There are things you already know about the Valley: it's large, it's spread out, it's hot, there are a ton of small communities there, and also, it's... hot. What you may not know, though, is that it's also home to some of LA's best bars.
Here's our guide to the best of the best in the Val -- and yeah, it leans East, but for some reason, there really aren't great bars in Woodland Hills. Or Calabasas. Or North Hills. Or…
Tiki No (click here for address and info) North Hollywood Yeah, we get it. The only Tiki bar you drink at is Tiki Ti. Thing is, though, you always have to wait for a seat there, and they don't have giant scorpion bowls that they set on fire, or karaoke. And this place is only, like, a few miles from there.
Skinny's Lounge (click here for address and info) North Hollywood This oddly shaped performance venue regularly hosts burlesque nights and up-and-coming indie-rock bands, plus they make fine (foyne?) cocktails, too.
Neat (click here for address and info) Glendale When Aidan Demarest of Seven Grand decided to open a classy cocktail bar in Glendale, other mixologists thought he was nuts. Now, a couple years later, he has one of the most beloved bars in that part of town -- deservedly, since the dude knows his booze better than just about anyone, but especially those other mixologists.
Paladino's (click here for address and info) Reseda Every time the Foo Fighters book a big tour, they play a surprise show at this notoriously dumpy metal bar buried deep in a strip mall on Reseda. If you don't think that sounds great, we'll just refer you to Dave Grohl.
Oyster House (click here for address and info) Studio City This nautically themed dive has been here for 40 years. The clam chowder is insanely good, and the locals that are regulars? Oh, man. They. Are. Awesome.
The Federal Bar (click here for address and info) North Hollywood This two-story bar in an old bank vault has managed to become a Valley hang for everyone. They've got brunch with live bands on weekends, DJ nights during the week, and occasional burlesque, comedy, and jazz. And -- oh yeah -- a great beer selection.
Star Garden (click here for address and info) North Hollywood It wouldn't be quite right to do a best-bars-in-the-Valley list without including at least one strip club. Our nominee's Star Garden, mostly because it has some character, and you can legally drink there -- and that's not a combination you can always get together.
Boneyard Bistro (click here for address and info) Sherman Oaks This BBQ spot made our list of the best restaurants on Ventura, but don't discount their bar scene -- it's a great drink-hang too, with an ever-changing beer list including local and pale flights, a killer bourbon list, and cocktails like the habanero-infused "Sympathy for the Devil".
Tony's Darts Away (click here for address and info) Burbank We already know what you're gonna say. "Thrillist ALLLLLWAYS talks about Tony's, and we're SICK OF IT". Know why? Because Tony's rules, that's why. Amazing sausages, great beers, and a super-nice staff mean if you're bitching, you haven't been. Right?
Black Market Liquor Bar (click here for address and info) Studio City A perennial favorite, thanks to amazing wings, ridiculously good drinks, and the kind of industry-but-not-in-the-horrible-way scene that'll make you say, "Not all of these girls can be PAs, can they????"
The Good Nite (click here for address and info) North Hollywood The Valley's full of divey karaoke bars, but The Good Nite is one of the longest-running singing stations, and therefore, one of the most beloved -- probably due to a happy hour that runs from 9-10pm.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern (click here for address and info) Sherman Oaks The best bar with the best burgers by the Galleria, which has the best movie theater, which makes for a pretty great night all-around.
Jeff Miller grew up in Van Nuys, Encino, and North Hollywood, and misses Cozy's, Stevies, and anywhere that didn't card him in high school. He's at @thrillistla on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on the Instagramz.