Driven by the entertainment industry, Los Angeles’ numerous bars don’t disappoint: from upscale rooftop venues offering views over the city to joints where art, design and drinks mix. Here is our insider’s guide to 10 of the best bars in the city of angels.
The Woods ｜ Courtesy of Vintage Bar Group
La Cita is a downtown Los Angeles mainstay with stiff drinks, live bands and rotating DJs. With an indoor bar and an outdoor space dubbed ‘El Patio,’ La Cita is a great low-key option giving guests up-close views of downtown LA. Hosting nightly events from national touring acts to local femme fatale favorite DJ IVY, La Cita can delight a crowd any day or night of the week. Sunday morning hangovers are cured with Bloody Mary Sunday, an event La Cita offers with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Woods is the bar for a friendly mid-city cocktail meet-up or an after-dinner date. Unlike other bars in Hollywood, it’s not a dive and it’s not a nightclub, but a cozy, stylish bar nestled into a small strip mall off north La Brea. The contemporary interior design features walls lined with granite rock and wood blocks encasing varnished stump tables, a look that is both natural and industrial. Antler chandeliers hang from a ceiling that is dotted with LED lights giving it the appearance of a starry night.
The Library Bar
The Library Bar is located in Hollywood’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel just off the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. There is no menu, as the drinks are served Omakase-style, meaning that guests will get what the mixologist creates after a brief questioning. Fresh herbs, fruits and innovative ingredients are thrown into a shaker and what comes out won’t disappoint the palate. Be forewarned, however, that the prices here are steep. But the individual approach makes the drinks worth their price.
Perch is a French-inspired rooftop bistro with unobstructed views of downtown Los Angeles. This al fresco 15th floor venue boasts patterned tile floors, as well as fireplaces, gardens and a view of LA’s famed Central Library. Meanwhile, inside, antique-inspired plush sofas are scattered amidst eclectic French décor with a series of classy boudoir paintings over the bar. Drop by for Aperitif Hour weekdays from 4 until 6pm and sample the cognacs, armagnacs and French cordials, or order a fine wine by the glass.
Los Angeles meets the wild Old West at Monty. This LA speakeasy doesn’t give much away from the outside, but once the saloon doors swing open, patrons stumble upon a spectacular bar. Oversize booths, old-school soul spun on 45s, a dance floor full of trendy but non-pretentious locals and an actual bar from the 1850s California Gold Rush era make this place a gem.
This 20-seat wine bar and seasonal kitchen presents a rotating 20 wines by the glass, 500-plus selections by the bottle, and a carefully curated menu of artisan beers on tap and by the bottle. The wine list consists of small boutique producers from around the world whose stories the staff at Rustic Canyon can share with guests. A minimalist design and dimly lit atmosphere give the wine bar an intimate appeal.
The Rooftop at The Standard, Downtown LA
The Rooftop at The Standard in downtown LA offers up-close panoramic views of the LA skyline. The outdoor area features binoculars bolted in on red astroturf next to a heated swimming pool and red futuristic waterbed pods. During the day, pool parties abound. By night, DJs spin next to a sculptured topiary and biergarten with a fireplace, which creates an eclectic ambience.
This classy Melrose Avenue space is set up like a jazz-age Parisian parlor. Once inside, blue and amber theatrical lighting illuminates the bar and a cozy fireplace is the centerpiece of the room. This gives way to circular café seating where at 10 pm guests are entertained by a top-quality burlesque show. Order from the cocktail list or chance it with the ‘dealer’s choice’.
From the outside, Melody Lounge does not look like the local neighborhood bar, which is why it’s a surprise once you enter. Located just north of the main Chinatown plaza, Melody Lounge is often frequented by pre-game Dodgers fans en route to a baseball game. A free cover and nightly music keep the crowd lively under a canopied ceiling of red lanterns.
SHOREbar is quite different from his other Hollywood clubs. It is the perfect fit for the laidback vibe of the Santa Monica neighborhood where it’s located. Themed in a nautical style featuring brass accents, porthole windows, and wood beams that resemble boat cabin interiors, SHOREbar is an upscale joint for locals. Drinks and light bites are offered on the daily menu, while a members-only den is located on the second floor.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.