28 awesome spots to get your drink on in LA

Sep 24 2018, 9:38 pm

Los Angeles is a trendy food and drink mecca. From speakeasy cocktail bars to rooftop restaurants, to a bumping LGBTQ nightlife scene, we guarantee it will hit the spot for all of your cravings. And you might even spot a few celebrities while you’re at it (hopefully a Hemsworth).

From sunrise to sunset, here is our list of must-try spots to drink like a local in Los Angeles.

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Speakeasy style: Employees Only

Employees Only/West Hollywood Travel & Tourism Board

If you like cocktails, do yourself a favour and head to this cocktail lounge. Be sure to look out for a neon red Psychic sign, as that is the only way identify this spot from the outside. And it’s not just for show – you can actually get your fortune told!

If you’re in it for the booze, try the Billionaire Cocktail, an original recipe bourbon classic. If fruity is what you fancy, try the margarita with grapefruit juice. With atmosphere, cocktails, and sharing dishes, this place is a must visit!

Address: 7953 Santa Monica Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-323-536-9045
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Underground live music: Basement Tavern

 

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Hidden beneath a charming old house called The Victorian (side note: perfect for date night) lies a subterranean whisky bar. As their sign says, apparently “whisky makes you frisky” – which speaks to the sultry, vivacious vibe of the Basement Tavern. Adorned with glittering chandeliers, this bumpin’ live music spot knows how to get the house shaking with its live music and tasty cocktails.

Address: 2640 Main Street
Neighbourhood: Santa Monica
Phone: +1-310-396-2469
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Mezcal mecca: Bar Caló

 

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Serving some of the best mezcal in the city, husband and wife Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman have turned Bar Caló into one of the chicest places to go in Echo Park. Their menu is largely influenced by Mexico, although their cocktail list draws inspiration from around the world.

This space is a great place to learn about mezcal and taste some of the lesser known Mexican wines from their menu.

Address: 1498 Sunset Boulevard
Neighbourhood: Echo Park
Phone: +1-213-278-0901
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View of the hills: E.P. & L.P.

rooftop bars los angeles

E.P. & L.P. (West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board)

This is our top pick for chill rooftop vibes and an approachable crowd. With 360 degree views of the Hollywood Hills, there are plenty of seating options to cozy up with a cocktail and soak in the ambience. Try a dish from the Asian fusion menu or one of the bartender’s delicious concoctions such as Where Love Lives, a mixture of mezcal, damiana, passionfruit, guava, Thai chilli and lime.

Address: 603 North La Cienega Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-310-855-9955
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Travel back in time: The Wolves at Alexandria Hotel

 

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Inspired by the historic era the Alexandria Hotel was built, The Wolves brings the 1910s to life in downtown Los Angeles. This Parisian-inspired bar is filled with period antique sources from all over America to make a space that transports you back in time to experience vaudevillian theatre, performance art and live music. If you feel so inspired, you won’t be the only one wearing period inspired outfits.

Address: 519 South Spring Street
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-265-7952
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Multi-level Latin: La Descarga

 

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Referred to as a “Cuban Narnia”, this hidden two-storey underground spot is bound to make you shake it. If you time it right, you can find salsa lessons, a cigar bar, and burlesque-style dancing. There’s a dress code so put on somethin’ sassy, head on inside, and get lost in the rhythm with some locals who may teach you a move or two.

Address: 1159 N Western Avenue
Neighbourhood: Hollywood
Phone: +1-323-466-1324
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Who’s who of WeHo: CATCH LA

rooftop bar los angeles

CATCH LA entrance. (West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board)

No detail was left untouched in this immaculate rooftop bar – it is chic, trendy, tasteful, and absolutely stunning. The thoughtful decor will catch your eye from the celebrity mural wall in the entrance to the arched vines leading into the restaurant. Come here for delectable seafood, fresh bevvies, good vibes, and all the who’s who of Los Angeles.

Address: 8715 Melrose Avenue
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-323-347-6060
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Best view: The Rooftop – The Standard

 

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While there are a few hotels in the city fighting for the best rooftop bar in the city, The Standard in Downtown LA has amazing views of the downtown skyline and mountains in the distance.

If you’re looking to cool off, there is a heated swimming pool that is the perfect place to take a dip after enjoying the dance floor, DJs, bar, outdoor fireplace and waterbed pods.

