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

oles tavern-001.jpg
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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:

sandpiper-001.jpg
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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

Map

Knucklehead's - CLOSED

1717 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA

Category: Music


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32 comments
OC Weekly
OC Weekly

We have other lists—don't worry!

Julio Arana
Julio Arana

You guys really need to throw in the huddle on your list

christmas
christmas

How is it that Mugs Away in Laguna Niguel is not on this list? It is the diviest bar down here.  Full of sad sacks and alcoholics oogling the perky barmaids.  Full on dive.

littlegun80
littlegun80

Knuckleheads is Awesome!!  The drinks are cheap, the food is great and the people are friendly and welcoming!!  Definitely the west coast Cheers!!

jackieconnor
jackieconnor

Oh mooning the train! haha what a picture that would be! ha

NYTransplant83
NYTransplant83

The mooning used to be fun, until the cops started shutting it down. I went this year and the bar was packed but there were only 15-20 people running across the street to moon the trains when they came by. We left around 4:00, maybe it got better, but by no means as awesome as the old days.

Roger Ramirez
Roger Ramirez

Titty bars serving pitchers with pool tables.

Noé Rodríguez
Noé Rodríguez

It isn't South OC but definitely Bottoms Up Tavern on Lincoln and Brookhurst! Strongest drinks for the best prices.

Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott

None of those that you picked would be my favorite!... I would say Johnny's tops the list and then maybe Cassidy's

Kitty Garcia
Kitty Garcia

I know I may sound dumb but what's a dive bar & what's the difference between a regular bar or sports bar?

jackieconnor
jackieconnor

Annual mooing of the train, eh? Sounds fun

been_there
been_there

This list needs to include Mugs Away! Any bar that has an annual mooning of the train should be mention should be put ahead of Ole's (which should be mentioned as the triangle). What makes them better then the Foxfire?

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