Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

104 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 drinks Barmel Barmel keeps its slogan simple: Cocktails, food, music. Any of the three could be listed first, but craft cocktails and fine spirits do qualify for the top spot. Always a popular place, Barmel also has a cool lounge vibe. San Carlos and Ocean, Carmel. (831) 626-2095, Brophy’s Tavern There’s a lot more to recommend this place than just the burger: an expansive “upscale tavern” menu, cool service crew, a lively atmosphere and a bunch of flat-screen TVs. 4th and San Carlos, Carmel. (831) 586-5566, Bud’s at La Playa The renovated Bud’s is known for two things, one old and one new. The new is a list of spectacular specialty cocktails. But they kept the cherished Dime Time, a daily 10-minute happy hour called at the bartender’s discretion where drinks cost 10 cents and must be paid for with dimes. So pocket change is useful after all. Camino Real and 8th, Carmel. (831) 293-6100, Chez Noir When is the last time you had a stellar cocktail made with rhubarb and caraway? That’s possible at this small bar in one of the top restaurants, although the list of specialty creations is always changing based on the season and what they’ve foraged. Yes, you can get an oldfashioned old fashioned, too. 5th between Dolores and San Carlos, Carmel. Cultura Comida y Bebida Cultura is a dining destination, but it’s the Bebida part that matters here. Skillfully crafted cocktails that lean on mezcal are the biggest draw to their elegantly appointed bar. Dolores between 5th and 6th, Carmel. (831) 250-7005, Hidden Hills Brewing & Blending The tap room for the craft brewery offers a rotating list of brews, from IPAs to porters and stouts and creative seasonal beers. The brewmaster is also known for bringing big flavor to lighter beers. And they make ciders, too. 3777 The Barnyard, Carmel. (831) 250-7311, Links Club Come to the Monterey Peninsula and play the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links—without ever leaving the bar. How is that for handy? Links Club features 10 craft beers on tap, a selection of local wines, craft cocktails and some 200 golf courses to play on high-tech simulation screens. Ocean and Mission (in the Carmel Plaza), Carmel. (831) 250-7816, Mission Ranch Clint Eastwood’s historic Mission Ranch is a popular draw, owing to its four fireplaces, classy drink selection, sassy tinkling of the piano bar and a patio with sweeping views. 26270 Dolores St., Carmel. (831) 625-9040, Mulligan Public House A gathering spot for drinks, conversation and a good time. The patio is also cigar-friendly and the bar (Irish-themed) shakes a worthy cocktail. Plus, there’s a full pub menu. Dolores between Ocean and 7th, Carmel. (831) 2505910, O’Callaghan’s Irish Pub When a name includes the phrase “Irish pub,” you know what to expect. Yes, beer, whiskey and fun. The food menu is small, but it does the job. 3772 The Barnyard, Carmel. (831) 625-5500, Pangaea Grill Admittedly the bar is small and there is not really a drinking scene at this global restaurant. However, it may be the only restaurant with dedicated breakfast cocktails—and some of them can double as breakfast (take a look at the Bloody Mary list and you’ll understand). Open for lunch and dinner, too, so you can top off. Ocean between Lincoln and Dolores, Carmel. (831) 624-2569, pangaeagrillcarmel. com Post No Bills See listing under Sand City. Expected to open at some point in 2023. 3744 The Barnyard, Carmel Sade’s This is the only spot in Carmel that Charles Bukowski would’ve felt comfortable in. It’s small, dark, minimal on the decor. Nothing to distract you from your drink. Lincoln and Ocean, Carmel. (831) 624-0787 Shearwater Tavern at Carmel Mission Inn The renovated lounge spot, with its elevated pub fare, stock of scotches and martinis, (very) happy hour lures an in-the-know crowd (it’s a true hidden gem with that rarest of features: parking), as well as curious hotel guests. 3665 Rio Road, Carmel. (831) 624-1841, Sunset Lounge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands The stunning view of Point Lobos from this hilltop lounge is matched by its award-winning wine menu. Enjoy designer craft cocktails and chairs on the fireplace patio. Located four miles south of Rio Road. 120 Highlands Drive, Highway 1, Carmel. (831) 622-5445, Terry’s Lounge Cozy up to the bar inside Cypress Inn, where locals are welcome alongside hotel guests (and everybody’s dogs are invited to this canine-friendly spot too). Classic cocktails are the go-to here, and can be consumed at the bar, in the courtyard or next to a lobby fireplace with regular live piano music. Lincoln and 7th, Carmel. (831) 620-7454, Liquor Stores Surf n Sand Liquors Fine wines, spirits, craft beers, cigars—the decorative icing on the cake of life. This familyowned spot is a first stop for many arriving in Carmel. There are unique labels, tastings and, as a bonus, owner Ryan Sanchez created his own tequila. Pick up a bottle of El Jefe. Torres and 6th, Carmel. (831) 624-1805, Carmel Valley Baja Cantina Margaritas are the go-to item here and they come in lots of variations, but the bar offers options for all stripes, best enjoyed alongside Mexican-inspired plates, either indoors or on Pangaea Grill