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Lore & Libations

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Two guests in the bar

A cut above your neighborhood bar

Named in honor of local legend and former owner, Howard “Bud” Allen, La Playa’s newly-restored bar and restaurant is a tribute to this storied, sage community and its lore.

Featuring an inspired cocktail menu that will put your local knowledge to the test, a curated collection of historic memorabilia, and an expanded food menu, Bud’s invites you into Carmel’s visionary — though occasionally-drunken — bohemian past. Carmel, after all, is a beautiful place worth celebrating in all its eccentricity.

Our Menu

A few of our favorites

  • Signature Cocktails
  • Wines
  • Beers
  • On The Plate

Bud's Martini

Gin, Vodka, Lillet. An old standard if there ever was one. Bud’s Martini harkens back to the Carmel of 1965 with clean flavors and a winkingly austere composition. Served straight up.



Cognac, Cointreau, Lemon Juice. Our tribute to La Playa’s former owner, Bud Allen, who would dispense sage wisdom from behind the bar in his signature uniform of mismatched plaid. Served straight up.


The Mayor

Whisky, Bitters, Orange, Bourbon Cherry. Clint Eastwood’s mayoral career began when Bud Allen convinced him it would be more productive to pursue political office than sit around complaining. The Mayor is distinguished by bittersweet flavors and smoked maple undertones. Served on the rocks.


The Jade Hunter

Absinthe, Rye, Cognac, Bitters, Lemon. Whether you’re a hippy or a millionaire, gem hunting is a cult pastime around here, and the very best spots are closely-guarded secrets. Sharp Anise flavors meld with smoky cognac. Served straight up.


Mollusk Mule

Vodka, Limoncello, Ginger Beer, Lime. Our sweet and sour send-up to a legendary local mollusk, the Abalone. The Mollusk Mule follows in the footsteps of Carmel’s most prolific artists who drunkenly penned their own poetic odes to this hideous, yet strangely delicious, creature. Served on the rocks.


Towne Councilor

A single pour of whatever rare libation currently inhabits locker #1. Cheers to our friends at City Hall. As anyone who has attended a city council meeting will tell you, Carmel is as vocal as it is beautiful. After a long evening of debate, everyone needs a stiff drink. Served straight up.

Market Price

California Proof

Tequila, Grapefruit Juice, Lime, Club Soda. As Edward Abbey wrote, “There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.” Bright flavors with a dreamy undercurrent of sharp citrus true to the golden state. Served on the rocks.


The Cavalry

Rum, Lime, Simple Syrup, Egg White. Named for the infamous group of local poker players, writers, bards, and raconteurs who founded their alliance at La Playa. Sometimes, the remaining members still trade stories in the room where they first met. A timeless classic, served straight up.


Sinclair Oil

Cognac, Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Bitters. Writer’s fuel. A tribute to either Upton Sinclair or Sinclair Lewis. You decide. This smoky, herbal remedy is served straight up.


The Ingenue

Bitters, Lemon, Sparkling Rosé, St. Germaine. Named for Angela Ghirardelli — of confectionary fame. An artist in her own right, she and her husband first built La Playa, which fast became a popular salon during Carmel’s seminal bohemian period. Bright summer citrus meets pink Rosé. Served on the rocks.


Doc Rickett's Lab

Aperol, Grapefruit Juice, Peroni, Prosecco. Doc Rickett’s marine laboratory on Cannery Row saw specimens of all kinds — a gathering place for artists and intellectuals like Joseph Campbell, Henry Miller, and John Steinbeck. This bubbly, eclectic spritzer is served on the rocks.


Don't Call Me Terrance

Rye, Vermouth, Bourbon Cherry, Bitters. Inspired by cinema legend, Steve McQueen. Don’t Call Me Terrence is distinguished by classic, unwavering flavors befitting “The King of Cool.” Served straight up.




Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, Italy, NV


Gérard Bertrand

Crémant de Limoux Rosé, France, NV


Nicolas Feuillatte

Reserve Exclusive Brut, Chouilly, France, NV



Talbott Vineyards

Kali Hart, Monterey County, 2017


Stag's Leap Cellars

Karia, Napa Valley, 2017


Sauvignon Blanc

Bernardus Winery

Griva Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, 2018


Other Whites

Blair Estate

Pinot Gris, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, 2016



Rosé, Côtes du Rhone, France, 2017


Pinot Noir

Talbott Vineyards

Kali Hart, Monterey County, 2016


Hahn SLH

Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, 2016


Cabernet Savignon

Justin Vineyards

Paso Robles, 2017


Outlot Wines

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, 2016


Other Reds

Seghesio Family Vineyards

Zinfandel, Sonoma County, 2016


The Pey Family

Merlot, Napa Valley, 2016



Mai Tai P.A. (12oz)

