Los Angeles Dive Bar Guide

Where History & Old School Glamor Mix

Few cities conjure the image of old school glamor quite like Los Angeles, a city steeped in celebrities and ostentatious opulence unlike anywhere else. Luckily for dive bar enthusiasts, that backdrop makes for fertile ground when to comes to creating dive bars that mix timeless authenticity with a dose of the Rat Pack here or Elizabeth Taylor there. Santa Monica institution Chez Jay may be one of the city’s best such examples, the dive bar said to be the secret hideout of JFK and Marilyn Monroe during their swirling romance.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame today looks a bit more like a run-of-the-mill sidewalk in a somewhat sketchy part of town, but dive bar Frolic Room remains a gem along its path. Rivaling Chez Jay in its celebrity connections, proximity to the famous Pantages Theater creating post-Oscar, celebrity-drenched after parties.

The West Coast beach vibe of course plays into the Los Angeles dive bar scene, Tiki Ti one such beneficiary as the city’s tiki cocktail destination. The bar serves no beer and no mixed drinks but does offer over 80 custom concoctions, some of them created by Tiki Ti themselves. There are other nautically-themed spots of course, like Koreatown’s HMS Bounty, adding to the rich dive bar tapestry of the city.

All told, the mixture of history and alcohol takes on a special feeling in Los Angeles, that vibe infused into the countless dive bars that dot the sprawling metroplex. Each dive bar here feels unique, authentic and like it could only exist in Los Angeles, populating the city with must-visit dive bar destinations.

Dive Bar Map

Los Angeles Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Hinano Cafe

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
Legendary Venice staple home to a grill older than the 1962 bar itself.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Tiki-Ti

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
The unquestioned tiki king of Los Angeles filled with 90 signature drinks and 12 stools.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

La Cita Bar

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
Dazzling DTLA Latin music hub inside, expansive oasis-style patio outside.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Frolic Room

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
As Hollywood as it gets, down to the sprawling celeb-laden mural inside.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Harbor Room

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Playa Del Rey's dive bar complex across three buildings and two patios.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Harbor Room

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Sliver of a spot said to be the smallest dive bar in Los Angeles County.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

HMS Bounty

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Old school haunt authentic down to the model ship encased in glass behind the bar.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Unassuming strip mall exterior hiding a rich, fireplace-filled lounge inside.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Ye Rustic Inn

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Renowned wing spot under medieval lettering in Los Feliz.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Prince

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Filming hotbed of New Girl & Chinatown fame turned Korean restaurant.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Cinema Bar

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Postage stamp-sized hole in the wall filled with nightly live music.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Backstage Bar

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Deceptively old, Backstage Bar comes alive with the best karaoke in the city.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Fox Fire Room

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Classic Valley Los Angeles dive-lounge hybrid lit up by William H. Macy in Magnolia.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Al's Cocktails

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
San Gabriel dive bar island down to refreshingly affordable cash-only drinks.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Drawing Room

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Windowless cave inscribed with the signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Cozy Inn

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Shuffleboard, pool and free parking behind an ivy-lined wall in Culver City.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Chimneysweep Lounge

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Cozy Los Angeles lounge down to the central fireplace.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Crawfords

Review Rating: 6 out of 10
Reclaimed one-room faux dive bar slinging fried chicken.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Roost

Review Rating: 6 out of 10
Sneaky Thai food hotspot the recipient of recent renovations.

Los Angeles Bar Crawls

Bier Stube - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Los Angeles to Las Vegas Road Trip

A trip through the Mojave Desert doesn't have to be dry.

Los Angeles Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Downtown

Hank's Bar

840 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Google Map

Long Beach

Joe Jost's

2803 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804
Google Map

Manhattan Beach

Ercole's 1101

1101 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Google Map

North Hollywood

The Scene

13307 Saticoy St
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Google Map

Reseda

Copper Bucket

17715 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA 91335
Google Map

Santa Monica

Chez Jay

1657 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Google Map

Tarzana

Maui Sugar Mill Saloon

18389 Ventura Blvd
Tarzana, CA 91356
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

Alhambra Cocktail Lounge

216 W 11th St
San Pedro, CA 90731
Google Map

Casey's Tavern

22029 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303
Google Map

Cha Cha Lounge

2375 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Google Map

Class of 47

209 Palm St
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Google Map

Crane's Bar Downtown

810 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Google Map

Dave's on Broadway

708 E Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205
Google Map

Frank N Hank

518 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Google Map

Godmother's

302 W 7th St
San Pedro, CA 90731
Google Map

Jumbo's Clown Room

5153 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Google Map

Kibitz Room

419 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Google Map

Michael's Pub

11506 Oxnard St
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Google Map

Monte Carlo Bar

3514 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Google Map

Paul's Tavern

15425 Chatsworth St
Mission Hills, CA 91345
Google Map

Pogo's

17314 Saticoy St
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Google Map

Scarlet Lady Saloon

5411 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
Google Map

Sugar Suite

11858 Balboa Blvd
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Google Map

The 35er Bar

12 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
Google Map

The Blue Room

916 S San Fernando Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
Google Map

The Castle Sports Bar

2401 N Sepulveda Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Google Map

Colorado Bar

2640 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
Google Map

The Gas Lite

2030 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Google Map

The Offbeat

6316 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Google Map

The Short Stop

1455 Sunset Blvd #3457
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

4 + 13 =

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