Where to Find the Best Happy Hours in Venice Beach

USA | © Marco Verch / Flickr
Dominic Bertolami

Freelance writer

Venice Beach is a mecca for artists, skateboarders, surfers, and visitors. The common thread in this neighborhood after a day in the sun is the desire to relax and refresh at one of the beach’s best happy hour locations.

These restaurants and bars offer a variety of food options, beachside views, epic people watching, and some of the best deals both on and off the boardwalk.

1. The Sidewalk Cafe

Bar, Restaurant, American

© Pexels / Pixabay

A bustling restaurant and bar in the heart of Venice beach, The Sidewalk Cafe has been serving classic American cuisine from its sprawling outdoor patio with a full-service bar inside for over 40 years. The easily accessible and friendly staff continuously banter with the lively fun-loving locals who all seem to know each other, adding to the authentic atmosphere of this seaside sports bar. Hundreds of photos from past years events line the wall to the toilet and offer a momentary glimpse into the big heart of this community-oriented staff’s personal lives. Come here for happy hour, offered Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and leave with few new friends and the guarantee of a smile.

2. Venice Whaler

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, Seafood, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Vegan, Italian

© Ed Gregory / Stokpic
This beachside bungalow first opened its doors in 1944 and has proven itself a landmark for both locals and visitors ever since. Visited by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Doors, the unique history found here is woven through the walls and corridors of this special beach shack. Located directly across from the Venice Pier, vibrant colorful sunset views are easily seen from the open air patio on the second story. In the evening, live music plays from the Crab Shell Bar below most nights of the week. Cocktails and drinks, such as the Moscow Whale or Tequila Mockingbird, will please even the most discerning palate, while still being easy on the budget. The bar offers a daytime and late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday.

3. Larry's Venice

Bar, Gastropub, Restaurant, American

Korean Gastropub Fare
© Chan

This bar/restaurant is named after Southern California contemporary American artist and sculptor Larry Bell. Bell lives and works in Taos, New Mexico, but maintains his studio in Venice, California. As a pioneer of the California minimalism movement, this chic gastropub attempts to reflect the artist and his work in both design and presentation. The brussel sprouts and bacon pizza is a perfect plate to share with a friend or date. It couples perfectly with the variety of craft beers and specialty cocktails all discounted during the happy hour offered Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

4. Hinano Cafe

Bar, American

Venice l © Courtesy of GraphikosMktg

This Venice institution first opened its doors in 1961 by a man named Joe Larson. Larson was an avid sailor who chartered a small boat alone to Tahiti. At the time, Hinano was the name of a popular beer there, and Larson decided to bring both the name and the beer back, opening Hinano Cafe. In 1965, Larson added the pool tables, and ever since locals and visitors have ventured inside for billiards and a cold pint. In a city where most establishments cater to the pampered lifestyles of Hollywood’s élite, Hinano Cafe offers a straightforward no-frills atmosphere with live music on the weekends and sawdust on the floors. This beer- and wine-only cash bar also offers a popular menu, which is well-known for its must-have Hinano burger, voted best in Los Angeles. With $5.00 (€4.08) breakfast starting at 8:00 a.m. every day and a Monday through Friday happy hour from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., many have lost hours and days in the dim corners found in this oasis from the summer sun.

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