The Best 11 Bars in Santa Ana

Are you looking to discover the best bars in Santa Ana?

Then we have you covered!

On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of all the bars in Santa Ana. (More in-depth further below). And, each with why it’s best to go.

Feel free to check out each bar’s official profile to find out more and to find out which is best for you.

We’ve also created separate shortlists for each genre you might like to visit on your time out.

So check out these articles as well:

Furthermore, you can get on the guest list or book a table with bottle service on some of the more exclusive bars. We are happy to help you out with either.

11. Recess

Recess is your local pub in the 4th Street Market, and the bartenders are as informed as they are enthusiastic about their profession. They’ve matured from the Playground (formerly Detention) cocktail program and are ready to amaze you with fantastic cocktails, artisan beers on tap, and even a wine match for your meal from one of the 4th Street Market eateries. Of course, you’re invited to join them at the bar and enjoy your favorite beverage with some of our bar food. In the 4th Street Market, Recess is Detention (previously Playground), DTSA’s artisan cocktail and beer bar. Enjoy house-made cocktails, artisanal sodas and beers, and wines the Detention team chooses. Sit at the bar or stroll out onto the award-winning patio to savor libations made by 2014’s Bartender of the Year, Jarred Dooley, while sampling varietal nibbles and live entertainment. 

Recess is essentially a full bar. The ambiance is a stainless steel long bar with TVs. The people were pleasant, and there was food nearby. Jennifer was quite pleasant. She had recently returned from Vietnam, where my buddy resides. They exchanged phone numbers and hugs. The globe has gotten so international that it is simple to keep in touch with people worldwide. I would have no problem returning to Recess and having a beer and snack. I’ll make sure I don’t go to Mar for the shitty poke. My friends and I were having dinner in Downtown Santa Ana and having a good time, so we wanted to get in a few more drinks. We ended up at Recess. They are a well-stocked bar area, and Chance, our lovely Bartender, was knowledgeable and friendly. 

We had a few rounds of shots!! Some Siete Leguas Blanco ($10/each), some Fernet ($8/each), and then depending on our individual preferences, beer or cocktails. I am definitely in the cocktail category. I asked Chance to make me something tasty with lychee!! Recess uses my favorite fancy Giffard brand of lychee liqueur. The drink was perfectly balanced and a great way to end the night! Chance was excellent, and we all had a great time! I would go to this bar for more drinks the next time I am in DTSA. They have minimal decor and a designated area in the 4th street market. I asked the Bartender for her advice. Therefore, she was very friendly and helpful. So, this is one of the best bars in Santa Ana.

10. Vacation

Vacation is an industrial-style bar with tropical decor for craft cocktails with global flavors & unique bites. So, they have custom-crafted cocktails inspired by world travels from Tahiti to Tokyo. Vacation, Santa Ana is a bar and restaurant in the heart of historic downtown Santa Ana, California. Peeling back over 100 years of construction, they uncovered the original, neoclassical bones of the space, which inspired the owners (Santa Ana locals) to have every piece of furniture custom-designed and handmade right up the street. They drew inspiration from their travels worldwide, bringing tastes from New York City, Spain, Thailand, and South America (to mention a few) to create their unique, creative meals. 

Their beverages and meals are excellent. Tiki, kitsch, hibiscus, and even palm trees show up when one thinks about Vacation. Instead, Vacation is an escape from all of that. It’s a respite from the bar norm. The Santa Ana cocktail’s garnish is like a bird of paradise floral arrangement. There are no “martinis” presented 20 ways, no Mai Tais with rum that smells like sunscreen, and no attitude. This is Vacation, where you can treat your tongue like an unstamped passport for a few dollars in the streetside meter. The drink menu is similar to Disneyland’s It’s a Small World, where your taste senses meet with international ideas via 12 cocktails and incredibly enjoyable bar foods. Like the trip, you may find comfort in the known while being captivated by the unfamiliar. 

