balboa island, costa mesa, newport beach

last weekend AP and I tossed our bikes in the truck and headed south to explore balboa island, costa mesa, and newport beach.

  • after parking in a residential costa mesa neighborhood, we rode over to big belly deli in newport for some of their awesome sandwiches before heading down to the beach.  one look at the overcrowded dive bars on the strand had us searching for alternatives – luckily, the crow burger kitchen was only a few minutes away, and in no time we were knocking back pours of dogfish 90 minute and sierra nevada northern hemisphere while going to town on some fresh-cut duck fat fries.
  • the stop at crow burger sustained us during our next ride over to balboa island, where we fulfilled the obligatory chocolate dipped banana and walking tour prerequisites.  After ingesting a week’s worth of calories, we burned off a few riding back to commonwealth, a lounge-y bar that must have been having an off night, with only a handful of active taps.  luckily, one of those taps was pouring bootlegger’s dr. tongue.
  • after heading back to our car, on the way out of town we stopped by goat hill tavern, a completely overrated bar where alcoholics go to die.  cheap draft pours of optimator and a basket of salted nuts couldn’t overcome the overwhelming stale beer stench, overblown but underperforming tap list, dirty beer lines, and horrible service.
  • after a little arm-twisting, we also cruised by hi-time cellars on the way to the freeway.  with hundreds of bottles from all over the world, hi-time’s walk-in cooler didn’t disappoint.  the shop also has a fully stocked wine bar to keep your friends busy while you wander the aisles.
  • I was a little skeptical at first, but the balboa island, costa mesa, and newport beach areas have plenty of resources to appease both the beach-loving beer geek and his discerning, high-society wife.  the ability to bike everywhere is just icing on the cake.  next time I need to hit up slater’s 50/50 though…


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