There’s more to Anaheim than Disneyland. You can go see a rowdy punk show, suss out a hidden speakeasy with some incredible craft cocktails, or plunge into this Orange County town’s lauded craft beer scene. Here are eight Anaheim watering holes that are worth a stop.
The Blind Rabbit
Bar, American, $$$
The Blind Rabbit, Anaheim
The Blind Rabbit is a sneaky little speakeasy. It’s located within the Anaheim Packing District, behind a hidden door. Once located, the intimate space offers creative craft cocktails served in a 1920s-style space. It’s dimly lit, beautifully decorated, and only has 35 seats, meaning those keen to explore this gem should make a reservation. A small food menu is available. Dress code enforced.
The Cave is a laid-back sports bar with craft beers on tap, a solid daily happy hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the occasional karaoke night. They don’t serve food, but they do encourage guests to order Mexican fare from Mi Casa next door.
Trader Sam’s can be found in downtown Disneyland, meaning you get a slice of Disney magic without having to splurge on a ticket to the park. Their specialty is tiki drinks, which come in a variety of whimsical mugs. Some drinks even come with a show: for example, order the Krakatoa Punch and the windows reveal a brewing storm, or, bar stools may unexpectedly lower, dipping patrons closer to the ground. A small menu of appetizers is available, like poke and flatbreads.
The Bruery always has something interesting on tap, be it an experimental seasonal or a barrel-aged brew. If you’re a member of their Reserve Society you get to try all of their beers, but even the drop-in visitor should find something they enjoy—perhaps a horchata blonde ale, an autumnal beer that isn’t a pumpkin ale, or a tiramisu-inspired dessert beer.
Doll Hut is where you go when you want to hear rock, punk and metal while drinking uncomplicated, cheap drinks. The venue itself is quite old. It was once a house, then a cafe, and it became Doll House in 1957. Though it’s had a few brushes with closure, you can’t keep a grimy rock club down. It’s even the subject of an upcoming documentary (see the clip below.)
Another addition to Anaheim’s craft beer scene, Noble Ale Works can be found in the Platinum Triangle area. Their industrial-style tasting room allows you to order up a flight of their latest creations. One of their most popular beers is Naughty Sauce, which deviates from the usual hoppy IPAs California breweries often offer. It’s a stout brewed with oats, milk, sugar and coffee, resulting in a sweet, creamy taste, especially when on nitro. They don’t serve food, but there are often food trucks outside.
Rio Vista Inn is a true dive. It’s cheap, uncomplicated, and people get really into the karaoke. If crooning to a crowd isn’t your thing, head over to the other half of the bar for pool. A menu of Mexican/American bar food will provide sustenance for the night, and it’s all delicious enough to keep regulars coming back for more.
The Juke Joint, like Doll Hut, is a casual dive that’s been slinging cold beers and cocktails since the 1970s. They have live music, sports on TV, pool tables, darts, and a rotating selection of 20 beers on tap.