DTLA’s Villains Tavern: Heavy on the ambiance

In no particular order, here’s my Top 10 Best Los Angeles Eastside Bars. What makes a great bar? For me it comes down to ambiance, music, clientele and bartenders who eyeball pours in your favor. Bonus points for an 80s-heavy jukebox and happy hour tater tots.

Need something to eat for after? Check out the 10 Best L.A. Eastside Cheap Eats.

1) Villains Tavern in DTLA: A bar that went all-in on ambiance. Tucked away on a desolate street, it feels like you’re on a movie set for a classic Western. What to get: Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn and a shot of whiskey. Villains Tavern, 1356 Palmetto St., Los Angeles, 90013, (213) 613-0766

Great martinis and tater tots at Atwater Village’s The Griffin

2) The Griffin in Atwater Village: Dramatic fireplace? Check. Stiff drinks? Check. Tater tots? Check. Friendly and unpretentious locals? Check. Awesome 80s jukebox? Check! What to get: delicious chocolate martini. The Griffin, 3000 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, 90039 (323) 644-0444

Highland Park’s La Cuevita is one hot señorita with spicy cocktails

3) La Cuevita in Highland Park: Gorgeous, dramatic redo of the dearly departed Little Cave. Pull up to a low-lit corner and canoodle with a themed cocktail. What to get: the fiery Mezcalada. La Cuevita, 5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles, 90042 (323) 255-6871

Akbar in Silver Lake: Dramatic looks, cheap drinks and nostalgic tunes

4) Akbar in Silver Lake: My all-around favorite bar for great music (usually New Wave), fun theme nights and $3 happy hour. The mostly gay clientele is friendly and welcoming. What  to get: the happy hour special. Akbar, 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 90029, (323) 665-6810

Eclectic crowds and addictive fries at the York

5) The York in Highland Park: Addictive fries, wings and beers on tap at one of the most beautiful bars in Los Angeles. What to get: any IPA on tap. The York, 5018 York Blvd., Los Angeles, 90042, (323) 255-9675

Custom-crafted chasers and only the finest booze at Neat Bar

6) Neat Bar in Glendale: Enjoy the spirit and sip on a custom-crafted chaser. You won’t find a mixed drink in sight, only the finest rums, whiskeys and bourbons. What to get: whatever the bartender suggests. Neat Bar, 1114 N. Pacific Ave., Glendale, 91202, (818) 241-4542

Seductive wine sipping room at Colorado WIne Company

7) Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock: “Lazy Sunday Wine Tasting” is a tradition around these parts and so is their fabulous white peach sangria. What to get: white peach sangria. Colorado Wine Company, 2114 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, 90041, (323) 478-1985

Left Coast: Swanky wine bar in the heart of Glendale

8) Left Coast Wine Bar in Glendale: This industrial loft-inspired wine bar is class enough for Manhattan, but priced for Glendale. Live music nightly and some of the tastiest happy hour treats around. What to get: custom wine flight, 5 for $22. Left Coast Wine Bar & Gallery, 117 E. Harvard St., Glendale, 91209, (818) 507-7011

Big Bar: Nosh, fancy cocktails and sunny patio

9) Big Bar in Los Feliz Village: What’s not to love — it’s the Alcove for the 21 and over set. Stiff drinks with fanciful names and the Alcove’s perpetually sunny patio. What to get: Canelita Nueva. Big Bar, 1927 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 90027, (323) 644-0100

DTLA’s Silo Vodka: Pretty and unpretentious

10) Silo Vodka Bar in DTLA: Tater tots and incredible vodka-based drinks in an airy, comfortable setting. What to experience: Vodka tasting in the Ice Room upstairs. Silo Vodka Bar, 221 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, 90014, (213) 221-7956

Need something to eat for after? Check out the 10 Best L.A. Eastside Cheap Eats.

 

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