The Best Bars in Los Angeles to Grab a Drink Right Now

From hidden speakeasies to glam rooftops and more, LA’s bar scene is better than ever.

Finally, after more than two years of social distancing, temporary closures, and other COVID-related madness, our local hospitality industry is making good on the promise of a 21st century-era Roaring 20s. New drinking dens have sprouted up all over the city, delighting imbibers with international aperitifs, sparkling rooftop oases, hidden speakeasies, and more. Not to be overshadowed, some of our city’s best dining destinations have also stepped up with top-notch cocktail programs, attracting eager evening tipplers to their bustling bar areas.

From Culver City to Hollywood and everywhere in between, these new openings represent the creme de la creme of LA’s bar scene. Bookmark this guide for the next time you’re in the mood to raise a glass.

Canopy Club
Sierra Prescott

Canopy Club

Culver City
$$$$

Formerly a Baja-tinged escape called Celestina, the rooftop on The Shay hotel was recently transformed into the Canopy Club, an all-day poolside restaurant and bar that evokes the tropics with bright floral murals, scalloped umbrellas, and lush palms, plus amazing views of Culver City and neighboring beach cities. You’ll find refreshing spritzes and tiki-inspired cocktails on the drink menu, like the Pomelo Spritz with Aperol, cappelletti, pink grapefruit, and sparkling wine, and the Horchata Painkiller, with reposado tequila, pineapple rum, horchata, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and OJ. The seafood-driven food menu offers small plates, salads, and bowls, as well as sandwiches and large-format dishes like Umami Salmon with farmers market cucumbers and a Crispy Fish sandwich. A selection of wines by the bottle and glass, beer, kombucha, and seltzers are also available.

Available for Reservations
Caipirihna Bar
Photo courtesy of Nossa Caipirinha

Caipirinha Bar

Los Feliz
$$$$

The West Coast has long been a destination for Peruvian-Nikkei cuisine and more recently we’ve been the lucky recipient of several dining destinations from South American neighbor Brazil. Nossa Caipirinha Bar is part of this wave, featuring drinks and dishes from South Brazil, with three versions of its namesake caipirinha cocktail, plus a Brazilian Mai Tai, and Brazilian beer, as well as traditional items like savory Coxinha pastries and Moqueca Baiana, a seafood stew served over coconut rice. A full global wine list and a few classic cocktails are on offer, plus creative twists like the Hibiscus Cooler with vodka, lemon, hibiscus, sugar, and bubbles. Those who prefer to skip the booze can still get in on the fun with NA drinks like Guarana, a Brazilian fruit soda, and Sparkling Hibiscus Lemonade. Save room for the Chocolate Tapioca Pudding.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Capri Club

Eagle Rock
$$$$

Italian aperitivo culture has taken hold of LA and there’s nowhere better to taste the trend than at recently reinvigorated Capri Club, which was an Italian restaurant from 1963 to 2019. Owner Robert Fleming and beverage director Nic Vascocu brought it back to life with vintage Italian style (think: hanging light fixtures, red leather booths, and deep green wood paneling) and a solid list of classic cocktails and spritzes, plus a few fun touches like rotating frozen specials and the Bobby Special, which offers an ice cold mug of Peroni and a Ferrari shot for $10. The 50/50 menu is also worth a gander, featuring $6 drinks with two ingredients, like the Mezcaletti with mezcal and meletti and The Closer, with amaro and Cafe Moka. A short menu of above-average bites is available, with options like Tuna-Stuffed Peppers and Pancetta-Wrapped Dates, Figs and Potatoes.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Causita
Photo by Anne Fishbein, courtesy of Causita