Each drink is inspired by a different travel-worthy city worldwide; all that’s needed is an animatronic hippo ballerina. Starting with the familiar, I order a Santa Ana-California cocktail and a quesadilla as Emily Delice, this Love Boat’s Isaac, effortlessly squirts carrot juice into a jigger, and I try to interpret her arm tattoo like a Hunter S. Thompson novel. She adds some local Blinking Owl Aquavit, Aperol, pineapple, and cardamom, then tops it off with a garnish, most likely inspired by Nicki Minaj’s current haircut. The unifying thread throughout these cocktails is that they are all shaken, not stirred. The garnish varies from drink to drink, such as Marrakesh-Morocco, whose never-ending Persian cucumber appears longer than the gum in a Bubble Tape. There are many great bars in Santa Ana, but Vacation is a must-see not only if you’re downtown but anywhere in the world. So, this is one of the best unique bars Santa Ana has to offer.

9. Proof

Proof is a contemporary bar & lounge offering a full bar, DJs, dancing & a slate gray color scheme. Proof in Santa Ana, CA, is one of the most incredible places to have a full dinner. This restaurant, which opened in 2011, is synonymous with wonderful meals that will satisfy all of your demands. It is highly recognized across the region for its exquisite menu, which includes American cuisine. It is conveniently located near W 2nd St and Broadway. If you wish to go to the restaurant, go to 215 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA. Because of the excellent placement, one can usually notice the diner immediately and commute without difficulty. It is one of the most popular American restaurants in Santa Ana, California. Proof near W 2nd St,n Broadway ensures a great dining experience by offering highly palatable food. 

The eatery also offers a Full-Service Bar and Live Music. Move to the official website to check the Hours of Operation for this business, where diners can enjoy a scrumptious meal. Lunch for two at this eatery would cost less than $10. Proof is a modern pub and nightclub with a full bar, DJs, and a slate grey color design. It is centrally located in Santa Ana and easily accessible from anywhere in the city. It is a full-service bar and nightclub with live music and an interstellar cantina. The crew provides first-rate drinks. The club is bordered by the Santa Ana art neighborhood and sponsors regional artist events that feature emerging artists. It is strictly a 21+ establishment. Reservations are allowed for groups of 10 or more. 

Proof is ideal for hosting unique events such as wedding anniversaries, business celebrations, and birthday parties. Their specialties include contemporary bar and Lounge, Music, Backyard Patio, Beverages, Dance, Bar, Bottle Service, Cocktails, DJs, Live Events, Private Events & Special Drinks. In 2005, Proof became the 1st newly licensed full liquor bar to open at an original location in Orange County for two decades. Proof planted its roots in the burgeoning downtown Artists’ Village. Concepted initially as a Martini Bar, Proof was a blank slate when it opened but quickly began evolving to mirror the energy and diversity of downtown Santa Ana. Making its name on solid drinks, good (albeit loud) music, and friendly atmosphere, Proof has gotten notice around the County and beyond for “something different”.

8. Detention DTSA

Pork Loin at the Playground (Photo: New Brew Thursday via Flickr)

Detention DTSA was also known as Playground before. It is Creative chef Jason Quinn’s modern gastropub that offers New American fare & top-shelf drinks. It is an American Restaurant & Lounge. Chef John Parker leads the culinary team with a seasonal, fresh menu. You may also enjoy a beverage called omakase, curated by one of their talented bartenders. The crowded culinary hotspot boasts an extensive selection of craft beers and a few Playground-original cocktails as interesting as the dinner specials, including the A Little Bit Naughty mixed drink with mezcal, cranberry, and spicy serrano pepper. Detention is a restaurant in Santa Ana’s downtown that debuted in January 2022 as the Playground family’s next venture.