Alvarado Street Brewery, Monterey, Tropical IPA-6.4%


The Bucket Brown Ale (12oz)

Other Brother Beer Co., Seaside, Brown Ale-5.2%


805 Blonde Ale (16oz)

Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, Blonde Ale-4.7%


Peroni (16oz)

Birra Peroni Industriali, Italy, European Lager-5.1%




Bud Light, Blue Moon, Fat Tire, Lagunitas IPA



Corona, Stella Artois, Heineken 0


Craft Beer

Founders Breakfast Stout

American Imperial Stout


Gulden Draak

Belgian Quadruple Ale


Chimay Blue

Belgian Strong Dark Ale


Allagash Curieux

American Barrel Aged Triple


Giant Pretzel (V)

Bacon & Chive Cream Cheese, Spicy Sauerkraut Mustard



Monterey Bay Calamari, House Made Lemon Garlic Aioli


Sourdough Crostini (V)

Burrata Cheese, Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula, Mixed Nuts, Basil & Toasted Pumpkin Pesto


Prime Rib French Dip

French Roll, Au Jus, Horseradish, House Fries


Tomato Bisque & 1/2 Grilled Cheese Sandwich (V)

Roasted Tomato, Fontina, Swiss, Jack, Cheddar Cheese, Sourdough Batard - (GF Bread Available on request)


Quesadilla A La Playa (V)

Whole Wheat Tortilla filled with Cheddar & Jack Cheese, Corn, Black Beans, Spicy Chipotle Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo, & Guacamole. Add Chicken - $3


Central Coast Greens (V)

Seasonal Fruit, Salinas Valley Bitter Greens, Goat Cheese, White Balsamic Vinaigrette


Salmon Nicoise Salad

Sweet Gem Letuce, Blue Lake Beans, Potato, Cherry Tomato, Hardboiled Egg, Olives, Cornichons, Olive Oil Dijon Dressing


Cobb Salad

Roasted Turkey, Romaine, Tomato Cucumber, Avocado, Garbanzo Beans, Hardboiled Egg, Bacon, Olives, Blue Cheese, Creamy Herb Dressing


Bud's Burger

Brioche Bun, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickles, House Fries


Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Artisan Ciabatta Roll, Breaded Chicken Breast, Heirloom Tomato, Jack Cheese, Butter Leaf Lettuce, Avocado Aioli, House Fries



New York-Style with Fresh Berries


Molten Chocolate Cake (V)

Served with Spiced Cream and Chocolate Sauce


Happy Hour Instructions
Dime Time

A Secret Happy Hour

Bud’s continues its cherished tradition of “Dime Time,” the bar’s famous 10-cent Happy “Hour.”

“Dime Time” occurs once a day at the bartender’s discretion and only lasts for ten minutes. (Yet another reason to tip the bartender well.) Revelers must pay with exact change, so remember to keep dimes at the ready. Because there is no better time to buy everyone a round.

Carmel Building
A love letter to carmel

Our History

Like many good stories, Carmel’s stems from catastrophe. San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake wreaked havoc on the city and brought a flood of artists seeking refuge from the rubble — led, in large part, by the bohemian poet George Sterling. And from the ashes of disaster, a community of luminaries was born, including the likes of Edward Weston, Sinclair Lewis, Ansel Adams, Jack London, Mary Austin, and Angela Ghirardelli who laid the foundations for La Playa Carmel and this very bar.

Carmel’s history is storied, and rightly so. It is a community inhabited by the kind of people who would elect several poets (and Clint Eastwood) as mayor. The kind of community where jade hunting, abalone bashing, and drunken poetry readings are popular pastimes. Host to painters, politicians, musicians, philosophers, writers, cartoonists, and all the poly-hyphenates in between, Carmel is a gathering place unlike anything else in California. And Bud’s is an ode to its legends.

Come and join us for a drink

Open daily

3:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Call us

(831) 293-6100


Inside La Playa Carmel
Camino Real at Eighth Ave
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921

Get Directions
Bud's Map

Hungry for more?

Come join us at one of our sister restaurants, where there's more food, drink and good times to be had.

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Hungry for more?

Come join us at one of our sister restaurants, where there's more food, drink and good times to be had.

Explore classic hotels & resortsExplore classic hotels & resorts