Sex & Dating

The Best Bars in LA -- If You're Single

Published On 12/12/2016 Published On 12/12/2016
Seven Grand

Seven Grand

Downtown

There are plenty of intimate nooks and crannies in the beloved DTLA ode-to-whiskey, as well as a pool table to start conversation and "accidentally" bump into someone as you try to pass by. Seven Grand also hides the sorta-secret bar The Jackalope in the back if you want to change locations without really changing locations.

The Short Stop

Echo Park

This dimly lit dive has a dingy dance floor with vibrant music, meaning whatever happens on the dance floor hopefully doesn’t stay there. Thankfully, there’s also a photo booth where you can find some privacy with your new fling.

BLACK

Black

Hollywood

Befitting its location, this raw, rock-feeling bar is equipped with a stellar guitar-leaning jukebox and roomy leather booths that open themselves up to group getting-to-know-yous or secluded face-sucking.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Dirty Laundry

Hollywood

This (not so) hidden, underground speakeasy rests in the midst of Hollywood Blvd and was once called one of our sexiest bars in LA, so it’s only natural it makes our list for best bars in LA if you’re single. Bartenders serve up infused spirits, equipped with house made syrups and garnishes for young professionals looking for something fancy to sip on. Meanwhile, DJs provide both current and throwback tunes to keep singles bumpin’ and grindin’ all night long. There’s also the even-more-hidden Valentino room, which offers its own private bar and plush seating for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the typically cramped dance floor -- and have a little, uh, alone time.

Good Times at Davey Wayne's

Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

Hollywood

The name alone is the first sign that people at Good Times At Davey Wayne's are there to enjoy themselves -- and the totally decked-out '70s-themed ambiance help make that anything-goes vibe a reality.  This speakeasy exudes a casual, house party-like atmosphere thanks to darkly lit hallways, comfy couches, and an outdoor patio with hammocks, ample seating and spiked sno-cones from the old-school camper posted up out back; there's plenty to talk about with whomever you meet there -- and a dance floor busting out old-school hits if you want to take it to the next-ish level.

Sarah Norris/Thrillist

Harvard & Stone

Hollywood

This always-hopping two-story bar from the Houston brothers evokes the World War II-era with factory-like details and suspender-clad bartenders serving up an innovative, always-changing cocktail list, with a separate, tiny R&D bar in the back the perfect place to strike up conversation with a new "friend" before moving over to the main room to watch a band or -- even better -- a suggestive, sexy burlesque show.  

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

No Vacancy

Hollywood

Allegedly a former bordello, the entrance to this huge bar -- which involves a bed, naturally -- means you’ve got an instant conversation starter with whomever you’ve been eying. Once inside, the bar's got plenty more to discuss, including live jazz music and burlesque performers on the weekends, as well as showcases from rock bands and the occasional tightrope-walker. Seriously.

Danielle Bernabe/Courtesy of Sassafras

Sassafras

Hollywood

This Southern-inspired saloon has a unique drink list -- including barrel-aged cocktails -- as well as suggestive house favorites like the very boozy Sex on the Bayou. Close quarters mean spontaneous dancing to the bands playing on the overhanging balcony which range from swing, to blues, brass, and more, and the intimate, cozy, setup on the front-porch -- with rustic fireplaces and wicker chairs -- are also perfect for quieter getting-to-know-you-and-your-tonsils “conversation.”

The Well Lounge

The Well

Hollywood

The Well’s a longtime local favorite for singles, thanks to low-key lighting, an excellent vodka selection, and spacious (dark) leather booths, which surround the elevated square bar in the center -- making scanning the room for other single people extra-easy. 

The Woods

Hollywood

This true neighborhood haunt attracts locals with its Friday social night -- a weekly promotion that through its "don't leave single" tagline ostensibly lays the groundwork for bar goers looking to get laid (uh, or find their soul mate). And if that’s not enough, they serve happy hour every night until 10pm, which gives you no excuse not to buy the cutie you’ve been eyeing a (cheap) drink.

The Blind Donkey

The Blind Donkey

Pasadena

This divey whiskey bar is a prime destination for Pasadena singles based on the right combination of mood lighting (dimly lit, of course), feel-good tunes at a volume that’s conducive to conversation, and large liquor selection. Additionally, you and your date-ish-person can also loosen up over a game of chess, shuffle board, or checkers -- just don't get too competitive, or you may be left alone to king yourself.

