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 48

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Echo Park 8

Hollywood 28

Los Feliz 3

Silver Lake 9

Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and the Westside 26

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West Hollywood 26

Santa Monica and the Beaches 15

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Hermosa Beach 2

Malibu 2

Santa Monica 9

Venice 2

Downtown Los Angeles 15

Category

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Bars/ Pubs 62

Comedy Clubs 6

Dance Clubs 9

Music Clubs 25

Best For

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Family 4

Gay and Lesbian 3

Historical 17

New 5

Romantic 9

Service 10

Trendy 42

Views 8

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Los Angeles Nightlife

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Blue Whale

  • Music Clubs

This unassuming jazz club in Little Tokyo caters to a serious crowd, bringing progressive and modern jazz to the stage. Although the...

Broadway Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This watering hole–meets–dive sits in a flourishing section of Broadway (neighbors include the swank Ace Hotel). Bartenders mix creative...

Edison

  • Bars/Pubs

The glitz and glam of the Roaring '20s is alive and well in the Edison, where the decor serves as tribute to the power plant that once...

El Dorado

  • Bars/Pubs

Though cavernous, you’ll still be able to cozy up to your neighbor at the bar inside this Downtown lounge. The walls display boudoir...

Golden Gopher

  • Bars/Pubs

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.

La Cita

  • Dance Clubs

This dive bar may not look like much, but it more than makes up for it with an interesting mix of barflies, urban hipsters, and reasonable...

Love Song Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Lovers of T.S. Eliot and vinyl will find themselves instantly at home inside this cozy establishment named after Eliot’s “The Love...

Redwood Bar & Grill

  • Bars/Pubs

If you're looking for a place with potent drinks and a good burger, this kitschy bar fits the bill perfectly. Known today as the "pirate...

Resident

  • Music Clubs

Catch a lineup of indie tastemakers inside this converted industrial space, or hang outdoors in the beer garden while trying bites from...

Seven Grand

  • Bars/Pubs

The hunting lodge vibe makes you feel like you need a whiskey in hand—luckily, this Downtown establishment stocks more than 700 of...

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