15 Impressive Bars in Monterey California

Visiting the impressive bars in Monterey is a must-do when in town! This dazzling wave-battered town in central coast California is full of amazing bars for visitors to check out. In fact, many of the bars have made their way onto the list of the best things to do in Monterey!

Whether you are looking for a bar overlooking the water, something small and intimate, or something a little louder and lively, Monterey truly has everything you could hope for.

Some of my favorite bars in Monterey include:

  • Sly McFly’s
  • London Bridge Pub
  • The Salty Seal

So, let’s get started and learn about the coolest bars in the area!

bars in monterey, three cocktails are in a row on a table, they each have fruit in them and straws pointing to the right

Your Bars in Monterey Questions Answered

Does Monterey have a nightlife?

Absolutely! Nightlife in Monterey is buzzing with live music, bars, and events. The bars in Monterey are just one part of the equation when it comes to the nightlife here. Cannery Row and Alvarado Street both are lively places to be at night time.

Where can I go on a date in Monterey?

The bars in Monterey make for great date night locations, but there are other options as well. While most of the best spots in town are in the New Monterey and Downtown Monterey areas, there are loads of restaurants and evening attractions for you to enjoy.

While we are going to discuss the best bars in this article, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, waterfront restaurants, the best beaches in Monterey, and other popular attractions all make for incredible date locations in town.

What is there to do in Monterey on a Saturday night?

Other than the bars in Monterey, on a Saturday night, you can go shopping at the Del Monte Shopping Center or at Steinbeck Plaza and Cannery Row, play a round at an escape room, listen to live music, enjoy a festival or event in town or at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, watch a comedy show, go to the movies, and more.

three carefully crafted cocktails in a row on a table, each with toppings and decorations on the top

15 Impressive Bars in Monterey California

Sly McFly’s [Sly’s Fueling Station]

It’s impossible to talk about nightlife in Monterey CA without talking about Sly McFly’s, now called Sly’s Fueling Station. While there aren’t any clubs in Monterey, Sly McFly’s offers a lively atmosphere and live music in a laid-back setting on Cannery Row.

At Sly’s, they offer red, white, and sparkling wines, drafts and bottles, and specialty cocktails. If you aren’t sure what to try, consider diving into the Sly’s Pineapple Rita. It is Reposado, Cointreau, pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice on the rocks!

On the menu at Sly’s, you’ll find starters like street tacos and herbed garlic fries. Then, sink your teeth into one of their delicious sandwiches, burgers, or entrees. They have everything from lobster rolls and beyond burgers to pan-seared New Zealand Ora King Salmon and Cioppino.

While the food and drinks are fantastic, it is the fact that they are open seven days a week and have live music each night that makes this one of the best bars in Monterey. There’s nothing like great food, tasty drinks, and fun nightlife to add to your time spent in on the Monterey Bay.

two beers sit on a table in front of a man in the back ground that is blurry in one of the bars in monterey california

Segovia’s Cocktail Bar & Lounge

One of the best bars in Monterey is Segovia’s Cocktail Bar and Lounge. You will find this moody bar on Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey. It has been around since 1937 and delivers when it comes to that small dive bar feel. There is a jukebox, a dart board, a small fire pit, and indoor and outdoor seating.

Segovia’s is open seven days a week from 7 pm to 2 am and is near many cool things to do in the area. Close to the bar you can go shopping, visit a nearby beach, see top attractions, enjoy an escape room game, and try one of the best restaurants in Monterey.

This Lighthouse Ave bar is within walking distance from Cannery Row, seafood restaurants, Mexican restaurants, and American restaurants, as well as the Antiques Mall. So, once your day is done in the area, head on into Segovia’s Cocktail Bar and Lounge to end your night!

Savvy Bar

Visiting some Monterey California bars is a must for anyone who is coming to town for a visit. Savvy Bar is arguably the most fun of all the bars in Monterey. It is a speakeasy-inspired bar on Tyler Street that comes complete with a dress code and password.

When you visit the bar Thursday through Saturday you will need to follow their dress code. Men should have on collars or lapels and women should dress tastefully as well. Everyone should avoid shorts, holey jeans, Uggs, flip-flops, beanies, and ball caps.

