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. Resident

    Downtown | Live Music

    Catch a lineup of indie tastemakers inside this converted industrial space, or hang outdoors in the beer garden while trying bites from on-site...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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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  • 6. Avalon

    Hollywood | Live Music

    This multitasking art deco venue offers both live music and club nights. The killer sound system, cavernous space, and multiple bars make it...Read More

  • 7. Baked Potato

    Studio City | Live Music

    Baked Potato might be a strange name to give a world-famous jazz club that’s been holding performances of well-known acts (Allan Holdsworth...Read More

  • 8. Blue Whale

    Downtown | Live Music

    This unassuming jazz club in Little Tokyo caters to a serious crowd, bringing progressive and modern jazz to the stage. Although the venue is...Read More

  • 9. California Institute of Abnormal Arts

    North Hollywood | Live Music

    What do a mummified clown, an alley full of Chinese red lanterns, and a collection of sideshow memorabilia have in common? They can all be found...Read More

  • 10. Harvard and Stone

    Hollywood | Live Music

    An interior that's one part industrial, one part mid-century modern, and one part ski lodge plays witness to the coolest live music this side...Read More

  • 11. Harvelle's

    Live Music

    The focus of this bar and music club is on jazz, blues, and soul. The club is small, with an even smaller checkerboard dance floor. Reserve...Read More

  • 12. Hotel Cafe

    Hollywood | Live Music

    This intimate venue caters to fans of folk, indie rock, and music on the softer side. With red velvet backdrops, hardwood furnishings, and the...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. The Fonda Theatre

    Hollywood | Live Music

    Right on the edge of the Walk of Fame, this historic venue was one of the area's first theaters when it opened in the 1920s. The Spanish Colonial...Read More

  • 15. The Hi Hat

    Highland Park | Live Music

    The only thing left from its previous life as a pool hall are the two tables that greet customers as they enter. Now, it's the epicenter of...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. Dragonfly

    Hollywood | Live Music

    Although this bar may come off as dark and gritty, it manages to attract patrons that you wouldn't necessarily suspect. Both "Point Break Live...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. King King

    Hollywood | Live Music

    Performances at this club range from salsa to hip-hop to rock, punctuated by truly unique shows that take place monthly. "The Floor Improv"...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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