Food & Drink

Your ultimate guide to LA day drinking

Published On 08/15/2014 Published On 08/15/2014

There's a certain artistry to proper day drinking, especially in LA, where finding the best bar for every hour of sunlight in Summer can be crucial to your Funday ambitions. This should help: our first-ever guide to LA day drinking, complete with the best bar to drink at for every hour of daylight.

Fine print: This isn't for crawling purposes (obviously, that would be impossible geographically), but instead it's-whatever-o-clock-and-I'm-ready-to-start-daydrinking-what's-the-absolute-best-place-I-could-be-doing-it-at-this-very-minute purposes. Good luck.

Flickr/Ginny (edited)

Where to drink: The Drawing Room (address and info)
Why?: There are only a handful of bars actually open right when it's legal to serve at 6am, and most of them are dives, but none of them are as gloriously divey as this Los Feliz institution, where you're guaranteed to get your all-day drink-a-thon started right with 1) super-strong drinks, and 2) ultra-charming characters.

Facebook/The Breakfast Bar

Where to drink: The Breakfast Bar (address and info)
Why?: Because this place is called Breakfast Bar. But also because they've got chicken-and-waffle sticks to help you set a day-base, and $3 Miller High Lifes to help you put that base to good use.

Playa Provisions

Where to drink: Playa Provisions (address and info)
Why?: Their house Bloody Marys. But also this new Top Chef-testant-run spot (the first of many by-the-sea places on this list, 'cause, duh) has you covered on the most substantial breakfast front (where you'll need to be covered at some point): their ciabatta breakfast sandwich is stuffed with (deep breath) sausage, bacon, avocado, eggs, pickled collard greens, Gruyere, and house-pickled habanero hot sauce. Pro tip: spoon some of the hot sauce into your Bloody.

Molly Malone's

Where to drink: Molly Malone's (address and info)
Why?: Because it's an institution. Because it has Guinness on draft. Because it's open. And because it's in the middle of the city, which means whether it's where you're starting the day or where you'll end up in the middle (or both!), it's convenient for someone to meet you and join you for at least one pint.

Open Air Kitchen + Bar

Where to drink: Open Air Kitchen + Bar (address and info)
Why?: Formerly Fatty's Public House, this Fairfax gastrobistro has a killer build-your-own-Bloody bar, which's probably right in your boozy wheelhouse around 10am.

Flickr/Jules Morgan (edited)

Where to drink: Hungry Cat (address and info)
Why?: This by-the-ArcLight spot isn't just a great hidden-away treasure where you can get your drink on before a movie, but it also has brunch with killer oysters on weekends, which -- at 11am, and after a few tipples -- is kinda the perfect snack.

Alcove Cafe & Bakery

Where to drink: Alcove Cafe/Big Bar (address and info)
Why?: It's time to graduate to full-on, tomato-juice-free cocktails (hooray for noon!), and the Alcove's attached little bar, Big Bar, is the perfect transition spot: fresh-ingredient-filled, brunch-friendly mixed drinks like the Cockney Sparrow (Beefeater, rose tea, lemon, cucumber, Champagne) comprise the menu, and the patio's one of those you-could-spend-hours-out-there-and-not-even-notice gems.

Brian Sussman

Where to drink: Stark Bar (address and info)
Why?: It's time for something more substantive on both the food and drink side, and Stark Bar at LACMA -- one of our favorite patios to drink at in the city -- offers both: a full-on drink menu with fruit-mushing, high-end-boozing greatness, and flatbreads with pickled artichokes and gourmet sausage that'll beat back the hunger that's no doubt yearning to break free.

Facebook/O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant

Where to drink: O'Brien's (address and info)
Why?: This Santa Monica Main St staple may be brotacular, but it's also got a great mid-afternoon happy hour, with $3.50 domestics from 12-7pm.

Facebook/Golden Road Brewing

Where to drink: Golden Road Brewing (address and info
Why?: You're probably at the point in your day where you're like: "drinking is fun. But you know what's more fun? Drinking... and playing games at the same time!" That's where Golden Road comes in: they've got giant Jenga, ping pong, and more, a slew of outdoor seats, and some of LA's best local beer, brewed right there.

Facebook/Thompson Hotels

Where to drink: Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt (address and info)
Why?: The sun is high, you're ready to get half-naked, and you'd like to see people much better looking than you do the same. Thankfully, the Tropicana at the Roosevelt -- sometimes a list-y place at night -- is much easier to get into during the day, as are a bunch of other options from our list of LA's best pool bars.

