91 Best Bars in Los Angeles, California


Fodor's choice

This romantically lit hole-in-the-wall is easy to miss, but you should aim to check it out if you're a discerning wine connoisseur or looking to experience the best of California's microbreweries. Perfect for first dates, come here to experiment with craft beers or to warm up with wine while listening to some live old-time fiddle tunes.


Fodor's choice

With swaths of fabric draped from the ceiling, this low-lit bar with a bohemian vibe is the perfect backdrop (and mood) for a date. Groups of locals also come through for the night, making for a good mix of people and energy. The bartenders pour drinks that are both tasty and potent. There's plenty of seating at the tables and stools along the central bar, which gets crowded on the weekends. 

Bigfoot Lodge

Fodor's choice

Don’t be turned off by the glaring log cabin theme (which is intensified by signature cocktails called Scout’s Honor and Roasted Marshmallow). Bigfoot Lodge is beloved by Eastside denizens, and despite appearances, it’s every bit a low-key, unpretentious neighborhood bar that specializes in shots and beer and welcomes the occasional tourist that happens to stumble inside.

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Chez Jay

Fodor's choice

Around since 1959, this dive bar and steak joint continues to be a well-loved place in Santa Monica. Everyone from the young to the old (including families) frequents this historical landmark, where Marilyn Monroe is said to have once canoodled with JFK. It's a charming place, from the well-worn booths with their red-checkered tablecloths to the ship's wheel near the door. Photographs are discouraged, but if you ask politely, you can learn how one of the restaurant's famous free peanuts ended up on a trip to the Moon. The backyard lounge is perfect for warm, low-key days; the grub's solid, with a more contemporary menu, and the happy hour is popular amongst locals and tourists alike.

Dirty Laundry

Hollywood Fodor's choice

Tucked away in a basement on quiet Hudson Avenue, Dirty Laundry is a former speakeasy turned proper cocktail bar with live music and DJs spinning both fresh and throwback music. There’s beer on hand, but here, cocktails are king.

El Rey Theater

Mid-Wilshire Fodor's choice

This former art deco movie house from the 1930s has been given a second life as a live music venue. Legends and rising stars grace the stage of El Rey. Everyone from the Pixies and Ringo Starr to the Jonas Brothers and Lana Del Rey have performed here.

Golden Gopher

Downtown Fodor's choice

Craft cocktails, beers on tap, an outdoor smoking patio, and retro video games—this bar in the heart of Downtown is not to be missed. With one of the oldest liquor licenses in Los Angeles (issued in 1905), the Golden Gopher is the only bar in Los Angeles with an on-site liquor store for to-go orders—just in case you want to buy another bottle before you head home.

Good Times at Davey Wayne's

Hollywood Fodor's choice

It's a fridge; it's a door; it's the entrance to Davey Wayne's, a bar and lounge that pulls out all the stops to transport you back in time to the '70s. The interior is your living room; the outside is an ongoing backyard barbecue with all your friends. Come early to beat the crowds or be prepared to get up close and personal with your neighbors.

Highland Park Bowl

Fodor's choice

Once an ambitious restoration project, Highland Park Bowl now serves as a massive throwback to its Prohibition-era roots as an alcohol-prescribing doctor’s office and drugstore with its own bowling alley. That bowling alley remains, complete with the original pin machine. The hooch-pushing doctor and druggist, however, are long gone. But now there's an Italian restaurant that serves excellent pizza made from scratch using a mother dough brought all the way from Italy.

HMS Bounty

Koreatown Fodor's choice

This super-kitschy nautical-theme bar in the heart of Koreatown offers drink specials and food at prices that will make you swoon. Come for the wings, all-day breakfast specials, cheap drinks, and very eclectic crowds.

Mohawk Bend

Fodor's choice

There are plenty of reasons to stop by Mohawk Bend: 72 craft beers on tap, a wide range of California-only liquor, a vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu that includes tailored-to-your-wants pizza, and a buffalo cauliflower that—rumor has it—started the whole trend. There might be a long line to get into this 100-year-old former theater in the evenings, but it’s worth it.

Musso and Frank Grill

Hollywood Fodor's choice

The prim and proper vibe of this old-school steak house won't appeal to those looking for a raucous night out; instead, its appeal lies in its history and sturdy drinks. Established over a century ago, its dark wood decor, red tuxedo–clad waiters, and highly skilled bartenders can easily shuttle you back to its Hollywood heyday when Marilyn Monroe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Greta Garbo once hung around and sipped martinis.


Downtown Fodor's choice

Catch a lineup of indie tastemakers inside this converted industrial space, or hang outdoors in the beer garden while trying bites from on-site food truck KTCHN (on cooler evenings you can congregate around the firepits). A wide variety of draft beers and a specially curated cocktail program are available inside at the bar or at the trailer bar outside.

Seven Grand

Downtown Fodor's choice

The hunting lodge vibe makes you feel like you need a whiskey in hand—luckily, this Downtown establishment stocks more than 700 of them. Attracting whiskey novices and connoisseurs, the bartenders here are more than willing to help you make a selection. Live jazz, blues, folk, and other bands play almost every night, so even if you're not a big drinker, there's still some appeal (although you're definitely missing out). For a more intimate setting, try the on-site Bar Jackalope, a bar within a bar, which has a "whiskey tasting library" specializing in Japanese varieties and seats only 18.

The Abbey

West Hollywood Fodor's choice

The Abbey in West Hollywood is one of the most famous LGBTQ+ bars in the world. And rightfully so. Seven days a week, a mixed and very good-looking crowd comes to eat, drink, dance, and flirt. Creative cocktails are whipped up by buff bartenders with a bevy of theme nights and parties each day.

