LONG BEACH

Riley Kern

Too big to be a suburb of LA but TFC (look it up!) to be OC, Long Beach sits between the two, siphoning off Orange County youth who are too afraid to move away to an actual large city. But hey, Long Beach is a pretty cool place to be, so how can you blame them?

Want to be nouvelle hip? Hang out in the East Village (www.eastvillagelongbeach.com), with its galleries, art spots, even a museum to check out. Each month, the Second Saturday Art Walk brings musicians, performers and artists out of their studios and into the public, showing up on every corner south of Sixth.

If you want to do some hip eating, grab a coffee, beer and lunch from Berlin Bistro (420 E. Fourth St., 562-435-0600; www.berlincoffeehouse.com). Of note is the bruschetta, featuring a thick, wonderfully fresh helping of tomatoes and garlic dolloped onto crostini lovingly blanketed with goat cheese. If you can, order a bottle of Monkish Brewery beer, one of the best breweries in the South Bay and home to what may be the only Vietnamese American brewmaster, well, anywhere.

After lunch, don't even leave the building. Just cross over to Fingerprints (562-433-4996; fingerprintsmusic.com), a loving collection of vinyl, books and media—browse and buy away. From here, you can head east and enter downtown proper, where you can imbibe on The Promenade with everyone from old punks to new transplants. Beachwood Barbecue (210 E. Third St., 562-436-4020; beachwoodbbq.com) has one of the best beer selections in Southern California. Congregation Alehouse (201 E. Broadway, 562-432-2337; congregationalehouse.com)? Same story. If you're sick of the beer, head to The Stave (170 The Promenade N., 562-612-4750; www.thestavebar.com) for some whiskey. Looking for cocktails, check out The Federal Bar (102 Pine Ave., 562-435-2000; lb.thefederalbar.com). Feeling a little peckish? You've got Michael's Pizzeria (210 E. Third St., 562-491-2100; michaelspizzeria.com), Pier 76 (95 Pine Ave., 562-983-1776), Broadway Pizza (120 E. Broadway, 562-901-9690; broadwaypizzalb.com) and a whole mess more restaurants to choose from. Even Congregation has a pretty great menu—try the sausage platter or the pretzel.

Now, head east of the East Village on Fourth for a little bit, and you'll hit Retro Row. Some people say it's for hipsters, but that's a lie. Retro Row is really a step into the sorta-punk-y, sorta-rockabilly past. Grab some fish and chips at the Pike Restaurant and Bar (1836 E. Fourth St., 562-437-4453; pikelongbeach.com), owned by Social Distortion drummer Chris Reece. Don't forget to check out the kitsch and knickknacks in the numerous vintage stores.

Is it nighttime? Then you're surrounded by the best concentration of dives in Southern California. First, go to The Stache (941 E. Fourth St., 562-606-2529; thestachebar.com) for an organic cocktail. Then head to The V Room (918 E. Fourth St., 562-437-4396) and get a ridiculous $6 Boilermaker. After that, stop by The Red Room (1227 E. Fourth St., 562-432-4241; redroomrocks.com) and get whatever you want. Finally, end up at Fern's (1253 E. Fourth St., 562-436-6694), order a drink, and take a swing at the boxing machine. Don't get into a fight; instead, stumble across the street to Holé Molé (421 Obispo Ave., 562-439-2555; holemole.com), an exceedingly adequate Mexican chain that's going to taste amazing right about now.

But there's no Long Beach without North Long Beach. Take a day from the hip-ness of the East Village and old-school cool of Retro Row and visit Robert Earls BBQ (703 E. Artesia Blvd., 562-726-1116). It's basically on the edge of our coverage area, and the barbecue there is some of the best you'll ever eat. Better than any in Orange County proper, that's for sure.

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Related Locations

miles
Berlin Bistro

420 E. Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-435-0600

www.berlincoffeehouse.com

miles
Fingerprints

420 E. Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-433-4996

www.fingerprintsmusic.com

miles
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

210 E. 3rd St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-436-4020

www.beachwoodbbq.com

miles
Congregation Ale House

201 E. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-432-2337

www.congregationalehouse.com

miles
The Stave

170 The Promenade North
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-612-4750

www.thestavebar.com

miles
The Federal Bar

102 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-435-2000

lb.thefederalbar.com

miles
Michael's Pizzeria

210 E. 3rd St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-491-2100

www.michaelspizzeria.com

miles
Pier 76 Fish Grill

95 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-983-1776

pier76fishgrill.com

miles
Broadway Pizza

120 E. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-901-9690

www.broadwaypizzalb.com

miles
The Pike Bar & Fish Grill

1836 E. Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-437-4453

www.pikelongbeach.com

miles
The Stache Bar

941 E. Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-606-2529

www.thestachebar.com

miles
V Room

918 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90802-1627

562-437-4396

V%20Room%20(918%20E.%204th%20St.)

miles
Red Room

1277 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-432-4241

www.redroomrocks.com

miles
Fern's Cocktails

1253 E. Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-436-6694

miles
Hole Mole

421 Obispo Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90814

562-439-2555

www.holemole.com

miles
Robert Earl's BBQ

703 E. Artesia Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90805

562-726-1116

www.facebook.com/R.E.bbq


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