Best Dive Bars Los Angeles
Credit: The Silverlake Lounge

9 Dive Bars in Los Angeles That Don’t Feel Divey

With Elevated Drinks and Retro Vibes, These Local Watering Holes Give “Dive Bar” a Whole New Meaning

It’s no secret that Los Angeles is home to a vibrant and thriving nightlife culture, and with nightclubs consistently packed, A-list celebrities out on the town and all the glitz and glamor one could ever wish for, it’s easy to see why. But for many, standing in hour-long lines, being blinded by flashing lights and spending upwards of $20 for a drink can be exhausting and grow stale quickly. It is here where a timeless feature of nearly every LA neighborhood becomes a welcomed necessity: the dive bar. Whether you’re looking to shoot some pool, listen to your favorite song on the jukebox or just relax and enjoy some affordable-yet-authentic cocktails, LA has a dive bar for every occasion. But don’t just settle for any old run-of-the-mill local watering hole—instead, read on to see our picks for the best LA dive bars that don’t feel divey.

 

The Prince

Best Dive Bars Los Angeles
Credit: The Prince Los Angeles

Kicking off our list is none other than the beloved K-town favorite, The Prince. This gem has been offering locals and visitors alike a place to gather and revel in a bit of LA history, all while enjoying delicious craft beer and their famous Korean-style fried chicken. Decked from ceiling to floor in vintage decor, the red and gold accouterments paired with that signature low-lit ambiance give The Prince an atmosphere that feels cozy enough to be approachable yet ornate enough to feel like you are somewhere. If you are in Koreatown and looking to grab a drink, this is the place to be.

Location: Koreatown

 

Bar Next Door

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Just off of the iconic Sunset Strip, Bar Next Door is one of West Hollywood’s first triumphant contributions to the growing LA bar scene. Decked with vintage neon signs, Bar Next Door entices guests to grab a seat in one of their diner-style booths and enjoy a craft martini. This elegant era-inspired hotspot brings all the glamor one might find at a top-rated speakeasy but without any of the hassle or pretension. Instead, Bar Next Door offers up quality cocktails, a swanky ambiance and even some surprisingly incredible pizza all wrapped up in a 50s-esque aesthetic that is as Instagrammable as it is charming. 

Location: West Hollywood

 

Hyperion Public

Hyperion Public is nothing short of a Silver Lake neighborhood staple, uniting the local community under the banner of good food, great drinks and an even better time. Founded in 2012 by local friends, Hyperion Public boasts an incredible array of authentic soul food, craft cocktails and an ever-expanding calendar of fun events including football watch parties, trivia nights and mimosa brunches. With strong ties to the area, Hyperion regularly puts together fun events for the community, giving this bar a uniquely warm and welcoming atmosphere that elevates the typical dive-bar experience.

Location: Silver Lake

 

The Escondite

Best Dive Bars Los Angeles
Credit: Brian Houck

Up next we have one of the most unique indoor-outdoor bars on the list: The Escondite. Equal parts old-timey saloon and adorable downtown western country bar, The Escondite combines charm and authenticity. From their antler-adorned chandeliers to the vintage movie posters lining the walls, this hidden gem brings a rare dose of southern hospitality to the heart of LA. Be sure to visit during the holidays to see the bar covered in twinkling lights and shimmering garland for some much-needed holiday cheer.

Location: DTLA/Skid Row

 

The Mermaid

As the name suggests, The Mermaid brings a bit of underwater-themed entertainment and ambiance to the adorable yet bustling neighborhood of Little Tokyo. With nautical gear hanging from the ceiling, deep blue shimmering lights and all the flora and flair one would expect, The Mermaid enchants and dazzles guests while serving up some of the best rum cocktails in the city. Further committing to the hypnotic theme, the bar is even home to the occasional tarot card reader and live performer, making this stop as fun and eccentric as a dive bar can be.

Location: Little Tokyo

 

The Silverlake Lounge

Best Dive Bars Los Angeles
Credit: The Silverlake Lounge

For those looking for something a bit more traditional when it comes to dive bars, The Silverlake Lounge is for you. Featuring every aspect of the quintessential dive bar experience, including live music, open mic nights, stand-up and even the occasional drag show, this local watering hole offers up live entertainment nearly every weekend, all while serving up delicious drinks both inside and on their patio. So if you’re looking for a classic yet elevated dive bar experience, The Silverlake Lounge has you covered.

Location: Silverlake

 

Thunderbird Bar

Best Dive Bars Los Angeles
Credit: Giana Gambardella

Despite possessing the trifecta of the dive bar experience—low lighting, classic hits and reasonably priced drinks—Thunderbird draws a crowd with its upbeat and energetic atmosphere. The bar is spacious and always lively on the weekends, with the decor featuring a heavy dose of authentic mahogany yet still feeling modern and refreshed. So whether you are seated comfortably at one of their booths or up on two feet shooting some ski ball, at Thunderbird, there is something for everyone.

Location: Brentwood

 

Blipsy Bar

Most dive bars feature an element of nostalgia in their charming ambiance, and Blipsy Bar is no exception. Drawing inspiration from 80s neon arcades, Blipsy invites guests to tap into their inner child and enjoy some classic arcade games under the glowing lights. With everything from Space Invaders to Ms. Pac-Man to pinball machines, this bar is sure to delight and charm. Once you’re finished gaming, feel free to hit the dance floor, as they often host DJs and other musical acts to encourage guests to keep the good times going, even after they’ve spent their last quarter.

Location: Koreatown

 

The Glendale Tap

Rounding out our list is the charming Glendale hotspot, The Glendale Tap. This vintage taproom specializes in giving Glendale locals and visitors a place to gather, watch the big game, enjoy quality comfort food and indulge in delicious craft beer. With a rotating list of over 50 different beers on draft as well as pool tables and ample space to move around and mingle, it’s easy to see why The Glendale Tap is so beloved and widely considered one of the best bars around for beer connoisseurs.

Location: Glendale

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