Causita

Silver Lake
$$$$

As mentioned above, LA has proven itself an ideal destination for Peruvian-Nikkei cuisine, with a bounty of local seafood and seasonal produce. Mastermind behind spots like Rosaline, Picca, and others, prolific chef Ricardo Zarate recently added Causita to his LA repertoire. The indoor and outdoor space includes a sleek interior and a verdant garden patio, making it an ideal first stop before an evening of Sunset Blvd bar hopping. The drink menu places emphasis on Peru’s traditional pisco spirit, but ventures into the realm of tiki culture with options like the Miami Vice Milk Punch that features a blend of exotic rums, Remy 1738, pineapple, coconut, spices, clarified milk, and strawberry daiquiri dust. A selection of wines by the glass and a couple of beers are available, plus two sakes. The food features a blend of Peruvian and Japanese plates that Zarate grew up eating in Lima, plus a few creative embellishments, like a sizzling Steak Tartare that diners can mix at their table, and a trio of nigiri served with a side of potato instead of rice.

Available for Reservations
Pijja Palace
Photo by Stan Lee, courtesy of Pijja Palace

Pijja Palace

Echo Park
$$$$

The second stop on your Sunset Blvd tippling tour is Pijja Palace, which bills itself as an Indian sports bar, but is delightfully flexible depending on what you’re looking for. Yes, there are mounted TVs playing live sports behind the bar and on several walls, but the pale wood details and pastel color palette create a welcoming aesthetic that is sure to draw anyone who finds themselves intrigued by the concept of Indian-Italian fare. There’s a selection of draft beer and wines by the glass and bottle, but it’s the cocktail menu that truly deserves your attention. Gin is featured prominently, as is Indian whiskey, in worthwhile creations like the Port O Pine with Ford’s Gin, Ruby Port, mango, and lime, and the Chai Whiskey Sour with Henebery Whiskey, chai, darjeeling, lemon, and egg white. The food menu offers a new take on your usual bar foods, with items like Okra Fries and Lamb Kebob Sliders, as well as altogether unique plates like a Malai Rigatoni drenched in a rich tomato masala sauce and spiced with coriander.

Available for Reservations

Kippered

Downtown LA
$$$$

LA has fully embraced this summer’s tinned fish obsession and it’s a trend that Kippered, a conservas and sparkling wine-focused bar in DTLA, hopes is here to stay. Featuring subtle Art Deco details, Kippered includes booths, tables, and barstools across two floors of seating. You won’t find cocktails on the menu, but trust us when we say that the sparkling, still, pet nat, and champagne options will keep you plenty busy, with wines available by the glass and bottle. Likewise with the seafood selection, which runs the gamut from mackerel to eel to shellfish, mollusks, and pate, in addition to veggies, cheeses, breads, and charcuterie meats. The staff is incredibly friendly and always willing to offer recommendations.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Benny Boy Brewing
Photo courtesy of Benny Boy Brewing

Benny Boy Brewing

Lincoln Heights
$$$$

One of your best options for drinking on the East Side is this new beer garden that serves as LA’s first combined brewery and cidery. Whether you’re a hophead or new to brews, you’re in good hands with husband-wife owners Ben Farber and Chelsey Rosetter, who bring Farber’s 12 years of experience as a brewer, as well as five years spent researching centuries-old brewing and fermentation techniques throughout Europe. The draft beer menu is organized from light to dark, with a crisp Lincoln Heights Lager representing the former and Belgian-style Midnight Swim reflecting the latter. In contrast, the cider menu is organized from dry to semi-sweet, with Pippin Straight Up representing the driest option, and Wet Yer Whistle the sweetest. A natural chardonnay and pinot noir are also available on draft thanks to a partnership with Pali Wine Co. Try a Snakebite—a half pint of beer with a half pint of cider poured over, with the option to go light or dark. Benny Boy frequently hosts food pop-ups in their dog-friendly beer garden, plus events like Chicken Sh*t Bingo (which is, for better or worse, exactly what it sounds like).
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Truly LA
Photo courtesy of Truly LA

