Power-ranking the 11 hipster-est bars in LA

Los Angeles

Power-ranking the 11 hipster-est bars in LA
Power-ranking the 11 hipster-est bars in LA

Flickr/Jim Wall

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)
Echo Park
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?

Flickr user DKHarvie

10. Ye Rustic Inn (click here for address and info)
Los Feliz
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”.

Harvard & Stone

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.

Yelp user Dan B

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".

Spare Room

7. The Roosevelt (click here for address and info)
West Hollywood
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)
Cypress Park
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.

Cha Cha Lounge

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.

Dustin Downing

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)
Echo Park
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.

Instagram user Tatiana Dumais

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.

Published on

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. The Short Stop 1455 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Echo Park)

Equal parts dive bar and dance bar, this casual hangout spot's got a jukebox and a big crowd of post-Dodger game fans to help you properly unwind and kick it back any night of the week.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Ye Rustic Inn 1831 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Harvard & Stone 5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Koreatown)

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).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Bar 107 107 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Spare Room 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

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 their drink game with the addition of award-winning beverage director Yael Vengroff. From a Salt & Vinegar Martini served with dill potato chips to the pandan leaf-adorned Lucky Smoke with Japanese whiskey, rum, banana liqueur and vanilla, the menu is full of welcome surprises.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Footsie's 2640 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. La Cita Bar 336 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Cha Cha Lounge 2375 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Silverlake)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Good Times at Davey Wayne's 1611 N El Centro Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Little Joy Cocktails 1477 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Echo Park)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. The Overpass 303 East 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90004 (Koreatown)

The Overpass in Silverlake is an invite-only speakeasy. It opens late and is hard to find, but if you're on the list (or you know the password), then you're one step ahead of us.