Pubs bring a special degree of social connection to those who frequent them. The features of a pub might include whether it’s Irish or English, what type of décor and music it has, and what type of food and drink is available. From old-fashioned to modern, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy at these 10 best pubs in California.
Ye Olde King’s Head in Santa Monica, California, is the epitome of a classic English pub, down to the famous fish and chips served there. Heralded as one of the best in the area, this pub opened more than 40 years ago, and has gained a reputation for having a true taste of Britain in the New World. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can start the day with a traditional dish like fried bread, eggs, bacon, bangers, beans, and a grilled tomato, or start with a classic lunch that could be Shepherd’s Pie or fish cakes. A typical dinner might be steak, Guinness, and mushroom pie. With a bakery and gift shoppe on the premises and special events all month, including karaoke night on Sundays, this could be your home away from home.
If you’re looking for a great place to kick back, relax with friends, and enjoy a cold beer or two, you should visit The Cock n Bull in Santa Monica, California. They’ve earned a reputation as a great sports bar, and they’ve been awarded “Best Soccer Bar in the USA,” so if you’re into watching English Premier League games, you’ll find a home here. Great food like fish and chips go great with the great English beers, wines, and house cocktails are unsurpassed. They’re also home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If you like red muffs, bangers and mash, and lively music, stop by the Fox & Hounds in Studio City, California. British foodies will be living their dream here with traditional specialties like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and steak and kidney pie. They carry a good choice of international beers and have pub quizzes, songwriter Sundays, a Doctor Who Happy Hour, and other fun events to bring people together.
Transformed from a run-down business into a thriving and living pub and haven for English beer lovers, Lucky Baldwin Pubs are conveniently located in Pasadena and Sierra Madre, California. This is a family-friendly pub that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a full line of bottled and on tap adult beverages. Home to several festivals during the year, Lucky Baldwins also has a limited selection of British goods like Branston pickles, hobnobs, pickled onions, and lemon curd.
Established in 1990, Shakespeare Pub & Grill is a great place to watch soccer games. Located in San Diego, California, the pub has English fare and souvenirs, and is “like a little bit of London on the street.” This is comfort food at its best, and top quality ingredients are used in every dish. They are one of the only bars that have a beer engine in the city, so stop by and get your pub grub and drink on.
Inspired by the old country across the Pond, cash only, and with a limited menu, that doesn’t stop people from flocking to The Black Horse London Bar in San Francisco, California. You can’t get much small than this, but it’s a great place with simplicity and authenticity. Their beer choices are simple, too, and leaves more time to get to know your fellow pubsters.
Lookin’ for a bit of the Irish? How about kilkenny on tap, creamy clam chowder or thick Irish stew to warm your bones? Branagan’s Irish Pub in Fullerton, California has it all. Opened in 2004 with the idea to have a place that offered a fun and Irish environment where everyone was welcome, is what’s made this pub as popular as it is. There are more than 30 different beers to try, and almost every Irish whiskey. Large screen televisions dominate certain areas of the pub so there’s no chance to miss your favorite game. The luck of the Irish will surely be with you when you come to Branagan’s.
San Luis Obispo is home to the Black Sheep Bar & Grill, where Europe meets America. With a comfortable décor featuring earthy red brick walls and warm wooden accents, you’ll feel right at home. Black Sheep won the “Best Bar in San Luis Obispo for several years now, and is now known as a popular landmark by serving the best bar food and beers around.
Yes, Irish eyes will be smiling at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in San Jose, California. It’s probably because it was voted “Best Irish Pub in Silicon Valley,” or it could be because the best Irish comfort food and beer is served there. Whatever the reason, you’ll find the laid-back atmosphere encourages conversation, and whatever your background, you’ll make new friends here amid the furniture and memorabilia.
This Half Moon Bay hot spot is a restaurant, pub, and inn. This is an authentic English pub, featuring 19 beers on tap, over 60 bottles, and legendary beer can collection of over 2,000. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is jovial, and it’s incredibly spacious. Don’t feel like leaving? Spend the night at their inn.