Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the world. So, when Saturday night rolls around, or any night at that, the amount of choices can get a little overwhelming when it comes to bars. Lucky for you, we've weeded out the, well, not-so-great options and we've put together a list of the top 10 bars in Los Angeles.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #10: The Edison (Downtown)
Located in what used to be LA's first private power plant - which is pretty cool if you ask us - The Edison mixes the original old, industrial architecture with a modern, trendy feel, making it one of the best bars in Los Angeles. Because of the unique Great Depression-esque vibe that The Edison gives off, it has been drawing a huge crowd since 2007. It’s no wonder why, not only does it have a spacious dance floor, but it also has a Game Room, where you can medicate your buzz with a few rounds of pool, and chill areas with mechanical names like the Generator Lounge, The Furnace, The Lab, The Tesla Lounge, and The Mural Lounge. Since we are in a time that has been frequently paralleled to the famed stock market crash of the early 20th century, what better way to celebrate – or wallow in self-pity – than kicking back with a couple of drinks and watching a burlesque show in this modern-day speakeasy. This is truly one of the best of the best.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #9: Bar Lubitsch
Although you might not encounter any members of the Russian mafia trolling Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood, you definitely will find a fun, seemingly authentic Russian-style vodka bar. With its gaudy chandeliers, bright red walls, and servers in red, Communist-era jumpsuits, Bar Lubitsch is a red scare that won’t send Americans running, making it the #9 best bar in Los Angeles. It also has a huge selection of vodkas – over 200 – of the potato, grain and even soy varieties, so it will definitely keep you coming back for more.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #8: The Dresden Room
The Dresden Room is pretty much an LA nightlife landmark, which is why it’s in our list as one of the best bars in Los Angeles. It has been around since the 60s, and not much has changed since then. The sounds of veteran singers Marty & Elayne still fill the bar with their signature jazz, and don’t be fooled by the drab brick wall exterior – the inside is decorated with understated glamour, something that few LA bars still have. If the unpretentious atmosphere hasn’t convinced you, another claim to fame that this bar has is that it was the filming location for Swingers. So one thing is for sure, The Dresden Room is – ahem – money, baby.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #7: Beauty Bar
The inside of this Hollywood bar is decorated like an old-school beauty parlor, but don’t think that you’ll come out of there looking like a character from Grease. The vibe in the bar is definitely unassuming, with plastic covered sofas and hair dryer chairs, jukeboxes, and photo booths setting the scene. Retro dance hits clash with the modern rock and pop hits played in the best way imaginable, as patrons drink the numerous beers and cocktails offered or receive mani-pedis or even henna tattoos, proving that Beauty Bar is definitely not your grandmother’s bar, but one of the best bars in Los Angeles.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #6: Bardot
The people behind the former Spider Club, a.k.a. the former stomping grounds of Hollywood’s finest like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, have recently transformed the venue from a Moroccan themed club into a lounge which pays honor to Hollywood’s Golden Age. It has been voted one of Southern California’s most romantic bars, and the food served at Bardot has been described as “promiscuous dining”, so if the aphrodisiacs don’t get to you, the setting will, which is why its made our list as one of the best bars in Los Angeles. With three intimate rooms, weekly Burlesque shows, and DJs like Ryan Gosling – yes, the same person your little sister plastered all over her walls after watching “The Notebook” – pumping out everything from indie to jazz, Bardot is definitely a roarin’ newcomer to the LA scene.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #5: Bar Marmont
In 1939, Harry Cohn, the founder of Columbia Pictures said, “If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” The same holds true for the bar. Built in 1929, the hotel and bar have been a playground for celebrities, with everyone from Marylin Monroe to Britney Spears, John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, all staying there and spending their nights roaming the bar, making it one of the best bars in Los Angeles. It set the scene for James Dean rehearsing for ‘Rebel Without A Cause,’ and played a big part in one of Jim Morrison’s hospital stays when he attempted to swing from the roof of the Hotel into his room. Today, one can go to Bar Marmont and experience some of the old-school glamour, while creating their own new-school mischief.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #4: Golden Gopher
This one-time speakeasy located in Downtown LA has been remodeled to become the gaudiest, most lavishly decorated bar in the city, so its not a surprise that its made our list as one of the best bars in Los Angeles. It also has one of the oldest liquor licenses, so you can bet that fun will be had at the Golden Gopher. It is basically an adult’s playground, with a jukebox playing everything from jazz to classic rock to indie, arcade games like Ms. PacMan and Asteroids, and a liquor store in the front to take your vices on-the-go.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #3: Father’s Office
As LA’s premiere “gastro-pub,” Father’s Office draws a huge crowd of hungry patrons fiending for bar food. The setting is plain, and definitely not up-scale, but meant to serve it’s purpose – for getting their customer’s eat and grub on. With a heavy rotation of 36 beers on tap, and one of the most renowned burgers in the area, it’s perfect for those lazy nights when you don’t really feel like hitting the scene, making it a definite choice for us as one of the best bars in Los Angeles. A word of warning: it is virtually a Father’s Office-sized sin to ask for ketchup, but don’t worry – you won’t need it anyway.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #2: Baja Sharkeez
Located on Manhattan Beach, Baja Sharkeez is the antidote for a weekend drink-fest, and that fact alone puts it on our list as one of the best bars in Los Angeles. Every Saturday and Sunday, the sports bar has a “Kegs and Eggs” special in which they serve – you guessed it – eggs and beer. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, many the rest of the menu will, with its amazing fish tacos and lobster buckets. The mix of beer, seafood, sports, bar food, beer, alcohol, wine, and –what else - beer is sure to nurse your worst hangover, and provide you with the best company to watch the game.
Best Bar in Los Angeles #1: The Village Idiot
Those nostalgic for the English pub vibe can be comforted at The Village Idiot. Located in West Hollywood, the pub is a stark contrast to the vibe of the rest of the area. It is an affordable alternative to the club scene, with fish and chips and other traditional appetizers all for under $20, and has a genuinely laid-back atmosphere – the only decorations are photography from the London Riot in 1993. But they definitely are not staying behind from their LA neighbors – with innovative cuisine such as the Guinness Gelato, the Village Idiot gives its competition a run for their money, which is why for us it’s the best bar in Los Angeles.