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. 1642

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    This romantically lit hole-in-the-wall is easy to miss, but you should aim to check it out if you're a discerning wine connoisseur or looking...Read More

  • 2. 4100

    Silver Lake | Bars/Pubs

    With swaths of fabric draped from the ceiling, this low-lit bar with a bohemian vibe makes it perfect for dates. Groups of locals also come...Read More

  • 3. Bigfoot Lodge

    Atwater Village | Bars/Pubs

    Don’t be turned off by the glaring log cabin theme (which is intensified by signature cocktails called Scout’s Honor and Roasted Marshmallow...Read More

  • 4. Highland Park Bowl

    Highland Park | Bars/Pubs

    Once an ambitious restoration project, Highland Park Bowl now serves as a massive throwback to its Prohibition Era roots as an alcohol-prescribing...Read More

  • 5. Mohawk Bend

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    There are plenty of reasons to stop by Mohawk Bend: 72 craft beers on tap, a wide range of California-only liquor, a vegetarian and vegan-friendly...Read More

  • 6. The Echo

    Echo Park | Live Music

    Echo Park is peppered with music venues, but if you want to be in the heart of the neighborhood's live music scene, you should head to the Echo...Read More

  • 7. The Old Chalet

    Highland Park | Bars/Pubs

    This ski lodge–inspired neighborhood bar may have changed ownership and management, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gotten a major and pretentious...Read More

  • 8. The Satellite

    Silver Lake | Live Music

    Once known as Spaceland, the Satellite holds nightly shows filled with underground musicians, both touring and local, all trying to make a dent...Read More

  • 9. Akbar

    Silver Lake | Bars/Pubs

    This bar's welcoming feel is one of the reasons many people consider it their neighborhood bar, even if they don't live in the neighborhood...Read More

  • 10. Atwater Village Tavern

    Atwater Village | Bars/Pubs

    There’s no denying that part of the reason why this charming rectangular joint on Glendale Boulevard has effortlessly established itself as...Read More

  • 11. Block Party

    Highland Park | Bars/Pubs

    This spot fills the beer garden need in Highland Park, and it does it very well with a large shuffleboard and a Wii hooked up to a projector...Read More

  • 12. Button Mash

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    Button Mash hits all the right buttons (sorry), with a wide selection of rotating arcade games, most of which are from the golden age, not to...Read More

  • 13. Cha Cha Lounge

    Silver Lake | Bars/Pubs

    If chaos and the assortment of ill-matched furnishings and decor is something you can forgive—or revel in—then this import from Seattle is a...Read More

  • 14. Covell

    Los Feliz | Wine Bars

    This laid-back spot is the embodiment of what every unpretentious wine drinker wishes a wine bar should be. It's thankfully lacking in staff...Read More

  • 15. Dresden Room

    Los Feliz | Piano Bars

    This bar's 1940s lounge decor makes it a favorite with folks in Los Angeles. The long-running house band, Marty and Elayne, has entertained...Read More

  • 16. El Prado

    Echo Park | Bars/Pubs

    A small selection of constantly rotating wine and beer ensures you'll get to try something new and interesting each time you visit. A record...Read More

  • 17. Golden Road Brewing

    Atwater Village | Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

    Sustainability and support of local community has always been a big part of this L.A. brewery’s ethos, but more important, so is making great...Read More

  • 18. Good Luck Bar

    Los Feliz | Bars/Pubs

    There’s something absolutely appealing about the Chinese-influenced style of this tiki-cum-dive bar’s interiors and riotous fruity-yet-potent...Read More

  • 19. La Cuevita

    Highland Park | Piano Bars

    Everyone could use a little more mezcal and tequila in their lives, and La Cuevita has a lot of it, often in its collection of tasty cocktails...Read More

  • 20. Silverlake Lounge

    Silver Lake | Live Music

    Rock bands, burlesque performances, comedy sets, and even open-mike nights all have a home at the cross section of Sunset and Silver Lake at...Read More

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