The Poet & Patriot, where God goes for a Guiness Photo by Curtis Cartier.
On a cold Santa Cruz night, where’s the best place to be? Bellied up to the bar in a cozy, friendly pub, lifting a pint and forgetting your woes. Here's where you'll find us if everything goes the way we plan.
The Poet & Patriot
The ceilings are low but the spirits are high. Known for its leftist Irish décor and extensive suds selection, the Poet caters to those who see a bar less as a bar and more like a well-stocked second home. Get the Guiness cold or at room temp—they’ve got it both ways. With trivia nights, darts tournaments and all-day beer specials, the Poet is a true Santa Cruz institution.
320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz. 831.426.8620
Parish Publick House
Could be the grilled cheese sandwich. Might be the bangers and mash. It almost certainly has to do with the selection of beers (more than 100) that has turned this rustic Westside pub into a magnet for hipsters and beerophiles of all stripes since opening a few years ago. A carefully written menu guides the newbie through unfamiliar beerish territory, from Flemish ales to Russian stouts. Major bonus: this is one of the friendliest places in town. Now you’ll never get your Westside friends to leave their neighborhood.
841 Almar Ave, Santa Cruz. 831.421.0507
The original Britannia Arms, in Aptos, is a warm, authentic English pub complete with fish n’ chips and waitresses that call you “love,” and it’s a popular spot for drinking, trivia and general revelry. Now, betting that two arms are better than one, the mighty Britannia Arms has multiplied itself and brought serious pub fare, British attitude and oodles of beers to Capitola on the location of the former Cafe Lido and Bluewater Steakhouse.
8017 Soquel Dr, Aptos, 831.688.1233
110 Monterey Ave, Capitola, 831.464.2583.
A more upscale establishment than most Irish pubs, this restaurant/bar has a tucked-away dance floor where revelers can shake out their worries without disturbing diners in the main room. A long list of mixed drinks, including the Naughty Olivia and always-pleasurable Irish Car Bomb, provides a wealth of choices for the thirsty.
1220 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 831.426.9930
Santa Cruz is not exactly known for rowdy sports bars. That said, if one were inclined to get rowdy while watching sports, at a bar, 99 Bottles would be the best place to do it. With five TVs, two floors and–you guessed it–99 different beers, this downtown pub-and-grub has all the facilities for the elation and agony of sports fandom. Serves a mean basket of waffle fries, too.
110 Walnut Ave. Santa Cruz. 831.459.9999