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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Meet the finalists of Time Out LA's 2016 Bar Awards

By Erin Kuschner
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It's an exciting time for cocktails in Los Angeles. Boundaries are being pushed, techniques are being refined and bars are becoming true destinations—not just a place to grab a quick drink, but to savor one. At the same time, our dive bar culture continues to thrive, giving us comfortable, familiar places to kick it with a quality old-fashioned or a martini. Whatever your drink of choice, there's a bar in this town that's doing it right.

This year, Time Out Los Angeles has joined its counterparts in cities across the world to host our first Bar Awards, recognizing the phenomenal bars and bartenders who make imbibing in this town a true pleasure. We enlisted a panel of local industry experts—bartenders, distillers, cocktail bloggers—to help nominate LA's best drinking destinations, and the result is a list of 28 bars that have made a true impact on LA's cocktail scene. 

The winners will be announced at our Bar Awards party on May 23 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel (You're invited, too!). In the meantime, we recommend you work your way through the short list, one drink at a time. It can't be that hard, right?

Congratulations to this year's nominees! 

Best New Cocktail Bar:
The Walker Inn
The Fiscal Agent
Everson Royce Bar 
Old Lightning

Bar of the Year:
Melrose Umbrella Co.
The Spare Room
Scopa
The Corner Door

Best Restaurant Bar: 
Bestia
Redbird
Terrine
Broken Spanish

Best Culinary Cocktail Bar: 
Birch
Gracias Madre
Otium
The Walker Inn

Best Bar Team: 
The Normandie Club
The Spare Room
Melrose Umbrella Co.
Big Bar

Best LA Mainstay: 
The Varnish
The Roger Room
Harvard & Stone
Tony’s Saloon

Best Bar Design:
E.P. & L.P.
Break Room 86
Now Boarding
Clifton's 

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