Food & Drink

20 LA bars that are open on Christmas Day

Published On 12/25/2014 Published On 12/25/2014
iPic Entertainment
Mr. C Beverly Hills
The Culver Hotel
Bar Won O’Seven
Bigfoot Lodge East
Denise Milford
Sharkeez Hermosa
The Chimneysweep Lounge
Terrazza Lounge
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1. Tanzy 10840 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The movie theater-adjacent Tanzy's brunch menu features get-in-my-stomach-immediately dishes like "bacon & eggs" ravioli, jidori chicken and waffles, and crispy chocolate Italian donuts. They've got quality Italian fare for any time of day however, and a wine, beer, and cocktail list that won't disappoint.

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2. Culver Hotel 9400 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Housed in a 1920s flatiron building and once owned by John Wayne -- and is rumored to be where the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz partied after filming -- the Culver Hotel is something of a Hollywood novelty. But its bar… isn’t. It’s a straight-out-of-the-20s speakeasy with a tinge of old-school Parisian boudoir. It’s dark, and only open after 8pm. This is not the place to see and be seen, but rather, the place to hide amongst the scene, with live music, craft cocktails, and paranormal activity from the ghosts of Hollywood past.

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3. 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.

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4. Golden Gopher 417 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The Golden Gopher, a DTLA dive with a rare, dual-liquor license grandfathered from 1905 (yes, it survived Prohibition by selling "near beer" and "medicinal" bitters), was originally dubbed Golden Sun Saloon and owned by none other than former President Teddy Roosevelt. Nearly a century later, in 2004, it became the Golden Gopher, but its character and history still live within its dark, exposed brick walls. The Bar Keeper -- from the same team that runs the Silver Lake location -- operates the liquor shop side of the Gopher, where you can on-site purchase liquor to go. But stay a while, and enjoy a pint of beer in one of few LA bars that have stood the test of 100 years' time.

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5. Bigfoot Lodge 3172 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Step into the log cabin-like interior of Bigfoot Lodge and escape into the wilderness of... Atwater Village. The roaring fireplace, tree stump tables, and hunting lodge decor will have you certain you’ve left Los Angeles (don’t worry, you haven’t). Bigfoot’s got live music, tallboys, and rustic-style cocktails that adhere to the campfire theme, like the Roasted Marshmallow with actual burnt marshmallow, and the Scout’s Honor with Irish cream liqueur. Once you've got your drink, cozy up to the fireplace and forget that you’re actually nowhere near the woods.

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6. The Pikey 7617 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90046

Formerly a dive bar on Sunset Blvd., The Pikey is a spacious old English-style tavern with dark wood-paneled walls decorated with British paraphernalia (Union Jacks, a coat of arms), red leather booths, iron chandeliers, and suspender-sporting staff. The menu offers elevated pub fare from a former chef of New York’s similarly-themed Spotted Pig, featuring authentic English dishes like Welsh Rarebit, chicken liver, and Fish & Chips. It's supported by inventive craft cocktails, and -- true to British pub form -- pints of beer.

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7. Sassafras Saloon 1233 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Authenticity comes in all shapes and sizes. At Sassafras Saloon, it comes in the shape of a one-time Savannah townhouse that was deconstructed, transported (from Georgia), and resurrected smack in the heart of Hollywood. Sure, the draw may be the live music and Southern-style cocktail proffer -- house-brewed sarsaparilla and barrel-aged beverages among them -- but the various (and plentiful) antebellum tchotchkes solidify the saloon’s down-home feel. Sassafras will take you from one southern corner of the country to the other as you sip your Sazerac in the parlor, underneath the portrait of Frederick Douglass.

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8. El Carmen 8138 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

El Carmen is a colorful, tunnel-like cantina in Beverly Grove with luchador-lined walls, lit by strings of Christmas lights (year round). The Mexican cuisine is simply an afterthought, given the nearly 10 page list of over 400 tequilas on offer -- blanco, reposed, anejo, and the lesser-known muy anejo. Taste your way through the agave with a flight or in a classic cocktail, and soak it all up with authentic Mexican dishes like a three cheese quesadilla, a heaping bowl of nachos or chilaquiles with mole. Weekday happy hour features the best of the menu and cocktails at a portion of the price, and it’s called Hora de Fiesta -- that means party hour, and that’s when you should go.

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9. Baja Sharkeez 52 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach (& other locations), CA 90254

This South Bay mini-chain is a go-to for bros and beach goers alike for its sports bar-meets-Mexican restaurant vibes. The loaded menu features hearty tacos and burritos with an emphasis on seafood, plus burgers, tortas, and fajitas. A drinking hub above all, Baja Sharkeez doles out party buckets and pitchers of tropical drinks, margaritas, and mojitos, and naturally, has a killer weekday happy hour. The beach is within walking distance, so if you load up on one too many super-sized margaritas, you can walk it off as the sun sets over the Pacific.

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10. The Chimneysweep Lounge 4354 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The Valley may be home to an influx of great dive bars, but not much beats The Chimneysweep Lounge, a beat-up classic with a game room, free popcorn, and cheap drinks by the roaring fire. The Sherman Oaks watering hole may be small, but its bar is full, its game room stacked, and its TVs powered on with round-the-clock sports coverage. Stop in for a beer and a game, stick around for the billiards (and karaoke, depending on the night).

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11. Harlowe 7321 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

This WeHo haunt sports a sophisticated interior with antique decor, brown banquettes, and an intricate, handmade tile floor, plus a killer cocktail program designed by beloved NY bartender Dushan Zaric. Sip on innovative cocktails like the Aye Poppy (Uncle Val's Botanical Gin, Grand Poppy, house-made strawberry basil syrup, lemon, and egg white), alongside a cheese & charcuterie board, while you salute Hollywood's Golden Age -- the theme of this classy spot.

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12. Roger Room 370 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Since its opening in the early days of the speakeasy craze in LA, The Roger Room has retained all of its class and charm. Order up the Four Aces, a house favorite with vodka, basil, green grapes, and ginger liqueur, or the Japanese Maple with whiskey, egg whites, and maple syrup -- then settle into a booth beneath the hand-painted carnival mural and be prepared to stay awhile.

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13. Gas Lite 2030 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Gas Lite is a special place, mainly because every night is karaoke night. But if singing isn't your thing, well then you can always watch other people make a fool of themselves. That's always fun too...

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14. Terrazza Santa Monica Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Squirreled away inside the Casa Del Mar Hotel, this Italian resto and lounge slings seafood-focused dishes like steamed mussels with blood sausage while pouring Sicilian Smashes (Amaretto with bourbon, citrus, mint, and bitters). Out of the panoramic window, you'll be staring out onto gorgeous views Santa Monica beach.

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15. The Venice Whaler 10 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

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.