Address: 550 South Flower Street
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-892-8080
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Craft brews: Highland Park Brewery

 

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Los Angeles has a number of craft breweries to satisfy your cravings with a flight or two.  Highland Park has two locations in the city but you’ll have to head over to Chinatown for a tasting. Their tasting room is not only kid-friendly but also dog-friendly on the patio, making this the perfect pitstop of your family trip.

Address: 1220 North Spring Street
Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Phone: +1-213-878-9017
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Fun & games: The Spare Room at Hollywood Roosevelt

 

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Dubbing itself a gaming parlour and cocktail lounge, The Spare Room is the spot to be in the city if you’re looking for a little amusement on the side of your cocktail. Complete with a number of vintage table games and two vintage bowling lanes, The Spare Room is filled with the history of old Hollywood and the glamour as well.

Address: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Neighbourhood: Hollywood
Phone: +1-
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On top of the world: Harriet’s Rooftop

los angeles rooftop

Harriet’s Rooftop at The Jeremy. (West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board)

Perched at the top of the stunning Jeremy Hotel sits a new rooftop bar by the name of Harriet’s, and anybody who’s anybody is flocking to sip the night away at this spot. From the twinkle lights strung across the sky to the twinkling cityscape stretching as far as the eye can see, you are sure to have a twinkle in your eye after enjoying a bevvy at this spot. All the twinkles, people.

Address: 8490 West Sunset Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-424-281-1860
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Mad Men chic: Da Mister O’s

 

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If Don Draper lived in LA, this would be where he would hang. Da Mister O’s is a mid-century inspired lounge to celebrate happy hour. This cocktail menu was designed by Rafael Barba to create an intimate space that will inspire the inner Mad Men in all of you to come out in Studio City.

Address: 11838 Ventura Boulevard
Neighbourhood: Studio City
Phone: +1-818-358-3839
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Dance, dance: The Abbey

The Abbey / Image: West Hollywood Travel & Tourism Board

Infamous for its cheeky dancing, this LGTBQ-friendly club will have the music to get you going in a high-energy atmosphere to boost you. Bring one-dollar bills, if you’re up to it.

Local tip: Take “The Pick-up’ Trolley up and down the Santa Monica strip in WeHo. It’s free and runs Friday/Saturday evenings and for Sunday fun-days. They also play house music to keep the vibe alive. No need to Uber in these parts.

Address: 692 North Robertson Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-310-289-8410
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Classic lounge: Library Bar

 

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The Library Bar is the quintessential cocktail bar in LA, known as one of the city’s favourite hangs for over 10 years. Get comfortable on one of their tufted leather couches and snap a shot of your drink with the weathered, vintage books in the background.

Address: 630 West 6th Street #116a
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-614-1900
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Oasis in the city: Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel

 

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Broken Shaker is a little oasis in downtown Los Angeles with a rooftop pool deck and a menu filled with cocktails and small bites that’ll transport you to Miami in the heart of Los Angeles. This colourful bar is a hit with the locals, but you’ll have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy a dip in the pool.

Address: 416 West 8th Street
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-613-0021
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Nautical themed bard: The Mermaid

 

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In a strip mall in Northeast LA’s Little Tokyo there is a nautical-themed mermaid bar offering tropical-inspired drinks. This Ariel-approved space is decorated with kelp forest wallpaper, sea green leather banquets, teal leather bar stools, and a port TV hole that shows mermaids on a continuous loop.

But don’t get it twisted, this establishment supports female empowerment with an entire liquor shelf is dedicated to woman-owned distilleries has big plans to collaborate with other women in the bar industry.

Address: 428 East 2nd Street
Neighbourhood: Downtown
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Elevated views: 71Above

 

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With breathtaking views that reach all the way from Malibu to Laguna Hils, 71Above is the highest bar west of the Mississippi. At 950 feet above ground level, the drinks and dishes defs taste better from that altitude.

Address: 633 West 5th Street, 71st Floor
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-712-2683
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Wine o’clock: V Wine Room

V Wine Room / Image: West Hollywood Travel & Tourism Board

For all of you wine lovers and connoisseurs out there, this is your paradise. Home to small batch, unique wines you can’t find in regular liquor stores, the selection will quench your thirst. With over 70 wines to order by the glass and over 200 bottles to choose from, you’ll be remiss to not find one variety that you really love.

Address: 903 Westbourne Drive
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-310-339-9202
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Industrial chic: The Edison

 

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The Edison is located in the sub-basement of a former power plant in Downtown LA, transforming this rehabilitated industrial space into a hip bar. From a unique craft and spirits list to the occasional aerial burlesque show, this bar is bound to keep you coming back to experience something new or just to enjoy the unique post-apocalyptic ambiance.

