Santa Cruz is a city that is still figuring out how to balance its small town identity with the constant flow of college students. In spite of this, there’s always one place where it can all come together – the bar. Whether you’re an eccentric local, an student, or even an interested visitor, there will always be a place to grab a quick drink. Here’s a list of ten must-visit Santa Cruz bars.
What it lacks in space, 515 Kitchen & Cocktails makes up for in charm – it’s a classy establishment with a slower pace where you can enjoy yourself with a date or with a few friends. The drinks are on the pricier end, but they’re delicious and pair well with the small range of dishes provided. If you want to take a break from Santa Cruz’s quirkiness, 515 is an intimate and sophisticated getaway.
515 Kitchen & Cocktails, 515 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, +1 831 425 5051
Beer lovers, 99 Bottles will be your haven. The name isn’t just an ode to a classic, if annoying, American folk song for long car rides; they’ve selected 99 specific brews out of their never-ending beer menu for their 99 Bottles Card. If you drink all of them, then you’ve earned yourself a shirt, certificate, and a plaque on their Wall of Fame. If you’re really hungry, they also have the Kegger -a monster 9-inch, 2-pound burger. This is definitely the place to hang out with a group of friends and knock back a beer…or 99.
99 Bottles, 110 Walnut Ave, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, +1 831 459 9999
Priding themselves with their organic brews, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is a quintessential spot to try great beer. Their beer selection consists of their seven flagship ales (brown, amber, pale, IPA, wheat, stout, and porter), plus a choice from their seasonal options. Seating in the indoor Taproom is quaint and cozy, while the large outdoor Beer Garden is dog-friendly and perfect for soaking in the sun. In spite of not being located on the coastline, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is still able to offer the perfect beach vibe for which the city is known.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, 402 Ingalls St, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, +1 831 425 4900