West Hollywood has perfected the art of going out. Whether you're gay or straight, a WeHo resident or just someone pretending to be one for the night, there's always a party happening in this city-within-a-city. A retro aviation-themed cocktail bar on a Monday night? Got it. A swanky rooftop bar for a weekend soiree? It's here. Day drinking for days? Yup, West Hollywood has that, too. To help you choose your own adventure, we've rounded up the best West Hollywood bars. Be safe out there, kiddos.
Guide to West Hollywood bars
A favorite among locals, St. Felix is as close to a neighborhood bar as it gets in West Hollywood. The wait staff is memorably friendly, the bartenders are expert mixologists and the bar’s daily happy hour is one of the best bargains on the Boulevard. And did we mention they have a killer mac and cheese? Always buzzing but rarely uncomfortably overcrowded, St. Felix is the perfect place to go when you actually want to have a conversation with friends over a cocktail after work. No dancers here, just good food and great drinks in a bordello-style setting that keep all the cool kids coming back for more.
The H.Wood Group is behind some of L.A.'s swankiest spots—the Nice Guy, Bootsy Bellows, Blind Dragon—and, most recently, they've opened Delilah, a 20's-inspired lounge serving shrimp cocktails and filet mignon along with the fancy cocktails. You'll probably see plenty of celebs here, but you'll be more taken with the live entertainment and surprise acts that take place daily.
There are countless gay bars in West Hollywood—many of them included in our guide to LA's best gay bars—but the Abbey consistently attracts people from every sexual orientation and every neighborhood of L.A. That, plus a little reality TV show, might explain the long lines on the weekends to get into this complex boasting four full bars, lots of dancing and a Gothic-meets-Mediterranean design for the indoor/outdoor space.
Doheny Room feels like the typical Hollywood Hills house party with homey furniture, trendy photographs adoring the walls and beautiful people lingering in every room. This restaurant, bar and lounge hails from the same group that brought us Katsuya and The Bazaar by José Andrés—meaning, of course, it's Instagrammable-everything (walls, floors, skillet lobster poutine, you name it) make Doheny Room the one stop shop for all your L.A. nightlife needs. Settle in with a cocktail, a few sliders to split and a goal of spotting at least a couple celebs.
With its prime location on the Sunset Strip, the Church Key has every opportunity to be as banal as the next place; socialites and tourists will walk through these doors regardless of what’s on the menu. But what makes this West Hollywood bar and restaurant special is its inventive drinks and delightful quirks. You may find yourself snacking on pig ear “Cheetos," sucking on alcoholic ice pops frozen right at your table by a Pan Am flight attendant and having way too much fun. Some of the cocktail names might make you blush—ahem, may we recommend the "Going Down Unher"?—but after a drink or two, you'll be making up your own raunchy jokes in no time.
With brewmaster Ryan Sweeney (Little Bear, Verdugo Bar, Der Wolfskopf) at the helm, this craft beer bar more than meets expectations. Inside the moody, candlelit space, choose from two dozen beers on tap and more than 40 rare and international bottles. You'll find plenty of local breweries represented—Eagle Rock, Smog City, Ladyface Ale—as well as California breweries beyond LA. When Russian River's beloved Pliny the Younger comes out every year, you can always find it at the Surly Goat.
Although there's a pronounced Russian theme at this bar, the crowd here is as diverse as Los Angeles itself. Patrons come here mostly for vodka (you can order an excellent Moscow Mule or martini here), but it's also just as popular for its dancefloor. DJs spin every night, and local musicians and comedians make occasional appearances throughout the week. The decor is heavy on the kitsch—expect plenty of communist memorabilia—but the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable in every other way.
E.P. & L.P. is split into two parts: E.P., an Asian restaurant featuring Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine; and L.P., a rooftop lounge that overlooks the Hollywood basin, floors thumping as a heavy bass permeates through the space. If you're looking for a swanky atmosphere with a killer view, you're headed to L.P., where inventive cocktails range from spiked boba to mezcal martinis. Guest bartender events frequently pop up here—a great opportunity to meet talented bartenders from other cities. There's also a secluded area called Frankie's Private Bar, with a bespoke cocktail program and a daybed for lounging.
This is the Hollywood good old boy’s pub you’ve been waiting for. Owners Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson (Il Covo, Roger Room) transformed a former dive into a spacious country tavern where 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 pair perfectly with a menu of elevated pub fare for vegans, locavores and omnivores alike.