Detention pledges to be a high-quality, service-oriented restaurant and bar that challenges the current quo. Detention aims to generate nostalgic moments via the unifying force of cuisine, drink, service, and environment. When you get in trouble in the Playground, you are detained. Their judgments at Detention are considered but not always risk-free. Chef John Parker leads the youthful and talented culinary crew, while Jarred Dooley leads the charge in offering guest service. Our friends are welcome to join us for drinks or a Beverage Omakase Cocktail experience in their freshly remodeled area. We’ll be open late, so stop by and say hello. To best accommodate all of their guests, they provide a 2-hour reservation time. 

Reservations are strongly suggested; walk-ins are welcome. Formerly known as ‘playground DTSA,’ the newly rebranded facility is a boutique drinking and dining venue that serves the greatest culinary offerings in a relaxed setting. We challenge the existing quo and are shamelessly who and what we are. Our art is our work, and our work is our art. From libations to emancipation, you’re now in imprisonment, so find a friend and have some fun. Executive Chef John Parker’s cuisine is based on nostalgia, which can be as powerful for the visitor experience as it is for the chef’s curate. The menu is designed for cycling periodically, allowing you to get to know your favorites while also returning for new experiences as the market changes. The bar and lounge area was created with mood lighting, vignette seating, and omakase drink experiences in mind for the cocktail crowd. The lounge area is open until midnight for libations and merriment, whether you enjoy a pre-Trust beverage or want to keep the party going after dinner.

7. The Copper Door

The Copper Door is a below-ground bar with lots of beer poured in rustic digs, a freestanding fireplace & live music—a copper Door lounge located in the basement of an artist village in downtown Santa Ana. Now opens Thursday – Sunday with a weekly entertainment program. Keep an eye out for the narrow stairway to this bustling basement pub that serves terrific food and beverages for supper and live music for late-night revelry. Even when the club is busy, the DJ sets, rustic wooden décor, and long communal tables help The Copper Door maintain its welcoming ambiance. The Copper Door never fails to impress, whether you come for the music, the billiards tables, the large beer variety on tap, or even their house-made flatbreads. 

The Copper Door is one of Santa Ana’s top nightclubs. With a 6,000-square-foot facility, it is ideal for organizing various events. Copper’s crew works hard to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind, elegant social setting where they may sample delectable and well-crafted cocktails. Customers may socialize with old and new acquaintances. Copper Door boasts a fully stocked bar with eight unique drinks and a rotating selection of 20 craft beers. Its skilled bartenders are always willing to propose a cocktail and provide taste samples upon request. Its warm wood décor houses a 30-foot community table, seats, and long countertop with matching barstools. Copper Door only allows people 21 and older with acceptable ID to enter. Enjoy the nightlife experience and free wifi. 

Live Dance Music, DJs, Art Shows, Friday and Saturday Club Nights featuring Hip-Hop, Top 40, Latin Thursdays, Live Music Wednesdays, Karaoke Tuesdays, Bar, Dance Floor, Billiards Tables, Bottle Service, Corporate Functions & Private Events are just a few of their specialties. Take a leap of faith—plus a few shots!—down the rabbit hole this Halloween weekend only at The Copper Door. Don’t pass up this opportunity to party with ghouls, goblins, and an abundance of attractive witches! An underground bar is hidden beneath Santa Ana’s historic Pacific Building on Broadway and 3rd. If you walk too rapidly, you could miss The Copper Door’s small stairway entry. This bar, dance club, and nightclub are one of the best bars and fun venues Santa Ana has to offer you! If you are in the city, we recommend visiting this spot at least once! Go with your friends and loved ones or meet new people and have a blast!

6. Wursthaus

Wursthaus has a modern beer hall pairing imported German & Belgian brews with classic & gourmet sausages & fries. Wursthaus, another European import within walking distance of downtown Santa Ana’s array of American new pubs and cafes, recreates the communal, comfortable atmosphere of a German beer hall within a modest, tidy, but unfussy brick structure at 4th and French Streets. But this location is all about the beer and the bratwurst. Their menu features a massive assortment of beers, lagers, and a dozen or so distinctively flavored sausages, ranging from the classic smoked polish wurst to the unique jalapeño duck dog. Wursthaus is a fresh reinvention of a classic German Beer Hall, serving great sausages and 20+ foreign beers in a very simple manner. 

