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Villains Tavern

Bars, Cocktail bars Downtown
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
villains tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Villains Tavern

Live music, burgers, beer, cocktails—what more could you want in a casual neighborhood bar? Located in Downtown's Arts District, this friendly hangout hosts a steady stream of blues, rock and bluegrass musicians that perform inside the steampunk space almost every night of the week. A fantastic grilled cheese, beer battered fish and chips and more hearty eats satisfy hungry patrons, while a list of creative cocktails and craft beer fills out the drink menu. The best part? No cover.


Venue name: Villains Tavern
Address: 1356 Palmetto St
Los Angeles
Opening hours: Daily 5:30pm-2am;
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Ever since I heard Villains Tavern was Steampunk decor, I wanted to go. It is great to have that steampunk style in a smaller, Downtown L.A. Arts District, neighborhood bar. Everything was smooth - parking was easy, the bouncer was nice, friendly and informative, and the decor did not disappoint. There is no cover charge even though they have live music playing later in the evening.

There are some bar-like food choices such as solidly prepared burgers, nachos, grilled cheese and a cocktail menu. It is a bit difficult to get the bartenders' attention, as expected in a crowded bar, but it was difficult even before it got crowded. All food, drinks orders and closing out tabs must be done at the bar. Our bartender made things fun by customizing and creating drinks for us. 

In a relatively small bar, it was great to sit upstairs and catch up with a friend in a relatively quiet spot while a packed room sat downstairs listening to the live band. 

One of my favorite drinks was the Pica Palmetto with tequila, mezcal, St. Germaine liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice and garnished with Pica spicy tamarind candy swizzle sticks. 


Shout out to the girl in the bathroom line at Villains Tavern who bought me a drink for spilling her own beer on my foot. That's the general atmosphere at Villains—everyone's jovial and, for the most part, super friendly. The music can be hit or miss, but it's free and live and entertaining, and on some nights you might run into the frontman's divorced parents who are there, separately, to cheer on their son. And then you feel like you could stay for hours listening to him jam for his mom and dad and their midnight peace offering.