Facebook/The Venice Whaler

Where to drink: The Whaler (address and info)
Why?: The beachside staple's just finally finished their renovations, which means you can just finally get tap Negronis and bourbon-and-IPA-based California Kings, plus late-afternoon bites including their house banh mi.

Facebook/Mercado Los Angeles

Where to drink: Mercado (address and info)
Why?: Now's when you want chips and guac. Now's when you want happy hour margaritas. Here's where you're going to get them.

The Bungalow

Where to drink: The Bungalow (address and info)
Why?: There's no better place to watch the sunset, cheers a day of drinking well done... and figure out where the hell you're going for the night.

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Jeff Miller is Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor and probably won't be seeing you for that 6am drink, but'll totally meet you out at 4pm. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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1. The Drawing Room 1800 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

There are only a handful of bars actually open right when it's legal to serve at 6am, and most of them are dives, but none of them are as gloriously divey as this Los Feliz institution, where you're guaranteed to get super-strong drinks and ultra-charming characters.

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2. The Breakfast Bar 70 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Head out to this Long Beach hot spot for (surprise!) breakfast, especially for their chicken-and-waffle sticks, and hang around for happy hour, when you can get $3 High Life bottles.

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3. Molly Malone's Irish Pub 575 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (West Hollywood)

Malone's is a West Hollywood institution with Guinness on draft, friendly vibes, and tasty bar food to scarf down in between games of darts.

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4. Open Air Kitchen + Bar 892 N. La Cienega, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This West Hollywood haunt is never a bad option for drinks, with a menu loaded with numerous wines, beers, and cocktails; but the real treat is their edibles menu, featuring options like prosciutto, fig, and arugula salad and a kale and spinach pizza with Parmesan cream sauce.

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5. Hungry Cat 1555 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

This slick, beachy seafoodery serves up raw bites like oysters, along with cooked fishes, burgers, and artfully mixed 'tails. Whether for lunch, brunch, or dinner, The Hungry Cat has been the go-to for inventive, LA-style seafood dishes for over a decade. Do it up by starting with a 1-, 2-, or 3-tier seafood platter, and pair your meal with one of the market-fresh cocktails that complement basically everything on the menu.

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6. Big Bar 1927 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

Big Bar's actually, well, a tiny little bar attached to the massive outdoor patio at the Alcove Cafe. It has a European feel thanks to a room-length, extra-wide marble bar, antique-looking oak cabinets, and custom-made, metal chandeliers.

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7. Ray's & Stark Bar 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

Located at LACMA, this swanky bar and restaurant takes museum dining to new levels with an upscale American menu, killer cocktails, and an expansive outdoor patio. Expect wood-fired pizzas, plenty of veggie plates, and classic entrees like a burger with caramelized onions and grilled fish. The Stark Bar has an impressive spirit selection sourced from across the world, and the craft cocktails taste just right at happy hour.

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8. O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant 2941 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405 (Santa Monica)

This Santa Monica pub may get a little brotastic, but they also serve up delicious bar fare and a terrific mid-afternoon happy hour, with $3.50 domestics from 12-7pm.

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9. Golden Road Brewing 5410 W San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Glendale)

Golden Road is the perfect place for anyone who loves drinking while playing games, because they've got giant Jenga, ping pong, and more, plus tons of outdoor seats, and some of LA's best local beer that's brewed right there. Enjoy a pint with some of the venue's delectable globally-inspired pub fare.

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10. 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.

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11. The Venice Whaler 10 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292 (Venice)

A Venice landmark, this beachside spot has been serving up market-fresh dishes and high-quality craft cocktails since the '40s. Be sure to try the fish tacos, or split some of their small bites or an artisan pizza with your group -- a group you should also convince to join in the Whaler's Monday night karaoke. While you're there, you'll want to head up to the second-floor patio bar for some gorgeous ocean views, particularly at sunset.

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12. Mercado 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

Mercado is a modern-tinged Mexican joint steeped in luxury woods, leathers, and steel, with a menu that boasts tons of authentic, South-of-the-border food and drink. This includes handmade tortillas, enchiladas with sweet shrimp and yellow mole, slow-cooked carnitas, and more than 70 tequila options.

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13. The Bungalow 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

This sprawling, indoor/outdoor lounge at the Fairmont Santa Monica is rustic, bougie-in-a-good-way, and straight-up charming. The beautifully designed patio is decked out with lanterns and close enough to the beach (aka, right across the street) to catch the ocean breeze. Accouterments like a fire pit and ping pong table make The Bungalow a great place to start the night with a few happy hour drinks.



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