Santa Monica nightlife guide to upscale bars, beachside pubs, rooftop views and sexy lounges

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Santa Monica

From surf shacks near the famous Santa Monica Pier to pubs along Main Street and trendy bars on the Third Avenue Promenade, this upscale neighborhood features an eclectic nightlife scene. Visit rooftop venues with beautiful views or grab a beer by the beach in Santa Monica, a thriving urban area with great happy hour specials and killer sunsets.

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Ocean Views

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Santa Monica

Situated along a spectacular stretch of coastline and featuring an iconic pier, Santa Monica is a premier destination for nightlife, dining and entertainment. Full of young professionals, surfers and students, this upscale urban neighborhood offers a diverse selection of music venues, bars and hangouts. With some of the most expensive real estate in the world, this affluent area has drink prices to match - but you can still find great happy hour deals at various pubs and bars.

Many of the venues are situated near the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, a popular attraction for tourists and locals with more movie credits than most actors. Alongside the beach you'll find surf shacks and dive bars, many open late. Head to the nearby Third Street Promenade for a fun selection of bars and clubs, along with awesome street performers and late-night dining. Nearby Main Street is better known for shopping than for parties, but it still offers numerous taverns, bars and Irish pubs.

All over Santa Monica and especially along the coastline, you'll find ritzy rooftop bars and poolside lounges serving refreshing cocktails so that you can enjoy an evening of breathtaking views, beautiful people and a laid-back beachside atmosphere. - Shilo Urban

Featured

Venues

Irish Pubs

Sonny McLeans

  • 2615 Wilshire Blvd

Sonny McClean's is a clover-colored, spacious Irish pub with all the traditional fixings along with great company – if you're a Boston sports fan.

Bars

Big Dean's Cafe

  • 1615 Ocean Front Walk

Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe, a quintessential beach bar right off the Santa Monica Pier is the best place to be for year round sunshine and beachside fun with a side of fish and chips.

English Pub

The Britannia Pub

  • 318 Santa Monica Blvd

If you're looking to grab some brews with some cool Brits, the Britannia has got you and your friends covered this weekend.

Restaurants

O'Brien's

  • 2226 Wilshire Blvd

A lovely and lively Irish pub, this joint features Irish breakfast all day long, and is a go-to for lunch, sports, and a hearty dinner.

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Bars

Hotel Bar

The Penthouse

  • 1111 2nd Street
    Santa Monica CA 90403

When you're on the roof at the Penthouse in the Huntley, that's when you know you've really made it to the top in L.A.

Sports Bar

Rusty's Surf Ranch

  • 256 Santa Monica Pier
    Santa Monica CA 90401

With a prime location right on the Santa Monica Pier, this casual beach bar and grill is a top destination for fresh seafood and classic pub grub. Surfboards decorate the laid-back space, and live bands perform on the weekends.

Gastropub

The Brixton

  • 2827 Pico Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90405

Wine Bar

Bar Pintxo

  • 109 Santa Monica Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90407

For authentic Spanish cuisine, juicy sangria and fantastic happy hour deals, head to this tapas bar near the 3rd Street Promenade. Sophisticated and inviting, the bar features wines from every region of Spain and a genuine Old World ambiance.

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Lounge

Lounge

Cameo Bar

  • 1819 Ocean Ave. at Viceroy Hotel
    Santa Monica CA 90401

Discover a glamorous lounge with poolside cabanas and DJs on the weekends, the ideal kick-starter to your Saturday night. Savor fresh, handcrafted cocktails with just-pressed juices and premium spirits.

Lounge

The Veranda Bar at Casa Del Mar Hotel

  • 1910 Ocean Wy
    Santa Monica CA 90405

Situated on the ground floor of the historic landmark hotel The Georgian, this beachfront establishment features indoor and outdoor seating, Art Deco decor, and an international menu with California coastal flair.

Lounge

The Bungalow

  • 101 Wilshire Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90401

With lovely and unique interior designing to surround your night of drinking and lounging, Bungalow will make you want to move in and never leave.

Lounge

31Ten Lounge

  • 3110 Main St
    Santa Monica CA 90405

Djs play Hip Hop/Rap/R&B to a chill and diverse crowd. This place gets packed on Saturdays.

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Restaurants

American Restaurant

Tower 8

  • 849 Ocean Ave
    Santa Monica CA 90403

American Restaurant

Hillstone

  • 202 Wilshire Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90401

American Restaurant

Tar & Roses

  • 602 Santa Monica Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90401

American Restaurant

Del Friscos Grille

  • 1551 Ocean Ave
    Santa Monica CA 90401

This high-end steakhouse chain is known around the country for serving some of the best prime meats and chops you can buy. Overlooking the Pier, this stylish restaurant services creative American comfort cuisine.

Restaurants

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Live Music Venues

Jazz Club

Typhoon

  • 3221 Donald Douglas Loop S
    Santa Monica CA 90405

When you get tired of looking at the beach, head to this restaurant and lounge for views of the Santa Monica Airport. Listen to live bands almost every night of the week – usually jazz – and enjoy the unique atmosphere and upstairs patio.

Live Music Venues

O'Brien's Pub

  • 2941 Main St
    Santa Monica CA 90405

This traditional, no-nonsense Irish pub is a lively nightlife spot on Main Street for tasty grub, live bands, and sports on TV. Enjoy live music and entertainment seven nights a week, along with trivia, comedy and sports events.

Live Music Venues

TRIP

  • 2101 Lincoln Blvd
    Santa Monica CA 90405

Live music is the focus of this neighborhood venue, which features performances seven nights a week. You'll also find burlesque dancing, trivia games, jazz nights and daily food specials.

Live Music Venues

L3 Santa Monica Place

  • 395 Santa Monica Place
    Santa Monica CA 90401

Situated in the fashionable open-air shopping mall Santa Monica Place, L3 is an indoor-outdoor venue for private events. With 42,000 square feet of space, it's the largest and most flexible venue in the area.

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Santa Monica nightlife guide to upscale bars, beachside pubs, rooftop views and sexy lounges

Interesting Facts

The iconic Santa Monica Pier hosts a weekly series of free twilight concerts in the summer from July through September. Listen to contemporary and classical music while enjoying a spectacular view of the coast at these popular events, an LA summer tradition.

Tips

While free parking in Santa Monica is a pipe dream, many of the swankiest rooftop bars and pools charge no cover. Visit the poolside lounge and rooftop bar of the Hotel Shangri-La, the Penthouse on the top floor of the Huntley, and the Copa d'Oro.

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