Address: 108 West 2nd Street #101
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-613-0000
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Tiki bar: Makani

 

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Bringing a little bit of Hawaii to the westside, Makani is known for their rum-centric drinks with over 80 varieties inside their tiki bar. For those looking for something more fun, and Instagram-friendly, their tiki drinks are a colourful and creative option to have while munching on their spice forward dishes.

Address: 512 Rose Avenue F
Neighbourhood: Venice Beach
Phone: +1-424-645-5410
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Hotel nightcap: Ever Bar at The Kimpton Everly

 

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While there might be more hotels in Los Angeles than we can count, the trick to picking the perfect one is to find the ambiance that is right for you. And even if you’re only popping by for a drink, The Ever Bar is the ideal spot for a daytime drink or a night-cap before bed. Check out their weekly schedule to see the live music scheduled for that evening or drop in to be surprised.

Address: 1800 Argyle Avenue
Neighbourhood: Hollywood
Phone: +1-213-279-3534
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Koreatown cocktails: The Normandie Club

 

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Before hitting up on of the many karaoke bars in Koreatown, The Normandie Club is a is a haven within this busy neighbourhood. The swanky cocktail club is best known for the bubbly, effervescent drinks made with an in-house cutting-edge seltzer system.

Address: 3612 West 6th Street
Neighbourhood: Koreatown
Phone: +1-213-263-2709
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Prohibition-era: The Del Monte Speakeasy

Image Source: Townhouse & The Del Monte (Facebook)

Dating all the way back to 1915 when Cesar Menotti created a hidden hideout during the prohibition-era, The Del Monte Speakeasy is the oldest bar in Venice.  This bar is filled with history of being the site where they would smuggle hooch through Abbot Kinney Pier and through underground tunnels. Today, the menu features modern cocktails and live entertainment as a throwback to the era.

Address: 52 Windward Avenue
Neighbourhood: Venice Beach
Phone: +1-310-392-4040
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Celebrity hotspot dive bar: Girl at the White Horse

 

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The Girl at the White Horse, or just ‘Girl’ if you’re in the know, is the newest hotspot for celebrities in Los Angeles and has created the perfect spot for the modern age scum-bro. A curated dive bar attracting the young and hip of Hollywood, Girl is a hyped up space with a nostalgic aesthetic attracting A-listers like Lana Del Rey.

Address: 1532 North Western Avenue
Neighbourhood: Silver Lake
Phone: +1-323-577-9419
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Garden oasis: Pearl’s Rooftop

rooftop bars los angeles

Pearl’s Rooftop. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

Photo ops are abundant at this tri-level lounge, from the neon purple “Hello Darling” sign on the flower wall in the back, to the banner that reads “It’s the perfect night for one of those nights” (it really is, though). You will get “secret garden” vibes mixed with old Hollywood glamour as you sip away in the heart of Sunset Strip.

Address: 8909 Sunset Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-310-360-6800
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Cruising: Pacific Sea’s at Clifton’s

 

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The land lovers alternative to actually going on a cruise, Pacific Seas at Clifton’s is a real adventure. Transporting you through the Golden Age of travel on the sea, this bar celebrates the grandeur of what sailing and cruise ships were once like, romanticizing this mode of transport in a uniquely Californian way.

Address: 648 Sout Broadway
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-627-1673
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Whiskey bar: Seven Grand

 

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The bar scene in L.A. is so expansive that you can find a bar that specializes in every spirits and type of drink. But if you’re a whiskey lover, then Seven Grand is the spot for you. With over 120 different bottles of whiskies and whiskeys, you’ll leave not only knowing what the difference between them is but also with a good buzz from trying to drink them all.

Address: 515 West 7th Street #200
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-213-614-0736
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Boujee rooftop: SkyBar at the Mondrian

rooftop bar los angeles

SkyBar at the Mondrian. (@skybarla/Instagram)

This chic ivy-covered pavilion is situated atop the Mondrian hotel and features a central pool that is maybe a little too enticing after a couple of cocktails. The open-air bar with end-to-end windows offers incredible views of the city that stretch all the way to the downtown skyscrapers and beyond. With cozy cushioned nooks and greenery galore, this sky-high oasis is the perfect place to make a splash.

Address: 8440 Sunset Boulevard
Neighbourhood: West Hollywood
Phone: +1-323-848-6025
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With files from Kellie Paxian, Caleigh Alleyne, Pamela Torres.

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