Los Angeles

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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  • 1. 4100

    Silver Lake | Bars/Pubs

    With swaths of fabric draped from the ceiling, this low-lit bar with a bohemian vibe makes it perfect for dates. Groups of locals also come...Read More

  • 2. Dirty Laundry

    Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Tucked away in a basement on the quiet Hudson Avenue, Dirty Laundry is a former speakeasy turned proper cocktail bar with live music and DJs...Read More

  • 3. Good Times at Davey Wayne's

    Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 4. Highland Park Bowl

    Highland Park | Bars/Pubs

    Once an ambitious restoration project, Highland Park Bowl now serves as a massive throwback to its Prohibition Era roots as an alcohol-prescribing...Read More

  • 5. Mohawk Bend

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 6. Resident

    Downtown | Live Music

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

  • 7. The Echo

    Echo Park | Live Music

    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...Read More

  • 8. The Edison

    Downtown | 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 occupied...Read More

  • 9. The Satellite

    Silver Lake | Live Music

    Once known as Spaceland, the Satellite holds nightly shows filled with underground musicians, both touring and local, all trying to make a dent...Read More

  • 10. The Troubadour

    West Hollywood | Live Music

    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...Read More

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  • 11. Upright Citizens Brigade

    Hollywood | 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 the...Read More

  • 12. Abigaile Restaurant and Brewery/Alta House

    Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

    Originally a church and then a Black Flag punk band rehearsal space, the building hosting Abigaile has a long history of the sacred and the...Read More

  • 13. Akbar

    Silver Lake | Bars/Pubs

    This bar's welcoming feel is one of the reasons many people consider it their neighborhood bar, even if they don't live in the neighborhood...Read More

  • 14. Avalon

    Hollywood | Live Music

    This multitasking art deco venue offers both live music and club nights. The killer sound system, cavernous space, and multiple bars make it...Read More

  • 15. Birds

    Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 16. Block Party

    Highland Park | Bars/Pubs

    This spot fills the beer garden need in Highland Park, and it does it very well with a large shuffleboard and a Wii hooked up to a projector...Read More

  • 17. Boardner's

    Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 18. Burgundy Room

    Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Around since 1919, Burgundy Room attracts a fiercely loyal crowd of locals, as well as the occasional wandering tourist. The bar is supposedly...Read More

  • 19. Button Mash

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    Button Mash hits all the right buttons (sorry), with a wide selection of rotating arcade games, most of which are from the golden age, not to...Read More

  • 20. Catcher in the Rye

    North Hollywood | Piano Bars

    The theme of this bar is not specific to Holden Caulfield but rather to literature. Other odes to fictional greats can be found name-checked...Read More

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