The Top 15 Orange County Dive Bars

Categories: bars

Jackie Connor
Over the past few months, we've dropped into the smallest, darkest corners of local nightlife to bring you a list of the best dive bars OC has to offer. It hasn't always been pretty. But our search brought us in contact with plenty of stiff drinks, salty drunks and crazy stories. Whether you're looking for the comfort of your own neighborhood version of Cheers or you're just looking for a place to get shitfaced in Santa Ana, there's something for everyone on our list of the the Top 15 Orange County Dive Bars!

Jackie Connor
15. Blackie's by the Sea (Newport Beach)
Noted for their prime location across the street from Newport Pier, (a surf spot is named after the bar), this dive's local claim to fame is serving the coldest beer on tap in Newport, with prices ranging between $3 and $7. No really, they have a temperature gauge that hangs above the door and it usually teeters between 27 and 28 degrees. This feature isn't the only thing that makes their decor, The unique. A 10-foot, 50 year-old Hammerhead Shark along with old license plates, 15 flat screen televisions and even an old PGA golf bag with clubs intact decorate the walls. This bar's small but mighty character shows that, yes, even in Newport, you can get shit-faced for a decent price.
Ladies Beware: Salty old men and longboarders.

14. Turk's Bar (Dana Point)
Walking around Dana Point Harbor, you might blink and miss the tiny crevice that is Turk's.  During the day, this small bar serves up pub-style food and showcases a plethora of cheap drinks and beer. It's surrounded by the obvious nautical themed decor. Marines, fisherman, and dirty sailors tend to gravitate to this hole-in-the-wall after a long day out at sea while a steady crop of South County hipsters practice standing around in dark glasses and skinny jeans looking salted and weathered like the rest of them.
Ladies Beware: Salty seamen with no concept of personal space.

Jackie Connor
13. Goat Hill Tavern (Costa Mesa)
Located across the street from the ever-trendy (and under construction) Triangle Square inCosta Mesa, your feet will crunch beneath the carpet of peanut shells the minute you walk into the Goat Hill Tavern. A typical stop on the list for the younger dive bar crowd, this dive seems to be as trendy as the lights are bright. Drinks range in the $3 to $7 range and most people have smiles on their faces as they sway and crunch their way to the bar to order, well most likely, a beer. Noted for having 140 beers on tap, this place blasts The Cure and other Euro classics over their jukebox relentlessly. 
Ladies Beware: Apparently, this is the stop for the Hash runner crowd. Male participants will try to convince you it's a good idea to run from bar to bar in flip flops after downing pitchers of beer. Do it.

See Also: Top Five Dive Bars in North Orange County

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Chris Roth
Chris Roth

Why have the"Ladies Beware" do you have to empower OC ladies any more who are all ready snobby and self absorbed when there out in bars. How about "Men Beware" of typical OC fake stuck up bitches"

Mark Milward
Mark Milward

how about a top 30? I need some new hangouts.

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

Hey goathill and johnnys are local spots to me. but I prefer the Pen on bch and adams


@Chris Roth Welllll, while I understand your POV about fake stuck-up chicas, I don't think you'll find many in dive bars least I didn't..all the ladies I met were very nice. However, if it's a date you're looking for, I don't think any bar is the best place to find one. But if bars are your only option, sounds like you might wanna brush up on those one-liners, bud. :)

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