Take in the scenery, music and people-watching while enjoying unique libations at Los Angeles’s craft cocktail bars.

Best Cocktail Lounges in Los Angeles

Craft cocktails have caught on in many cities, but few have as many great ones to choose from as Los Angeles. If you are interested in experiencing work from some of the best mixologists in the city, check out our top picks.

The Varnish

Sneak into this hidden speakeasy to enjoy some of Los Angeles’s best craft cocktails. Tucked inside a storage room in the city’s oldest public house, this bar brings you the best in traditional and modern cocktails. Classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or the Manhattan are always great when trying out a new place. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, ask the bartender to make you something from off the menu, which will result in a unique treat.

The Chestnut Club


Cocktails at The Chestnut Club

Head over to Santa Monica to enjoy this subdued lounge with its bare brick walls and antique lighting features. The club features a wide collection of rare and old spirits, some of which run hundreds of dollars a glass. This club is a great place to get together with a group of friends; the Chesterfield booths seat up to 12 people and there is a private room that can accommodate up to 15 guests. There is a dress code; change out of shorts and flip flops before heading over.


This family owned tropical drink destination has been a Hollywood standard for over 50 years. Choose from 94 different tiki drinks, including many that are not available anywhere else. Check out unusual offerings like Ray’s Mistake or drink a classic like the Scorpion or the Pearl Diver. Get there early to avoid the crowds, as lines tend to get long later in the evening. This bar is cash-only, so be sure to hit the ATM before you go. Also, if you want beer, or wine, you are out of luck. Noting that you can get those anywhere, they only serve mixed drinks with tropical flair.

Bar 1886

bar 1886_cocktails

This cozy bar is located in the former caretaker cottage of the historic Raymond Hotel. The small but comfortable place is great for a romantic date. Around 21 custom cocktails are offered, with a menu that changes with the seasons. The in-house chef also makes small dishes that you can enjoy with your drink, such as oysters or pork belly confit.


Entering this West Hollywood staple feels a little bit like going back in time. Antique light fixtures bathe the bar in a sepia-toned glow that sets off the Moroccan tile floors and custom-made beer taps. This bar tends to attract only a small regular crowd, making a great place to relax at the end of the day. Features include house made cocktails on draught.

There is something for every taste at Los Angeles’s craft cocktail bars. Take in the scenery, music and people-watching while enjoying unique libations.

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