Los Angeles

Los Angeles is not the city that never sleeps—instead it parties until 2 am (save for the secret after-hours parties at private clubs or warehouses), and wakes up to imbibe green juices and breakfast burritos as hangover cures, or to sweat it out in a yoga class. Whether you plan to test your limit at historic establishments Downtown, or take advantage of a cheap happy hour at a Hollywood dive, this city's nightlife has something for you.

A night out in Los Angeles can simultaneously surprise and impress. That unscheduled set by an A-list comedian at the stand-up comedy club, being talked into singing karaoke at the diviest place you've ever seen, dancing at a bar with no dance floor because, well, the DJ is just too good at his job—going out isn't always what you expect, but it certainly is never boring.

The focus of nightlife once centered on the Sunset Strip, with its multitude of bars, rock clubs, and dance spots, but more neighborhoods are competing with each other and forcing the nightlife scene to evolve. Although the Strip can be a worthwhile trip, other areas of the city are catching people’s attention. Downtown Los Angeles, for instance, is becoming a destination in its own right, drawing cocktail connoisseurs at Seven Grand and rooftop revelers at the Standard.

Other areas foster more of a neighborhood vibe. Silver Lake and Los Feliz have both cultivated a relaxed environment where you can be drinking in a tiki bar so small you wind up talking with the person at the next stool over (Tiki-Ti) or bringing in a 45 to play on an old-fashioned record player (El Prado).

So if you find yourself disappointed with a rude bouncer, or drinks that are too watery, or a cover charge that just isn't worth it, try again. Eventually you'll find that perfect place where each time is the best time. If not, at least you'll walk away with a good story.

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  • 1. El Rey Theater

    Mid-Wilshire | Live Music

    This former art deco movie house from the 1930s has been given a second life as a live music venue. Legends and rising stars grace the stage...Read More

  • 2. The Abbey

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    The Abbey in West Hollywood is one of the most famous gay bars in the world. And rightfully so. Seven days a week, a mixed and very good-looking...Read More

  • 3. The Troubadour

    West Hollywood | Live Music

    The intimate vibe of the Troubadour helps make this club a favorite with music fans. Around since 1957, this venue has a storied past where...Read More

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  • 4. Barney's Beanery

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Open since 1920, Barney's Beanery is an iconic spot along the original Route 66 that drew legendary regulars Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison ...Read More

  • 5. Comedy Store

    West Hollywood | Comedy Clubs

    Three stages give seasoned and unseasoned comedians a place to perform and try out new material, with big-name performers dropping by just for...Read More

  • 6. Delilah

    Themed Entertainment

    Reservations are definitely required for this swanky, New York–style space in West Hollywood. Waiters in white coats serve a mix of upscale...Read More

  • 7. Employees Only


    If you're looking for the best cocktail program in L.A., you'll find it at Employees Only. This very chic spot is a sister of the New York original...Read More

  • 8. Hollywood Improv

    West Hollywood | Comedy Clubs

    Arguably the best comedy club in the city, set apart from its competitors on the Sunset Strip, the Hollywood Improv (which is not technically...Read More

  • 9. Jones

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Italian food and serious cocktails are the mainstays at Jones. Whiskey is a popular choice for the classic cocktails, but the bartenders also...Read More

  • 10. Laugh Factory

    West Hollywood | Comedy Clubs

    Top stand-up comics regularly appear at this Sunset Boulevard mainstay, often working out the kinks in new material in advance of national tours...Read More

  • 11. Rage

    West Hollywood | Dance Clubs

    The various events at this gay bar and dance club draw different crowds—show queens for Broadway musical sing-alongs on Mondays, drag queens...Read More

  • 12. Rainbow Bar and Grill

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Its location next door to a long-running music venue, the Roxy, helped cement this bar and restaurant's status as a legendary watering hole...Read More

  • 13. Skybar

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    This beautiful poolside bar is well worth a visit, but it can be a hassle to get into if you're not staying at the hotel, on the guest list...Read More

  • 14. The Standard

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Weekend pool parties in the summer are downright notorious at the Standard Hollywood. Party on the pool deck with DJs, or hear acoustic sets...Read More

  • 15. Trunks Bar

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    At Trunks Bar, the drinks are strong and so are the bartenders; see for yourself as these shirtless muscly men pour your drinks. Open for more...Read More

  • 16. Whisky A Go Go

    West Hollywood | Live Music

    The hard-core metal and rock scene is alive and well at the legendary Whisky A Go Go (the full name includes the prefix "World Famous"), where...Read More

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  • 17. Formosa Café

    West Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Open since 1939, this restaurant and bar celebrates its Hollywood roots with more than 400 photos of Hollywood celebrities who ate and drank...Read More

  • 18. Greystone Manor Supperclub

    West Hollywood | Dance Clubs

    From its chandeliers to its modern couches, this luxurious club attracts the young Hollywood crowd and music industry folks, with occasional...Read More

  • 19. House of Blues

    West Hollywood | Live Music

    This club functions like a concert venue, hosting popular jazz, rock, and blues performers. Every Sunday there's a gospel brunch. ...Read More

  • 20. The Viper Room

    West Hollywood | Live Music

    This 21-plus rock club on the edge of the Sunset Strip has been around for more than 20 years and is famously known as the site of much controversial...Read More

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