Los Angeles is one of the most famous cities in the United States, both to live in and to visit, in part due to its robust entertainment reputation.
It’s known for its Hollywood film industry, beaches, shopping, theme parks, museums, and more.
But regardless of whether you’re a born-and-raised local, a recent transplant, or a weekend visitor, the bar scene in Los Angeles is likely to reel you in!
There is a myriad of bars across this sprawling city, with various themes, vibes, drink specialties, and clientele.
Thus, deciding which one you want to visit first (and second and third if you’re doing a bar hop with friends!) can be challenging.
I’m here to help. I’ve been to L.A. often, and I love trying out new bars, so I’ve compiled a brief list of the best bars in Los Angeles so that you can narrow down your options and choose where you’ll have the most fun overall!
751 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Melody is the perfect place for genuine winos. This wine bar and store, located east of Hollywood near Virgil Market, is a lovely spot to enjoy an extensive list of wines without worrying about a pretentious atmosphere.
They have a lot of pop-up events, and I love not knowing what I’m going to get in terms of food.
They’ve served Italian, Indian, and even Caribbean food, depending on the menu of the night.
You may also get to order cheese plates, oysters, and tacos. Of course, wine is the main attraction. I like ordering one of their natural wines and sitting on the outdoor patio. Such a treat!
800 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you’re more into breweries than wine bars, look no further than All Season Brewing Company in the Miracle Mile area near the L.A. County Museum of Art.
All Season Brewing Company is one of my favorite casual spots in town, offering wide tables that can seat all of your friends or inspire you to meet some new friends!
I also appreciate the high ceilings because even when it gets busy, it doesn’t feel as crowded or stuffy as it would otherwise feel.
There’s a wide assortment of beer at this brewery, but I especially love their IPAs. In addition to sipping on some cold beer, it’s fun to play skeeball or some of the electronic games.
And you won’t regret ordering their tasty tacos at the walk-up window.
1746 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Looking for some of the most delicious cocktails in the city? Apotheke is a unique cocktail bar in between the Los Angeles River and Los Angeles State Historic Park.
The bartenders are cheekily dressed in pharmaceutical garb, alluding to the idea of them concocting “medicine” or “treatment” for you, i.e., your drinks!
Even the menu plays on the medicinal treatment theme, where the specialty cocktails are specifically categorized, depending on what the “patient,” or bar guest, needs.
For example, there are “stimulants,” “stress relievers,” “aphrodisiacs,” and “pain killers.” I love this concept almost as much as I love the drinks themselves!
The Dizzy Intellect, with gin and jicama, is one of my favorites, as well as the spicy Greenseer with tequila and habanero bitters.
1541 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Bar Lis is a small, cozy lounge near the Hollywood Walk of Fame. My favorite time to go to bar Lis is on Tuesdays when they have jazz nights because the music is even better than the drinks.
It’s a lovely spot for date night, especially for getting drinks and small canapés before you go to dinner elsewhere.
In addition to live music on Tuesdays, they have a substantial list of drinks, including cocktails, beer, and wine, and you can order straight liquor as well.
Their list of whiskey, rum, vodka, and tequila is impressive, albeit a bit on the pricier side.
If you want to go fancy, get their French Riviera cocktail, and if you’re on a budget, try their Golden Pale Ale called Kronenbourg 1664.
864 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
I love Bolita for its cute, feminine decor and chill atmosphere. This intimate space is in East Hollywood near the Los Angeles City College, and it’s a lovely place to go to catch up with a couple of friends.
There is limited seating, but I like sitting at the bar anyway to watch the bartenders in action. They make fantastic cocktails, always with a unique combination of tastes and smells.
I also enjoy choosing a song on the jukebox, which itself adds extra points to the friendly and inviting vibes.
6516 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
If your idea of an enjoyable day includes lounging around by the pool with a cocktail in hand, listening to a D.J. playing excellent country music, then Desert 5 Spot is for you.
Located near Bar Lis mentioned and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, everything about this place is visually appealing.
The design, the drinks, and the rooftop views are all gorgeous.
Finally, they have plenty of signature cocktails to choose from, most with Country-themed names such as “Jolene, “Achy Breaky Heart,” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”
1936 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Everson Royce Bar is one of my favorite places to drink in all of Los Angeles. It’s a small, dark, and intimate bar on the corner of Mateo and E 7th.
