The 10 Coolest Cocktail Bars In Los Angeles

Melbourne's famous Japanese Slipper cocktail © Blazer76 on Depositphoto.
Melbourne's famous Japanese Slipper cocktail © Blazer76 on Depositphoto.
Photo of Audra Clemons
9 February 2017

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.

La Cita Bar | Courtesy of Alyssa Lavine

La Cita

Bar, Pub Grub
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.

The Woods

Bar, Nightclub, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Market, Pub Grub, $$$
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.


Bar, Restaurant, Bistro, French, $$$
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.


Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Rustic Canyon
Rustic Canyon | Courtesy of Emily Hart Roth
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.

Rustic Canyon

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, American, $$$
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

Bar, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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.

Pour Vous

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Pour Vous, Los Angeles
Pour Vous, Los Angeles | Courtesy of Melody Lounge
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’.

Melody Lounge

Bar, American, $$$
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.

SHOREbar, 112 West Channel Road Santa Monica, CA, USA, +1 310-429-1851

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