Southern California sports fans get a bad rap. It’s a notion reinforced by the empty seats that litter the first half hour of Los Angeles Angels broadcasts, furthering the idea that they lazily arrive well after first pitch and don’t stay past the seventh inning stretch.
That, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t taking part in the complete baseball experience.
Wrigleyville has rows of bars outside the friendly confines and Boston’s Fenway Park is surrounded by establishments catering to the over-21 crowd. No such luck in Anaheim. With a handful of restaurants scattered around Angels Stadium, Halo fans have few, but worthwhile choices for their pre-game festivities.
From an irregular tailgate lot to an upper-end seafood spot, an Angels’ fans reason for missing the first pitch is just steps away.
Tailgating parking lot on Rampart Ave. and Orangewood Ave.
There really isn’t a backstory into how an Orange County bank parking lot became the epicenter of the Angels pre-game scene. Nevertheless, it’s as close as fans get to the full-tailgating experience.
Located directly across the street from Angels Stadium, fans use the area to set up impromptu DJ booths, games of corn hole, and barbeque grilling stations. Dragon Dogs, who make irresistible bacon dogs, has become the go-to spot after the game as it stays open well after the last pitch.
Fans are allowed to tailgate in “The Big A’s” main parking lot, but alcohol consumption warrants a ticket. While it’s not officially allowed across the street, police are more forgiving and patrol the area ensuring things don’t get out of hand.
Tailgating may be cliché to sports fans in other states, but keep in mind, Los Angeles and Orange County sporting venues aren’t made for this. Dodgers Stadium security has a strict no-tailgating policy and Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is surrounded by parking structures. Angels fans are lucky in that way.
Noble Ale Works
Cloaked between commercial buildings off of Katella Ave. is a magical brewery know to few but adored by many. Noble Ale Works has been the hidden gem Angels fans visit before heading to the game for three years now.
The microbrewery specializes in craft beers and, one in particular, is a must-try brew. Naughty Sauce is a coffee stout that has made it rounds through local festivals. It made in limited batches, but should be ready late in the spring.
Noble Ale Works doesn’t serve food, but they have the next best things: food trucks. They alternate throughout the week and sit in front of the bar well into the game. Unfortunately, they and the Noble Ale Works close up shop at 10 p.m.
Not everyone attending a game is looking for a college-like atmosphere. That’s what makes The Catch a convenient, yet pricey alternative.
Located at the back end of the Angels Stadium parking lot, The Catch is known for its seafood and extensive wine list.
Larger groups must try the OMG burger, a 4lbs. creation encircled by fries that feeds between 10-15 people. It runs anywhere between $40-65 and is only served in the bar area.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a happy hour during Angels games. What they do have, however, is a valet service that can be used up until closing. Besides, after spending over $40 on a burger the least they could do is save you a few bucks on stadium parking.