The Bungalow Santa Monica

The Bungalow

Santa Monica

This bougie beachfront staple maintains a relaxed and romantic vibe, steps away from the ocean. Always swarming with an influx of bros and ladies dressed to impress, it’s the perfect place to meet other singles, thanks to a multi-room setup that includes indoor and outdoor seating, and plenty of activities ranging from ping pong to sitting by fire pits. The lines to get in can be long, but turn that negative into a positive: if the person in front or behind you is someone you want to chat with, they've sort of held hostage with you for the duration. 

Tenants of the Trees

Silver Lake

This lively, indoor/outdoor cocktail bar has become an Eastside respite for creative types, which means that the model-y person with the floppy hat you’ve been checking out while they dance to one of the venue’s rotating DJs is probably, uh, a model. And you've got to try, right?

The Virgil

Silver Lake

This divey cocktail bar is a hotspot for Eastside hipsters who aren’t afraid to let loose. It may seem like a hot mess on the weekends (because it is), but that just means a whole load of single people getting down on the dance floor to  tunes provided by featured DJs, which range from retro-funk to current electro-rock. However, if you’re not up for meeting someone on the dance floor (or once you do) you can peruse over to the other side of the bar, which has ample seating, a mellower atmosphere, and no lack of dark corners.

4100 Bar

4100

Silver Lake

A bangin’ juke box, stiff drinks, and a circular bar setup give single people all the right commodities to have enough liquid courage to talk to the hottie across the way. And who knows, if things go really well, maybe you’ll get to take him/her into the photo booth for an intimate moment or outside for some delicious, out-of-this-world BBQ from the always-there cart.

Hinano Cafe

Venice

This beloved, beachside dive is known as Venice’s favorite last-call bar, giving less-than-sober singles a perfect late-night spot to slurrily converse while grabbing one of the bar's world-famous burgers. You can also get there early and start early: they've got pool tables, a great jukebox, and occasional bands on the weekend.

The Venice Whaler

The Venice Whaler

Venice

This Venice staple is the perfect boardwalk dive bar for meet-ups over stiff drinks and good food, which is why it’s also one of our favorite beachside bars in Los Angeles, one of the best happy-hour spots and one of the best karaoke bars for beachcombers -- all of which make it a perfect spot to "accidentally" side up on a sexy surfer boy or girl.

Bar Lubitsch

West Hollywood

This multiple-roomed Russian-themed lounge makes it possible to have various kinds of no-shame nights in the same place -- starting with getting down in dim, red-lit ambiance in the dancy Red Room before moving towards a more relaxed, boothy vibe in the up-front Bar Room. There's also a patio, and the bar as a whole has over 200 choices of vodka from around the world, allowing you and your new honey to go on a little adventure without ever actually leaving WeHo.

Laurel Hardware

West Hollywood

This chic barstaurant’s got layers to its hookup scene: from the moment you walk into the inviting dining room, you feel like you’re being sized-up by the over-eager bar goers that up front. Heading towards the back, the wrap around lines for the bathroom are perfect for striking up awkward conversation, and the back patio’s sort of the spot to hit once you’ve hit paydirt. It doesn’t end there, either -- if things go particularly well, it’s also one of WeHo’s favorite places to be on Saturday and Sunday mornings for morning-after brunch.

Pearls Rooftop

Pearl’s

West Hollywood

This charming upscale bar-lounge rests on top of Rock & Reilly’s and is one of our favorite Sunset strip hotspots as well as one of the best rooftop bars located in the heart of West Hollywood. But those factors aside, it’s perfect for singles thanks to its romantic ambiance, which resembles an enchanted garden, complete with an ivy-clad pergola, wicker chairs, and a fireplace that gets extra-cozy on winter nights.

The Den On Sunset

The Den on Sunset

West Hollywood

The Den on Sunset’s cozy beer garden, equipped with an elongated fireplace in the center, gives bar goer’s year-round opportunity to make casual conversation; the bar also throws themed events on the regular with free food and discount cocktails aimed at getting people to know each other -- which is as good an excuse as any to, uh, get to know someone new.

