Vibe Around: The 5 Best Bars In Highland Park

Alex Piña-Ceja

Highland Park is a beautiful clash of cultures old and new, highlighted by the many bars that line Figueroa Street and York Blvd. Each bar has a unique style to offer. Whether it’s drinking, wine and dining, or dancing and celebrating, Highland Park has bars that will fuel your vibe.

Sonny’s Hideaway

1. Sonny's Hideaway

Bistro, Restaurant, American

When stepping into Sonny’s Hideaway, it feels like you’ve stepped into a bar from Mad Men. Sonny’s vintage feel is reflected in its design (wood-finished walls, black leather booths and bar stools) and on its menu (clams, pork chops and duck). For fine American cuisine and craft cocktails, Sonny’s is the lounge to go to. Open every day except Mondays, Sonny’s offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, as well as brunch and dinner on Sundays. There is also a kids’ menu; families are welcome. Sonny’s is the perfect place for conversation—stop in to wine and dine, for classic cocktails (Mai Tais and Martinis), or even coffee and dessert (bread pudding brûlée—yum!). This low-profile bar is definitely a hideaway for those wanting to slow down and escape after that long rush hour commute from the big city. The Hermosillo |©Alex Ceja

2. The Hermosillo

Bar, Charcuterie, American, Pub Grub

Running on beer, wine, and food alone, The Hermosillo is the artsy bar of the community. Adorned with old Mexican film posters and an old projector that shows the specials, this bar is the perfect blend of the hipster and Latino vibe that coats Highland Park’s streets. Like Sonny’s, it is also intimate—the perfect place to start off your night of bar hopping, or to enjoy an array of wines. The Hermosillo carries 30 wines that are switched out regularly, so that there is always something new to try at the bar. In addition to wine, the Hermosillo offers 16 beers on tap, with seasonal selections as well as selections from The Highland Park Brewery, located within the bar itself. With a great selection of bar sides (cheese charcuterie, with your choice of cheese and meat) and meals (coconut curry), the Hermosillo offers food to ease your hunger. The Greyhound’s House Beer and Bourbon |©Alex Ceja

3. The Greyhound Bar and Grill

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Diner, Pub, American

Owned by three very different guys from the Westside, The Greyhound is the Highland Park spin on the sports pub. Offering a full dinner menu as well as breakfast on the weekends, the Greyhound is a perfect place to eat and to enjoy the local game. Home to a large part of the Dodgers’ fan base, the Greyhound offers a happy hour called ‘The Blue Hour,’ during which you can get food and drink specials for the first hour of every game. The owners are proud of the 20 beer taps and pride themselves on offering a beer for every type of beer drinker (from casuals to beer connoisseurs). If you are not a beer drinker at all, they have a full bar for your enjoyment. The Greyhound is perfect for social drinkers, and its specials help you maintain your budget (the house special, for seven dollars, includes house beer and a house shot of bourbon). It’s a friendly and sporty meet-up place where you can linger with fellow sports fans or catch up with friends.

4. La Cuevita

Bar, American, Pub Grub

La Cuevita (“the cave” in Spanish) looks plain and dark on the outside, but as you walk in you’ll find a cool dive decorated with lanterns and skeleton art. The bar has an open floor plan, so you can easily hang out in- or outdoors within a couple steps in either direction. With an impressive collection of tequilas and mezcals, La Cuevita has a fun atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re barbecuing on your own patio. On Tuesdays, it gives out free tacos, and margaritas are five dollars—you walk in and feel welcomed and ready to party. Though recently purchased and remodeled by The 1933 Group (a group that owns bars all over Los Angeles), La Cuevita has been around long enough to be loved by the locals. With events like Movie Mondays and Free Taco Tuesdays, La Cuevita is a boon to the local scene. The Offbeat Bar Calendar | ©Alex Ceja

5. The Offbeat – A Bar on York

Bar, Pub Grub

For dancing and local fun, The Offbeat is a perfect place. It has a retro design, jukebox and all, and a unique vibe. Owned by the former owners of La Cuevita (who met and fell in love at a bar), The Offbeat welcomes you like an old friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect and party with. Jen, one of the friendly bartenders, is known to make Garvanza’s best Old Fashioned, and the bar makes sure to keep its chalkboard calendars, Facebook and Instagram updated with all its events. Whether you are looking for ’90s hip hop, ’80s jams, or punk rock and ska (all spun by local DJs), The Offbeat has a night for everyone. It’s the people’s bar of Highland Park, offering free tacos on Thursdays—the same night you will find the owners, Todd and Ilka, behind the bar, helping you enjoy your night and celebrating along with you. A fun place all around, The Offbeat will become your go-to celebration bar and dance floor.

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