Best singles bars: Places to pickup singles in Los Angeles

Singles bars are aplenty in Los Angeles. Here are the best places to pickup other lonely hearts looking for their next hook up.

Photograph: Courtesy Harvard & Stone

Best singles bars in LA: Harvard & Stone

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best singles bars in LA: Blind Barber

Photograph: Courtesy MB Post

Best singles bars in LA: MB Post

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best singles bars in LA: the Otheroom

Photograph: Courtesy the Pikey

Best singles bars in LA: the Pikey

Photograph: Courtesy the Pikey

Best singles bars in LA: the Pikey

Photograph: Courtesy Rosewood Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy the Hermosillo

Best singles bars in LA: the Hermosillo

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best singles bars in LA: Thirsty Crow

Photograph: Molly Cranna

Best singles bars in LA: Las Perlas

Photograph: Courtesy Laurel Hardware

Best singles bars in LA: Laurel Hardware

Photograph: Tiffany Rose

Best singles bars in LA: the Bungalow

Photograph: Victor Leung

Best singles bars in LA: Shorebar

Photograph: Courtesy Eveleigh

Best singles bars in LA: Eveleigh

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best singles bars in LA: Blind Barber

The LA dating scene is abuzz. From beachside hangouts to stiff-drink happy-hour spots, LA's bars are full of other singles ready to mingle. We've done some hopping around (slutty, we know) at the city's buzziest watering holes—namely, some of the best beer bars, hotel bars and cocktail bars—to bring you the scoop on the where to find Mr./Ms. Right (or your next hook-up).

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Los Angeles


Laurel Hardware

The thing with West Hollywood's Laurel Hardware is that it’s the place to be right now. Which means that you can’t just walk in and expect a table. And, to make matters worse, it’s hard to even just walk in and expect to grab a drink because the earthy laid back restaurant fills up quickly and, on weekends, a line of about 20 or more forms at the door. The rustic indoor/outdoor farm-to-table restaurant and bar collects the cool kids from the city hoping to meet their future hook-up (or ex).

When to go: Forget about trying to get a drink (let alone to the bar) on weekends.
What to order for her: Impress with one of barman Cole Apodeca's creative intoxicants like Skinnies Fog ($12), which calls for red beet-infused plum vodka and plum bitters.
What to order for him: Try the full-sensory cocktail, Skinneas Fog ($12)—mescal, grapefruit, lime, brown sugar and a tongue-tickling buzz button.
Pickup line: "I see you're drinking a Fear & Loathing, which is exactly how you'll feel tomorrow morning when you wake up next to me."

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The Bungalow

Critics' pick

Brent Bolthouse brings Hollywood to Santa Monica's Fairmont Hotel with this indoor/outdoor bar and lounge. Although an unexpected location, the Bungalow fills the Santa Monica nightlife void with a boho watering hole for both day and night imbibing. Think: tree house hideaway by the Pacific, clad with outdoor fire pit, pool table, dart boards, ping-pong table and pricey specialty drinks that set the mood (and get you in the mood) for a Baja getaway.

When to go: It's a weekend house-party Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
What to order for her: The name says it all—Bitchin' Sangria ($10).
What to order for him: Kick back with a Corona ($7) or Modelo ($8).
Pickup line: "The valet always parks my Prius in front. Want a ride?"

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Santa Monica

Blind Barber

A cut and a cocktail are easily found at this New York City export that launched in Culver City last year. The hidden (literally) gem is a barbershop by day and speakeasy by night, serving up some of the Westside’s tasty libations from former Library Bar barman Greg DeBolt, known for his bespoke farm-to-table cocktails. Nearby locals and the hip Venice crowd mix with those looking for a quality quaff (and, hopefully, someone to share it with).

When to go: Thursday nights for a live DJ and dancing
What to order for her: Make it an off-the-menu gin and ginger concoction, the Dillinger.
What to order for him: What Gen Y man could refuse the Batman?
Pickup line: "You wanna get drunk and take turns with the clippers?"

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Culver City

The Otheroom

With a prime spot on Abbot Kinney and an epic selection of craft beer—no hard alcohol here, rather there's a rotating roster of craft beer and wine—the Otheroom attracts the men of Venice. But this ain't your neighborhood dive, on any given night, the bar is filled with locals—flash your 90291 creds to gain priority at the door—lounging on seats at the bar or at one of the many bar tables. Come dressed in your best sand-and-surf casual as the dim, votive-lit room gives you that seaside glow.

