Break the Code to Get Into LA’s Distinct Drink Destinations
Written By: Molly Brooks speakeasies in LA
Prohibition may not be around anymore, but that doesn’t mean LA’s coolest hangouts will be easy to find. These exclusive bars make it hard to get inside, but once you’re in-the-know, the throwback vibes and classic cocktails make it all worth it. Call in Sherlock Holmes to help you find the Red Door and channel your inner Alice when solving the Wonderland-like puzzle at Lock and Key. All these places are guaranteed to give you a good time.
Get inside: You’ll be faced with three doors, better pick the right one. (Hint: it’s the year the building was established)
Only at this creepily awesome hotel-turned-bar will you find a brain boggling entrance, amazing entertainment and a drink menu put together by 12 of Los Angeles’ best bartenders.
1727 N Hudson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Red Door
Get inside: Go down an alley and find the red door!
The venue doesn’t have any signage, but once you’re one of the few that have found The Red Door, you’ll be glad their delicious drink menu and killer-good eats are kept a secret.
10057 Riverside Dr
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Get inside: Find the hidden doorway leading to the ‘otherwise alley’.
The Guest Room is a hidden gem, situated above the Estate Restaurant + Bar, that takes you back in time to the the era of bootlegging, romanticism and smooth jazz.
1519 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Unlike that coach seat you just booked for your next vacation, Now Boarding brings you a first-class experience with Pan-Am inspired decor and aviation themed craft cocktails.
Native Knowledge: Get your luggage hand-delivered to your table with the VIP Punch Suitcase filled with cocktails for your whole party.
7746 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
You can order inspired hand-crafted cocktails on both floors of the oldest bar in Venice, a liberty the Townhouse didn’t see during the 1920s.
Native Knowledge: The Del Monte, Townhouse’s basement bar, was an actual speakeasy hidden under a grocery store during the prohibition days. It could only be accessed through a two-person rope dumbwaiter.
52 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Get inside: Enter by finding the refrigerator…and step inside.
If you’re looking for a good time, go to Davey Wayne’s, a 70s themed bar that gives tribute to the owner’s father.
1611 N El Centro Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Get Inside: Go through the backdoor of the barber shop.
The entrance is already pretty hard to find, so you might as well pause for a haircut (and complimentary drink) to get the hair out of your eyes first.
10797 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Get Inside: When you find yourself in a room full of doorknobs, try to twist the right one.
The front facade might be no great-shakes, but inside Lock and Key is a really classy cocktail bar specializing in mixology.
239 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Come for the awesome arcade games, stay for the asian-inspired menu that will help you hit that high score.
Native Knowledge: Buy tokens at the bar to be able to partake in some vintage gaming while enjoying your craft beer.
1319 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Passcode: Push a button on a handleless door to be prompted in English and Japanese.
Here, you will find a door with no handle that leads to the most intimate bar you’ll ever find. With only 18 people allowed in at once, you’ll be greatly outnumbered by the 170 varieties of American bourbon, Scotch and Japanese whiskies.
515 W 7 St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Get inside: There isn’t a password, but you’ll need a reservation to get inside this celebrity hotspot.
In the heart of Beverly Hills, Crustacean serves up farm-fresh asian-fusion cuisine and flavorful cocktails.
9646 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
These LA Cocktail Spots are the City’s Best Kept Secret
Molly is an Orange County native, but moved to the east coast to study Journalism at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Now back in San Clemente, she is a freelance writer and aspiring music journalist. When not typing away at her computer, she enjoys checking out the latest fitness trends and playing tennis to make up for her obsession with eating good food. A true music junkie, you'll find her listening to the radio way too loud or singing off key with headphones in. She'll also never turn down an opportunity to explore a new destination near or far.