Latest Best of LA

10 Best Bars In Venice

June 27, 2014 1:09 PM

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(credit: Venice Ale House)

(credit: Venice Ale House)

(credit: Moretti Photo)

(credit: Moretti Photo)


It’s officially summer here in Los Angeles, which means spending the days at the beach and heading to the bars when the sun goes down. With its famous beach, boardwalk and plethora of bars, Venice Beach is the perfect place to spend your summer. With a laid back vibe, most bars are within walking distance of each other so you can keep the party going.

(credit: James' Beach)

(credit: James’ Beach)


James’ Beach
60 N Venice Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 823-5396
www.jamesbeach.com

With an artistic, retro atmosphere, James’ Beach is a bar and restaurant that serves modern American comfort food. The owners, who have taken their comfort food recipes and reworked the dishes into healthier versions for their beach location, present a menu which is straight forward but delicious with sandwiches, mahi mahi tacos, mac n cheese, steak and more. While the food is modern, the bar has a classic slant. Martinis are served with sidecars to hold the extra, the wine list is extensive and the rumor is that they introduced Los Angeles to the mojito. Overall, James’ Beach may be more refined compared to other bars in the area, but if it’s relaxation you seek, then grab a chair at James’ Beach.

(credit: High Lounge)

(credit: High Lounge)


High Rooftop & Lounge
1697 Pacific Ave
Venice Beach, CA 90291
(424) 214-1062
www.highvenice.com

Situated on top of popular Hotel Erwin, this bar is the only rooftop bar in Venice Beach and it has views that can’t be beat! Take in the boardwalk, the Santa Monica ferris wheel and even Malibu on a clear day from this perched bar. During the summer months, they also have refreshing drinks like the Blood Orange Julep which is a great twist on the classic Southern libation. On cooler nights, there are heat lamps, blankets and drinks like the tequila-spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate or the Lemon Apple Toddy. And, if you get hungry, grab some fare from their small food menu which is a mix of Mediterranean, American, European and Asian dishes.

(credit: The Brig)

(credit: The Brig)


The Brig
1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-7537
www.thebrig.com

Recently redone, this retro dive bar was even more of a dive back in the day. Now, it has the vibe of your parents’ basement in the 70s, but with sleek touches, a loud juke box and the pool tables. Inside, you’ll find strong drinks and a large, open area to dance, which is rare in Venice Beach. Outside, there can be long lines but there are the food trucks in the parking lot to keep you satisfied while you wait with friends. The bar also features a pool table for guests to play a few games.

(credit: Townhouse)

(credit: Townhouse)


Townhouse & The Del Monte Speakeasy
52 Windward Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90291
(310) 392-4040
www.townhousevenice.com

Established in 1915, Townhouse carries the honor as the oldest bar in Venice Beach and one of the oldest bars in Los Angeles. The Del Monte Speakeasy, which lives under Townhouse, was a true speakeasy during Prohibition, serving infamous people back in the day. Needless to say, this bar has stories to tell. Today, both floors serve hand crafted cocktails and beer, including 40s and wine. You can also find live music at the speakeasy including djs, comedy, burlesque and bands.

(credit: Moretti Photo)

(credit: Moretti Photo)


Larry’s
24 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-2700
www.larrysvenice.com

Named after a long time friend of the owners and iconic Southern California artist, Larry Bell, this restaurant and bar is spacious for Venice Beach and great if you don’t want to be bothered with crowds. With a retractable glass door that leads to the patio, a fireplace to snuggle up to and seating that looks out onto Windward Avenue, this bar truly encompasses the beach lifestyle. Aside from craft beers, and wines from all over the world, the bar also has a full menu of delicious items including burgers, salads, pizza, other appetizers and more!

(credit: Venice Whaler)

(credit: Venice Whaler)


The Venice Whaler
10 W Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
(310) 821-8737
www.venicewhaler.com

Any time of the day is the right time to visit The Venice Whaler. With breakfast, lunch and dinner available, you can get your drinking started early. The upstairs bar opens up to a patio that looks out onto the ocean and offers the closest seat to the beach without actually sitting in the sand. While upstairs can get packed at night, downstairs has a less rowdy atmosphere. Either way, it’s a great bar to enjoy a cocktail while sitting in the sun, watching the sun set and enjoying Los Angeles’ perfect weather.

(credit: Venice Ale House)

(credit: Venice Ale House)


Venice Ale House
2 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 314-8253
www.venicealehouse.com

Situated right on the Venice boardwalk, this restaurant and bar serves up 30 local craft beers on tap and an organic, sustainable menu. The owners wanted to create a place where people could enjoy a beer or a glass of wine on the boardwalk along with healthy, delicious food. Additionally, you can enjoy dishes like Wild Alaskan Salmon Cakes, Carlsbad Mussels Sauvignon and Carne Asada Plate in a casual, al fresco environment with a seat for great people watching on the boardwalk.

(credit: Hinano Cafe)

(credit: Hinano Cafe)


Hinano Cafe
15 W Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
(310) 822-3902
www.hinanocafevenice.com

With saw dust on the floor, Hinano Cafe has been a local hangout serving beer and their famous burgers since 1962. This cash only, no frills bar is as dive bar as it gets and that’s what people love about it. In addition to their beers in icy mugs, you’ll find pool tables, a juke box, free popcorn and live bands on Friday and Saturdays. Little inside hint: Jim Morrison loved this bar and carved his name in the window box.

(credit: Zinque)

(credit: Zinque)


Zinque
600 Venice Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 437-0970
www.lezinque.com

Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, Zinque is a new addition to the Venice bar scene and has a laid-back, artistic vibe. In addition to serving beer and wine, they have an extensive coffee menu making it a great place to go to any time of day with a book or to catch up on some work. The staff is super friendly and knowledgable, so you can get answers to your questions about your favorite wine or find a new one. A seat on their patio is a perfect spot on a Venice summer night.

(credit: Whitney Lader)

(credit: Whitney Lader)


The Otheroom
1201 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-6230
www.theotheroom.com

When you step into this bar that lives in the heart of Abbot Kinney, it might take a moment to adjust to the darkness. But once you’re seeing clearly again, you can’t miss their large list of craft beer and wine to choose from. Order up your glass and grab a spot by their huge windows that open up onto the street. Take in the action of Abbot Kinney from your perch and if your fury friend is in tow, they can hang right outside. The Otheroom also loves to support local artists and feature new artists each season.

What are your favorite bars in and around Venice? Share in the comments below!

Whitney Lader is the founder of hoopLA, a lifestyle blog covering events, food, art, beauty, fashion and deals in Los Angeles. She is also a freelance writer and a graphic designer.
See more on: HoopLA | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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