Santa Monica Nightlife: The Best Bars in Santa Monica
Famed for its pristine beach and iconic pier, Santa Monica also boasts a buzzing nightlife with no shortage of stellar drinking establishments. From dive bars to upscale cocktail lounges, here’s our guide to the best bars in Santa Monica.
Located underneath the Victorian – an enchanting Victorian house-turned-event-venue – the Basement Tavern is an underground speakeasy-style cocktail joint and music venue, hosting local acts in swanky surrounds with a lively atmosphere. There is always something going on at this unique and historic destination – join in the fun during live band karaoke on Wednesdays from 9pm until close, or enjoy ’90s nostalgia on Sunday nights.
Meal service:All Day
This swanky boudoir of a bar delights its guests with dreamy cocktails like its signature Lavender Gimlet. Bar Chloe looks posh enough to belong to one of the neighboring beach-side hotels, with its low-lit chandeliers and chaise lounge chairs. However, it ditches pretension for simple, good drinks. In keeping with the turn-of-the-century influence, there are Prohibition-era cocktails like the Tom Collins or Sidecar.
Looking for high-octane fun with no frills? There’s nowhere better than the Gaslite. Old-school decor, a buzzing dance floor and raucous karaoke await visitors to this lowbrow dive bar-cum-nightclub, not to mention some very reasonably priced beer. Rowdy yet welcoming, the dimly-lit Gaslite has comfy red vinyl booths for resting between songs and is open seven days a week. Everyone should experience this most authentic hotspot of Santa Monica nightlife at least once in their life.
Downtown Santa Monica’s resident bad girl has a good reputation – for its service, food and booze. Misfit is known for nailing summery handcrafted cocktails like its Basil Gimlet, Sangria, and Pimm’s Cup concoctions. During the day, savor the lengthy happy hour by sitting out in the sunshine. Don’t leave without sampling one of the delectable salted chocolate chip cookies.
Set on Main Street, Library Alehouse is a must-try for its ‘library of beer’ – a curated, rotating selection of American craft beers. The perfect spot for a laid-back brew, this casual watering hole has a cozy interior and a charming open-air patio. Hungry? Enjoy your beer with a dish from Library Alehouse’s menu of American comfort food.