The sausages on the menu are grouped into three categories: classics, gourmet, and unique. Guests must select between a pretzel roll and a more traditional bun, which will then be topped with their choice of toppings, which include sauerkraut, sautéed jalapenos, and sautéed onions. Wursthaus is also famous for their Drunken Fries, triple-fried Belgian fries topped with a handmade haus andalouse sauce and IPA caramelized onions. Wursthaus is frequently the first or final stop on a Downtown Santa Ana pub crawl, staying open until 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Thanks to its laid-back environment and communal tables, it is the ideal spot to drink a pint of beer with friends or strangers. Wursthaus can be found at 305 E. 4th St, #106, Santa Ana, CA. 

Their hours are 11 am to 1 am Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 2 am Friday and Saturday. Wursthaus provides a genuine European dining experience with a menu focused on essential items like homemade sausages. This comprises at least 20 different cold Belgian and German draught beers. The restaurant provides meals and bar hoppers with a pleasant and friendly atmosphere while also serving classics. The main courses at Wursthaus feature a variety of beef dishes seasoned with paprika, garlic, and milk; some are served with a pig as a side. The Belgian fries at Wursthaus are prepared fresh from Kennebec potatoes and come with a variety of dipping sauces ranging from jalapeño ranch and barbeque to buffalo ranch and honey mustard. Diners may taste their Drunken Fries, Belgian fries topped with haus andalouse sauce, and caramelized onions. Sausage fans may choose from a range of sausages, including the Hungarian variety.

5. Chapter One: The Modern Local

Tuna at Chapter One: The Modern Local (Photo: _anniek via Flickr)

Chapter One: The Modern Local is situated in an ex-book store. This modern tavern serves cocktails, beer & pub grub to a hip crowd. So, nestled in a former bookshop, Chapter One pays homage to the literary world with its décor while serving a reasonably priced menu of innovative interpretations of excellent American classics and lots of libations. Even without the tantalizing small meals such as kimchi chicken wings and duck fat fries, the literature-themed specialty cocktail menu is worth a visit for the cherry rum combination Old Man and the Sea and the delicious tropical tastes of Paradise Lost. Chapter One has been a standing favorite in downtown Santa Ana for years, and good reason. The cocktails here are both creative and delicious. 

In addition, this bar has a great selection of whiskeys, whether you want it neat or in a cocktail. Happy hour is a great time to enjoy those cocktails and beers because the drinks and the prices are great. The menu here is seasonal, and you’ll always be able to find something delicious like duck-fat fries and pork-belly buns. Their eclectic food and spirits fuse the exotic with the traditional, always created with our playful twist. Tony Castaneda, the executive chef, uses local, sustainable, seasonal, and all-natural foods in his kitchen. The atmosphere blends the pleasures of elegant dining with the relaxed friendliness of a local pub. Their cocktail list, highlighted by our award-winning fresh ginger Moscow Mules, also features over 200 whiskeys worldwide. They have good vibes only. This unique little spot has an all-are-welcome feel. Chapter One: the modern local gains inspiration from the creative minds of owners Jeffrey Hall, Tim O’Connor, and Jeff Jensen, who sought to evolve the gastropub concept and take it local. 

In addition to providing great food and eye-appealing presentations, the ingredients are farm-to-table sourced, drawing from in-season berries & fruits and the best California offers in produce, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and additional ingredients that span the globe. Twelve draft beers, wine bottle specials, and fresh fruit infusion shots such as their Moscow Mule made with house ginger and served in a traditional copper cup. Druid Divination is prepared with muddled strawberry, thyme, basil, Irish knot whiskey, Barsol Pisco, and 25-year-aged balsamic. Out of this world, delicious! Like Happy Hour, After Office features seasonal drink and food specials from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, in an atmosphere that blends the comfort of home with the excitement of urban life.

