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. Catcher in the Rye

    North Hollywood | Piano Bars

    The theme of this bar is not specific to Holden Caulfield but rather to literature. Other odes to fictional greats can be found name-checked...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Sonny's Hideaway

    Highland Park | Piano Bars

    Sonny’s Hideaway is the kind of place that does several things at once and does them all well–-a stellar cocktail bar with a menu of original...Read More

  • 5. The Rendition Room

    Studio City | Piano Bars

    A speakeasy cocktail lounge seems a little out of place in Studio City, especially on a middle-of-the-road commercial strip paved with quaint...Read More

  • 6. The Semi-Tropic

    Echo Park | Piano Bars

    This is a bar that feels more like a café—a place with an atmosphere perfect for studying or relaxing over a cold drink. It has a full menu...Read More

  • 7. The Spare Room

    Hollywood | Piano Bars

    While your typical Hollywood crowd might be a permanent fixture at this Hollywood Roosevelt cocktail bar, it's still worth a visit for its luscious...Read More

  • 8. The Woods

    Hollywood | Piano Bars

    Don’t let the forest fairy-tale vibe—one that'll make you think that a woodsman fell in love with a tree nymph and then went on to open a bar...Read More

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