The theme here at Savvy is lovely. They offer Prohibition-Barrel-inspired cocktails and music in soft lighting and velvet-covered walls. One of their popular cocktails is the Mexican Firing Squad. It’s made from Herradura Tequilla, Grenadine, lime juice, Mole Bitter, and a lime twist. You can also order bespoke cocktails that are mixed on demand.

If you want a bite to eat while you are here, they have snacks and a menu of small plates from around the globe. This includes chips and salsa, pickled eggs and sausages, and hot dogs. The food menu here is made primarily of Mexican, American, and Persian dishes, but they are working on adding more to the menu.

Peter B’s Brewpub

Just across from the Old Fishermans Wharf is Peter B’s Brewpub where you can enjoy the casual setting and delicious bar bites and beer flights that are served here. You can devour fish and chips, fried pickles, Diablo burgers, Bavarian pretzels, loaded nachos, Margherita pizza and more at Peter B’s!

Now, on to what we really care about when it comes to bars in Monterey, the drinks! They have great cocktails here like the High West Manhattan which is made from rye whiskey, vermouth, and bitter, The Monterey Moscow Mule which is made with Tito’s, triple sec, ginger beer, lemon, lime, and orange juice, and the Pomeranian lemonade that is made from Tito’s, pomegranate juice, and lemonade.

Something really cool about this bar is that they offer Bark Bowls. If you are a dog parent traveling with their doggo to Monterey, you can pick them up a Bark Bowl while you are at Peter B’s. They have ground beef meat loaf, a turkey K-9 casserole, and chicken with quinoa.

four beers on a wooden flight on a table, each beer is a different color

The Crown & Anchor

There aren’t gay bars in Monterey CA anymore, but Gay Travel lists the Crown and Anchor as being one of the best gay-friendly bars in Monterey. It is located on West Franklin Street in Old Monterey with incredible restaurants. If you want to head out for a bite to eat before going to The Crown and Anchor, consider Sur Burger or Round Table Pizza. Both are fabulous places for a casual bite to eat. However, you can totally eat at a bar instead if that’s what you prefer!

While there is a large food menu at The Crown and Anchor, it maintains its bar feel. UK dishes and decor are plentiful here. On the menu, you can expect to find dishes like corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, steak and mushroom pie, bangers and mash, and smoked brisket. They also offer American staples and other international cuisine. Like turkey melts, burgers, Ruebens, B.L.T.’s, and more.

When it comes to drinks at The Crown and Anchor, they have a variety of wines, Winter Warmers, draft beers, imported and domestic bottled beers, and British specialties. If you find yourself walking around Monterey near the wharf, you can easily reach The Crown and Anchor on foot. Happy Hour here is Monday through Friday from 4-6 pm!

Pearl Hour

The Pearl Hour on Lighthouse Avenue is a moody little cocktail spot that is easily one of the top bars in Monterey CA. At Pearl Hour, you have all of the classics at your disposal like the Gin and Tonic, Lemon Drop, Manhattan, and Paloma. On top of that, they have unique cocktails like the Sunrise in Japan which is Satsuma gin, Oka Kura Bermutto, and Mugwort Tincture.

Beers, shots, wine, and sake are all also offered at the Pearl Hour alongside bar snacks like almonds and cheezits! And if you are headed to the bar with someone who won’t be drinking alcohol, there are herbal teas, alcohol-free cocktails, and a soda fountain that has unique flavors like honeycomb, hibiscus, and Ginger beer.

The Pearl Hour is just two blocks away from the beautiful San Carlos Beach and the Coast Guard Pier. This is a great place for wildlife viewing! There are almost always seals and sea lions swimming around the pier or lounging on the rocks. You may even see a sea otter or two!

London Bridge Pub

London Bridge Pub is simply unreal. It sits on the edge of the Monterey Bay overlooking the boats docked off of the Municipal Wharf. This ideal location gives you beautiful views of the water and puts you in a great place for exploring top Monterey attractions before you head in for a drink and a bite to eat.

