By Greg Nagel


Heading out for a night on the town? Santa Ana has flavor and fun long after dark.


Blinking Owl is Orange County's first distillery to produce bourbon, rye, aquavit, gin, and vodka, all made on-site from organic California-grown grain. Book a tour of its tall-copper distillery and barrel room and stay for delicious cocktails and elevated bar bites. 


Cerveza Cito Brewery is the brainchild of hometown hair products company Suavecito, featuring a production brewery and taproom in a historic brick building. Many of the beers draw inspiration from Mexican flavors, such as the Tepache Sour, a spicy take on the popular fermented roadside pineapple drink. 


One of Santa Ana's oldest bars, the recently remodeled Club 616 serves classy craft cocktails, 12 beers on tap, and non-alcoholic specialty drinks; there's also comfortable indoor seating, a pool table, and an outdoor fire pit for socializing. 


Detention 2.0, formerly a full-service restaurant called Playground DTSA and then Detention, reincarnated into a membership lounge that offers personalized cocktails, wine, beer, and snacks. To inquire about availability prior to your visit, contact


El Indio Botanas y Cerveza started out as a place to get street food and imported craft beers from Mexico but has since evolved into a legit spot to discover artisan tequila and mezcal producers. DJs spin most nights to keep the vibe going. 


La Santa is an intimate live music spot to catch up-and-coming bands and hip-hop artists, as well as fun tribute acts. 


Mission Control's barcade is the perfect place to relive your '80s vintage arcade sessions, with a fun tap list and video game-inspired cocktails that can be unlocked with a secret button combo such as the Pacman Sour. 


Mission Bar's primary mission is to serve nicely priced local craft beers in a cozy dive bar setting. Friendly locals curate a fun jukebox playlist when DJs aren't spinning, and the pool table is always busy. 


Twisted Tiki is a tiny hidden oasis located in the McFadden Public Market. Try to pronounce its Humuhumunukunukuapua'a drink, a tequila riff on the piña colada. 


Vacation Bar's beautifully garnished cocktails are inspired by cities; simply order a drink by destination, shut your eyes, and take a sip... you just might be transported there.