Top Five Dive Bars in South Orange County

Categories: bars
knuckleheads inside.jpg
Jackie Connor
Inside Knuckle Heads bar 

Despite south Orange County's polished reputation for being pristine,upscale and, well, boring, there lies a couple of dark secret spots in the cracks and crevices of this conservative paradise. It's within those blind spots you find south county's most remarkable, crazy and just plain creepy characters marinating themselves in all kinds of fermentation. Where, you so eagerly ask? Ladies and gents, I give you the top five dive bars of south Orange County.

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5. Ole's Tavern

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By reputation the great city of San Clemente seems to dominate south county's dive bar scene raking in several fine options, Ole's Tavern being one. Perhaps one of the smallest bars located around the infamous "triangle" area off south El Camino Real, Ole's dark interiors are pretty simple: pool, T.V., jukebox with over a million over-played songs and cheap-ass drinks served up by hot girls in tight black tanks and, of course, the regulars who meander or march in to knock one back. For all of you Texan transplants, yes they have Shiner Bock.

Ladies Beware: Drunk and horny Marines

4. The Sandpiper:


Also known by many as "the Dirty Bird," this Laguna Beach bar's small but mighty stage hosts a number of local reggae and cover bands like local faves Rebel Rockers and World Anthem. Infamous for their reggae Wednesdays and Thursdays, a small, five dollar cover gets you through the doors and surrounded by dreds, cheap rum and cokes and tons of colorful boardshorts.

Ladies Beware: Drunk/stoned and horny surfers attempting every cheesy pick-up line in the book.

Location Info


Knucklehead's - CLOSED

1717 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA

Category: Music

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