Truly LA

Downtown LA
$$$$

Truly Hard Seltzer launched their first brick-and-mortar location in Downtown LA, unveiling a vibrant warehouse decked out with murals by local artists, colorful furniture, hanging plants, and a tasting terrace with fire pits, recliners, and tables under umbrellas. Here you’ll find low-ABV hard seltzer cocktails like a Frozen Pina Colada-Style and a Maple Sugar Old Fashioned-Style with Truly hard seltzer that’s aged in bourbon barrels for six months. Truly fans can also order classic flavors on tap, as well as limited editions available exclusively at the LA taproom, like recently released Cucumber.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Lily’s Bar

Hollywood
$$$$

Another promise of our reinvigorated Roaring 20’s? The return of speakeasies, which sprang up during Prohibition and offered clandestine drinking destinations, often with a password required in order to enter. Next door to Clark Street Diner and within the Adler Hotel is newly opened Lily’s Bar, a refined, wood-paneled cocktail den. Technically it’s not a speakeasy, but the vibes are certainly intact, including a small dance floor that strobes with lights from a spinning disco ball. The drink menu offers classic cocktails as well as a few welcome departures in the form of a butterfly pea-infused gin cocktail, a couple agave concoctions, and a pair of absinthe options, plus a selection of beer and natural wines by the glass curated by Clark Street Diner owner Zach Hall. Snacks include Clark Street’s fresh-baked bread and butter, hand-picked Sicilian olives, and aged cheeses.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Only The Wild Ones
Photo courtesy of Only the Wild Ones

One of your best bets from natty wines on the Westside is this sun-washed, brick-exposed bar off Abbot Kinney, with a beachy palette and a rose-colored disco ball that glitters from the ceiling. You’ll find sparkling, white, orange, rose, and red options spanning Europe, South America, and of course, California, plus low-ABV cocktails, beers on tap or by the bottle or can, and a few mocktails. The menu is vegetarian and changes daily, but is driven by seasonal produce and bites that pair well with wines like cheese boards, dips, pizzettas, and a couple dessert options. We recommend the Sommelier’s Tasting, which offers three two-ounce pours and your choice of bar snack for $40.

Available for Reservations

Landing in a tri-level space along Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood’s emerging Vinyl District, Grandmasters Recorders is many things—the former recording studio of artists like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie, one of the best Italian restaurants in town, and as it turns out, a great option for al fresco rooftop cocktails. Choose between the glimmering, disco-ball-backed 71 Studio Bar on the first floor, an expansive second level with high ceilings and climbing trees, and the aforementioned rooftop with a stunning view of the Hollywood Hills, before sipping on craft cocktails like Snakes and Ladders (pisco, aperol, aquavit, raspberries, egg white, lemon, and bitters). The rooftop also features a separate menu with Italian bites, cocktails on tap, and rooftop spritzes. For those who prefer wine, Grandmasters boasts a collection of over 2,000 wine bottles on its property, favoring Italian labels, with Wine Director Devon D’Arcangelo always eager to offer a recommendation.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Desert 5 Spot

Hollywood
$$$$

Gracing the rooftop of the newly opened tommie Hollywood hotel is this Pioneertown-meets-Palm Springs, neo-retro spot with jewel-toned vintage furniture and wood paneling on the interior, plus a wraparound patio that offers 360-degree views of the Hollywood Hills. It’s one of your best bets for country western or country rock music in LA, with live bands playing every weekend. And because Desert 5 Spot is in the heart of Hollywood, you’re just as likely to see clubbers in minidresses and stilettos as you are cowboys in Stetsons—making it a prime destination for people-watching. On the beverage side, you’ll see additional nods to country music hits, like Ring of Fire with Bruxo mezcal, prickly pear, lemon, and ginger, and Jolene, a captivating cocktail with El Tesoro tequila, watermelon, strawberry, agave, and lime. There’s also the option to “Make it a Cactus,” or order the bar’s famous Margarita in a cactus-shaped cooler that serves between six and eight people.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

