The Best Bars in Newport Beach, California

Mutt Lynch’s is one of the best spots in Newport Beach to grab a post-beach drink
Mutt Lynch’s is one of the best spots in Newport Beach to grab a post-beach drink | Courtesy of Mutt Lynch’s / © Outshine PR
Photo of Yoselin Godoy
3 June 2021

Orange County sports some of the “best coast” weather in California and is home to the beautiful city of Newport Beach. With weather this good, it should be a sin to stay indoors. So, whether you’re planning a casual stroll on the Newport Beach Pier, catching some waves at the Wedge or looking to grab a drink, Newport Beach provides you with the ability to do just one or all three. Check out some of the best bars that locals just can’t seem to stay away from.

Oak Grill Newport Beach

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
Oak Grill Newport Beach
Courtesy of Oak Grill Newport Beach / Expedia

Oak Grill brings you Cali vibes through fresh food, craft cocktails and a super stylish design. Based at Fashion Island Hotel, the venue extends through light-filled interiors to a green-canopied outdoor deck and fireside area that’s spot on for happy hour drinks. It’s not just cocktails either – there’s a premium selection of wines from Napa and beyond and a solid range of beers to quench your thirst. As for the food, you can expect Cali-inspired dishes put together with locally sourced ingredients – from the Eight Karat salad featuring carrots prepared in eight different ways, to a lighter take on a classic Crab Louie salad. Private dining is also available.

Blue Beet

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, BBQ, $$$
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Something of a Newport Beach institution, Blue Beet has changed names and hands a few times over the years. It began life in 1912 as “Stark’s” – owing to original owner Henry Stark who kept the doors open right through Prohibition – before becoming known as “Sid’s Blue Beet” when sold to Sid Soffer in the ’60s. In the years since, the venue has lost none of its rebellious attitude – and is now one of the liveliest and most popular spots in town – Sid and Henry may be long gone, but their spirits live on through hearty American diner-style food, craft beers and cocktails, and nightly live music from local blues and rock bands.

Stag Bar + Kitchen

Bar, American, $$$
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Stag Bar + Kitchen is one of the oldest continually operated bars in Southern California and was known as the District for some time but has now returned to its original name, alongside a complete remodel and expansion of the bar. One of the best things about Stag is that even though there might be a line, it tends to go by fairly quickly. They have a variety of drink options from cocktails to domestic brews and seasonal favorites. If whiskey is your choice of drink, this is the place for you – it boasts a selection of over 75 varieties. Its historic feel welcomes all visitors, new and old, and is a definite must-visit.

Beach Ball Bar

Bar, Pub Grub
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Beach Ball Bar is perfect for those looking for an early drink, and I’m not talking about a mimosa accompanying your breakfast. The legal hour to serve alcohol begins at 6am, and Beach Ball is one of the few bars that open their doors promptly at that hour, to accommodate those early birds. Beach Ball’s environment has more of a dive-bar feel, which is a nice change in relation to the other locations. If you’re looking for a game of pool, Beach Ball has three pool tables, which are usually less crowded than the other bars.

Baja Sharkeez

Pub, American, Mexican, Pub Grub, $$$
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Bars and restaurants on McFadden Place, Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, Orange County, California, USA
© Ian G Dagnall / Alamy
Baja Sharkeez cannot be missed due to its colorful array of lights. If you’re looking for a place that feels like a club, Sharkeez provides this feel on a more intimate scale. It has a very upbeat environment and plays the kind of music that gets your body moving. Their fish bowls are a must-have, but they must be shared between three people, and for good reason. They are 84oz (2.5 liters) and include a combination of fruit juices, energy drinks and different alcohols.

Meal service:

All Day, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Brunch

Atmosphere:

Casual, Nightlife, Loud, Unusual

Malarky’s Irish Pub

Bar, Pub, Irish, American, $$$
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The interior of Malarky’s
Courtesy of Malarky’s Irish Pub
Malarky’s is definitely one of the locals’ favorites, thanks to its warm and homey environment. The staff here are welcoming and friendly, and they ensure all their customers have been provided with a great experience. Although it can get a little crowded at times, it is definitely worth the wait. You will not want to miss trying one of their Irish coffees. Aside from their drinks, their food is very tasty and hearty, so if you have an appetite for a drink and a dish, Malarky’s is there to lend a helping hand.

Woody’s Wharf

Bar, Wine
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Woody's Wharf,City of Newport Beach,Orange County, California, USA
© Richard Cummins / Alamy
Woody’s was originally established by Woody Payne. Payne was a fisherman, and you can definitely feel those fisherman and beach vibes when you walk in. Over time, it has switched ownership, but the same chill environment has remained and, believe it or not, it was once owned by Chuck Norris! It is a waterfront location that faces Newport Bay, which can be enjoyed if you step out onto their outdoor patio area. If you’re looking to get your groove on, Woody’s also has a pretty decently sized dance floor, which is accompanied by the music of a live DJ on Fridays.

Class Of '47

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American
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Class of ’47 is located a bit further from the bars already mentioned, but it’s a fun bar nonetheless. It has been a classic since the time John Wayne frequented it and continues to be a classic that locals can’t stay away from. Class of ’47 has pool tables, a jukebox and even a photo booth. The indoor’s decor is not that of your standard bar: the ceiling showcases a canopy of dollar bills, and the overall vintage feel does not disappoint.

Cabo Cantina

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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Cabo cantina in Balboa Village, City of Newport Beach,Orange County, California, USA
© Richard Cummins / Alamy
If Mexican food and drinks are what you’re looking for, then Cabo Cantina is your place. You will be engulfed by their festive decor and overall upbeat ambiance of the bar. Their huge windows allow you to have a view of the beautiful outdoors while you enjoy one of their 2-for-1 daily specials or one of their specialty margaritas. At Cabo Cantina, you will definitely be in for a fiesta.

Mutt Lynch’s

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, American, $$$
Map View
Mutt Lynch’s Interior
Courtesy of Mutt Lynch’s / | © Outshine PR
Mutt Lynch’s is usually always busy, but don’t be discouraged; their customer service is excellent, and they are very attentive with all their guests, busy or not. Located only a short walk from the pier, you can expect it to be an ocean-view bar. They have a delicious selection of food, but are best known for their ice cold schooners, and what better way to cool off from a day at the beach than with a nice cold brew?
These recommendations were updated on June 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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