The menu here to accompany your drinks of choice is spectacular. There are pub favorites on the menu like blackened Icelandic cod, bangers and mash, curry, and cottage pi along with American favorites like the BBQ bacon cheeseburger.

Like all bars in Monterey, the drink selection at London Bridge Pub does not disappoint. You will find local craft ales, imports, cider, seltzers, bottled beers, wines, and champagne. Come on in at Happy Hour Monday through Friday 3-6 pm for deals on beer pints, house wine, and liquors.

seven people holding beers and cheers-ing in a dark bar

Britannia Arms

If you are looking for downtown Monterey bars, consider stopping in Britannia Arms. Easily one of the top bars in Monterey, this British bar has TVs and live music to add to your experience. Before you head in, you may want to stop across the street at Revival Ice Cream where you can try some of the best ice cream in Monterey!

The beer selection at Britannia Arms is massive. They offer common beers like Bud Light and Blue Moon, plus a lot of less popular drinks like Mango Cart, Firestone Nitro Merlin, Elysian Space Dust, Ballast Point, and Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Hazy IPA.

If you don’t start your visit off at Britannia Arms with a beer, maybe one of their cocktails will be in the cards for you. A Washington Apple, Jager Bomb, or a Ketel Cucumber Mule may be just what you need to go along with your appetizer of choice. There’s everything from onion rings and chicken wings to fries and chips and salsa.

Bulldog Sports Pub

Looking for sports bars in Monterey, California? Bulldog Sports Pub is on Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey. This bar offers classic British pub fare from cottage pie to Scotch eggs. You can sit and enjoy your meal and drinks while you watch sports on TV.

You can go light here at Bulldog Sports Pub with a Cobb Salad or a Big Tuna Salad, or try something a bit hardier like a rib dinner, an Irish stew, or a steak and mushroom pie. And for those who are only stepping in for a little bit to have a drink and something small, the pig skins or the nachos may be more your speed!

Bulldog Sports Pub proclaims to not only be the best sports bar in town but also have the best Guinness around. So, be sure to swing by and check it out if you find yourself in the area.

Turn 12 Bar & Grill

Turn 12 Bar and Grill offers American classics in their open dining room decorated with vintage raceway decor. The elevated pub fare, the Late Night Menu, the drink selection, and the vibe here are what make Turn 12 one of the most popular bars in Monterey.

On the Late Night Menu at Turn 12, you’ll find truffle fries, chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, and a large selection of pizzas. The Turn 12 pizza comes with pepperoni, sausage, black olives, and green peppers while the Manchego Apple comes with two types of cheeses, balsamic onions, bacon, Alfredo sauce, and roasted apples.

A trip to Turn 12 wouldn’t be complete without trying one of their killer cocktails. The T-12 Margarita is stunning, but there’s also the MI-6 which is made with Grey Goose, Lillet Blanc, and St. Germain and served with an orange twist. Draft and bottled beer are available as well.

a beautiful pink drink sits on a table with mint and a raspberry on top from one of the best bars in monterey

Hellam’s Tobacco & Wine Shop

This has to be one of the most unexpected bars in Monterey. Hellam’s Tobacco and Wine Shop gives you the opportunity to shop cigars, wines, liquors, and more in a bar environment. A long bar along with tables and chairs fills half of this Monterey CA bar while the other half is dedicated to shopping.

If you want a cool place to do some souvenir shopping while you are in Monterey, you really can’t beat Hellam’s! Having a place to shop and lounge with a good drink is super exciting and lucky for you, there is such a place right here in Monterey!

a whiskey glass is sitting outside with a cigar resting on top of it in front of greenery

The Salty Seal Brewpub and Sports Bar

This restaurant and sports bar in Monterey is a popular place to visit on Cannery Row. The bar is in a rustic building that was built in 1929. The Salty Seal serves up English bar bites and local draft beers in the cozy indoor space and outdoor seating areas.

Like many of the best bars in Monterey, The Salty Seal Brewpub and Sports Bar serves local drinks alongside international favorites. Here, you can get drafts from California breweries like Alvarado Street Brewery, English Ales Brewery, Dust Bowl Brewery, and others.

