Los Angeles Nightlife

Los Angeles is not the city that never sleeps—instead it parties until 2 am (save for the secret after-hours parties at private clubs or warehouses), and wakes up to imbibe green juices and breakfast burritos as hangover cures, or to sweat it out in a yoga class. Whether you plan to test your limit at historic establishments downtown, or take advantage of a cheap happy hour at a Hollywood dive,

this city's nightlife has something for you.

A night out in Los Angeles can simultaneously surprise and impress. That unscheduled set by an A-list comedian at the stand-up comedy club, being talked into singing karaoke at the diviest place you've ever seen, dancing at a bar with no dance floor because, well, the DJ is just too good at his job—going out isn't always what you expect, but it certainly is never boring.

The focus of nightlife once centered on the Sunset Strip, with its multitude of bars, rock clubs, and dance spots, but more neighborhoods are competing with each other and forcing the nightlife scene to evolve. Although the Strip can be a worthwhile trip, other areas of the city are catching people’s attention. Downtown Los Angeles, for instance, is becoming a destination in its own right, drawing cocktail connoisseurs at Seven Grand and rooftop revelers at the Standard.

Other areas foster more of a neighborhood vibe. Silver Lake and Los Feliz have both cultivated a relaxed environment where you can be drinking in a tiki bar so small you wind up talking with the person at the next stool over (Tiki-Ti) or bringing in a 45 to play on an old-fashioned record player (El Prado).

So if you find yourself disappointed with a rude bouncer, or drinks that are too watery, or a cover charge that just isn't worth it, try again. Eventually you'll find that perfect place where each time is the best time. If not, at least you'll walk away with a good story.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Hollywood and the Studios 30

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Echo Park 3

Hollywood 16

Los Feliz 3

Silver Lake 8

Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and the Westside 16

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West Hollywood 16

Santa Monica and the Beaches 9

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Hermosa Beach 2

Malibu 2

Santa Monica 3

Venice 2

Downtown Los Angeles 7

Category

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Bars/ Pubs 40

Comedy Clubs 4

Dance Clubs 3

Music Clubs 15

Best For

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Family 3

Gay and Lesbian 3

Historical 15

Romantic 6

Service 7

Trendy 33

Views 8

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Los Angeles Nightlife

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  • Fodor's Choice

Three Clubs

  • Bars/Pubs

Part martini lounge, part biker bar, this spot right on the corner of Santa Monica and Vine has plush leather booths and cozy bar seats.

Tiki-Ti

  • Bars/Pubs

The cozy feel of this Polynesian-theme bar is due in part to its small size—12 seats at the bar, plus a few tables along one side.

Tropicana Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This bar embodies the L.A. lifestyle—enjoying perfectly mixed cocktails beside a shimmering pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel while...

Trunks Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

At Trunks Bar, the drinks are strong and so are the bartenders; see for yourself as these shirtless muscly men pour your drinks. Open...

Underground Pub and Grill

  • Bars/Pubs

Throw darts, shoot pool, or play shuffleboard at this British pub (its name refers to London's subway system), or watch a game on one...

Upright Citizens Brigade

  • Comedy Clubs

The L.A. offshoot of New York's famous troupe continues its tradition of sketch comedy and improv with weekly shows like "Facebook" (where...

Viper Room

  • Music Clubs

This rock club on the edge of the Sunset Strip has been around for more than 20 years and is famously known as the site of much controversial...

Whisky A Go Go

  • Music Clubs

The hardcore metal and rock scene is alive and well at the legendary Whisky A Go Go (the full name includes the prefix "World Famous"),...

Yamashiro Hollywood

  • Bars/Pubs

Modeled after a mansion in Kyoto, this Japanese place with a hillside perch has spectacular koi ponds and gardens, as well as sweeping...

iO West

  • Comedy Clubs

The Los Angeles branch of this theater troupe offers nightly shows featuring both seasoned and amateur improv groups. There's a bar in...

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