While it’s true that the ironic usage of a word that labels ironic types is… well, ironic, the word "hipster" is kind of meaningless these days. It's sort of a you'll-know-it-when-you-see-it-and-it-is-usually-bearded thing. Like, for instance, in these 11 hipster-est bars in LA, ranked for posterity.
11. The Short Stop (click here for address and info)
This former super-grimy, long-standing Echo Park institution was given a full overhaul a couple years ago, which -- in the part of town longtime residents complain about getting taken over by hipsters -- kind of says it all. Dancing here (everything from '90s hip-hop to punk rock) involves a healthy dose of the strange interpretive style that typifies some Silverlake-ian shakin’ these days. It'd be a bit further up the list, but anywhere people gather to watch sports unironically can't be THAT hipster, can it?
10. Ye Rustic Inn (click here for address and info)
Rustic’s Los Feliz locale and unassuming décor make it a chill choice for mustachio'ds in this Silverlake adjacent "slum". The white-trashy charm, wings, super-duper-dark inside, tattooed bartendresses, and frequent brushes with fame (Kiefer Sutherland’s drunken episodes!) have always made the Inn just a little more “in”.
9. Harvard & Stone (click here for address and info)
When it transformed from The Stone Bar to Harvard & Stone, something changed at this old bar -- the music, the venue, and the crowd -- which got cuter, scragglier, and skinnier. Negative points for really, really, super-good drinks that've won absolutely ZERO blue ribbons.
8. Bar 107 (click here for address and info)
Crackheads meet loft-dwellers at this uber-kitchy Downtown dive, which kind of toes the line between hoarder and hipster with Colt 45 neon and black velvet wall art -- all of which is irrelevant when your'e watching some guy with wax in his beard win a "water pipe" at a comedian-hosted karaoke contest with an off-key rendition of "Sussudio".
7. The Roosevelt (click here for address and info)
The dance club Teddys, the pool bar the Tropicana, and the bowling alley-abetted Spare Room all have stuff in common: their music's programmed by a collective that includes a former Dim Mak chick and the dude who DJs for -- of all people -- Paul McCartney, they're all frequented by people in outfits probably purchased at a really expensive vintage store, and they're all at The Roosevelt, which somehow has maintained coolness with Fellini-lovers through many, many generations.
6. Footsies (click here for address and info)
If Echo Park was the new Silverlake, and Highland Park was the new Echo Park, and Eagle Rock was the new Highland Park, where’s everyone who owns a retro vest going next? Uh, probably Cypress Park. Footsies helps: the bachelor pad look, pool table, and theme nights (Metal! Funk!) bring in a bevy of beardeds and bad-/rad-fashioned ladies. Footsies would be further up the list, if anyone who didn't live in Cypress Park could tell you where, exactly, it is. Probably somewhere Eastish?
5. La Cita (click here for address and info)
This Downtown standby is a mariachi bar that also has rock-driven theme nights called Punky Reggae and Mustache Monday. If you need more proof of hipsterdom than that... you're probably a hipster.
4. Cha Cha Lounge (click here for address and info)
Cha Cha's a former gay bar with tacky decor and an entrance that allows bicycles through it, so... there's that. There's also "art" in the vending machines, so... there's also that. And dudes from the Melvins DJ here, so... there's DEFINITELY that.
3. Good Times at Davey Wayne's (click here for address and info)
The dudes from La Descarga and Harvard & Stone just dropped this secret-entrance bar that you've probably never heard of, with a That '70s Show look that was tailor-made for the shaggy-haired, white-belted, vinyl-only PBR brigade.
2. Little Joy (click here for address and info)
Fab Moretti of The Strokes named his side project after this once-legitimate dive bar that's now kind of nice, which gives it major hipster points from the get-go. The fact that they play "Eye Of The Tiger" and Barry Manilow while pretending not to even wink puts it comfortably near the top of the list.
1. The Overpass (click here for address and info)
A secret Eastside location
You have to be on a secret list to get in. It’s on the Eastside. Bands party there after their gigs. DJs are from that band. People "express themselves" in American Apparel or retro '90s trash-clothes. No one there calls themselves a hipster.
Lina Lecaro is an LA-born-and-bred author (LA’s Best Dive Bars) and longtime journalist/photographer who covers nightlife, music, fashion, sex, and pop culture for online and print publications such as LA Weekly, the LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Paper Magazine, LAist, and Wehoville.com. According to a recent web quiz, she is NOT a hipster. Follow her on Twitter, yo.
