Part wine shop, part wine bar, Esters is a place where you can take your time with a glass of your favorite vino (or discover something new) while contemplating what bottle to pick up for your next dinner party. Inside, you’ll find comfortable bar seating, where your bartender will gently guide you through an impressive wine list featuring sparkling, white, red and dessert options (glasses range from $13 to $29). Outdoors, a small patio area lets you sip while people-watching. A seasonal, farmers' market driven small plates menu rounds out a trip to Esters, including plates of burrata, grilled cheese and smoked kielbasa—as well as a customizable cheese and charcuterie board.
What makes a decent bar in Santa Monica? Depending on age, relationship status, income level and tolerance for blacked out tech bros, that answer may vary widely. Putting aside the beachside city’s singles hotspots, rooftop bars and tourist draws—we’re looking at you, Bungalow and Circle Bar—we’ve rounded up the 11 best bars in Santa Monica.
On this list, you’ll find steal-worthy happy hours, divey karaoke and grown-up wine and cocktail spots worthy of a celebratory night out. With something for everyone, don’t knock a Santa Monica nightcap until you’ve tried one of these destination-worthy bars.