How to meet new people in LA

Looking to make friends? Here's how to meet new people in LA, from food classes to volunteer opportunities.
EightyTwo
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman EightyTwo
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Ask an outsider to paint a picture of an average Angeleno and they'd conjure up a portrait of Hollywood obsessives trapped inside of automobile bubbles. Of course, we know that Angelenos are warmer than that (mostly), but that doesn't mean it's always easy to figure out how to meet new people. This oversized city can feel isolating sometimes, especically when you move to LA. But it doesn't have to be that way; from a night at LA's best bars to online meetup groups, here's how to meet new people in Los Angeles.

11 places to meet new people in LA

Runyon Canyon
Photograph: Benny Haddad
Things to do

Hiking trails

What other city can boast a hike with a full-blown social scene (we're looking at you, Runyon)? Lace up a pair of comfortable sneakers and start to climb, and we can almost guarantee you'll run into some friendly faces taking in the views.

Photograph: Courtesy Restoration Hardware

Intramural sports leagues

You don't have to be a serious athlete to partake in an intramural league. You don't even need to be in tip-top shape to make friends, shoot the breeze and share a few drinks at everything from dodgeball and curling to bocce ball.

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EightyTwo
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Bars

Arcade bars

If you’re a product of the '80s, there’s a decent chance you spent a good portion of your adolescence (and your quarters) in an arcade. Fortunately, you’re not the only one pining for those glory days of pinball and Street Fighter tournaments. We’ve compiled a list of the best adult-friendly arcade bars in the Los Angeles area, ones where you can both order a cocktail or a beer and mash some buttons—and where you're sure to find fellow drunken video game enthusiasts.

CicLAvia
Photograph: Riley Carithers

Group rides

Make like Freddie Mercury and ride your bicycle where you'd like. Meetup has an entire section of its site dedicated to LA-area bicycling meetups, with groups for two-wheeling enthusiasts from the Valley to the South Bay.

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Things to do

Volunteer opportunities

LA is an amazing place, and we have lots of reasons to be thankful for living here. We also have a responsibility to take care of our city—its people, animals, trees, beaches and more. Give back and meet like-minded Angelenos along the way these charity opportunities, from Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angles.

Photograph: Courtesy Institute of Domestic Technology
Things to do, Schools and universities

Food classes

icon-location-pin Beverly Hills

Everyone loves bread (sorry, celiacs) and cheese (sorry, vegans and lactose intolerants), so master both with a cooking class. The Institute of Domestic Technology hosts classes in everything from butchery to cocktails at locations around the city. Even if you don't manage to make friends at one of the classes, expect people to follow the aroma of delicious food to your front door.

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Rain Room
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Art

LACMA Local

This city can feel isolating sometimes, and LACMA Local is a friendly reminder that it doesn't need to be. The museum's community-building program offers its members loosely structured, biweekly hangouts at the museum. LACMA Local runs $40 for a year of programming that invites like-minded art lovers to get to know each other over an hour or so inside of the Miracle Mile museum's galleries and special exhibitions.

Good Times at Davey Wayne's
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Bars

Singles bars

There are plenty of Angelenos chronically riding solo who feel your pain. From beachside hangouts to stiff-drink happy-hour spots, LA's bars are full of other singles ready to mingle. Even if you're not looking for love, you're likely to find someone willing to chat it up at these watering holes.

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The Broad
Photograph: Iwan Baan, courtesy the Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Museums, Art and design

The standby line at the Broad

icon-location-pin Downtown

The Broad has become a pretty popular place, so much so that the free museum's standby line regularly draws two-hour waits at opening. You might as well use that time to get to know the people around—chances are you already share an interest in contemporary art and "Infinity Mirrored Room" selfies.

Photo courtesy iO West

Improv classes

Learning the art of "yes, and..." is just as useful for conversational skills as it is for improvisational comedy. No matter where you take classes—the Groundlings, iO West, the Second City or both UCB Franklin and Sunset—you're bound to find fellow attention-starved students (we kid, of course).

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