The Best Dive Bars In Los Angeles
There's more to a dive bar than just cheap drinks. It's the type of place where the bartenders know your name and you can get away with wearing the pizza-stained sweatpants you changed into after a long day's work. You don't need to dress up. There are no mixologists at the helm making overpriced cocktails, and you won't find craft beer. You can, however, count on a good old jukebox and Bud Light. Here are our favorite dive bars in our city of Angels. As always, leave your own favorites in the comments.
Power House is as un-Hollywood as it gets. It's dingy, has a great jukebox, a dart board, and some red booths against the brick walls inside. Stand out back in the smoking patio (an area perfect for people watching) with a cigarette in one hand and a cheap PBR in the other. It's a no-frills type of bar, so leave your B.S. at the door.
Power House is located at 1714 N Highland Ave. in Hollywood, (323) 463-9438
This restaurant and bar has been a Westside favorite for decades. It's a little small and cramped, but where else can you go in Santa Monica and enjoy a steak as well as a jukebox? No place, that's where. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
Chez Jay is located at 1657 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica (310) 395-1741
Ye Rustic Inn (Photo by dkharvie via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
Ye Rustic Inn
Ye Rustic Inn is the type of place where you can hang out at while you're having a hangover on a Sunday morning and gulp down a Bloody Mary. You definitely won't need sunglasses there because it's as dark as a bar could get (very vampire-friendly). It's also where you can get a pitcher of Bud Light and some of the best buffalo wings in town while you watch a football game. Be careful about day-drinking at this place though because you could let an entire day slip between your fingers if you hang out long enough—it's just that comfy.
Ye Rustic Inn is located at 1831 Hillhurst Ave. in Los Feliz, (323) 662-5757
Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill
This place gets its street cred from the fact that it's located in a strip mall in the Valley and there's nothing more genuine in the world than that. But this little Sherman Oaks gem also has some of the strongest pours around. Plus, there's karaoke here. Stay strong, 818. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill is located at 4454 Van Nuys Boulevard, Sherman Oaks; (818) 789-0679
The Colorado Bar
The Colorado Bar is one of those classic neighborhood bars you meet up with friends after work for a pint of beer. The bartenders are awesome and the jukebox jams out tunes from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Marvin Gaye. Plus, if drinking isn't enough for you, they've got some pool tables and dart boards. Done and done.
The Colorado Bar is located at 2640 E Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, (626) 449-3485
If you're lucky enough to find a parking spot in Los Feliz on a Friday or Saturday night (you won't be, but whatever) the Drawing Room is a great alternative to the neighborhood's more swanky bars. It comes with a dartboard and a jukebox, yes, but more importantly, it comes with huge pours of whiskey and dark, cracked leather booths within which to consume your poison. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
The Drawing Room is located at 1800 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz (323) 665-0135
How many bars in Los Angeles seem like an appropriate place to celebrate your 70th birthday? Last week one of the regulars at the Bounty celebrated the big 7-0; the whole bar joined in to sing him "Happy Birthday" and it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. This nautical-themed bar has a laidback, super-friendly vibe reminiscent of another era (Peggy Olsen on Mad Men went on a bad date here, for instance). If you're looking to get drunk quick (and you're reading this list, so you are), go for the "Wise Men" deal that includes a shot and a Tecate Beer for $5.50. You can try the fish and chips if you need some sustenance, but this place isn't known for their food. And thank god for that or it might attract the wrong crowd. —Emma Gallegos
HMS Bounty is located at 3357 Wilshire Blvd in Koreatown, (213) 385-7275
Cozy Inn (Photo via Cozy Inn Facebook)
What can we say? We're a sucker for charm. This dive bar has Christmas lights strung around all year long and a shuffle board in the middle of the room. It also has all the other makings of fun: a jukebox, a couple of pool tables, darts, cheap whiskey, and strong pours. Don't expect craft beers or anything on draft though—all the beer comes in bottles.
Cozy Inn is located at 11155 Washington Pl. in Culver City, (310) 838-3826
If it's good enough for Bukowski, it's good enough for us. The Frolic Room is squished into the armpit of Hollywood Boulevard that is the area between the Pantages Theater and the corner of Vine, and was reportedly one of the famous scribe's favorite places to drink. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
The Frolic Room is located at 6245 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood; (323) 462-5890
Gold Room, you captured our hearts with your strong drink specials. Seriously, $4 for a PBR and tequila shot combo? And free tacos and peanuts? Even though the tacos aren't the best in the L.A., you won't ever hear us complaining about it. What's that saying? "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." This is a tiny dive bar, so be prepared to feel squished on the weekends because this joint gets crowded. But hey, nothing's wrong with making new and "very close" friends.
Gold Room is located at 1558 W Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, (213) 482-5259
A warning to those considering spending their evening at The Roost: The overhead lighting will reveal truths. So if you're the type of person who likes to hide under the cover of darkness, this place is not your jam. On the other hand, if you're the type of person who likes to drink at a place that is reminiscent of your elementary school cafeteria, sally forth and land at The Roost. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
The Roost is located at 3100 Los Feliz Boulevard, Atwater Village; (323) 664-7272
The Daily Pint
This place is beloved by scotch aficionados the city over, but it's also well-liked for its many extra curricular activities. Want to drink a Macallan whilst playing a round of pool? How about a game of shuffleboard with a Laphroaig in hand? You can do that at the Daily Pint. It's also great for Sunday game days, although it does get crowded. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
The Daily Pint is located at 2310 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica; (310) 450-7631
Atwater Village is the new place for hipsters to raise their children (and mate, singletons!) so it fits that there should be a fantastic dive bar in the neighborhood. Club Tee Gee is known for its impressive pours as well as its friendly locals, and like most other places on this list, its jukebox. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
Club Tee Gee is located at 3210 Glendale Boulevard, Atwater Village; (323) 669-9631
Downtown has been getting overrun with slick new bars owned by big corporations and catering to fancy businesspeople, but Hank's serves to remind us that we're still in a neighborhood that's up and coming, dammit, and that there's still plenty of grit to our city's financial district. Hank's is good for cheap beer and people who are trying to avoid Silver Lake. —Jessica P. Ogilvie
Hank's Bar is located at 840 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown; (213) 623-7718