1010 Wine and Events
Photo by Dee Williams for Thrillist

1010 Wine

Inglewood
$$$$

Inglewood’s first and only wine bar is owned by sisters Leslie and Leann Jones, two lifelong Inglewood residents who wanted to offer a convenient and upscale nightlife option so that locals aren’t forced to leave the neighborhood when they want a night out. They serve the largest collection of Black-owned wine labels in California, along with elevated bar bites and a few entree choices like Kobe Beef Sliders and a creamy risotto with Creole-style shrimp. Happy hour is Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 5–6 pm and Thursdays from 5–10 pm, with $2 off all house wines plus food specials, and on Sundays they serve brunch from 11 am–4 pm with bottomless mimosas and a live DJ.
How to book: Walk-ins accepted, but reservations are encouraged and can be made online.

Bolita

Virgil Village
$$$$

LA has had a dearth of bar-hopping areas for a while now, but that might be changing along a small section of Virgil Ave where cozy, Havana-inspired Bolita has landed not far from worthy watering holes like Melody and The Virgil. The owners are also behind Cuban favorites El Cochinito and Cafe Tropical, so you know they know their stuff. Pull up to the narrow bar with a tiled mirror backing and order up craft cocktails like Cheat Day Daiquiri with rum, brown butter, banana, lime, dulce de leche, and nutmeg, though there’s also a nice selection of beers and wines by the glass, plus a zero-proof cocktail list (and they’ll happily make any of their cocktails NA by request). A small menu of bar bites is available, including Bar Pie from Cafe Tropical. Stop by during happy hour which runs from 5–7 pm daily and includes deals like Tierra Madre Lager for $4, wines or a Daiquiri for $8, and a Bocadito sandwich for just $4.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Homebound Brew Haus

Union Station
$$$$

Taking over the space that formerly housed Imperial Western Beer Co. and Harvey House, this Bavarian-style brew house debuted with an expanded beer garden, offering over 400 seats across the entire space. Many of the original, art-deco details have been preserved, including gorgeous tile flooring and intricate wallpapers. Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous interior though, this is still one of the best options for knocking back a beer or watching live sports in Downtown, with plenty of TVs and a projector. There’s also shuffleboard and pool tables to keep you occupied. For drinks, they’ve got 12 brews on tap, ranging from a Superba West Coast IPA to Hefeweizen and an Apricot Sour. For those that prefer something a bit stronger, there’s also a classic cocktail menu. Tuck into a menu of burgers, sammies, and brats when hunger strikes.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Uncool

West Hollywood
$$$$

LA has no shortage of trendy hotspots and Uncool, a burger bar in a West Hollywood strip mall, eschews the category altogether, transforming a former taqueria into a welcoming neighborhood tavern with high-quality comfort food and craft cocktails. There are only a couple handfuls of seats across the interior wood bar and railing, with more on the patio out front. The cocktail menu features cheeky items like So Old Fashioned, So Uncool with rye, hickory-smoked cherry bitters, and simple syrup, plus wines, beers, and boozy snow cones. However, do come hungry so you can enjoy a menu of smashburgers, sandwiches, and wings, with plenty of vegan options.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

The High Low

Atwater Village
$$$$

To return to our former point about LA’s lack of bar-hopping arenas, we’re thrilled that the High Low Bar, taking over the space that was formerly home to The Griffin, is open within walking distance of other neighborhood faves like Bigfoot Lodge, the Roost, and The Morrison, as well as Tam O’Shanter, for those who want to preface their drinking with a fancy Scottish steak dinner. With arched brick ceilings, stone columns, and moody lighting, the tavern aesthetic remains firmly intact, with pool tables for the late-night sharks plus TVs. The bar program offers some of the most affordable drinks in town—just $8 well drinks, or $6 during daily happy hour, and $12 for classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds and Margaritas. The food draws from Tex-Mex inspiration, including puffy tacos, nachos, queso, and burgers.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Melanie’s Wine Bar
Photo courtesy of Melanie's Wine Bar

