Sometimes girls just want to have fun, and in Los Angeles, that's easy to do. Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or just a night out to ease the stress of the work week, or are looking have fun with your friends or meet new people, there are plenty of bars and things to do in LA. If you're really trying to step up your girls' night out, here are our suggestions.
Best girls' night out options in LA
The Abbey is annually voted one of the world’s best gay bars, so maybe it's not the best spot to go for a girls' night out if you or your friends are thirsty for a little lovin'. But if you're just looking to have a good time, hit the dance floor and let the booze (and moves) flow. The drinks at this West Hollywood stalwart are notoriously strong—they should be at $12 to $14 per—and the upscale, Gothic-meets-Mediterranean indoor/outdoor spaces, plentiful cabanas and hunky bartenders are all aesthetically satisfying to be sure. One thing to be aware of, bachelorette parties are not welcomed here, so tone it down if your girl group is on the bigger side, even if there's no bride-to-be in the bunch.
Photograph: Courtesy the Abbey
Looking for a very "LA" night out? The Bungalow is what you thought LA would be—an endless summer where the margaritas are always flowing and the ocean is just steps away. The Bungalow—an actual bungalow on the grounds of Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar—is a boho retreat decorated in Baja-Cali style, making a night of drinks feel like a house party. Grab you girls and order one of the potent mezcal creations at the outdoor bar and hang out by the fire pit or head inside to lounge on one of the Mexican blanket-wrapped couches. If you’re feeling active (or competitive), there’s an outdoor ping pong table and indoor pool table. You won't be the only group of girls (or guys) having a fun night out, that is a gaurantee.
Photograph: Courtesy the Bungalow
Hot waiters, a mechanical bull and a large bar—what more could you want for a girls' night out? Tap into your inner cowgirl at Saddle Ranch's West Hollywood location and either take turns riding for 8-second stints or hop on the mechanical bull along with your girlfriends and see who falls off first. Okay, maybe that's not the best idea, but with fire pits outside, s'mores and plenty of booze around, this is a great location for lady locals and tourists alike.
Photograph: Courtesy Saddle Ranch
Do you and your girlfriends watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Vanderpump Rules? If so, we recommend getting together for a night out at Pump, Lisa Vanderpump's newer restaurants which has been featured on both shows. Yes, you'll see some familiar faces from the TV shows, but you'll also be greeted by the restaurant's chic ambiance and a large outdoor patio ripe for a girls' night out.
Photograph: Courtesy Pump
This gay bar may give the Abbey and Saddle Ranch a run for their money—if you're into cowboys, that is. Flamming Saddles in West Hollywood is a great place to grab drinks and get your country on. The western-themed bar has attractive cowboys on staff who dance along to country music (with a mix of Top 40 hits, this is LA after all), including phenomenal choreographed moves. The bar has a large dance floor perfect for joining in on a line dance, and an outdoor patio in case you need a break from the sexy cowboys dancing on the tables. Oh, and there's food too. Think mac and cheese, deep fried homemade pickles and barbecue. The kitchen is open until 9pm Mon-Saturday and 6pm Sunday.
Photograph: Courtesy Flaming Saddles
Looking for a more relaxed, wine-friendly night? Head to Malibu Wines. The picturesque vineyard and tasting room boast plenty of lawn space for picnicking (you can bring in food, but no alcohol); themed events include Friday night karaoke, Sunday yoga and mimosas and Thursday movie nights; and the pours behind the bar are fast and plentiful. Wines include varietals from Semler and Saddlerock vineyards, and while they're not the best in California, it's still fun to taste through a few flights with your girlfriends. Looking for something a little more adventurous? Malibu Wine Safari combines the experience of a zoo and winery on a two-hour nature tour, where you'll get to personally feed animals while stopping to taste various wines from Saddlerock Ranch.
If you and your friends are looking for a club with good music where you'll actually find people on the dance floor, Avalon is your spot. Completed in 1927, this cavernous theater remains LA's preeminent superclub, and it's the only club in LA to have a 24-hour license. That means a non-stop offering of weekend-long fiestas, and a bar that re-opens at 6am to reward those who danced all night. The club also has a stronghold when it comes to booking global DJ phenoms. Factor in its sheer size and its custom sound system—which delivers one of the most delightfully chest-thumping experiences in LA—and you’ve got a legendary space that’s ready to party whenever you and your girls are.
Looking to catch up? Grab your friends and head to Toca Madera for dinner and drinks. You could call it a scene, but that shouldn't discredit the fact that it's a great place to come for a drink and some grub—especially if you're vegan. From the guacamole to the spicy tofu enchiladas, there's enough here to make a veggie lover swoon. Add some Bloody Marias to the mix and let the gabbing begin.
Photograph: Courtesy Toca Madera
Are you and your friends well connected? The Nice Guy, an Italian restaurant and '50s-inspired lounge from the h.wood group (Bootsy Bellows, Hooray Henry's, Shorebar), is that kind of place—you know, one where you have to know someone to even think about making a reservation. Make it past the doors, however, and all pretension fades away into a homey, "just how grandma likes it" kind of place, where sofas and chairs are upholstered in loud fabric, and a stage in the corner boasts a vintage microphone and piano. A beautiful bar curves throughout one side of the room, offering up well-balanced cocktails. This is a place to see and be seen—if you and your girls can get in.