1. The Short Stop1455 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
2. Ye Rustic Inn1831 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles
3. Harvard & Stone5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
4. Bar 107107 W 4th St, Los Angeles
5. Spare Room7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
6. Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
7. Footsie's2640 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles
8. La Cita Bar336 S Hill St, Los Angeles
9. Cha Cha Lounge2375 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles
10. Good Times at Davey Wayne's1611 N El Centro Ave, Hollywood
11. Little Joy Cocktails1477 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
12. The Overpass303 East 5th St, Los Angeles
Equal parts dive bar and dance club, The Short Stop is an Echo Park hot spot located down the street from Dodger Stadium (get it?). The red-lit dance floor is fueled by a juke box or a late-night DJ, the pool tables and arcade games are there to break you when the dance floor tires you out, and the drink specials are made for pre- and post-Dodger game goers. Go early to beat the line, load up on $1 PBR tall boys, and don't miss the cheap (but delicious) street food vendors on your way out -- you just spent the whole night dancing, you deserve it.
Located in a Los Feliz strip mall, this dive bar has gained a cult following for one thing: its legendary chicken wings. The crispy, fall-off-the-bone wings can thank their vinegar-based hot sauce (and cheap price tag) for their popularity. More than just a bar, Ye Rustic Inn also serves a full dinner menu of classic American food (chicken fried steak, meatloaf, chili-cheeseburgers) and solid, unfussy drinks. The sports bar-meets-tavern space hasn't changed much since opening in 1971, so expect retro wood-paneled walls and deep leather booths.
From the guys behind the Havana-themed hideaway La Descarga, Harvard & Stone is a meticulously designed craft cocktail bar in a cavernous, two-story, 1930s factory in Los Feliz. Dance the night away to a solid indie, Motown, and everything-in-between playlist while you sip on pop-culture themed libations (Knocked Up, Hey Arnold, and Zelda are three such cocktails).
Though there's a pretty strict "no dance music" policy at this red and gold painted dive bar, the dance floor still gets a pretty good workout. Once you down the cheap well drinks during happy hour, you're sure to get in a few moves yourself, forgetting all about the random unicorn statue and deer heads.
The Roosevelt Hotel is famous for being haunted, but now it's ready to be your regular haunt thanks to Spare Room. This sleek cocktail lounge/bowling alley stepped up its drink game with the addition of award-winning beverage director Yael Vengroff, who's crafting a menu full of welcome surprises, including a Salt & Vinegar Martini (served with dill potato chips), and a pandan leaf-adorned Lucky Smoke, mixed with Japanese whiskey, rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla.
With its breezy palm trees and sleek design, the Tropicana Bar blends old Hollywood glamour with contemporary California cool. Guests can sip on refreshing mimosas and fresh fruit smoothies, enjoy live DJ music, or simply float in the pool and watch the Hollywood elite in action. Be sure to check out the underwater mural painted by David Hockney.
Though Footsie's may lean a little hipster and divey, you can't say no to a pool table, a juke box, and a daily happy hour with $1 PBRs.
This hipster haven boasts mariachi tunes, plus musical theme nights like "Punky Reggae" and "Mustache Monday". Check out this Downtown boozer on the weekends, too, because they're serving up a crazy Bloody Mary bar at what they've dubbed "Sunday Bloody Sunday". In addition to an indoor dance floor there is also a spacious outdoor patio to really spread out and sip on cheap but strong drinks.
This Silver Lake bar has multiple elements that make it a fun spot for a drink, including a tacky tiki theme with grass overhanging the bar, multiple foosball tables, and "art" in the vending machines.
Straight out of The Brady Bunch set, this 70's living room-themed Hollywood bar is decked out with hammocks, an Airstream Trailer, and a DJ spinning Bee Gees-esque beats. It's hard to tell what's cooler: the epic secret entrance through a refrigerator door or the no-cover. Weekend nights usually draw the biggest lines, but Good Times is open on weekend afternoons, aka the perfect time to kick back on the patio and order up some Tex-Mex street food and craft cocktails.
Not just what you get when Rob Base's biggest hit is played at a low volume, Little Joy's also the beloved Echo Park dive that was recently given a total upscale-y overhaul, with eight craft beers (Paradise Road Pilsner, Anchor California Lager, etc.) on tap, as well as a brand new oak bar and so-fresh, so-momentarily clean booths.