As the best cocktail bars in LA underscore, Los Angeles is a hub of trendy (and sometimes eccentric) bars that promise a great time and terrific drink options. The range is vast: From the city’s hidden, speakeasy-esque bars like The Varnish and Old Man Bar, to its game-themed The Spare Room where you can bowl while drinking, LA has some of the best bars in country, and the entire world. If you’re searching for a great place to grab a drink, then you won’t be disappointed with SELECT’s hit list. Following, you’ll find a guide to 10 of the best cocktail bars in LA to drink and dine at.
This trendy, intimate cocktail lounge makes fresh cocktails in a low-key setting (including dim lighting). Copa D’oro is a place where you can go to enjoy their finely crafted mixed drinks — made from Farmers’ market fruits and herbs — and just relax.
118 E 6th St
Hidden behind Cole’s Bar, The Varnish is a modern speakeasy with a Prohibition-era feel. Enter through the oak door adorned with a picture of a cocktail (what else?), and you’ll find yourself in a warm, intimate space making craft cocktails. From Sunday to Tuesday their jazz nights only further propels the back-in-time aura.
This isn’t just another trendy LA bar. The Roger Room’s décor features pictures of old-school circus/freak show acts, and serves up beloved cocktails with a twist with a metal straw (very environmentally friendly).
Bowling alleys used to mean childhood birthday parties, sugary fountain drinks, and gutter balls. The Spare Room, a bowling alley and modern game room plus bar, located upstairs at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, is a fun respite in one of the most crowded neighborhoods in L.A.
Welcome to 1886, where themed cocktail offerings change with the seasons. Head to this Pasadena outpost and you will soon find that every drink comes with some sort of flower or garnish, hand-cut ice and perfectly proportioned measures of (good) spirits.
This neighborhood restaurant-slash-bar offers an array of normal cocktails, as well as offerings of “Low ABV% Cocktails” for those with a lower tolerance. Enjoy a rousing game of pétanque or foosball to really get your blood flowing.
Although this cocktail bar is in Santa Monica, less than two miles from the water and pier, you’ll still probably want to cozy up to The Chestnut Club. Its dim lighting, cabin-like decorations and delectable cocktails make the beach feel like a million miles away.
True cocktail aficionados will rejoice at The Corner Door’s offerings. Drinks range from the traditional (Moscow Mule) to the exciting (the Mezcallin features pineapple, ginger, and mezcal), to the intriguing (its “Taco Truck” mixes mezcal, pineapple, cinnamon campari and sweet vermouth).
Old Man Bar
12517 W Washington Blvd
This hidden bar, situated within Culver City’s Hatchet Hall, represents its namesake thanks to its aesthetic: taxidermic animal heads and antler ears hang over rustic-looking furniture and dim lighting. But make no mistake: Old Man Bar is one cool cocktail bar.
This aeronautical-themed bar is like the cool airport lounge you’ve always dreamed of. It is also a West Hollywood cocktail bar graced by retro chandeliers and details, including a “Departures” door (instead of and Exit sign). Their great cocktails only add to its atmosphere.
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Freelance writer Lauren Paley is an avid writer and traveler. She has lived in Morocco, France, Tel Aviv and Prague, and has traveled to over 25 countries. Her interests include banh mi sandwiches, Boo the dog, trying (and failing) at languages, and outdoor movie theaters.