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The Bungalow
Photograph: Tiffany Rose

The best bars for singles in Los Angeles

While you can meet people just about anywhere in Los Angeles, these watering holes offer unmatched vibes, with a constant buzz of locals and visitors alike.

Magdalena O’Neal
Written by
Magdalena O’Neal
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Dating in L.A. can be just as tough as being single in L.A., but there are plenty of other Angelenos riding solo who feel your pain (and could use a stiff drink). From beachside hangouts to Downtown happy-hour spotsL.A.’s bars are full of other singles ready to mingle. For a sense of class, stop into a wine bar filled with friendly faces and strike up a conversation about your favorite bottle or glass, or stop into an old school bar for a pinball tournament which is maybe one of the greatest icebreakers ever? We’ve done some hopping around at the city’s buzziest watering holes—namely, some of the best beer bars and cocktail bars—to bring you the scoop on the where singles dating in L.A. can find Mr. or Ms. Right (or, let’s be honest, your next hookup).

RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Los Angeles

Best singles bars in L.A.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

A cut and a cocktail are easily found at this New York City export that made its West Coast debut in Culver City, then cropped up in Highland Park. The hidden (literally) gems are a barbershop by day and a speakeasy by night, serving up some tasty libations. In Culver City, nearby locals like the hip Venice crowd mix with those simply looking for a quality quaff (and, hopefully, someone to share it with). In Highland Park, the vibe is laid-back and no-fuss, echoing this location’s cool, ’70s-inspired decor—which makes it an ideal spot to casually buy someone a drink.

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Santa Monica
  • price 2 of 4

Brent Bolthouse brings Hollywood to Santa Monica’s Fairmont Hotel with this indoor/outdoor bar and lounge. Think: tree house hideaway by the Pacific, clad with an outdoor fire pit, ocean views, a pool table, dart boards, a ping-pong table and pricey specialty drinks that set the mood (and get you in the mood) for a Baja getaway. It’s a fratty weekend house party on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoons, but if you want to keep the sleaze factor to a minimum, aim for a weeknight visit.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

“Just like how mama used to make it” is the sentiment behind the restaurant at Mama Shelter, a hotel in Hollywood. Though one could almost say that the restaurant is Mama Shelter—walk into the lobby of the hotel and you are immediately faced with a bar on your left, a smattering of tables on your right, and entertainment all around you in the form of a foosball table, TVs and more. However, the best place to hangout at this spot isn’t the first floor, it’s the roof. The 360 degree view of Los Angeles almost never gets old. While the crowds at Mama Shelter vary on weeknights, weekends are sure to be packed with Angelenos looking for the best rooftop view in the area, ready to clink glasses with any fellow admirer looking to strike up a conversation.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Echo Park
  • price 1 of 4

This cozy beer and wine bar in Echo Park offers a well-curated selection of (often local) beers, red, white, and sparkling wine, as well as small bites—think mixed olives, cheese, and crackers, etc. Exposed brick, a wood bar, and soft, yellow glass light fixtures give this place a comfortable feel without sacrificing style. The music here comes from an old-school record player and an ever-changing vinyl collection, which adds to that warm, homey feeling—however, the scene changes on weekends. A DJ booth replaces the piano that sits beside the bar and vinyl sets are spun by local mixing masters. For smokers, there's a small wood patio out back.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Los Feliz
  • price 2 of 4

What do you get when you take a '50s diner and convert it into a French-themed cocktail bar? The answer is Silver Lake's most aesthetically ridiculous party room: The Friend Bar. With a pink tile floor, baby blue wall paneling, plants everywhere and a pinball machine at the door to greet you, the decorative theme is confusing but deliciously alluring. The drinks are strong, the disco ball is bright, and the space itself is a conversation starter for any fellow bargoer. Not looking for a trip to the Eastside? Check out The Little Friend in Venice for a more Westside vibe curated by the same masterminds.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Koreatown
  • price 2 of 4

To enter Break Room 86 is a bit of a doozy. Start by heading to the back side of Koreatown’s LINE Hotel, where you'll most likely discover a line already forming. There you’ll be led through the hotel’s back corridors into a scene outfitted with a DJ booth made out of boomboxes, an old Pepsi vending machine that opens up into a karaoke room (one of four)—as well as vintage arcade games, because duh. Throughout the night, performances by breakdancers and a convincing Michael Jackson impersonator materialize on a hidden stage behind the bar. In the corner of your eye, you just might spot the phone booth from "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure." Most outstanding, indeed.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Eagle Rock
  • price 1 of 4