The bartenders are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do and always happy to make recommendations or help you find the perfect drink to suit your mood.
I love their whiskey list, which features a wide selection of affordable, high-quality whiskeys. I get their Japanese whiskey almost every time I go, but I recommend trying a couple.
Everson is one of the best bars in Los Angeles and certainly one of the best in the Arts District, especially for happy hour and cheap drinks.
The last time I went to Everton, you could get a $10 burger and fries meal and an $8 beer, which are both exceptionally inexpensive for Los Angeles!
3123 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Genever is where I go when I want to bring out my artsy, classy side. The art-deco design of this bar is spectacular.
And the dimly-lit chandeliers and comfy couch seating make it a great late-night date spot. Genever is on Beverly Blvd in Rampart Village, near Korea town.
When you go, I highly recommend ordering a gin, which seems to be their specialty. Their craft cocktails are to die for, so much so that it can be hard to choose which one to get.
Luckily, they tend to have cocktail flights, so you can try a variety of drinks for a reasonable price.
107 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
If mezcal and tequila are your booze of choice, then you need to go to Las Perlas. This bar, which is in the historic core of Downtown Los Angeles, has one of the best selections of mezcal and tequila that I’ve ever seen.
And the mixed drinks are just as good as the liquor selection. I’ve had some of the best cocktails of my life, especially the Daisy margarita and spicy margarita.
They also have relatively cheap drink specials during happy hour and a cool vibe to accompany them!
If you need a few bites alongside your drinks, don’t hesitate to order their tacos, as they always use fresh, tasty tortillas.
7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Spare Room is arguably one of the best bars in Los Angeles because there’s so much to offer in one large space.
It’s well-located in Hollywood Heights near the Dolby Theater and Walk of Fame. It’s a vintage-style saloon with a game parlor, bowling lanes, and other fun games.
There is even a photo booth and a D.J. starting around 10 pm. I love that this bar is simultaneously elegant, hip, polished, and entertaining.
It’s an excellent spot for large parties and events. But if you want to go bowling, make sure to reserve a lane in advance!
1263 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Another bar with a hip, old-school vibe is called Thunderbolt, in a less-touristy area called Angelino Heights.
I appreciate the vintage design, craft cocktails, extensive wine selection, and hip-hop music. But more than anything, I’m obsessed with the comfort food at Thunderbolt!
The fried chicken biscuit made me feel like I was in the Southern U.S. instead of L.A., and it’s the perfect thing to get if you plan to continue drinking throughout the night.
4427 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tiki-Ti, right on the famous Sunset Blvd, is one of the quirkiest and most unique bars in Los Angeles. It’s a cozy tiki bar with an enjoyable and festive atmosphere.
The bartenders are super passionate about their drinks, and they make sure you have a great time and well-designed beverages in fantastical tiki mugs.
I recommend getting one of their famous cocktails, like the Electric Lemonade or the Fog Cutter. And if you become a regular, you’ll likely end up purchasing a mug and bringing your own in each time you go!
6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Frolic Room is a historic bar in the heart of Hollywood next to the Pantages Theater. It’s been around since the early 20th century, and it definitely has a vintage feel to it, with photos of classic movie stars on the walls.
Frolic Room is another spot where the bartenders care a lot about the taste of the drinks, although they don’t care as much about the frills or designs of them.
Though I don’t care about the drink designs because the drinks are cheap, the crowd is lively, and the tunes from the jukebox always inspire a memorable time.
3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
The Normandie Club is within Hotel Normandie in Wilshire Center with a sleek, attractive lounge that caters to speakeasy lovers.
It has an intimate feel, and I love chilling out on the back patio with a few friends. Their cocktails tend to be on the creative side, so if you’re feeling like getting something outside of the box, this is the place to go.
I also love the staff, as they are always so friendly and warm, which isn’t always common for L.A. clubs or lounges.
370 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Roger Room, on the corner of La Cienega Blvd and Oakwood Ave near the Beverly Center shopping mall, is a fantastic, eclectic bar.
I love dressing in my trendiest outfit and heading to this bar for weeknight drinks. I try to avoid going to The Roger Room on the weekends because it’s popular and can get quite crowded.
But regardless of when you choose to go, make sure to get the absinthe. Absinthe can often be quite pungent, but their mojito-style absinthe has an inviting taste and scent.