Melanie’s Wine Bar

Beverly Grove
$$$$

Blink and you might miss this cozy wine bar that’s tucked along a popular stretch of West 3rd Street. But there are several reasons why this 30-seat restaurant deserves your attention. For one, it’s open seven days a week and makes an ideal Monday date spot. Secondly, practically the entire wine list is available by the bottle or the glass, inviting you to explore labels that span nearby Paso Robles to France and even as far as Tasmania, Australia. Finally, the French- and Italian-inspired menu is short and to the point, but changes often so you’ll always find something new to pair your wine with. Recent menu items include Rockfish Tartare with pomegranate and celtuce and Crab Fettuccine with lobster stock and Thai basil.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Bar Lis

Hollywood
$$$$

Is LA turning into a walkable city? While that might be a stretch of the imagination, this rooftop bar is within easy stumbling distance from Desert 5 Spot, another recent addition to Hollywood’s emerging Vinyl District—and both are situated on hotel rooftops in case you want to extend your stay. Blending the sophistication of the French Riviera with a laid-back LA attitude, Bar Lis offers a cocktail list and small plates menu that borrows inspiration from the European seaside. Make sure you stop by before sunset so you can take in unobstructed views of the Hollywood Hills, including the Hollywood sign, as the sun takes its final bow. Sip on refreshing cocktails like Strawberry Fields with Belvedere Vodka, St.Germain, strawberry, mint, rhubarb, and prosecco, or take things up a notch with the Petit Paloma with Patron Silver Tequila, chai-infused rum, grapefruit, lime, soda, and flower petal salt. After dark, Bar Lis comes alive with DJ sets, and the bar’s retractable roof makes the space a year-round destination.
How to book: via Sevenrooms.

Genever Lounge

Historic Filipinotown
$$$$

This women-owned gin bar was recently recognized as one of the best bars in the country and for good reason. The interior is moody and romantic with hanging lights and Art Deco detailing, and they boast a craft cocktail list that rotates with the seasons. One recent creation is inspired by the galactic images captured by James Webb Nasa telescope and is titled Infinity Pool, featuring butterfly pea flower-infused gin, sea fennel-infused fino sherry, and orange bitters. The Filipina-owned lounge frequently hosts food pop-ups on the sidewalk outside the bar.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Bar Hermanito

Sawtelle
$$$$

Fusing Mexican ingredients with Japanese influence from the surrounding Sawtelle neighborhood, Hermanito comes complete with a covered patio and quaint, string-lit alleyway, plus a wood-paneled interior where you can enjoy cocktails that favor mezcal and tequila spirits. Opt for The Myra, which combines mezcal with watermelon, lemon, honey, firewater, and a Tajin rim, or the Full Monte, with Diplomatico rum, mezcal, lime, honey, amaro, and rosemary. On the food side, they’ve got guac and chips, avocado fries, and bao buns as starter options; an array of taco; large-format dishes like Pork Chop Katsu and Pollo Karage; and buñuelos and a Tres Leches Cake for dessert. Stop by on a Tuesday and take advantage of their Taco Tuesday deal that offers three tacos, a beer, and a shot for just $25.
How to book: Walk-ins accepted if space is available.

Available for Reservations

All Season Brewing

Mid-City
$$$$

Taking over the historic, mid-century modern Firestone building at the corner of La Brea and 8th, All Seasons Brewing has an extensive list of beers brewed onsite in their glass-encased 15-barrel brewhouse, with a focus on classic, American styles like pilsners, Hazy IPAs, West Coast IPAs, and a few malt-centric lagers. Open late every day, it’s easy to lose track of time exploring the brewery’s expansive grounds, which include a wraparound patio overlooking La Brea and a spacious, open-air interior with a vintage-style bar backed by large windows that offer a view of the brewhouse, plus skeeball games and a photobooth. Food is provided by Chicas Tacos, which offers a variety of meaty and plant-based options, including a Jackfruit Taco, Dirty Fries (think nachos except toppings come on fries instead of tortilla chips), wings, and a breakfast burrito that’s only available on the weekends. All Seasons Brewing positions itself as a bar before a brewery, meaning they’ve got a full list of cocktails and draft wines available in addition to beers.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Bar Bohémien