4. Native Son Bar

Water and Beer at Native Son Alehouse (Photo: Jessica Rice via Flickr)

Native Son Bar is a Laid-back hangout with a rooftop lounge known for its extensive selection of craft brews on tap. Native Son is your local cocktail bar & alehouse. They bring you unique cocktails & beers from the best breweries in Orange County & the Inland Empire on their Santa Ana rooftop bar & Rancho Cucamonga patio space. Craft beers & craft liquors are their specialty & their staff can help you find the best beers to fit your taste no matter your preferences. You can find them above Taqueria Guadalajara in OC. Join them for food from their curated menu or drop by before or after hitting the best restaurants near you. Drop into one of their regular events or schedule a private party! Of course, wine isn’t the only boutique beverage in town, and Native Son Alehouse is possibly the most excellent place to experience an outstanding, changing range of craft brews. 

Their 27 taps rotate, but they constantly serve some of the most outstanding independent brewers in a concentrated location that appears tiny until you walk upstairs to their magnificent, spacious rooftop bar. It is hard to find a better spot to enjoy a tall glass of beer and a great plate of sharing nibbles like jalapeño poppers or brussel sprout chips. There is a certain charm in going up on a rooftop and enjoying a few beers while chatting with friends. That is precisely what you can do at Native Son. This Santa Ana bar has a significant number of beers on tap with craft beers, most of which are brewed right here in southern California. 

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. You may be confident that everything you purchase will be excellent. When you’ve decided on a beer, you may drink it on the patio while watching the action in downtown Santa Ana. Native Son Bar is a pleasant spot with a rooftop view of downtown Santa Ana. It provides a large selection of craft beers on tap. So, they provide both ultimate outdoor sitting and interior seats. The restaurant is ideal for a late-night meal. They have excellent service and cuisine. Therefore, the dish is tasty and has a good taste balance. The adjacent BBQ provides another entertaining aspect to the bar. You should also try native fries! So, this is one of the best rooftop bars Santa Ana has to offer!

3. Mission Bar

Mission Bar is a laid-back stop for ample craft beer taps & wine, as well as pool tables & a jukebox. It is a craft beer and wine bar with two pool tables and a TouchTunes jukebox. Corazon Coffee Bar is popping up 7 am-3 pm M-Sat. Karaoke, Bingo, and Dj nights. Outside Beer Garden on the weekends with food pop-ups. Mission Bar was founded by two friends who shared a passion for craft beer and good times. They were turned off by the exorbitant rates that pubs were demanding for their favorite beers; excellent beers are intended to be enjoyed among friends, not to bankrupt those who consume them. Mission Bar was created to provide delicious beer at the greatest pricing in the globe! 

The comfortable atmosphere is enhanced by two pool tables and a jukebox that plays your favorite tracks. Happy hour is available seven days a week from 4 pm to 7 pm, and all items from the 36 artisan beer and wine brands are just $4. Come on by. You’ll be pleased you did! Mission Bar provides an affordable choice for a drinking session with friends. This is a beer lover’s delight, with a draught selection of more than 31 beers on tap, leaving you spoiled for choice. If you prefer bottled and canned beer mixtures, they also have several. You can play a game of pool at this spot with your friends or watch your favorite sporting event without breaking the bank at Mission Bar. 

After a lengthy tour around the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, come here to relax. Tacos prepared to perfection are among the delicacies available at Mission Bar. Come here for some tasty craft beer, draught beer, or wine. The welcoming ambiance of this establishment allows customers to unwind and enjoy themselves. Fast service is provided by well-trained professionals eager to assist you at this location. Prices are reasonable in the opinion of visitors. So, this is one of the best bars Santa Ana has to offer. If you are in town, we recommend visiting this bar at least once!

