Bars in Santa Cruz

Select Local Merchants

Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall’s menu offers diners a vast array of beers, burgers, and meal-worthy sandwiches. Win your stomach’s heart with a hearty starter such as the fish and chips with salmon ($12.99) or the garlic- and cheddar-slathered steak fries ($7.49). European-influenced sandwiches such as the calamari steak sandwich ($11.99) treat taste buds to joy akin to being entitled 10 weeks’ paid vacation. The fiesta jalapeno burger, meanwhile, puts guacamole, jack cheese, and jalapenos on a half-pound patty for a party that ends best if no one rubs their eyes ($9.79). Herbivores can dig into the veggie pocket, which packs pita bread with sprouts, tomatoes, pine nuts, mushrooms, and more ($9.79). A gigantic, gourmet beer list boasting 43 brews on tap helps to inject domestic dinners with a cultured cosmopolitanism. A kids’ menu is available for humans with smaller stomachs and fewer dendrochronology rings.

110 Walnut Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

With a blended menu of California cuisine and modern comfort foods and a name that honors its Pleasure Point location, The Point Chophouse & Lounge fosters the atmosphere of a neighborhood steakhouse. The chefs exclusively work with Prime Black Angus beef, grilling rib eyes, top sirloin, and new york strip steaks above gently lapping flames. Even when preparing the rest of the menu's homespun favorites, the chefs commit to using ingredients from sustainable sources whenever possible. This dedication shows in dishes such as the baked salmon with horseradish aioli, the herb-crusted buttermilk fried chicken, and the coconut-breaded prawns with sweet chili-ginger dipping sauce.

The Point Chophouse & Lounge's dining areas similarly balance traditional and contemporary elements. Horseshoe-shaped, lipstick-red booths and vintage-style wall art advertising surfing lessons evoke a classic diner aesthetic. At the same time, the space features more modern design choices, including cylindrical pendant lamps, subtle track lighting, and a fully-stocked bar with with beers on draft as well as imported and local wines.

3326 Portola Dr.
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Think of Red Restaurant and Bar's menu as Picture Day for pub food. Injecting an upscale elegance into classic bar bites, executive chef Herb Kettleson flavors potato soup with beer and pairs summer succotash with diver scallops. Since he depends on seasonal offerings from local farmers' markets, his dinnertime options change from week to week. The lounge menu, however, sticks to consistent?and wildly popular?dishes such as bacon-wrapped hot dogs and pork green chili fries.

Available until 1 a.m. every night, Kettleson's edibles pair perfectly with the bar's massive selection of craft beer, as well as wines hailing from California and Europe. For something with more of a kick, try the Bruce Lee's combination of habanero tequila, organic basil, and juice from a pineapple that the bartender karate-chops himself.

200 Locust St
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Shadowed athletes in action?kicking a soccer ball, throwing a baseball, and dunking a basketball?are splashed across KC's Sports Bar and Lounge?s fa?ade. The sports-centric theme extends to the interior, with framed jerseys and signed photographs up on the walls and a bevy of TVs treating guests to live broadcasts of football and freeze tag. Craft and domestic brews on tap flow freely behind the bar, and chefs even use beer to batter halibut fillets served with housemade tartar sauce. The kitchen?s pride and joy?a wood-fired pizza oven?cooks 9- or 12-inch crusts adorned with crumbled gorgonzola, spinach, and chili flakes.

711 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Rosie McCann's specializes in twists on traditional Irish fare, tweaking classic Celtic dishes and drinks in a traditional pub setting. The menu showcases plates of irish nachos, sliced spuds slathered in jack and cheddar cheeses, olives, fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and jalape?os. The Americanized version of shepherd's pie simmers grass-fed Humboldt beef and vegetables in a rich irish stock before adding a helmet of mashed potatoes au gratin. Heftier appetites can get satisfaction with bangers & mash, a Celtic take on the English classic, that douses irish sausages and garlic mashed potatoes in Guinness gravy. 10 premium imports or 4 microbrews stand ready on tap, and malt mixologists also pour specialty beer drinks such as the Black Velvet, a whistle-whetting blend of Blackthorn hard apple cider and Guinness.

The dining room echoes the colors of the Irish flag, with burnt-red walls and bright-green stained-glass windows. Guests can cozy up in plush booth seats bedecked in plaid and gaze at glass chandeliers that hang from the ceilings as they sip on mimosas or savor lunch and brunch fare.

1220 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Winner of the Santa Cruz Weekly 2013 Gold Award for Best Dance Club and Best Fancy Cocktails, Motiv expertly slings tapas-style eats and a wide selection of drinks in a lively lounge space. Tucked along Pacific Avenue and Pearl Alley in a stucco building with a corrugated-tin roof and flowering window boxes, Motiv’s serene Old World–exterior belies its energetic dance floor, sleek wooden bar downstairs, and intimate restaurant-lounge upstairs. Half pound grass-fed burgers, skirt steak dinners and Jorge's famous tacos populate the shareable menu, and top-shelf liquors are mixed into specialty cocktails. Nightly live music delivered by a stable of DJs encourages diners to extend evenings by shaking a leg or showing off neon puffy-paint monograms under the colorful disco lights.

1209 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US