Best Neighborhood Bar, Central OC - 2010
The Anthill Pub
What neighborhood could be more pub-friendly than that of a college campus? Somehow, UC Irvine's bar comes with nearly zero "puke-stained frat house" vibes, even while you might spot an occasional a capella squad or streaker in the quad outside. Instead, you get a laid-back, slightly snooty European-beer-lounge vibe, perfect for kicking back and talking about puke-stained frat houses while sipping on a diverse, wonky brew selection that tends to attract connoisseurs who are a few years past exam age. Between the pumpkin-toned walls, under the chalkboard menu and swathed in the neon glow of beer logos, the only thing that matters is the conversation you're having—the topic of which is probably the deliciousness of the house-made potato chips in front of you.