What happens when a dive bar meets pinball arcade? You get Walt’s Bar, Eagle Rock’s very own funky destination, which feels like the kind of cozy but colorful Midwestern dive you’d sneak into in the late ’70s. Serving California beer and wine—but not above a can of Hamm’s—Walt’s is an ideal, low-key place to meet other solo flyers. You might find them perched at the bar or at one of the vintage machines, training for the Wednesday night pinball tournaments. If you’re confident, maybe you can challenge them to a game—the loser buys the next round.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Walking down a section of Venice’s Lincoln Blvd that’s home to little more than auto body shops, liquor stores and an Orthodox synagogue, you’d be forgiven for thinking you might be looking in the wrong place for a swanky cocktail bar. And yet, just as you begin to wonder if you’re totally turned around, the familiar sight of a bouncer appears and The Lincoln calls you home. Our tip: Arrive between 7 and 9pm and you’re likely to have space more or less to yourself, making getting a good spot to post up for a spell easier than ever. As the night unfurls, seating becomes increasingly scarce as a line begins to form outside.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 2 of 4

When first approaching the orange door to E.R.B., it’s hard to know what to expect behind it. The concrete exterior of the downtown Arts District haunt seems intentionally nondescript, but inside, the bar is not only bustling, but bright: The large, elegant space is bathed in soft light, illuminating its features—and all its guests—in a way that feels warm, flattering and inviting. Out back, a spacious patio offers ample seating for drinking, dining and stargazing (or eye-candy–gazing) through the twinkle of overhead light strings. This place is a party on weekends, when groups of friends descend on the patio—come with your own crew, then make eyes at the other tables.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

Undoubtedly the most popular new wine bar in Downtown, Good Clean Fun is exactly what its name states—a good place for fun (the clean part referring to its vast selection of natural wines, beers, and sakes). While a wine bar might not seem like the go-to place to make new friends, the addition of a DJ booth on their curbside patio and “toasty” time daily from 3-6 pm with discounted oysters and wine by the glass make it an easy hangout spot for stylish single folks looking to spark up a conversation about what’s swirling around in their glass.

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  • Bars
  • Mezcalerias
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

If you like tequila, then you’ll love Las Perlas, a fun, colorful bar in downtown that’s serving one of the city’s most comprehensive selections of tequila and mezcal. This watering hole attracts more of the Varnish crowd than that of 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—especially for live DJ sets, which always lead to tequila-fueled dancing.

  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4

For a mellower evening, you might actually prefer this Spot. The vaguely Western bar in the heart of Hollywood possesses a unique, oddly winning combination: breathtaking city views, live rock and country music and the rare L.A. crowd that genuinely, unironically enjoys dressing in theme. Weekly line dancing classes on Wednesdays draw country enthusiasts on the slowest day of the week, while Desert 5 Spot’s still-quite-flashy aesthetic appeals to out-of-towners and more casually dressed locals hoping to score drinks and a view without significant hassle.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

The crown jewel of Citizen Public Market, downtown Culver City’s long-awaited food hall, Bar Bohemien is probably the most low-key rooftop bar in the city. This can partially be attributed to its small size, as well as to the byzantine downtown Culver City streets (courtesy of closures for outdoor dining), but for those who find their way up the revamped 1920s building's winding stairs, this intimate, mostly outdoor watering hole provides everyday good vibes and even better cocktails. The party gets started early on weekends, with Bloody Marys and Prosecco kits for those looking for a boozy food hall brunch. With a bush-lined patio that’s beautiful at sunset, it’s the perfect spot to meet an online date or a group of old friends. Note: Walk-ins only.

 

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

Beneath the canopy of glowing paper lanterns you’ll find an eclectic crowd kicking back with glasses filled to the brim. The beer-focused bar is walking distance to Dodger Stadium, so Melody Lounge's regulars range from pregaming baseball fans to neighborhood denizens. With dozens of beer available on draft or by the bottle, it’s easy to ask someone what their favorite is or for a suggestion—and now you’re deep in conversation with a new crush. Though DJs spin quirky jams so loud it’s difficult to maintain a conversation, strike up a chat where you can about brews or baseball and then head to the intimate dancefloor to get to know each other a little better.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

This apothecary-themed bar is the sibling to New York City's, which racked up acclaim through detail-driven, botanical-toned drinks in a dimly-lit setting. Here in Chinatown, the vibe, atmosphere and menu are all similar, with a few unique drinks for good measure. Don't miss out on the side patio—one of the cutest in the city—nor the live programming, which can include bands, DJ sets, burlesque, and even private cocktail classes. With newer DJ residencies and other musical guests weekly, it’s become obvious to those looking for a good time any day of the week that this Chinatown spot is the place to be for mixing and mingling.

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Downtown Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

Right in the middle of Downtown, this seemingly divey bar always encourages passersby to stop in after a glimpse at its glowing sign above the bouncer. Don’t be fooled though; this is no dive bar! The loose dress code means no sneakers or caps, making it a dedicated spot for some of the classier folks in Downtown looking for a drink (if those are the types you’re looking to flirt with). Prices are reasonable, the jukebox is stocked with oldies-meets-Coachella, and an old-school arcade (think Pac-Man) allows for friendly drinking games. On a Friday or Saturday night it can get crowded and you may have to push some elbows to get to the bar, but towards the later side of the night, things mellow out, with the ambience becoming cuter and more low-key. Plus, a super cute photo booth in the corner makes for a sweet moment at the end of a meet-cute.

Ready to take that special person you met out on a date?

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