From the glossy, international beach dream of tobacco titan Abbot Kinney, to an oilfield slum for half a century, Venice's history has been turbulent. Because of its affordability the neighborhood attracted a diverse counterculture population in the '60s, followed by the skateboarding Z-Boys who used derelict elements of Venice as a foundation for sport. Some of that colorful population remains today but is now contrasted by an influx of affluent residents.
Some of the diviest watering holes of bygone years have been replaced by trendy haberdashers and high-end baby couture. Still, some remain, and our picks below are the best of what Venice bar culture has to offer, both old and new.
See also: The Top 10 Bars in Santa Monica
For the week between paychecks, Nikki's has your back with the best budget buzz in town. $3 beer, house wine and well drinks wash down weekday food specials -- the three-cheese nachos will feed a crowd. With ample TVs, it's a great place to watch the game, college football especially. A DJ comes on at 10 p.m. and the kitchen is open late. 72 Market St., Venice; (310) 450-3010.
9. The Brig
You may not start out your night at The Brig but you may well end it here. This longstanding Venice establishment has a retro space age vibe. The drink list is familiar, the lighting is moody, and the jukebox plays loud. No one is taking themselves too seriously -- a refreshing change from the rest of Abbot Kinney. 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 399-7537.
See also: A photo tour of Venice's best bars