Best Neighborhood Bar, North OC

Nothing will ever worm its way into the livers of North OC drinkers like the legendary Sam’s Place, a fixture on Brea Boulevard for more than 60 years before shutting down in 1994. But this joint is working on it. Opened in 1980, on the other side of the 57 where most of the worst of Brea is (malls, Farrell’s, Brea residents), this is a quintessential local’s pub. Off the beaten path, but still with all the libations one requires, it caters to those who want a familiar place to hang and get happily buzzed, as well asthe possible excuse to summon one’s inner sloppy and aggressive drunk. It has plenty of suds, wine, spirits, soju and non-alcoholic things to keep you engaged, from NFL Sunday Ticket and pool tables to karaoke and all Brea-related gossip.

151 S. Kraemer Blvd., Brea, (714) 672-9440;

Readers’ Choice: Mulberry Street Ristorante

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