The Best Places to Grab a Drink in LA

LA is full of great places for shopping, dining, movie screenings (duh!) and also a great cocktail. Whether you’re grabbing a quick after-work apertif at a company happy hour, or gearing up for a night on the town and starting with a fancy drink, LAFM has tried and tested spots all over LA to give you the hot spot list! Bottoms up peeps!

Soho House, West Hollywood: The Eastern Standard Cocktail 

Yes it’s a members only club, yes it’s very difficult to get into, but if you’re lucky enough to get an invite, or better yet flash your member card, the Eastern Standard is the way to go. With some dry gin, fresh lime juice (fresh is key!), a hint of sugar cane syrup and some sliced cucumbers and mint leaves, it goes down easy and sweet, and is the perfect summer cocktail to end the workday or start the night!

#SetUpShop at the bar at the top of the stairs, or the restaurant overlooking West Hollywood, and sip on this delicious summery drink!

Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood: La Isla Bonita 

Chateau is a great place to go anytime of day, with the rich architecture and 60’s Mod-meets-Vanderbilt-mansion interior design, delicious people-watching and mysterious history (it’s where Gene Harlow and Clark Gable had their scandalous affair, Helmut Newton crashed his car into the side of the hotel and died, and so much more), Chateau is also a great place to grab a cocktail. I’m always down for a sweet drink myself, and a CM fave of mine is ‘La Isla Bonita,’ which mixes mezcal and pineapple juice, rosemary, vanilla and lime for a smoky yet balanced drink. Pro Tip: Chateau Marmont is notorious for having a strict dining area, so if you just want to have a drink, be sure to mention you’d like seating for ‘just drinks,’ it’ll get you in the door and with a drink in no time!

Station Hollywood W Hotel, Hollywood: The Cucumber Collins and You’re Not Alone 

A hotel chain’s bar may not be the first place you think of when grabbing a drink, but it should be. W Hotel’s Station Hollywood, located right on Hollywood Blvd across from the Pantages Theatre and next door to The Fonda has a chic little outdoor seating and fireplaces to keep you cozy as you sip away! Where other spots may offer a wide selection of vodkas or whiskeys, what Station has in spades is its crafted cocktail list that offers something for everyone. Personally I’m all for the Cucumber Collins and the You’re Not Alone. The first offers tanqueray, cucumber syrup, lime juice, celery bitters and basil, and the latter infuses wild blackberry plum jam with Woodford Reserve bourbon, orange bitters and lemon juice. Choose either and you won’t be disappointed! 

Sunset Tower Hotel, West Hollywood: The Dimitri

What can I say about this decadent establishment, and this decadent establishment’s even more decadent-and delicious-drink menu? I’m an LA transplant, and always interested in hitting up Hollywood hot-spots, especially when one of these Hollywood hot-spots is none other than the Sunset Tower Hotel. Built in the 1930s, STH was the residence for the likes of Howard Hughes and John Wayne (casual), and whether you walk in and head to the left for the intimate oak bar experience, or to the right toward the restaurant and patio that opens to the pool, you’re bound to have a good time, especially with The Dmitri in your hand! Named after Maitre d’ to the stars, Dimitri Dimitrov, The Dimitri is complete with maraschino cherry liqueur, gin and vodka, fresh lime and green charteuse…is your mouth watering yet? A favorite spot for visiting celebs like Anna Wintour, Laura Brown, Zac Posen and Michael Kors, this is a must-try and one of our fave spots to #gulpandgossip in LA!

Pacific Dining Car, Santa Monica: The Martini

Born of a railway car parked in Downtown Los Angeles in 1921, this 4-generation owned and operated bar and restaurant is an absolute must-see, must-drink, must-eat spot. With one location in DTLA and one in Santa Monica, it feels as if you’re boarding the Orient Express when you enter, with waiters in white tuxedo jackets, a bowtie and a smile. PDC is known for it’s dining menu, but what’s not as well known is that they make a mean martini. Fresh and strong, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world-and it’s not just because the drink hits the spot!

A favorite of silver screen legend Betty White (the SM location), don’t miss out on a great time at this place!

Nobu, Malibu: The Japanese Bloody Mary

What’s better than enjoying the Malibu beachfront at sunset? Enjoying the Malibu beachfront at sunset with a drink in your hand. The best place to go is the Japanese powerhouse restaurant chain, Nobu Malibu. While their food is absolutely delicious (you must try their Lobster Ceviche appetizer), the real killer is their take on a Bloody Mary, named the Japanese Bloody Mary. Spicy and sweet with Hokusetsu sake instead of vodka, this drink will help you forget about long days at the office as you relax, recharge and reset!

Bestia, DTLA: Chef’s Old Fashioned 

Developed by Bar Director Jeremy Simpson, the Chef’s Old Fashioned has become one of LA’s best cocktails in the city because of the detail and balance of flavors between bitters and bourbon to present an interesting and distinctive drink you won’t forget about. Featuring Lardo Washed Bourbon, orange peel, bitters, pear and cane sugar, this fiery treat will have you feeling just like new!

River Callaway

Senior Fashion + Beauty Editor & Photographer

River Callaway is the Senior Fashion + Beauty Editor & Photographer for The LA Fashion Magazine covering all things fashion, beauty, celebrity, events, travel and entertainment.

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