Where to find the best Irish coffee cocktails in Los Angeles

These Irish coffee cocktails will warm you up with a nip of whiskey, a splash of coffee and a smooth layer of cream
Best Irish coffee Los Angeles
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
By Erin Kuschner and Stephanie Breijo |
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There might be certain instances when an Irish coffee is more suitable than others: a cold winter evening, perhaps, or in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. In truth, there’s really no wrong time to order the traditional Irish cocktail as long as it’s made with care. The cocktail came to Los Angeles via San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café, when SF columnist Stanton Delaplane shared the recipe with Tom Bergin’s Public House. While the Irish pub on Fairfax offers arguably the best version in the city, the beloved spot’s future is a bit unclear, and is currently only open from to Thursdays to Saturdays. Thankfully you can find other luxurious Irish coffees in whiskey bars and other jaunts around town, especially if you’re searching for a fix throughout the week. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying hair of the dog in the morning or an easy nightcap in the evening, here are the best Irish coffees in L.A.

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to cocktails in Los Angeles

Where to find the best Irish coffee in L.A.

Bars, Gastropubs

Traditional Irish Coffee at the Auld Dubliner

icon-location-pin Long Beach

Here is what we love about the Auld Dubliner: The menu doesn’t dabble in Irish dishes an drinks, it full-on embraces them. Though the Traditional Irish Coffee may be made with locally roasted coffee—as well Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, demerara sugar, freshly whipped cream and nutmeg—it will make you feel like you’re having a drink in Ireland. Stop in throughout the week for live music, dominated by Celtic “Shamrockabilly” artists for an even more authentic feel.

Bars, Gastropubs

Irish Hello at Casey’s Irish Pub

icon-location-pin Downtown Financial District

Even if you’ve never been to Casey’s, you’re probably familiar with the sprawling, dark-wood-everything bar: It’s served as the set for just about every pub-focused scene on television in the last 20 years. The traditional hot Irish coffee is fantastic here, but their Irish Hello is just as enticing: Made with Jameson Irish Whiskey, iced coffee, demerara syrup and angostura-spiced cream, it’s a cooler version that combats sweltering L.A. afternoons spent Downtown.

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Irish coffee cocktail at Big Bar in Los Angeles Los Feliz
Photograph: Courtesy Big Bar/Eugene Lee
Bars, Cocktail bars

Irish coffee at Big Bar

icon-location-pin Los Feliz

You can always ask for an Irish coffee at Big Bar, and here's why you should: Alcove bakery and café occupies the other half of this cozy, repurposed Craftsman home, and it serves excellent coffee (plus killer pastries). The Big Bar team is one of the strongest in the city, and uses Alcove's always-fresh Fonté brews, then whips cream to order for a soft, pillowy, almost foam-like topping. If you're looking for a festive spin, bar lead Cari Hah developed a take on Café de Olla for their holiday menu made with El Tesoro reposado tequila, cinnamon, coffee and hand-whipped cream.

Restaurants, British

Coffee Nudgie at the Pikey

icon-location-pin Hollywood

At this spacious country tavern, grand iron chandeliers and wall lamps illuminate British paraphernalia on the walls, red leather booths and two dark wood-paneled bars and dining room. A friendly and helpful staff serve up a full bar of beer, wine, spirits and a stellar selection of specialty cocktails, including the Coffee Nudgie. This drink takes some liberties with a more traditional Irish coffee, using Jack Daniels, hot coffee, crème de cacao and whipped cream. They have a solid original version, too, if you can’t get past the Jack Daniels.

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Cole's
Photograph: Courtesy 213 Hospitality
Restaurants, Sandwich shops

Hot and cold Irish coffee at Cole's

icon-location-pin Skid Row

Whether you're a Philippe's fan or Cole's French-dip enthusiast, one thing is for sure: Cole's is where you go for cocktails. It's also got the ambiance—one of L.A.'s oldest-operating public houses, this dim-lit restaurant and bar is lined with old-timey photos and antiques, leather booths and even a special nook in honor of longtime-fan and crime boss Mickey Cohen. His booth is the perfect place to sip a Cole's Irish coffee—his nickname was "Irish Mickey," after all—and at this spot, the classic cocktail can also be ordered, like a mob hit, on ice. 

Bars, Lounges

Irish iced coffee at Seven Grand

icon-location-pin Downtown Financial District

Opened in 2007, Seven Grand is arguably the city’s premiere destination for whiskey lovers; its atmosphere is of another era, one where hard-drinking businessmen escaped the doldrums of suburban existence and hung up their hats to drink, smoke and play pool. You can ask for a hot Irish coffee any day of the week, but keep an eye out for their iced coffee version, which uses Jameson whiskey, house cold brew, cream and sugar. It’s sweet, refreshing and strong all at once—and gives you enough liquid courage to challenge a stranger to a pool match.

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Photograph: Courtesy Menotti's
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Irish coffee at Menotti’s and Townhouse

icon-location-pin Venice

Talk about teamwork! Menotti’s coffee shop and Townhouse are neighbors, so it’s no surprise that they’re happy to share customers. Grab some Cat & Cloud coffee at Menotti’s and bring it over to Townhouse, where you can get it spiked with Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur, whipped cream, syrup and nutmeg.

Irish Cream Cookie Shots by Dominique Ansel
Photograph: Courtesy 189 by Dominique Ansel/Evan Sung
Restaurants

Irish Cream Cookie Shots at 189 by Dominique Ansel

icon-location-pin Fairfax District

Those looking for a sweeter taste of the Irish can head to 189 by Dominique Ansel, sitting pretty in the Grove, where their bar makes its own Irish cream. Downstairs in the bakery you can always find fresh-made cookie shots lined with chocolate and filled with Tahitian vanilla milk, but upstairs in the restaurant, you can sip the grown-up version. Enjoy the cool blend of whiskey, cream, condensed milk and a bit of cocoa powder, all served in a warm cookie—drink the Irish cream, bite the cookie, repeat.

Make it at home

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