Need a drink? Yeah, Us too. Thankfully L.A. has an endless supply of cool spots to get a cold one. No, they don't all cost an arm and a leg.
Akbar / Their mission statement really sums it up for me: "We believe in the power of rock n' roll. We love guitars. We abhor homophobia. And hetero-phobia. We enjoy a cold beer...we like disco. We despise racism....we do not condone "velvet ropes." We don't care who is a celebrity and who is not. We love our friends...We do believe variety is the spice of life. We do not enjoy excessive profanity. Damn it." Hang out here thurs - sat for a dance party, have a beer for me.
Bar EightyTwo / I'd describe this as a Bar-cade. Classic 80's + 90's arcade games like Street Fighter, Pac Man and endless versions of Pinball with a nice outdoor patio and cheap beer. Don't worry, they have a change machine.
'Hood: Arts District
Chez Jay's / this dive bar has been a Santa Monica fixture since 1959! Perfect combination of celebrity sightings surrounded by peanut shells and cheap beer. Steps away from the beach.
'Hood: Santa Monica
The Gaslite / Wildly popular Karaoke in a small bar. Going on a saturday? First, elbow your way to the stage and write your song + name on the clipboard. Then, elbow your way to the bar for a beer. Then, prepare to sweat, scream along to the Spice Girls and remember half of your evening tomorrow. It's all fine because #karaoke !
'Hood: Santa Monica
Golden Road Brewery / Adjacent to the brewery is a huge hall serving ice cold beers + in-house plates. The highlight is outdoor communal seating, full service bar, and gigantic jenga you can play on on an astroturf lawn. Oh, and they have an old-school photo booth. And deep fried avocado tacos, which are exactly as delicious as they sound.
Laurel Hardware / Craft cocktails, good menu, and a lush outdoor patio that feels secluded from the loud city. My favorite thing about this place is that they never changed the Hardware sign out front - you just have to know it's a bar. Get a Moscow Mule.
'Hood: West Hollywood
Sassafras / Old-timey saloon vibes in Hollywood; Southern-inspired and barrel-aged cocktails, beer, wine in the closest thing to a speakeasy you've been in.
Snakepit Alehouse / If you're wandering down Melrose between La Brea and Fairfax and thinking "Wait, I thought Melrose was cool?", you need to know two things: 1) walk further down, past Urban Outfitters, then past Fairfax blvd. You're on the cheap side of Melrose. 2) Stop being sad and pop into Snakepit. Enjoy an ice cold beer on the window ledge seats and people watch. This will make your wandering worth it. Oh, and stop in Wasteland Vintage across the street before you leave.
"Upstairs" Ace Hotel / When the Ace Hotel moved into DTLA in 2014, it became an 'IT' spot. The rooftop bar is open even if you're not a guest (praise hands emoji!) and the view is incredible, especially at sunset! Splurge on a craft cocktail just so you can enjoy the view.
The Woods / Tucked away in a weird strip mall off Sunset Blvd, this one was my local bar when I lived in LA. Dark & moody w/ live-edge wood tables and a juke box. Cheap happy hour!
We take coffee very seriously in Los Angeles. It's important your artisanal coffee is served in a place totally 'Gram worthy.
Alfred's Coffee / Infamous for the neon sign all over Instagram "But first, Coffee". At first you'll see a few outdoor tables along the sidewalk, like a tiny parisian cafe. Inside, you'll feel like you're in someone's living room - fireplace and all. To buy the caffeine, you'll head down a short staircase to the basement; it's cozier than you'd think. Get caffeine.
'Hood: now multiple locations, favorite: Melrose Place
Blue Bottle Coffee / So this coffee company is actually an Oakland native; but it's spirit is so Californian it makes sense to have multiple locations. They only serve coffee within 48hrs of roasting the beans - meaning it tastes FRESH. While in LA, check out the Venice location - it's most iconic. There are four others though!
'Hood: Multiple locations; favorite Venice Beach
Dinosaur Coffee / this independent shop brews San Francisco's Four Barrel beans and good vibes. Oh, and it's right next to the Elliot Smith wall. It's a great spot to relax with friends or hide on your laptop and work on posts for your startup's travel blog. *ahhhem*
Go Get 'Em Tiger / Created by G&B Coffee (great coffee spot in Grand Central Market), this cafe in Hancock Park can actually be called a 'local' spot - it's popular, but kept alive by it's regulars. Artisanal coffee, breakfast + lunch too. 'Grammable.
'Hood: Larchmont Village
Intelligentsia / If you're in Silverlake, Intelligentsia is hard to miss. A red brick arch stands out in the Sunset Junction area; but what will stick in your memory is the wildly bright mosaic blue floor! Baristas take their work seriously here; some are kind and some are total snobs. (Good coffee makes it worth the risk.) Check out the location in Venice if you're on Abbot Kinney.
'Hood: Silverlake / Venice / Pasadena