The Hudson

West Hollywood

The Hudson's right in the center of WeHo which sort of puts it right in the center of the city -- so it's no surprise people from all over the place come here with the hopes of meeting someone new. The dark corners and extremely attractive staff don't hurt the cause, either.

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1. Seven Grand 515 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Seven Grand has a hipster-esque hunting lodge decor to match its massive whiskey selection. Vintage and contemporary recipes are featured on the cocktail menu, which incorporates freshly squeezed juices and house-infused syrups. Cigars and pool tables contribute to the man-cave vibe of this place.

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2. The Short Stop 1455 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Echo Park)

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.

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3. BLACK 6202 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

This is not your standard Hollywood haunt. The free-standing Black is an unassuming, unpretentious rock bar in West Hollywood run by two women formerly of the Viper Room, which should give you an idea of what we mean by "rock" bar. The massive outdoor patio is fully equipped with a bar of its own, and inside you’ll find leather booths, a jukebox (and a dance floor), and televisions occasionally screening movies to accompany your beers. To find out the featured event of the evening, check out the giant chalkboard schedule on the side of the building.

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4. Dirty Laundry 1725 Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Located underneath an unassuming apartment building in Hollywood, Dirty Laundry is a subterranean speakeasy-style bar and nightclub with an entry-by-password-only policy. It’s a Prohibition-inspired, cocktail-centric spot with elaborate (does serving a drink on fire constitute elaborate?) cocktails like an Almond Old Fashioned or a drink garnished with Pop Rocks. The secrets continue: if you happen to stumble upon the hidden room in back, step through the threshold to live music, dancing, and imbibing… in secret.

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5. 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.

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6. 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).

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7. No Vacancy 1717 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Located in a restored Victorian house built in 1902, No Vacancy’s Prohibition era-inspired ambiance (there’s a secret entrance) and rotating, 12-item cocktail menu mimic its 20th century-born home. The three-story bar hosts cocktail connoisseurs in its various, dimly lit rooms, which are decorated with red leather and dark wood accents. At the bottom of a red carpeted staircase, a brick-walled courtyard is home to baroque fireplaces that set the tone for the live entertainment -- jazz music, burlesque shows, and tightrope walkers alike.

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8. Sassafras Saloon 1233 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

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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9. The Well 6255 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

From the Vintage Bar Group team, The Well is a Hollywood hot spot with low lighting and high-backed leather benches lining the wall to encourage all eyes on the central bar and its cascading martini glass “aquarium.” Great for daily happy hours and light bar bites (and deep fried twinkles, if you’re into that sorta thing), The Well is fully stocked with top shelf spirits, cocktails, beer, wine, and of course, Perrier (this is Hollywood, after all).

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10. The Woods 1533 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Escape the urban atmosphere of the strip mall and step into The Woods, a cocktail bar with wood block-lined walls, tree trunk tables, and antlered chandeliers. The drinks are cheap (especially during happy hour) and the ambiance is reminiscent of summer camp -- but instead of guitar by campfire, there’s a DJ and a dress code. The Woods is your ticket out of the city and back to nature… cocktails included.

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11. Blind Donkey 53 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103 (Pasadena)

The Blind Donkey is an Old Pasadena gastropub and whiskey roost with over 100 labels to choose from, plus classic cocktail, ten rotating craft beers, and a menu designed for whiskey consumption (and heavy drinking in general). Sit at a table with built-in chess boards and enjoy your small batch, single barrel scotch over a quiet game of chess, or indulge in one of their ten french fry-based dishes, like pizza fries with marinara, mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushroom, buffalo chicken fries with mozzarella, celery, and ranch, and Reuben fries with pastrami, sauerkraut, mozzarella, and Thousand Island, to name a few.

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12. 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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13. Tenants of the Trees 2810 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Tenants of the Trees is a Silver Lake-based compound comprised of three concepts: its namesake cocktail bar, a music venue called Out of Order, and an outdoor movie theater called Concession (yes, it serves food). The cocktail bar has a tree-canopied patio and optional lockers for guests to store their iPhones (a no phone, no camera policy is in play, why tempt yourself?). Tenants of Trees is a departure from the bustling city streets to a flora-heavy hill with cocktails, live music, Chef-driven menus, and the great outdoors.