When to go: Thursdays to Saturdays are prime nights for meeting and greeting.
What to order for her: What girl doesn't love bubbly?
What to order for him: Choices on tap are aplenty.
Pickup line: "Would you like to see my longboard?"

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Critics' pick

Smack-dab between Sunset Plaza and the Sunset Strip, Eveleigh occupies a landscaped plot of land plush with foliage (and, luckily devoid of the usual, Ed Hardy contingent) not found elsewhere in the nabe. Its European countryside aesthetic draws the hip, artsy crowd who pack in most nights of the week at two separate bars and communal tables in the vista-filled back patio. Your best bet is to grab a seat at the main, front bar for one of barkeep John Senese’s signature cocktails and meet and mingle.

When to go: Stop by the Thursday night (5-9pm) farmer's market across the street beforehand and see that citrus go from farm to coupe. And don't miss Monday nights' guest bartender series.
What to order for her: Share a pitcher of the house lemonade ($43). Tequila meets its softer side with a chamomile infusion and mix of Cocchi Americano, triple sec, lemon and honey.
What to order for him: Order up a smokey, mescal-mixed drink and pray the man matches his libation.
Pickup line: "This place is so twee, it's like living inside Etsy. That means you'll love my crocheted condoms."

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West Hollywood

Manhattan Beach Post

The bro level is kept to a low because you are far, far away from Hollywood. And though MB Post is a fully defined restaurant, its ubiquitous communal tables by the bar and in the dining room make for a great place to meet new friends. Here, you'll find a seasonally inspired, fruity list of intoxicants, served just steps from the beach in a smartly designed space that once served as a post office. On a nightly basis, the bar is packed with tanned locals and diners waiting for tables.

When to go: Sunday brunch and pre-dinner cocktails
What to order for her: Mo-pho-jito ($12)—the classic is recreated with kaffir lime, mint, ginger and coriander honey—keeps things interesting.
What to order for him: One word: bacon, dusted in the bourbon-based Manhattan Avenue ($12).
Pickup line: "I'm going to play some six-man on the beach tomorrow if you want to join in. Wait. That doesn't sound right."

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Ladies love Shorebar. With a tastefully designed, nautical-themed bar and better adult beverages (seasonal creations from mixologist Curtis Dean Harrier), the beachside watering hole aims to be a locals hangout—thanks to the bar’s members-only second floor and low-key vibe weeknights—but come Friday and Saturday, it’s near impossible to order a drink among the weekend meat-market of Hollywood mixed with the Westside crowd looking to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

When to go: Whether you're getting over a "Bad Romance" or looking for some "Nookie," stop in for Tuesday night karaoke.
What to order for her: There's nothing like a Hot Sandy Beach ($15)—a mix of tequila, basil, jalapeño, lime—to get you feeling frisky.
What to order for him: Red Stripe, $3 at happy hour (Tue-Sat, 7-10pm)
Pickup line: "You'd look incredible next to my dinghy."

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Santa Monica


Harvard & Stone

Harvard & Stone, a bar focused on serving craft cocktails made from American distilleries, is an easy-to-like, neighborhood spot in Thai Town conceived by the Houston Brothers of La Descarga and Pour Vous fame. The drinkery itself—a sizeable triangular-shaped, front main bar and a tiny back bar, R&D, with ever-changing cocktails—bears a gritty, industrial look and feel, perhaps why it caters to a predominantly male crowd. (The sort of male crowd outfitting skinny jeans and mustaches.)

When to go: Nightly performances of live music and burlesque make for good who-needs-to-talk, people-watching any night of the week.
What to order for her
: Impress her with the guest bartender's choice at the back R&D bar.
What to order for him: Make it an oldie but goodie with a house original cocktail like Baby's First Bourbon ($11), a mix of Bulleit bourbon, orgeat, lemon and Angostura bitters.
Pickup line: "You look like you could use some nam prik. I know a place right down the street..."

