Food & Drink

The 10 Hottest LA Bar Celebrity Hangouts and Who You’ll See There

The type of clientele a bar attracts can have a major impact on your drinking experience. You can go to a dive bar to hang with the regulars, cheer along with other fans at a sports bar, or hobnob with well-to-do foreigners at a luxe hotel bar. But when in Hollywood, do as the paparazzi do: Find your way to a celeb hotspot and hope to catch a glimpse of your favorite A-lister. These fancy watering holes are rife with IMDB entries and VMA owners. So make sure your flash is off and scour these celebrity hangouts for your next brush with fame.

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Bar Marmont

The Chateau Marmont, the hidden hotel tucked in the hills above Sunset Boulevard, has long been known as a retreat for celebs seeking shelter from the paparazzi storm, making it the No. 1 destination for star spotting. John Lennon, James Deen and Greta Garbo may not pop their heads in anymore, but there are still plenty of living celebs to spot lingering over drinks by the pool. Photographers aren’t allowed at the Chateau, but the bar is open to the public, so their loss is your star-spotting opportunity.

Who You’ll See:

Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves, Jude Law, James Franco, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kit Harington, Lana Del Rey, Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Courtney Love, Anthony Bourdain, Liv Tyler, Rob Lowe, Blake Shelton, Channing Tatum, Nicole Richie, Carey Mulligan

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Girl at the White Horse

This former dive used to be called The White Horse Tavern, and that’s still what you’ll find printed on the outside. But inside lies a wonderland of graffiti and millennial pink nooks, secreted enough to make celebs rest easy, and bright and colorful enough to act as a great background for your incognito iPhone pic.

Who You’ll See:

James Franco, Kristen Stewart, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Leon Bridges, Emma Roberts

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We love this rooftop spot for its inventive pan-Asian fare, luxe takes on classics, and festive spiked boba cocktails (aka “patio pounders”), but the view from the roof isn’t the only sight to behold at the outdoor eatery. You’ll also spot a few famous faces gulping down boozed up tapioca pearls.

Who You’ll See:

Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Damian Lewis, Don Cheadle, Charlie Hunnam, Hailey Baldwin

The Tower Bar

Perched in the Sunset Tower Hotel, the Tower Bar floats high above the nitty gritty streets below. The bar inhabits the old apartment of Bugsy Siegel—a gangster, bootlegger and celebrity in his own right—so take after Bugsy and do your star snooping on the sly. Besides the stars of screen and stage, look out for Dimitri Dimitrov, the maître d’ whose suave handling of prized customers has itself become an attraction of the bar. (Dimitrov is even honored on the cocktail menu with The Dimitri, made with acai liqueur, gin, luxardo cherry and fresh lime.) 

Who You’ll See:

Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Justin Theroux, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, John Mayer, George Clooney, Tom Ford

The Polo Lounge

Another longstanding institution in the L.A. power-drinking scene, the lounge of The Beverly Hills Hotel plays host to plenty of A-listers who are staying the night upstairs or call Los Angeles home. The drinks list pays homage to Hollywood, with custom concoctions like the Smoking Fear and Loathing, Howard Hughes, The Chairman’s Whiskey Sour and the 90210 Watermelon Mint Julep.

Who You’ll See:

Steve Martin, Sandra Bullock, Diane Keaton, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Keith Urban, Lorne Michaels, Colin Farrell, Mary Louise Parker, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Dita Von Teese, Johnny Depp, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Jack Black

The Peppermint Club

This newcomer to the L.A. scene is a collaboration between club-staurant developers the H.Wood Group and Interscope Records (who rep Lady Gaga, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Selena Gomez, Kendrick Lamar, etc.), so most eyes in the lounge will be on the stage. That’s good for you, because while everyone else is enjoying the tunes, you can scope out the scene (and enjoy the tunes too). Expect to see the occasional Interscope recording artist, among other celebrities.

Who You’ll See:

A$AP Rocky, Bella Thorne, Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Dakota Johnson

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Another late night venue from H.Wood Group, the same people behind The Peppermint Club (above) and The Nice Guy (below), this art deco spot is perfect for dancing the night away or watching stars get down from the comfort of your plush booth. The obvious order is the Champagne Papi, made with Drake’s whiskey brand Virginia Black, velvet falernum, lime, mango and a mini-bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne, which you should definitely pop when Champagne Papi himself walks in.

Who You’ll See:

Drake, Justin Bieber, Casey Affleck, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Michelle Williams, Vince Vaughn, Taylor Lautner

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Warwick ditches WeHo’s usual glitzy furnishings for a rougher, exposed brick vibe, shifting its opulent emphasis to the back bar, where bartenders mix higher-grade cocktails with craft ingredients. Even bottle service, aka celebrity catnip, gets the craft upgrade: A personal bartender remains near the table to mix custom drinks throughout the night. If it’s good enough for the Biebs, it’s good enough for us.

Who You’ll See:

Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Zayn Malik, Christina Milian, Rita Ora, Fergie

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The Nice Guy

Known for its secretive yet luxurious interior, The Nice Guy has a rep for being a celebrity safe haven. The bar has a strict anti-photo policy, a rule you’ll have to subtly subvert if you want to mark the occasion with a inconspicuous pic—if you can even get past the bouncer, that is. If you do manage to get in, celebrate by going big; you can turn any of their craft cocktails into a punch for the low price of $350.

Who You’ll See:

Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Tyga, Emma Roberts, Harry Styles

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Doheny Room

At the border of WeHo and Beverly Hills with a vibe that’s “European meets California” (according to the bar’s director of nightlife), Doheny Room is a meeting place of cultures, styles and celebrities. You might see an actor or two dining downstairs, but the real party is upstairs, past the bouncer, where a table reservation starts at $1,500. Assuming there’s not a private event, like Nick Jonas's recent secret performance for Creative Recreation’s Sole Sessions, you might spot a Kardashian or two up there.

Who You’ll See:

Kourtney Kardashian, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Vikander, Gigi Hadid, Keanu Reeves, Vanessa Hudgens