6 Best Bars in Malibu, California

Duke's Malibu, Los Angeles, California
Duke's Malibu, Los Angeles, California | © Duke's Malibu
Photo of Dominic Bertolami
Freelance Writer24 June 2019

Malibu doesn’t conform to the typical Los Angeles scene of dive bars, beach shacks, and loud music venues. Instead you’ll find wine tasting rooms, beachfront lounges with spectacular views, and award-winning restaurants with dedicated mixologists. Read on to discover the best place to raise a toast in beautiful Malibu, California.

V's Restaurant and Bar

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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V's Restaurant and Bar, Los Angeles, California
V's Restaurant and Bar, Los Angeles, California | © V's Restaurant and Bar

This intimate space has knowledgeable bartenders who can recreate classic drinks or introduce you to a new favorite. There are no pre-mixes here, everything is made on the spot, completely from scratch. The upscale decor and casual atmosphere creates a comforting space that’s refined yet friendly, and solo travelers will find it surprisingly easy to strike up conversation with the laid-back locals.

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Paradise Cove Beach Cafe is a classic establishment for day drinking and sunbathing, located on a private beach in Malibu. Rent a cabana or lounge chair and enjoy colorful frozen drinks and tropical cocktails sipped through pasta straws (a plastic alternative chosen by the café’s eco-conscious owners). The small outdoor bar is less crowded, closer to the water, and offers plenty of snacks.

Duke's Malibu

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Duke's Malibu, Los Angeles, California
Duke's Malibu, Los Angeles, California | © Duke's Malibu

This chain of restaurants is well-known in Hawaii, but the lone Malibu branch has been adopted by locals as their own watering hole. Make your way straight to the Barefoot Bar and order a vacation-style cocktail (think fruity, sweet and coconutty) or a glass of wine sourced from local vineyards while taking in those ocean views. The Polynesian theme of this hangout really comes to life on Aloha Fridays, when traditional Tahitian dancers perform and Mai Tais are $8 all night long.

Rosenthal Wine Bar

Wine Bar, American, $$$
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Rosenthal Wine Bar, Malibu
Rosenthal Wine Bar, Malibu | © Rosenthal The Malibu Estate Vineyard

This casual tasting room offers indoor and outdoor seating in a relaxed atmosphere with ocean views. With food trucks and live music on the weekends, this sophisticated outpost is an ideal stop for an afternoon with friends or a warm summer evening with someone special. Stop in for happy hour Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm and get $2 off glasses of wine (try the aptly named Surfrider Chardonnay).

Malibu Wines

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This famous tasting room with a sprawling beer garden lets you sample some of the best local wines in Malibu. Semler and Saddlerock (a winemaker that uses grapes grown in the Santa Monica Mountains) are on offer alongside craft beers and stone-baked pizza. Choose to enjoy your beverages under one of the many parasols in the day and stay until evening, when twinkling lights illuminate the low-hanging trees. Visit on a Friday night or during the weekends for the chance to hear live bands.

The Blue Lounge

Cocktail Bar, Bar, American, $$$
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The Blue Lounge at Moonshadows, Malibu
The Blue Lounge at Moonshadows, Malibu | © Michael Lee Jackson

Often voted one of the top beach bars in America, The Blue Lounge offers romantic views of the Pacific Ocean. After dark, the patio comes alive with a party vibe. International DJs fly in for special sets on the weekends and play to an eclectic crowd of Hollywood personalities, California surfers and Malibu locals. Start your night with a tropical kick and order the pineapple mojito (Bacardi, fresh mint, lime and pineapple juice).

These recommendations were updated on June 24, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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