Must Try Cocktail Bars in Ventura County Coast

The Best Drink Ever here and we are excited to introduce you to some of our favorite bars in the Ventura County Coast. Sure, you know the area for their beautiful beaches, plentiful sun, inspiring vistas and delicious food. But did you know about their incredible cocktail bars? 

From tiki bars with endless rum cocktails, to modern bars with classic cocktails, to spirit forward bars with a view, Ventura County Coast will delight and surprise you when it comes to cocktail culture. With so many cool spots in the region, our only challenge was where to start!

VenTiki Lounge and Lanai

VenTiki Lounge and Lanai transports you from the beautiful beaches straight to the pristine beaches of Polynesia. A true island oasis in Ventura, this tiki bar serves up Polynesian-inspired cuisine along with an impressive array of modern tiki drinks and traditional cocktails. Owner Scott was inspired by the classic tiki restaurants he grew up going to in the area and longed to see a return. He opened VenTiki in 2013 with an emphasis on delightful and imaginative cocktails and modern mixology.

Looking for a traditional tropical-island inspired drink? Grab a seat on the outdoor patio lounge or pull up a stool inside at the festive bar and prepare to be transported. If you’re in the mood for a traditional tiki cocktail, we’d recommend a Mai Tai. Invented by Trader Vic, VentTiki’s Mai Tais are made with lime and rum and without the addition of grenadine or pineapple. Their version of Mai Tai features Rhum Clément Silver Rum, Rhum Clément Gold Rum, and orgeat and will not disappoint. You even get to take home the VenTiki mug. 

One of our favorite cocktails was the I.C.C. of ‘73. This 1973 International Cocktail Competition winning recipe includes Gin, Gold Rum, Disaronno, Passionfruit Syrup, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Grenadine, Orange Curacao and Blue Curacao. VenTiki Bartender Ayreanna say’s, “It’s a definite must try on their menu.”

While planning our trip to Ventura County Coast, we discovered that Port Hueneme is one of the largest busiest ports for bananas entering the U.S.,and they even have an annual event to celebrate, Port Hueneme’s Banana Festival. So naturally, we had to try VenTiki’s Chunky Monkey, which celebrates this popular fruit with a delicious combination of pineapple, light rum, macadamia nut liqueur, banana liquor, Deadhead Chocolate Rum, liquid alchemist coconut, dark rum float and chocolate bitters. Make sure to try this with their Spamaggedon Sliders…You’re Welcome.

Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar

Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oxnard serves seasonal California cuisine with a Mediterranean twist and their cocktails are not to be missed. With incredible views of the Channel Islands Harbor at nearly every seat, their impressive cocktails are always paired with stunning scenery. 

In the mood for an elevated twist on a classic beachside cocktail? Try the Chambord Raspberry Margarita. Made with fresh raspberries, Chambord and tequila, this elegant take on a traditional margarita will elevate happy hour any day of the week.

Make sure to grab a seat outside for their amazing patio views while you enjoy their Jalapeno Basil Martini. Made with fresh lime juice, muddled jalapeno, St. Germain, Tanqueray and basil, how could you go wrong?

SLATE Bistro & Craft Bar

SLATE Bistro & Craft Bar is a contemporary and refined restaurant in Camarillo pairing classic American cuisine with an extraordinary craft cocktail list. The bistro opened in 2018 and has been surprising and delighting guests with their innovative and tasty cocktails (with cheeky names) ever since. Cocktail lovers will have a hard time choosing which to try. We recommend narrowing your options by alcohol base, sweetness preference or even color – there’s something for everyone and every mood. 

When was the last time you had a purple cocktail? SLATE can give you a choice of no less than six options of purple concoctions. If you’re feeling sassy try the “Irististable B*tch/ Bad & Boujee” featuring vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, prosecco and pomegranate juice. “Underneath the Cream” is a take on a piña colada with Denizen Rum, pineapple juice, coconut water, lime juice, demerara syrup, lime pineapple foam, and tiki bitters. The drink is topped with a purple flower and palm leaves–it’s quite the stunner. 

We think there’s something deeply satisfying about a traditional gin and tonic but SLATE has leveled-up this classic craft cocktail with the “Clean Slate.” The “Clean Slate” is a precise mix of Hendricks Gin, elderflower liqueur, aloe liqueur, butterfly pea simple syrup, lavender bitters, lime juice, and soda water. You’d be hard pressed to find a more refreshing and satisfying cocktail. 

