Readers' Poll

30 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 arts and entertainment (or, more likely, even if no one knows your name), it has a vibe that feels like home. Its capacious interior with high ceilings gives the spot an airy feel, and the garage-door-style sliding windows bordering the sidewalk are usually open when the weather ain’t foul. And by the sidewalk, there’s a parklet that makes for some great people- and car-watching while hanging with your besties. And did we forget to mention that the beer is really good? It’s no surprise Other Brother wins in this category. No-brainer. Best Place For Day-Drinking Dust Bowl Brewing Co. 290 Figueroa St., Monterey (831) 641-7002, When John Steinbeck was alive and moving through the world, as writers do, there was a train that traveled from Pebble Beach to San Francisco, the Del Monte Express, which had its last run in the 1970s. Among the stops was a station in Monterey, on the Rec Trail near Fisherman’s Wharf, which has finally found the best reuse of the spot: It’s home to a Dust Bowl Brewing Co. taproom, and its outdoor patio, right along the Rec Trail, is blessed with salt air and, on a good day, plenty of sunshine. Not to mention the beer is excellent, as are the offerings from adjacent Wedo’s food truck. And the passersby traffic on the Rec Trail makes it a top-notch spot in the county—maybe the best—to watch people. And that’s just what Steinbeck did. Best Bar For Darts Bulldog Sports Pub 611 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey (831) 658-0686, A long-time institution in New Monterey, the Bulldog has always been a locals’ favorite. After a recent renovation, the bright, clean, open space shines with TVs everywhere so you don’t miss a moment of the action. The Bulldog offers karaoke, trivia and live music throughout the week. If you’ve got a hankering to throw darts with your pals—or make a new friend to play with—head on down, order a beer and pick a board. Best Happy Hour Hula's Island Grill 622 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey (831) 655-4852, A great crowd, fun drinks, discounts, a 60-minute time limit—these are common happy hour traits. What sets Hula’s apart is their dedication to happy hour. To begin with, it lasts an hour and a half, from 4-5:30pm. And they host it seven days a week. But it only gets better on Tiki Tuesday, when Hula’s breaks all the rules and extends happy hour all night long. That’s right— tiki drinks until the moon is down. Best Pub Crown & Anchor 150 W. Franklin St., Monterey (831) 649-6496, The only thing better than Sunday funday is sweet Thursday. Fortunately, for Monterey County residents, The Crown & Anchor is open on both of them—and the other days, too. This authentic British pub affectionately known to locals as “The Cranker” is celebrating its 20th year being voted Best Pub in Monterey County. Whether it’s the beer, the British fare, or the one-liners delivered by owner Tony Sutton Deakin, Crown & Anchor would certainly meet the approval of Old Jingleballicks himself, to whom Deakin might’ve said, “You will be a stranger here but once.” Best Place To Shoot Pool Easy Street Billiards 511 Tyler St., Monterey (831) 333-0825, Like drive-in movie theaters and bowling alleys, pool halls have all but disappeared. Easy Street in downtown Monterey is a thriving throwback and meeting place for the lovers of billiards in all forms. Well maintained tables and thirst-quenching adult beverages are the tip of the iceberg. They have pinball, darts and, for those who Best Selection Of Wines By The Glass | A Taste of Monterey