Perched on the edge of Los Angeles County, Long Beach stands as one of the most diverse and eclectic cities in the country. Its residents take part in bustling art, food, and lifestyle scenes which in turn provide the perfect backdrop for some of the most versatile bars in the greater LA area. Here’s some of our top picks for an evening drink in Long Beach.
BO-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap Courtesy of Andrew Jorgensen
BO-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap
Bar, Gastropub, French, $$$
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The Federal Bar | Courtesy of The Federal Bar
Situated along Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach, Bo-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap stands out among the cluster of other bars in the area because of its extensive list of craft beers and cocktails and unique take on what the bar calls ‘California-French’ comfort food. Head upstairs to the open-air patio, where you can enjoy live music on the weekends. Sit and make friends at one of the many picnic tables at this chic beer garden, or watch the passersby from the seating facing the street downstairs.
The Federal Bar stands tall and handsome with its high ceilings and 20th century décor. A former bank, this bar has historic roots and the attitude to prove it. After a drink and some food from the eclectic menu (think everything from mussels to pretzels with beer cheese sauce), head downstairs to the The Federal Underground, a speakeasy extension — but make sure to ask for the password first.
Restaurant, Bar, Cajun, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free
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Midnight Mass | Courtesy of Congregation Ale House
The Attic on Broadway Avenue is a Long Beach staple thanks to its unique take on traditional cocktails. Though its full bar has a variety of signature drinks, you can stop in for brunch and kill two birds with one stone by adding bacon, shrimp, or a whole mini slider to your Bloody Mary. The drinks and food are inspired by traditional Southern comfort food, so have a mint julep alongside fried green tomato sandwiches and jambalaya. Don’t forget to try the local favorite, Mac n’ Cheetos — a mountain of mac n’ cheese topped with hot cheetos and your choice of toppings, including bacon, soy chorizo, and onions.
Head back up Pine Avenue and enjoy a beer with loaded tater tots at Congregation Ale House, a lively joint offering craft beer and traditional bar food. Get there early for Mass, the establishment’s happy hour, and sit on the outside patio as you indulge in one of the house ales or a signature cocktail.
Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Bar, Contemporary, American, $$$
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Saint & Second sits right in the middle of Second Street in the Belmont Shore neighborhood. A two-story restaurant and bar boasting purely organic house cocktails and artisan beers, Saint & Second has become a popular spot for locals and visitors. Expect a wait on the weekends for dinner and people anxious for seats to open at the bar, but the list of spirits is worth the wait. The second-story lounge looks out on Second Street and is between the wine chiller and the keg room. Modern industrial décor, including copper pipes that bring your favorite ale down to the first floor from the keg room upstairs, make Saint & Second an aesthetically pleasing experience, as well.
The Blind Donkey Bar | Courtesy of The Blind Donkey
If you’re looking for a more low-key night, try The Stave on Pine Avenue. Quieter and relaxed, The Stave is the place to wind down after work or to end the night after a romp down Pine Avenue. Order some food from the neighboring pizzeria and enjoy it in this dark and classic full bar. Calm and cool, The Stave has the charming familiarity of a small town bar in a big city.
If you’re feeling more mysterious, leave the hustle and bustle of Pine Avenue behind and find The Blind Donkey sign on Linden Avenue. Walk down the stairs into this dark and brooding whiskey bar where you can play a round of pool, shuffleboard, or darts. Try a flight of whiskey or one of the popular cocktails, like the California Sour. With old school video games, a photo-booth, tufted leather couches, and sleek tables, this bar is the cool finished basement you never had.
If sports and strictly traditional American food are more your style, try Legend’s Sports Bar in Belmont Shore. Usually packed on the weekends and big game days, Legend’s is the best bar in Long Beach for watching your favorite team. Its hard to tell if there are more TVs or sports mementos adorning the walls of this two-story bar, but they pale in comparison to the giant screen that draws in tons of locals to watch the game.
Celebrate the end of the semester or just the end of the work week with some tacos and a beer at Panama Joe’s. A bar that’s popular with the college crowd, it offers ’90s playlists, jello shots, and buckets of fruity concoctions to share with your closest party friends. There are lines to get into this crowded bar with a nightclub vibe, but it’s small and casual enough that you don’t forget you’re in a small beach community.
Café Sevilla in downtown Long Beach brings a vibrant flair to Pine Avenue. Though this three-story bar, restaurant, and nightclub has something for everyone, the tapas bar on the first floor is the real winner. Café Sevilla has a delicious tapas and drinks menu, including chorizo empanadas and sangria. The real reason to go to Café Sevilla though is the live entertainment. You can enjoy salsa and flamenco dancing and Latin jazz most days of the week.