Feeling adventurous…this Amaterasu cocktail is the perfect balance of Nigiri sake, Shochu, Yuzu and Pomegranate. This cocktail pairs well with their amazing sushi selection. 

Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust

The Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust is a chic and modern cocktail bar housed in a historic building in downtown Ventura near shopping and local landmarks. Our team loved the vibe here! 

Located in the Bank of Italy building, a 1924 Beaux-Arts style two-story building first used as a bank, the Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust is an Italian influenced bar and restaurant serving up classic cocktails and drinks with sophisticated style. Head here if you’re looking for some fancy cocktails. 

There’s a bit of mysticism influenced in the decor of the bar with nods to fantastical stories (looking at you Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fans!) and this magic also gets influenced into the drinks they serve. Let your cocktail cast a spell over your and order a Longbottom (contratto aperitif, gin, lime, grapefruit, tarragon, and tonic), a Gandalf the Grey-hound (vodka, grapefruit, Italian stuff, and lemon), or an Order of the Phoenix (blanco tequila, strawberry, campari, vanilla, mezcal, bitter rhubarb, lemon).

If classic cocktails are more your speed, order a traditional Negroni or try one with a twist. Their Coffee Negroni is made with gin, bitter aperitif, Vermouth, (local) Coffee Collective cold brew, Amaro di Angostura, and cacao. The Negroni Rosado is an inventive blend of mezcal, Cocchi Rosa Aperitif, grapefruit oils, Dry Vermouth, Oaxacan rum, and gentian. You may not recognize all these ingredients, but trust us, they are all delicious.

So where are you starting first? Take a trip to Ventura County Coast to stir up an unforgettable and delicious cocktail adventure.

About The Best Drink Ever

TBDE is a Los Angeles influencer team that is passionate about craft cocktails and sharing the great stories behind them. Their mission is to inspire you to try new drinks and share their stories. Follow @TheBestDrinkEver on Instagram to discover the best bars and bartenders on their search for The Best Drink Ever.

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Visit these regions of Ventura County Coast

Camarillo
Oxnard
Ventura
Port Hueneme
Channel Islands National Park

Regions

Ventura County Coast

Ventura County Coast is a string of four communities that radiate warmth from welcoming people and California sunshine. The region embodies the casual and active spirit of classic, where the seafood is fresh, the beer is handcrafted and the weather is the kind you dream about. Spend the day exploring miles of beaches, incredible harbors or lush green golf courses. Hop on a boat for a day trip to the Channel Islands National Park, where you can see breathtaking views of the Southern California coastline. With a bustling culture, high end and vintage shopping, a lively culinary spirit and beautiful outdoor experiences, Ventura County Coast calls on every visitor to find their vibe. From hiking and biking to sailing and snorkeling, from shopping and dining to just plain relaxing, Ventura County Coast will fill your days with a lifetime of memories.

Camarillo

Camarillo

An hour north of Los Angeles, Camarillo is nestled at the base of the Conejo foothills surrounded by verdant green fields and cool ocean breezes. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, enjoy Camarillo alfresco. From outdoor shopping and concerts, to delicious dining and fun events, Camarillo has it all. With small town charm and a rich history, it is the place for romantic weddings and corporate venues. Visit the historical sites and museums during the day, and walk along Old Town for dinner and drinks at night. A great getaway for everyone, Camarillo is the ideal place to Come for the Sun, Stay for the Fun.

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Oxnard

Oxnard

Rally your tribe and head for the Central Coast. California cool, panorama-perfect, culturally authentic and vibrant beyond measure. Oxnard is home to miles of pristine white sand beaches, electric nightlife, some of the best taquerias in the state, historic Victorian era architecture, the California Strawberry Festival, and an expansively picturesque harbor that serves as the closest access point to the Channel Islands National Park. Just sixty miles northwest of LAX and in close proximity to Santa Barbara and other major destinations, Oxnard is one of California’s best kept secrets.

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Ventura

Ventura

A place that embodies a casual soul and unexpected allure, Ventura is a vibrant town that checks stress and pretense at the door.  Its artistic culture, enduring history and privileged locale is crazy-inviting, very much alive, and refreshingly human.

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Port Hueneme

Port Hueneme

Just sixty miles northwest of Los Angeles, in the heart of the Central Coast, you’ll find Port Hueneme, the friendly city by the sea. Port Hueneme is the place for travelers looking to dig their toes in the sand, take a long walk, drop a fishing line off the pier or just kick back and relax. With walking and biking trails winding throughout the city and a perfect climate almost year round, you can revive your soul in Hueneme.

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Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is an American national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U.S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean.

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