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14. The Virgil 4519 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

The Virgil is a Silver Lake speakeasy-style bar that’s equal parts cocktail bar and live entertainment space. It’s divided into two sides, with a full bar in each: “Stage Side” features live music, dancing, and comedy shows, and “B Side,” is the no-cover, juke box-bearing space, with innovative craft cocktails and beer. You’ll find ingredients like Gifford Creme de Banan, Manzano peppers, lavender-infused rye, and coconut cream across the cocktail menu (you can get a vodka soda if you cower in the face of adventure). Go for the happy hour, stay for the show, drink constantly.

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15. 4100 Bar 1087 Manzanita St, Los Angeles, CA 90029 (Silverlake)

This sexy and sleek bar serves up a super-extensive variety of 'tails (including just about any martini you can think of), as well as a full selection of wine and draft beers.

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16. Hinano Cafe 15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292 (Venice)

Open since 1969, Hinano Cafe was reportedly Jim Morrison's favorite bar in Venice. Claim to fame aside, the uber-casual, beachside mainstay has great beer and an even better burger, served on a sesame-studded egg bun with standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, mustard, and relish) and add-ons like cheddar, Swiss, chili, and bacon. The bar slightly resembles a tiki hut from the outside, but the interior is a typical dive scene with a pool table and TVs.

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17. 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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18. Bar Lubitsch 7702 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)

Remember college? Me neither. But the Red Room at Bar Lubitsch is eerily reminiscent of those basement frat parties, and their Molotov Cocktail (Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, fresh-pressed apple juice, and fire) is just a higher-quality, flame-engulfed version of jungle juice... in the best way. It's a Russian-themed vodka bar with 200-some-odd vodkas (served chilled or in cocktail form), a DJ-fueled dance floor, a quieter barroom for the dance floor-averse (or if you want to like, talk), and a brick- and ivy-enclosed patio. Go for the drinks, stay for the dancing; the DJs are some of the best in the area.

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19. Laurel Hardware 7984 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)

Housed in an old hardware store (hence the name), with Laurel Hardware is a scene-driven West Hollywood bar and restaurant with industrial decor reminiscent of the building’s former tenant. Sip your carrot-infused tequila, cucumber, turmeric margarita (with a chile-salt rim) on the light strung, tree-lined patio before heading to the bare-bones dining room for familiar, contemporary American favorites like chicken wings with kimchi, Brussels sprouts with bacon (obviously), or a tricked-out cheeseburger with onion jam, bacon (obviously), and Point Reyes blue cheese. Laurel Hardware is a useful place -- not like hardware store useful, but stiff drink, quality food, fashionable atmosphere useful. And no matter what anyone tells you, there’s actually no password required to get in… just patience, because there will be a line.

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20. Pearl's Liquor Bar 8909 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

Right down the street from The Roxy, Pearl's is a Sunset Strip fixture with three bars and three decks, each impeccably decorated to fit the 1920s theme. The indoor-outdoor rooftop is a safe haven high above the tourist-centric neighborhood featuring a fireplace, ivy-laden ceilings, and views of the Strip. Don't let the "liquor bar" name fool you -- Pearl's puts as much emphasis on its dinner and brunch service -- as it does on its cocktails.

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21. The Den on Sunset 8226 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90046 (Hollywood)

The Den on Sunset is a Hollywood watering hole with daily happy hour, outdoor space, and an old-school, tavern-like feel. The tavern is as comfortable as your living room, but with two fully stocked bars and someone else pouring drinks. Cozy up by the fireplace and pick your poison from the long list of elevated craft cocktails, settle into a spacious booth for tavern-style favorites like burgers and flatbreads (and poutine!), or go for Sunday brunch and get the prosciutto and cheddar doughnuts. Thank us later.

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22. The Hudson 1114 N Crescent Heights Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)

Located in West Hollywood, The Hudson is a chic neighborhood bar and restaurant with American comfort food, craft cocktails, a rotating roster of microbrews, and 50ft trees breaking up the dining room. The moody Edison lighting, stark white marble bar, and high-backed banquettes with dark wood accents lend to the restaurant’s pre-Prohibition feel. The menu is stacked with creature comforts like jalapeño mac and cheese that can and should be topped with short rib, and a brioche grilled cheese (again, add short rib) with roasted tomato soup. Cocktails are classic and best enjoyed during “Huddy Hour” -- the daily happy hour -- or late night with the Hangover Burger (talk about foresight).

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