The Best Places to Drink in Orange County
In honor of the recent release of our largest issue of the year, Best Of 2013, we present to you a handy guide to the places we deemed the best drinking establishments in Orange County. Best Sports Bar, Best Place to Get Drunk on Rum, Best Cougar Bar...it's all here folks. Thank us now, curse us during your hangover.
Best Beer Selection: Hollingshead's Delicatessen
The building's about the size of a liquor store, but the Hollingshead family has had five decades to figure out how to cram as many beer bottles in the deli as possible. There's a modest 22 rotating taps, plus 500 bottled beers on the floor just for fun. Stay and drink or pick out your favorite craft, rare and import brews to take home. There are even tables amongst all this madness so you can sit and enjoy your hero sandwich, egg salad and frosty import beer in one of Orange County's most beloved family-owned restaurants. 368 S. Main St., Orange, CA 92868. 714-978-9467.
Best Dive Bar: Brian's Beer & Billiards
It won the title of Best Neighborhood Bar, North OC for a couple of years now, and with good reason. But now it's time to recognize Brian's Beer & Billiards for something else. Here, you can relax, play pool and not listen to EDM or Top 40. Beer is enjoyed from large schooners. Hungry? Big B's Barbecue is next door and will serve you great finger foods and full-fledged meals. Sure, it's a bit cleaner than most dives, and the service is nicer, but at Brian's, you get the relief from the outside world that dive bars were created for. 1944 N. Placentia Ave., Fullerton, CA 92831. 714-993-1401.
Best Pub: The Olde Ship British Pub and Restaurant
There's no mistaking where the Olde Ship's loyalties lie, with Union Jacks and White Star Line memorabilia on the walls and Britain-centric newspapers by the door. There's even an obscene amount of royal-family photos on display in the loo. The fish and chips are widely lauded (naturally) as some of the best in the county, and the burger here has won Best Burger honors in these pages before. It offers a full bar and draft beers straight out of merry old England--Old Speckled Hen, Bass and Boddingtons, all serving as perfect lube for the banger you'll inevitably put in your mouth. 709 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92832. 714-871-7447.
Best Place to Pick Up A One Night Stand: Cassidy's Bar and Grill
The locals don't call Newport Beach institution Cassidy's "Catch-a-Disease" for nothin'. This seaside dive ain't big, which makes it all the easier to rub elbows (or whatever other body parts) with folks. The selection isn't always fancy, but it's usually plentiful--in booze and booty. You may spend a whole day reeling in your catch off nearby Newport Coast, but reeling one in during a night at Cassidy's is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Oh, and if you're real nice and take your newfound friend back to his or her car in the morning, the two of you can enjoy one of the best damn burgers in Orange County for breakfast. 2603 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663. 949-675-8949.
Best Sports Bar: My Place
You get more than peanuts and pretzels here for bar food; My Place has a full menu ranging from burgers to steak and lobster, all with large portions and served by hot waitresses. There are TVs everywhere, so no need to argue with your fellow patrons over which MMA match will replace which ESPN channel. And if you choose to come here, you can always use that timeless joke: "Hey, wanna go watch the game at My Place?" Snicker. 5452 Commercial Drive, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. 714-892-8706
Readers' Choice: Tilted Kilt
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1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente, CA