The Echo

Fodor's choice

Echo Park is peppered with music venues, but if you want to be in the heart of the neighborhood's live music scene, you should head to the Echo. With a full bar and recurring theme nights, the spot hosts cutting-edge music from both up-and-coming local and touring acts as well as well-known bands.

The Troubadour

West Hollywood Fodor's choice

The intimate vibe of the Troubadour helps make this club a favorite with music fans. Around since 1957, this venue has a storied past where legends like Elton John and James Taylor have graced the stage. These days, the eclectic lineup is still attracting crowds, with the focus mostly on rock, indie, and folk music. Those looking for drinks can imbibe to their heart's content at the adjacent bar.

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Recently updated Akbar is not your fancy L.A. cocktail bar filled with sipping model types and beautiful celebrity-adjacent people. This local haunt is every inch a neighborhood bar, one that serves fast, cheap, and strong drinks; is inclusive of all people; and engages the local community through fun, unapologetically outrageous events like Craftaoke, Gaymer Night, and queer disco nights.

Atwater Village Tavern

Atwater Village
There’s no denying that part of the reason why this charming rectangular joint on Glendale Boulevard has effortlessly established itself as a regular fixture in the neighborhood is its incredible pub food. After all, the fried shrimp tacos, Baja-style, are to die for. But when you toss in the happy hour deals like all-day Mondays, $5 margarita Tuesdays, and $5 shot Fridays, you'll realize this place ain't too shabby as a bar, either.



This multitasking art deco venue offers both live music and club nights. The killer sound system, cavernous space, and multiple bars make it a perfect venue for both. The club is best known for its DJs, who often spin well past the 2 am cutoff for drinks. The crowd can be a mixed bag, depending on the night, but if you're looking to dance, you likely won't be disappointed. Upstairs is Bardot, which hosts special events including a free Monday night showcase of up-and-coming artists.

Baked Potato

Studio City

Baked Potato might be a strange name to give a world-famous jazz club that’s been holding performances of well-known acts (Allan Holdsworth and Michael Landau) under its roof since the '70s, but it only takes a quick peek at the menu to understand. Twenty-four different types of baked potatoes dominate its otherwise short menu, each of which come with sour cream, butter, and salad to offset all that carb intake.

Bar Covell

This laid-back spot is the embodiment of an unpretentious wine drinker's wine bar, complete with non-judgey staff. What else would you expect from a spot with repurposed furnishings and a vintage motorcycle mounted to the wall? There's a new menu of wine and locally sourced beer every week as well as delicious appetizers like the popular deviled eggs and charcuterie plate.

Bar Flores

Latina-owned Bar Flores may look like any indoor--outdoor bar you'll find in sun-kissed Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, but the elevated cocktails served here are very Los Angeles. Formerly, the pop-up speakeasy Sip, Bar Flores found its home in Echo Park back in 2012 and has established itself as a popular local hangout. Margarita Wednesdays are a must; the back patio has a taco stand in case you get hungry.

Barcade LA

This Highland Park outpost of an NYC institution started an arcade bar revolution in Los Angeles, serving elevated yet accessible (and more importantly, affordable) cocktails and American fare amidst rows of beloved retro arcade games and pinball machines. Barcade LA has built a community here, holding events like a pinball league to encourage loyal patrons to form bonds with like-minded individuals. The food and cocktail menus are fantastic as they are, with offerings like crispy fish tacos, the super smashburger, and Parmesan cauliflower wings being highly addictive. But, this spot loves to keep things interesting, which means dishes and cocktails are subject to change. You may want to block off the entire day as you visit or revisit classics like Pac-Man, Marvel VS Capcom 2, and Mortal Kombat 2.

Barney's Beanery

West Hollywood

Open since 1920, Barney's Beanery is an iconic spot along the original Route 66 that drew legendary regulars Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison (among others) to its doorstep. There's an extensive menu, but all anyone talks about is the famous chili and the list of more than 85 beers. There are plenty of distractions, including three pool tables, a foosball table, and arcade games. There's great trivia on Tuesdays.

Beyond Baroque

Focusing on the literary arts, this performance space—located in the former Venice city hall—serves as a center for the community to hear readings from authors, poets, and locals. Along with readings and performances, workshops are available to the public (both in person and on Zoom; many are free) and the gallery hosts rotating art shows. The bookstore features a wide selection of poetry books.



They call it your neighborhood bar, because even if you don't live in the neighborhood you'll feel at home at this Alfred Hitchcock–themed eatery. Located in Franklin Village, a block-long stretch of bars, cafés, and bookstores, come here for pub food or a cheap poultry-centric dinner. Weekend nights mean cheap beer and well drinks, crowds spilling onto the streets, and a few rounds of oversize Jenga.

Block Party

This spot fills the beer-garden need in Highland Park, and it does it very well, with a large shuffleboard and a massive screen projecting LAFC matches, along with plenty of picnic tables where you can chug (or nurse) beer and wine. The selection, from small-batch and craft vendors, is on point; the more adventurous may want to grab a michelada and paleta combo.



Priding itself as one of the last remaining neighborhood bars in Los Angeles’s ever-evolving bar scene, Boardner’s has maintained its no-nonsense vibe for more than 70 years. Leave your self-importance at the door, order ice-cold beer and hearty mac and cheese, and keep an eye out for any weird apparitions—this place is known to be one of the most haunted spots in the city.

1652 N. Cherokee Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90028, USA

Broadway Bar


This watering-hole-meets-dive sits in a flourishing section of Broadway (neighbors include the swank Ace Hotel). Bartenders mix creative cocktails while DJs spin tunes nightly. The two-story space includes a smoking balcony overlooking the street. The crowd is often dressed to impress.