2. Fling Cocktail Lounge

The Fling Cocktail Lounge is a welcoming bar that provides delicious drinks. This vintage pub with red velvet decor and pin-up paintings started in 1972 and featured live music. It first opened its doors in 1972. The outside has an antique vintage feel about it. The environment is welcoming, and you can even bring your grandparents. It is a welcoming environment for everybody. They offer live music and delicious beverages. Also, try to come here on Tuesdays since they have happy hour deals on beverages! This is the place to go if you enjoy drinking in a dark pub in the middle of the day. The nightlife is buzzing with activity. No other neighborhood pub is as hospitable and exciting from the moment the door opens until the last call. Excellent ambiance! Fantastic live band! The bartender and waiter were fantastic! 

This is the spot to be whether you want to spend time with yourself or a group of pals. If you have a chance to be nearby, order some excellently cooked pizza from this pub. This establishment is well-known for its superb draught beer, wine, and liquor. In the evening, musicians provide live music. Its main merits are its quick service and friendly employees. You will like reasonable prices. So, Fling Cocktail Lounge has a spectacular atmosphere and terrific decor. Fling Cocktail Lounge, located in Santa Ana, is dedicated to Cocktail bars & lounges. You can find it at 2370 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, 92705, CA – California – United States or by phone number +1 714 547 8972. 

If you wish, you can contact Fling Cocktail Lounge during office hours exposed below on this page or by completing the contact form from Fling Cocktail Lounge 24 hours a day. What a night! This place was fantastic. First, we must send a HUGE thank you to the people who kept us drinking all night. We don’t know who you all were, but you certainly do, and you guys are fantastic. Judging by the beginning of the night, we were a bit concerned that it would be a slow, uneventful Saturday night. Then that bell rang and, let me tell you, the party was on! The band was rocking, the crowd was rolling, and the bartenders were fantastic. Go ahead and check them out. Have fun. So, this is one of the best dive bars Santa Ana has to offer!

1. Silva’s Sports Bar and Lounge

Silva’s Sports Bar and Lounge is the Modern Brazilian option for churrasco, seasonal veggies & whole-grain sides, plus craft cocktails. If you’re a sports fan who isn’t sure what to do for a night out, go to Silva’s Sports Bar and Lounge. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy yourself. Silva’s is a high-end sports bar and lounge next to South Coast Plaza that caters to high-end and local clientele. Silva’s Sports Bar & Lounge is the best place for customers to visit, whether coming in to watch a sports event or enjoy fantastic food and beverages. They also feature outside seats for a different perspective. They have a unique cuisine and provide an unforgettable eating experience. So you can unwind and dine in style. Though the rates are a little exorbitant, the experience is unparalleled. Silva’s Sports Bar’s drinks and meals are as different as the venue’s.

The private mixologist’s cocktail menu is inspired by American classics and is made with only the freshest ingredients. Light cuisine selections include a range of small plates – ideal for an after-work or evening snack – and delectable meals made by a talented chef. Silva’s team is friendly and welcoming, making you feel like family with exceptional service from Owner Boss Man ”Alex,” Bartender/Waitress Jocelyn Prado,” Bartender “Maria C.,” and Waitress “Diana” (Standouts, to name a few). Silva’s serves excellent cuisine and beverages, has 14 large screen TVs for sporting events, movies, or performances, and has fantastic music with live DJs or live musicians. Brazilian/Latin style with the nicest atmosphere and service! Beautiful, welcoming environment with a wide selection of Brazilian cuisine and drinks and vibrant DJ music. 

The bartender, Alisa, is excellent; she makes great tasty Mojitos, smacking the mint leaves between her palms with a loud cracking noise, flattening them before blending them into the glass. A very kind and inviting individual with a vibrant and lovely personality. She makes you feel at ease and like you’re a family member. I will surely return only to experience that excellent service again. I visit this great restaurant once a month because I like the pleasant atmosphere that is unique to this establishment. The staff is kind and knowledgeable. The service is quite fast. Not to mention the delicious cuisine they provide. I ate there several times and was always satisfied. The cost is reasonable. So, this is one of the best bars Santa Ana has to offer.

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