Open since 200, this tiny cocktail bar on 2nd Street has become somewhat of a drinking staple in downtown Santa Monica. Though it’s technically a hotel bar (it resides on the ground floor of Hotel Carmel), it doesn’t boast the typical qualities of one. Which is to say, the drinks are well-made and the crowd is mostly made up of locals.

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The Best Happy Hours In Santa Monica  guide image
The Best Happy Hours In Santa Monica

The 20 best places for cheap drinks in Santa Monica.

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The Independence is one of the more laid-back options in Santa Monica, with classic American food and never too much of a crowd.

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The Craftsman is a relaxed downtown Santa Monica bar and a great spot to hit up after a long day at the beach.

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An unparalleled day-drinking situation, especially for the young.