L.A.’s Best Beach Bars and Restaurants
Angelenos are lucky to have a stretch of Pacific coastline to explore, and luckier still to have them occupied by some great beach side restaurants and bars, from Malibu to Santa Monica and Venice, from Manhattan Beach to Hermosa Beach. Here are EV’s picks for the ten best beach restaurants and bars along the coast, from north to south.
The Sunset Restaurant & Beach Bar
Housed in a historic bungalow, this restaurant and bar in Zuma Beach boasts views of the Pacific Ocean from their lounge and dining room. This rather secluded restaurant is a local’s hidden gem and is the second closest restaurant to the beach. As a bonus, this stretch of beach is popular for dolphin and whale watching, so who knows what sighting you might get when you’re lucky!
Your ideal image of a beach bar won’t be far from reality at Paradise Cove, where you can drink with your feet literally in the sand. You can’t get any closer to the beach at any other restaurant along PCH in this area and it’s the only beach that allows alcohol to be served on the sand. It’s easy to see why this spot has drawn crowds since the 1920s. If you want to splurge with a few friends while bringing your own food and drinks, you can rent a cabana for the whole day.
The Blue Lounge at Moonshadows has long been an L.A. hotspot, with its tiki-themed patio perched above the shore with unmatched oceanfront views. With sunset over the ocean and crashing waves as the backdrop, relaxing over drinks has become a Malibu must-do.
Just off the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll find a two-story cocktail bar reminiscent of Nantucket. Catch a view of the Malibu coast while sipping craft cocktails. The upstairs bar is an area reserved only for members, which not only offers better views, but also a booze locker and allows delivery from local restaurants. Tip: The Hungry Cat is located right next door.
This Oceanside bar connected to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel feels like the best house party you’ve ever been invited to. The 1947 cottage has been decorated to evoke that beach lifestyle, with multiple rooms that includes a lovely garden with views of the beach and ocean, a wooden deck with twinkling lights, game room with a billiard table, and a private dining room. With refreshing cocktails and bites from Fairmont’s FIG Restaurant, The Bungalow is the spot to show your out-of-town guests the best of Santa Monica.
Larry’s in Venice
This casual spot named after Venice Beach artist Larry Bell captures the vibe and energy of the area while elevating the experience. Located just off the boardwalk, Larry’s offers a large beer selection, cocktail, and great food from the same team at Waterloo & City. The covered outdoor dining area is the perfect spot to grab lunch before or after walking a few steps to the beach.
High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin
Perched on top of Hotel Erwin, this is the only rooftop bar and lounge in Venice. Offering panoramic views of the ocean and Venice Beach, guests mingle over cocktails made with fresh juices and crab salad sliders. A spinning DJ and blankets set the mood in the evenings.
The Whaler was a dive on Venice Boardwalk but it recently received a major revamp, both in the décor and the cocktail menu. Now you can find a list of craft beers on tap along with Negroni snow cones. For brunch, grab a Bloody Mary garnished with a whole crab claw. Head down to the Crab Shell bar at night for some live music or karaoke.
The Strand House
While it’s difficult to find a bar/restaurant actually on the beach in Manhattan Beach, The Strand House offers sweeping beach and ocean views at both the ground floor bar and the second floor restaurant. Located just off the pier, the expansive and elegant spot provides the perfect place to dine or drink with ocean views in a more upscale setting. Look for special events like Donut Sundae Sundays or an upcoming Culinary Masters Series featuring a top guest chef.
The Deck is the reincarnation of the infamous dive that used to be called The Poop Deck. The beloved oceanfront dive closed after almost 57 years, but the bar has reopened under new ownership and has added wines to their drink list. The trendier, cleaner, new bar preserves the kitschy charms of the old Poop Deck, as well as the wallet-friendly prices that made with a locals’ favorite for decades. They have a nice weekday happy hour and all beers are half off on Mondays.