Culver City
$$$$

Landing on the rooftop of Culver City’s Citizen Public Market is this vintage-inspired bar that plays off the building’s historic past with exposed brick details, vaulted ceilings, arched windows, and leather bar seats in the interior, plus cascading shade coverings and verdant plant walls on the rooftop patio that overlooks downtown Culver City. Beverage director AC Baker (Simonette and Tao Group) has composed a program of California wines, local beers, and inspired craft cocktails, like Moonchild made with Monkey Shoulder scotch, lemon, banana-ginger, orange honey, and walnut bitters. Should you need some food to pad your stomach, there are plenty of options within the food hall, including Jolly Oyster and Nancy Silverton’s Pizzette.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Wife and the Somm

Glassell Park
$$$$

After a successful run with their farm-to-table, wine-pairing dinner catering business Homesomm, husband and wife Chris Lucchese and Christine Lindgren took their concept one step further with a brick-and-mortar wine bar and shop. With climbing ivy across the entryway, the bistro is easy to miss, which only adds to its charm and further establishes it as a much-needed neighborhood shop where you’ll be easily convinced to spend an evening nibbling on charcuterie and sipping from a global selection of wines that favors small, family-run producers. The interior sports a cozy, holiday-inspired palette with plush burgundy banquettes against forest green walls and dark wood accents, plus an indoor olive tree that stretches towards a ceiling skylight. The back patio is equally charming.

Available for Reservations

Melody

Virgil Village
$$$$

First debuted in late 2017 as a Cal-fresh wine bistro, Melody’s open-air, bungalow-style patio reopened less than a year later as a standalone wine bar and bottle shop, opting to host restaurant pop-ups rather than have a dedicated kitchen. The natural wine bar specializes in low-intervention wines from around the world, with special attention given to French, Italian, and Spanish grapes. Check Instagram for their latest rotating restaurant partnerships and popups.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome for patio dining.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Holcomb

Highland Park
$$$$

Hidden away at the eastern end of York Blvd is Holcomb, the neighborhood’s new favorite natural wine bar, with plenty of $10 glasses, plus craft beers for the hops-oriented crowd. Open seven days a week, the wine bar has a cozy interior with coral walls and sea-green banquette seating, in addition to a small covered patio and sidewalk seating for those who prefer an open-air experience. For food, they’ve got charcuterie, a mezze plate, tuna and steak tartare, a pork rillette sandwich, and a dessert biscuit.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Thunderbolt

Historic Filipinotown
$$$$

Located at the intersection of Historic Filipinotown, Echo Park, and DTLA, Thunderbolt is the perfect in-the-middle-meeting spot. Favorite drinks include the Peach Thunderbolt with Jamaican And Agricole rums, peach, and mint, that’s adapted from Charles H. Baker’s Around The World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask, and the Tropipop, a carbonated and canned mix of rum, coconut, pineapple, and lactose for when you need a piña colada on the go, but the bar also has wine, beer, and cider by the glass. Thunderbolt’s interior features a forest green and rust palette, with comfortable leather couches, long communal tables, high top tables, and an L-shaped, marble-specked bar with stools, plus sidewalk seating and a patio. The food menu features Southern-inspired favorites like Momma Leah’s Tamari-Glazed Lollipop Drumettes, and a Green Tomato Sandwich with pickled and fried green tomatoes on Super Bloom Bakery sourdough bread.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Danielle Dorsey is the Los Angeles Editor at Thrillist.