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Thirsty Crow

This popular Silver Lake haunt specializes in whiskies—there are more than 100 on offer and dozens of small batch bourbons—and is generally packed all throughout the day and week with $5 Whiskey Wednesdays and happy hour (Monday-Saturday, 5-8pm; Saturday, Sunday 2-8pm) when all drinks are $5. Eastside locals crowd the horse shoe–shaped, central bar to claim prime real estate (and bump elbows with their fellow drinkers).

When to go: Unless you're into elbow-to-elbow grease, avoid weekends.
What to order for her: While Whiskey may seem like a man's drink, the ladies of the land can order sweeter drinks like an Apple Pie Manhattan ($12) and Hot Spiced Cider ($12).
What to order for him: The namesake cocktail ($12) is a mix of rye Whiskey, ginger beer, citrus and a secret ingredient—magic.
Pickup line: "Girl, I bet you'd look good with a bottle of Old Grandad and some flannel lingerie."

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Silver Lake

Las Perlas

If you like tequila, then you will love Las Perlas, a fun, colorful bar from Mr. Downtown, aka Cedd Moses. Serving one of the city’s most comprehensive selections of tequila and mescal, the DTLA watering hole attracts more of the Varnishcrowd than Cabo Cantina. While you can always play it safe and order a margarita, we encourage starting your South of the Border evening with the creative cocktails. It can be sleepy early during the week, so stop in on weekend nights when tequila lovers, from locals to cocktail geeks, pack in.

When to go: Friday and Saturday nights for a live DJ and dancing
What to order for her: It's down the rabbit hole with 400 Rabbits ($13), a concoction of tequila, port wine syrup, egg whites, lime and Pinot Noir.
What to order for him: Geek out on all things distilled and smoky with a mescal flight ($20).
Pickup line: "Like mezcal, most women consider me foreign, mysterious and a little too smoky."

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The Hermosillo

Remaking the once divey Hermosillo Bar, Dustin Lancaster of Bar Covell, L&E Oyster and Storefront brings boutique wines and a well-curated list of craft beer (and snacks too) to Highland Park. The unfussy space—round, tufted leather booths, scattered tables and a central bar—is just busy enough to be happening during the week and more bumping on weekends.

When to go: Weekends
What to order for her: Vino
What to order for him: Geek out on the rotating craft beer selection projected behind the bar.
Pickup line: "That's a hot ombre, lady hombre."

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Highland Park

Rosewood Tavern

A vast Whiskey selection, 28 craft beers on tap and elevated pub fare are what draw locals (particularly the men) to Fairfax’s Rosewood Tavern. The dark watering hole—a long bar spans almost the entire length of the space and a long communal table claims prime seating in the center of the room—was designed to facilitate socialization.

When to go: Whether it's weekend brunch, after-work beer and bites or Saturday night boozin', there are singles to see and be seen by.
What to order for her: Why stop at one, when you can opt for a four-beer flight ($13)?
What to order for him: Steak + Manhattan. Enough said.
Pickup line: "Looks like neither of us could get into Animal tonight..."

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Los Angeles

The Pikey

Critics' pick

Sean MacPherson of the Roger Room and Bar Lubitschhas a knack for conceiving fashionably hip bars that attract the less tool-y Hollywood industry types. And when he snapped up the ancient Ye Coach & Horses on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard and transformed the space into a British pub, with a solid list of eats by Ralph Johnson of NYC's the Spotted Pig, Angelenos paid attention (and filed in). Though the Pikey has three separate rooms with two separate bars, weekends can get packed to the point of suffocation. (But hey, if you’re looking to make a love connection, that might not be so bad.) A dark pub feel, beer- and spirit-heavy list of intoxicants and hearty tavern fare to wash it all down attract more men than women.

When to go: Escape the scene at the nearby Strip on weekends and Sunday fun days aka brunch.
What to order for her: If you're looking for an English Rose—The Twiggy ($13).
What to order for him: Whiskey, and lots of it, with more than 50 bottles to choose from.
Pickup line: "I'm going to get all the Batmans at Hollywood & Highland to serenade you."

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As far as downtown bars, Las Perlas attracts a less intimate crowd than the Varnish. More so, I don't think it's a place to meet singles. Like most bars, It's a safe haven for groups and hanging with friends from outside of LA. La Cita on a Thursday night on the other hand, I had a one night stand from there.