If you are more of a cocktail person, you will be excited to see the cocktails on the menu at the Salty Seal. Interesting twists on classics create an interesting menu. They offer Mexican Mules which is made with tequila, ginger beer, and lime juice, a Bermuda-style rum and coke that is made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and a honey whiskey iced tea that is made with lemonade!

They serve lunch and dinner at the Salty Seal along with light bites, and kids meals as well. Small bites here include vegan cauliflower bites, chips and salsa, wings, and Gilroy garlic parmesan fries. Soups, salads, and West Coast favorites like fish tacos are all on the menu. The Salty Seal rarely disappoints!

outside of a bar in monterey called the salty seal, international flags are flying above the door

Dust Bowl Brewing Co. Tap Depot

This staple brewing co. near the water is among the top bars in Monterey. Dust Bowl Brewing Co. Tap Depot has a super inviting indoor and outdoor dining space and they offer mind-blowing burgers, tacos, and loaded nachos to go with your beer.

You can get Baja fish tacos, hot agave, carnitas, barbacoa, or veggie tacos here at the Dust Bowl. Or you can grab a metal tray full of loaded nachos and share them outside with a friend as you sip your beers around a fire pit. However you choose to spend your time here, it is always a really satisfying visit.

Dust Bowl beers are available in California, Vermont, Texas, Nevada, and other states as well. Some of their top beers include the Dirty 30’s, the Hobo Pilsner, the Hops of Wrath India Pale Ale, the Taco Truck Lager, the Lemon Shandy, and the Dump Truck of The Gods Mega India Pale Ale.

a beer tap filling a glass, a mans hand is in the photo holding the glass

LindaRose Rooftop Bar & Grill

Does a rooftop lounge in Monterey sound appealing? LindRose Rooftop Bar and Grill. LindaRose is located on Del Monte Avenue overlooking the water. They have a small yet spectacular menu that has hummus spreads, charcuterie boards, salads, fish tacos, kebabs, baked brie with honey, and a few entrees like lamb ribs and steak frites.

While the rooftop vibes and great views are idyllic, the beautiful and carefully crafted cocktails at LindaRose are what make it one of the best bars in Monterey. Some beautiful and tasty drinks that you can try here include the 1110 Pink Hawaii which is made with vodka, rum, cranberry and orange juice, and grenadine, and the Dark N Stormy which is made with dark rum, ginger beer, and transatlantic bitters.

Of course, you can find classic cocktails like a Paloma and Margarita here as well. Plus, a selection of shots, beers, and wines. If you are looking for a place to relax and chat with your friends, the grazing platters and drinks offered at LindaRose are perfect for this!

drink being poured on a bar in one of the top bars in monterey

Melville Tavern

Melville Tavern is an American gastropub on Washington Street. Easily one of the most beautiful bars in Monterey, Melville Tavern has a welcoming neighborhood feel to it. They are open until 9 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends. And if you are interested in a heavy sneaky drink or two in the morning, they have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays as well.

You can bite into yummy appetizers at Melville Tavern like artichoke hearts, taquitos, loaded potato skins and nachos before moving on to a salad, pasta, or entree. The choices here are drool-worthy! They have loaded salads like blackened shrimp salads as well as dishes like the fish n’ chips, duck fettuccine, and baby back ribs!

Surely, if you are looking for bars, you probably are most concerned with the drink selection here. However, we’ve got to talk about the burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas available at Melville too! The over-the-top sandwiches here like the bacon-wrapped chili dog and the lamb burger will blow your mind! There’s also a stunning selection of wood-fired pizzas.

When it comes to drinks, you can choose between bottled beers, wine by the glass, draft beers, and on weekends, bottomless mimosas! Whether you are looking for a white or a red, a stout or a porter, or a wheat or mixed ale, you are sure to love the Melville Tavern.

orange cocktail with a an orange wedge on the glass

Now that you have heard about the best bars in Monterey, which of these do you think you will visit first? We would love to hear from you!

You can get more California travel tips, guides, and inspiration at California Wandering on Pinterest.

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