Home to some truly legendary boozers, L.A is one city where it’s pretty much impossible to have a bad night out in. Swanky cocktail bars with unusual Asian ingredients, European craft beer or frosé on a rooftop? We want to party here forever.
Some of the best bars in Los Angeles are hard to find if you’re just passing through, but we’ve got the suss. And if you’re a local, then make sure you’ve had a drink in every one of these bars at least once.
Here’s where you should be hitting up in the City of Angels…
Best bars in Los AngelesHow do these rankings work?
Cocktail lovers in Downtown LA need only to hightail it to one place. This Parisian Salon-Styled in the historic Alexandria Hotel has a super ambitious cocktail menu that it serves to perfection. From the ‘Light & Shaken’ section to the ‘Strong & Boozy’, all the vermouths, bitters, and liqueurs are made with seasonal ingredients.
There’s a separate Japanese omakase-style cocktail experience upstairs, called Le Néant. Two incredible bars under the one roof? It’s a no brainer.
With a vibe inspired by the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood and funky Tiki cocktails, this is a spacious bar that attracts a fun crowd. It’s hiding in plain sight right on Hollywood Boulevard, with candles everywhere and the drinks are incredibly pretty.
If you’re in a group, get one of the punch bowls to share – they arrive in huge shells and taste deliciously boozy.
The famous Manhattan-born speakeasy came to the West Coast last year, opening in West Hollywood. The Art Deco bar has an inventive cocktail menu with bartenders so skilled that waiting for your drink is like watching a show. You can even play “spin the bottle” to decide which spirit they will put in your cocktail.
There’s also live psychic readings up front at the “secret” entrance, available for $25 per 15-minute session.
Mikkeller is fast becoming one of the best known craft brands in the world. It has a legion of super fans and brand advocates who love everything they produce. You’ll find them at events, festivals; their line up is always changing and evolving to keep beer lovers excited and on their toes.
Their Downtown LA bar has all the best beer flights and brews you’ll ever want.
An Instagrammable oasis in the heart of Downtown LA, Broken Shaker is a fun bar on the rooftop pool deck of the Freehand Hotel. Colourful cocktails are made with homemade elixirs and exotic ingredients – try the L.A Bae with Grey Goose vodka, suze and fresh lemon juice.
With a buzzing atmosphere and incredible views, it’s the perfect summer daytime drinking spot.
A tropical-themed bar in Little Tokyo, The Mermaid has fun cocktails, tasty bar snacks and regular events such as Rick & Morty trivia nights or MCR emo karaoke evenings. The bar also aims to showcase L.A’s talented female bartenders and even has an entire liquor shelf dedicated to woman-owned distilleries.
Peek into the ship portal near the bathroom to watch the mermaids swim by on loop.
This place is loved by locals for its nightly piano singalongs to everything from ABBA to Eminem, with none other than Glee star Darren Criss playing the tunes. He fronts and owns this retro cocktail bar with his partner, Mia Swier. Most nights you’ll find him leading the crowd in songs that go on until the early hours.
The bar itself is covered in pink glitter and tattooed mannequin dolls – it’s impossible not to have fun here.