Most people think of Los Angeles when it comes to having a little late night fun, but the best nightlife in Orange County is just as fun and a lot closer! We have chosen a few places for you that have never steered us wrong and that cater to a wide variety of preferences.
The BrewHouse in San Juan Capistrano
Although The BrewHouse closes at 11 on Friday and Saturday, we still thought it should make the list because it is perfect for beer lovers and has a middle to high energy level depending on the night. We love that because starting the night off at a dance club puts you at an eleven on a scale of one to ten and that gets exhausting fast.
Some of the best nightlife in Orange County starts here, with 30 beers on tap and an extensive selection from ciders all the way up to double IPA’s and stouts. As with any good brewery, they leave the food side of things to the experts and invite high-quality food trucks that know how to make food that plays well with beer. You can usually just tell them what you’re drinking, and they’ll pick something that enhances the flavor of the beer you’re having and the food!
One other feature that they offer is the awesome board games that they have. For some reason, putting “you sunk my battleship!” and a nice saison together just works!
Knuckleheads in San Clemente
Knuckleheads makes our list of the best nightlife in Orange County for an important reason, locals frequent it but aren’t going to treat you as an outsider. One of the main drawbacks to the local bars is the locals only feel you can get when going in, kind of like going to the wrong area of the beach and getting chased out by surfers. They don’t do that here.
Knuckleheads is the dive bar that you always hoped for. It keeps that reputation with strong drinks, two pool tables, and good vibes. They have a nice patio area for the smokers that gets pretty rowdy as well. The best thing that you would not expect in a dive bar is that the food is fantastic!
Taking a look at the menu, you would think it’s just your typical bar food, but they actually but a lot of thought into making this food stand out from every other bar. I’m not a chef, so I can’t speak to what they do, but the Pulled Pork Nachos have a chipotle dust on them, and it tastes incredible. You won’t find a dive bar in a 20-mile radius that can top Knuckleheads, guaranteed!
Luxe Restaurant and Martini Bar
Luxe may be another early closing location, but it is perfect for a celebration or an evening that screams for a little classiness. The best nightlife in Orange County doesn’t have to include dance floors because when you’re having a killer time everywhere is a good place to dance! Luxe is the place to be for mouthwatering Italian and Mediterranean food and stiff martinis.
Our favorite martinis include the Serrano Lemon Drop which has a great balance of hot and sweet and the Blueberry Twist Martini. Pair this up with their Mediterranean Sampler or Cheese Plate with your friends, or have the Braised Ribs while you enjoy the company on a nice date. You can have an incredible and well-rounded evening all in one location!