors, so don’t hesitate to order a pint of a flight of three tasters to get the full experience. Midnight Painkiller is a crowd favorite, in case you have tried it, go on with the Grapefruit Paloma or Blood Orange Mint, they are super fresh with a sweet and sour taste!

They have alcoholic drinks too, Passion Fruit Vodka and Tropical Rum Mai Tai are the two best-sellers! While the vodka is packed with passion fruit aroma and taste, the rum Mai Tai is a pure legend with orange, pineapple, and lime.

What to order: Midnight Painkiller, Grapefruit Paloma, Blood Orange Mint, Passion Fruit Vodka Soda, Tropical Rum Mai Tai

Address: 2914 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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5. Bodega Wine Bar

Photo credits: Bodega wine bar

Searching for a romantic date night in Santa Monica? Head to Bodega Wine Bar right away! This wine lounge is just ideal to have a conversation with good music while munching on your favorite snacks, including small bites and pizzas, even ones that are perfect for sharing. Give this place a try to immerse yourself in such a casual yet relaxing ambiance! 

If you’re in wine, grab the Reckless Love Cabernet Sauv, which is jammy, bold, and packed with raspberry notes. Or you can simply go for the Afternoon Delight, an easy-drinking sake-infused Tequila, with a touch of blood orange, and lime. This goddess is surprisingly delicious!

For food, go for a sweet and savory combo that is super easy to share. We highly recommend the Scapegoat Pizza, which is cheesy and flavorsome with goat cheese, brussels sprouts, mozzarella, and olive oil. Then go on with the Bacon Wrapped Dates stuffed with manchego, and end it right with some Maple Roasted Brussels.

What to order: Scapegoat Pizza, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Maple Roasted Brussels, Egg Sammie, Reckless Love Cabernet Sauv, Afternoon Delight

Address: 814 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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6. The Craftsman Bar and Kitchen

Photo credits: Craftsman Bar

The Craftsman Bar and Kitchen is a popular neighborhood gastropub that serves perfected bar food as well as simple mixed drinks and craft beers. The ambiance is laid back and pretty cool, making it ideal for any gathering. Plus, this place also has live music and a great outdoor patio perfect for catching that ocean breeze. That’s why we’re so in love!

When it comes to ordering food, you absolutely must try their iconic tater tots with a spicy kick and fried pickles. The Boneless Wings are no less delicious, tossed in your choices of buffalo, BBQ, or honey mustard. In fact, they are all amazing so take them all! 

For drinks, settle down with the Angelisco Fizz with a fruity and fresh aroma of blackberries, topped with seltzer and sugar. For a stronger yet easy-drinking one, grab the Strawberry Fields and be amazed by the sweet taste of strawberries with hints is basil. Satisfying both the nose and palate!

What to order: Craftsman Beach Burger, Boneless Wings, Angelisco Fizz, Strawberry Fields

Address: 119 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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7. Mom’s Bar

Photo credits: Mom’s Bar

Searching for a fun place to party without breaking the bank? Make your way to Mom’s Bar! Mom’s Bar offers menu options including low-fat and gluten-free items all day long, along with multiple beer-pong games happening at all times. This place can get full to bursting on a busy Friday or Saturday night, so you’d better make a reservation!

Mom’s Bar has never let us down when it comes to creative handcrafted cocktails. In case you want something fresh and sweet, get the Coconut Mate with coconut rum, pineapple juice, and fresh lime! For a boozier one, Smoke N’ Berries is the right one with mezcal and strawberry puree. They are just perfect to start your night!

Then grab the Caprisun, which is packed with flavors, and be careful, though it is easy to drink, Caprisun is pretty heavy! Or you can choose the Office Lady, a strong and impressive drink with vodka, tastes of litchi, and grapefruit to make it more enjoyable! 

What to order: Caprisun, Coconut Mate, The Office Lady, Smoke n’ Berries.

Address: 12238 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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8. Lanea

Photo credits: Lanea

Lanea is a cute bar that features an impressive array of mezcal and tequila in Santa Monica. The space is filled with pink lounge cushions, scattered succulents, and cocktails that are super Instagram-worthy. Not only their cocktails are delicious, but their snack menu is also inviting and mouth-watering. From loaded nachos to their legendary lamb barbacoa tacos, they have exactly what you need after a long day!

Spicy Margarita is a must when visiting Lanea, a timeless blend of sweet, sour, and earthy flavors that use herbs, spices, and jalapeno mixed with mezcal. Pair it with an Asada quesadilla or a Barbacoa taco to see how the flavors explode!

Continue with the Watermelon Sugar High with a lightly sweet taste of watermelon juice and Bacardi rum, which is refreshing and easy to go with any snack. In case you still have room for some more, the tender and juicy Carnitas Tacos are just too good to be missed out!

What to order: Watermelon Sugar High, Spicy Margarita, Carnitas Tacos, Pollo Tacos, Loaded Nachos

Address: 217 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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9. Basement Tavern

Photo credits: Basement Tavern

​​Basement Tavern is a speakeasy hidden away cocktail joint located underneath the Victorian, an enchanting Victorian house. This is the place to sip handcrafted cocktails while enjoying live music hosted in a lively atmosphere. Basement Tavern is also famous for its unbeatable whiskey selection, so don’t miss a chance to try them out!

Every of their cocktail is stunning and Instagram-worthy, but people are going crazy about the Walnut Old-fashioned and Boulevardier. While the Walnut Old-fashioned is a spin on the classic, and features a warming walnut liqueur with more complexity, Boulevardier is essentially a Negroni but richer, spicer, and smoother.

It’s never a bad idea to have some snacks along the way, here we recommend the Shrimp Ceviche and Fried Octopus. They both have an amazing taste and interesting texture that can perfectly satisfy both your palate and tummy!

What to order: Shrimp Ceviche, Fried Octopus, Walnut Old-fashioned, Boulevardier

Address: 2640 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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10. Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub

Photo credits: Sonny McLeans Irish Pub

Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub is one of the most popular casual sports bars in Santa Monica. Here, you’ll not only find stunning cocktails but some great IPAs on tap, and extremely heavy pours as well! The menu boasts New England and California fare served in an upbeat, friendly ambiance is everything. 

For food, settle down with the Lettuce Wraps and Sausage Platter! The wraps come with ginger-glazed chicken thighs, daikon slaw, and toasted sesame, while the platter is super meaty and delicious with jalapeno cheddar brat, Brazilian, linguica, smoked cheddar, and goat cheese. 

Swallow them all down with a bottle of Allagash White, a fruity and refreshing Belgian-style beer spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel. Crisp and refreshing with subtle hints of spice! Or the Modern Times Black House Stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor is no less mouth-watering!

What to order: Lettuce Wraps, Sausage Platter, Allagash White, Modern Times Black House Stout, Stone Brewing IPA

Address: 2615 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Santa Monica has never been short of great bars, whatever types you’re searching for, this place has them all! Keep your journey going with some of the best restaurants in Santa Monica to try in 2023 here.