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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

Rye Whiskey, 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.


Sinclair Oil

Scotch, Drambuie, Bitters, Lemon OIl. Writer’s fuel. A tribute to either Upton Sinclair or Sinclair Lewis. You decide. This smoky, herbal remedy is served on a large cube.


Mission Revival

Gin, Pamplemousse, Aperol, Dry Vermouth. Echoing the elegance of a timeless aesthetic, this harmony of lightly bitter, citrusy, and botanical calls forth the rich architectural history of the Carmel Mission Served on a large cube.


Sweet Thursday

Rye Whiskey, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Maraschino. A tart tribute to Steinbeck’s Monterey based novel and the sequel to Cannery Row. Here’s to the sweet anticipation of a day suspended between “Lousy Wednesday” and “Waiting Friday.” Served on a large cube.


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.


Carmel Club

Gin, Yuzu, Serrano, Lemon, Curacao, Bitters. A sip through time inspired by the vibrant energy of Carmel in its heyday, blending effervescent citrus notes with a hint of serrano heat. Served up.


Writer's Block

Tequila Reposado, Mezcal, Lime, Agave, Serrano. A libation crafted to conquer creative pauses, blending tequila with the smokey kiss of mezcal, and a lingering serrano heat. Served up.


The Plea Deal

Rum, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Coconut Cream, Bitters, Pineapple Juice, Nutmeg. An offer too good to refuse. This cacophony of flavor negotiations takes its cues from an infamous Tiki classic, the formidable Painkiller. Served on the rocks.


Fiddler's Green

Bud's Pimm's Blend, Ginger, Lemon, Soda. Born of maritime lore, this liquid chronicle harmonizes ginger and lemon with the richness of our bespoke Pimm’s Blend. Served on the rocks.


Letters to Nora

Campari, Manzanilla, Lime, Prosecco. Unfolding like a love letter whispered through the ages, this tribute to the poet Nora May French is infused with the vibrant hues of Campari, sparkling wine, and sea-spray notes of Manzanilla Sherry. Served on the rocks.




Sparkling Wine, Portugal, NV - Choice of White, Rosé or Red



Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, Italy, NV


Gérard Bertrand

Crémant de Limoux Rosé, France, NV


Nicolas Feuillatte

Reserve Exclusive Brut, Chouilly, France, NV


Veuve Clicquot

Brut Yellow Label, Reims, France, NV



Talbott Vineyards

Kali Hart, Monterey County, 2017


Stag's Leap Cellars

Karia, Napa Valley, 2017


Sauvignon Blanc

Scheid Vineyards

Monterey County, 2020


Bernardus Winery

Griva Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, 2018


Other Whites

Justin Vineyards

Rosé, Paso Robles 2020


Blair Estate

Pinot Gris, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, 2016


Pinot Noir

Talbott Vineyards

Kali Hart, Monterey County, 2016


Hahn SLH

Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, 2016


Cabernet Savignon


Paso Robles, 2016


Justin Vineyards

Paso Robles, 2017


Galante Vineyards

Blackjack Pasture, Carmel Valley, 2018


Other Reds

Seghesio Family Vineyards

Zinfandel, Sonoma County, 2016


Donati Family Vineyards

Merlot, The Immigrant, Paso Robles, 2018


Galante Vineyards

Malbec, Ace High, Carmel Valley, 2018


The Big Easy

Red Blend, Santa Barbara, 2018



Mai Tai P.A. (12oz)

Alvarado Street Brewery, Monterey, Tropical IPA-6.4%


Golden State Cider (12oz)

Golden State Cider, Sonoma Country, Mighty Dry-6.3%


805 Blonde Ale (16oz)

Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, Blonde Ale-4.7%


North Coast Scrimshaw (16oz)

North Coast Brewing Co., Fort Bragg, Pilsner-4.5%


Bottles & Cans


St. Hildie's Spiked Tincture Tonics



Bud Light, Blue Moon, Fat Tire, Lagunitas IPA



Corona, Stella Artois, Heineken 0


Craft Beer

Gulden Draak

Belgian Quadruple Ale


Chimay Blue

Belgian Strong Dark Ale


Allagash Curieux

American Barrel Aged Triple


Nuts & Olives


Brown Butter Corn Bread

Cheddar, Shishito, Butter, Honey


Seasonal Crudité

White Bean Hummus, Olive Oil



Filet Mignon, Quail Egg, Radish, Caper, Horseradish Crème Fraiche, House-Made Potato Chip


Central Coast Greens

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


Niçoise Salad

Pacific Tombo, Blue Lake Beans, Egg, Olive, Crispy Capers, Olive Oil Dijon


Cobb Salad

Roasted Turkey, Romaine, Tomato, Cucumber, Glaum Egg, Nueskes Bacon, Herb Dressing


Baked Potato Gnocchi

White Cheddar, Bacon, Chive


Meatloaf & Buttermilk Mash

Free Range Turkey, Smoked Tomato Jam, Buttermilk Mashed Yukon Golds


Tomato Bisque & Grilled Cheese

Roasted Tomato, Fontina, Swiss, Jack, Cheddar, Ad Astra Sourdough


Bud's Burger

Ground Sirloin, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Brioche Bun, House Fries


Ricotta Toast

Ricotta, Blistered Cherry Tomato, Crispy Fried Basil, Ad Astra 3-Seed Sourdough



Rotating selection


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 Hotel 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.

Explore Marc & RoseExplore Marc & Rose

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 Marc & RoseExplore Marc & Rose