Whenever we have clients or friends visiting from out of town, we are almost always asked to recommend the best bars in downtown Los Angeles for grabbing a drink.
To make this info available to everybody, we’ve decided to compile a list of our recommendations for the best bars, pubs and speakeasies in DTLA.
336 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
La Cita is a classic dive bar that has been around for years. Like other dives, La Cita is full of character and a sense of history. Most nights of the week they have popular events, such as Mustache Mondays, Punky Reggae Party on Fridays, and more. Don’t expect fancy craft brews, but they offer cheap domestics and strong mixed drinks.
100 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Situated in the Fashion District of DTLA, Pattern Bar is a new lounge offering both familiar and unique cocktails in a roomy and well-decorated space. Appropriate for its location, the bar’s drinks are labeled after famous fashion designers such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. Additionally they have tasty small plates and frequent live music events.
316 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
For fans of themed dive bars, Redwood Bar & Grill is a prime destination. Covered in pirate and nautical décor, the dimly lit bar offers strong drinks, live music almost every night as well as typical pub fare.
515 W 7th St 2nd Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90014
As the name suggests, Seven Grand is located at the intersection of 7th St and Grand Ave, right at the heart of DTLA’s nightlife. Known for its excellent selection of whiskey and scotch, this is a go-to choice for those with a discerning palate. Expect a busy crowd even on week nights, as well as live music Sunday through Wednesday, a cigar room, and pool tables.
448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
If you’re looking for a spot to grab a cocktail and have an amazing view of the cityscape, Perch is definitely worth checking out. Right next to Pershing Square, this rooftop bar offers a wide selection of liquor, wine and French cuisine — a perfect location to have dinner and watch the sunset over DTLA.
118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA
The Varnish is a classic speakeasy, appropriately accessible only through an unlabeled door in the back of world-famous Cole’s (originator of the French Dip Sandwich). This small, dark and intimate space is known for its classic cocktails, mixed using chemistry beakers.
1356 Palmetto St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
On the surface Villain’s Tavern may seem like your typical dive bar, but the small details make it stand out from the crowd. Located on the outskirts of the Arts District, the atmosphere is unique, with their liquors held in vintage potion bottles, almost like an archaic pharmacy. The drink selection is fairly standard but reliable.
118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Already mentioned in reference to The Varnish, Cole’s is world-famous for being the birthplace of the French Dip sandwich. A Los Angeles landmark in existence since 1908, it is one of the oldest remaining bars in LA. They offer traditional food and drink, all day happy hours on Tuesday, as well as brunch specials on Sunday.
Spring Street Bar
626-B S Spring St, Los Angeles CA 90014
One of the most popular bars in all of DTLA, Spring St Bar has a little something for everyone. They offer 26 different beers on tap, a curated selection of wines, and a solid collection of fine liquors. Their food is also excellent, with a wide variety of great sandwiches, as well as charcuterie and cheese plates.
347 E 1st St, Los Angeles CA 90012
Our list of top bars in DTLA would not be complete without including Little Tokyo’s Far Bar. With an entrance through a narrow alleyway, this tucked-away bar boasts a menu with literally 400 different whiskeys, a large selection of draft beers, and a large array of Asian fusion-inspired dishes.
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