The term “dive” is usually never mentioned when referring to bars in Santa Monica. That would be like calling The Valley glamorous (much love NoHo!). But as it turns out, they do exist. You just have to do a little digging. Here are some of the finest dive bars in Santa Monica. See how easy that was?
The Daily Pint: It's rare for a dive to be voted one of the best bars in the country. But that's exactly what happened with The Daily Pint… twice! That's right, in 2010, and once again in 2011, BarFinder.com listed this low-key Santa Monica dive on its Top 100 list. And once you walk in the place, it won't take you very long to figure out why. For one, it's like mecca for beer lovers, with over 30 brews on tap, 100 different bottles, a wide selection of craft brews that's rotated daily, as well as three different types of cask ales. They've also got shuffleboard, a pool table, and several different types of rare and exotic whisky from India and Japan, as well as a wide variety of single malts.
2310 Pico Blvd., 90405; 310-450-7631
Speak Easy Cocktail: How do you know you're the owner of a dive bar? Well when you've let the domain name expire on your bar's website, that's usually a pretty good indication. All jokes aide, however, a place like Speak Easy Cocktail doesn't need to lure customers in with a flashy website and constant presence on social media. For one, they've got karaoke – lots of it! In fact, walk in to the Speak Easy's on any Saturday night and you'll be hard pressed not to hear renditions of Donna Summers, Journey, and Sir Mix-A-Lot all within a 10 minute. We're talking super eclectic baby! Even if you're not feeling like embarrassing yourself, err… singing in front of dozens of strangers, they've also got pool tables and a jukebox.
1326 Pico Blvd., 90405; 310-450-4989
TRiP: Located on Lincoln Boulevard, TRiP is one of the few (if only) dive bars in Santa Monica that features live music every night of the week. If that isn't reason enough to stop in, then their enormous New York-style deli sandwiches most certainly is. They come served hot on freshly baked bread, and stuffed with your choice of meat and cheeses. TRiP also carries a large number of beers, including craft brews, as well as some harder to find imports. And on Sundays during football season, TRiP turns into a Chicago Bears bar, meaning you best be wearing black and orange… or at the very least have a love-hate relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler.
2101 Lincoln Blvd., 90405; 310-396-9010
Cock N' Bull: It may call itself an English Pub, but Cock N' Bull has all the staples of a classic dive, including cheap drinks, pool tables, a juke box, and… salsa dancing? Well, maybe that last one is a bit out of the ordinary but you get the idea. Aside from being a Pittsburgh Steelers bar, Cock N' Bull is also big on that other type of football. That means you can watch all the European soccer matches on their hi-definition LCD TV's, while big events (ahem, Steelers games!) get shown on their 135" hi-definition projection screen. Cock N' Bull has a wide selection of international beers on tap, along with a traditional British menu that includes a Sunday-only specialty of lamb served with English pudding and roasted potatoes.
2947 Lincoln Blvd., 90405; 310-399-9696