Best Neighborhood Bar, Coastal OC - 2010
It's easy to pass by this hole-in-the-wall bar near the Newport Pier, but Beach Ball is a dive at its best—with cheap, stiff drinks and a loyal following. This is not a place to order prissy, girly martinis. For a true Beach Ball experience, go for beer or well drinks; you won't be disappointed. On busy nights, you are ushered in by the bouncer and directed to the bar—where you are expected to order your drink, and then head downstairs to the main area of the bar. They manage to cram three pool tables, a photo booth and an arcade game into the small space, but that's standard for any bar along the peninsula. And once you've had your fill, saunter just a few feet down the boardwalk to the nearby Seaside Bakery, a 24-hour doughnut shop, for a hot, gooey ham-and-cheese croissant—the perfect finish to a night out.