Picture this: it’s Friday afternoon, and it’s been a long week. You go through a mental checklist while deciding where to meet friends after work. A great beer? That’s a must. Some good goes-with-beer food? Oh, that too. When seeking a fun bar that will satisfy with hunger and thirst, try these ten beer bars across Los Angeles.
When it’s just been one of those days and it’s time to go all out, head over to Beer Belly in Koreatown. The bar has a fun menu full of unhealthy but delicious food, like their well-loved grilled cheese with four kinds of cheese, bacon and maple syrup. The rest of the menu follows suit, with intense mac and cheese and deep-fried desserts like Oreos and Twinkies. Order a draft or bottle off their California-centric craft beer list to wash it all down. Beer Belly has a nice patio for relaxing, and they host regular events with different local craft breweries.
You can find some surprising gems in the strip malls of LA, and Jay’s Bar is one of them. Tucked into Sunset Boulevard in Silverlake, Jay’s boasts fifteen taps that are updated daily, plus a stock of wine and cocktails. The selection may not be as extensive as some bars on the list, but it’s a nice variety and changes often. The menu feels sophisticated but is surprisingly affordable: their burger is $5 and salads are under $10. The stand-out item is a fried turkey roll dip, with cheese curds, herb gravy, bacon and cranberry relish. Stop in on the weekend for their daily happy hour from 5-7 and leave full of good stuff.
There are a number of great breweries in LA, and Golden Road is a standout. Their brews can be found on tap and in cans around the city, but where better to drink them than at the brewery itself? The Glendale taproom, right across the river from Griffith Park, is open and roomy, offering outdoor seating and a kid’s area. All of their regular beers are offered on tap, including a few speciality draft-only beers and guest taps that rotate. You can buy beer here by the glass, in a growler or in cans to go. Golden Road has a nicely sized, sandwich-heavy menu that offers a number of restricted-diet options. Come for lunch, brunch, dinner, or just enjoy the beer and revelry. Tours of the brewery itself are on hold for now, but promise to start up again soon.
A Highland Park favorite, The York is nice enough to not be a dive but low key enough to feel homey. The bar has well-crafted food and drinks, along with a solid jukebox and the occasional trivia night. Choose from a list of solid craft beers on tap, a rotating cask, bottles, cocktails and wine. Order your food and drink at the bar and snag yourself a booth or high-top. They’re known for their cheddar burger, topped with aioli, arugula and pickled onions and served with fries. Happy hour is from 3-7 on weekdays and they offer brunch on weekends.
It’s hard to beat the selection of craft beer at 3rd Stop, with 36 rotating taps. The bar is a great place to take your non-beer drinking friends (wait, you have friends that don’t drink beer?), with cocktails and wine on tap. The Beverly Hills-adjacent bar boasts one of the best happy hours in the area, with select beers just $4 plus food specials from 4-7 and again 11-1am. The food menu offers smaller plates for sharing like pretzel puffs, along with salads, sandwiches and pizzas.
Blue Palms Brewhouse
If you find yourself deep in the jungle that is Hollywood, Blue Palms Brewhouse is a surprisingly good option. The bar has 24 rotating craft beers on tap and a long and eclectic list of bottles and cans. It’s an especially good choice if you’re going to a show at one of the many nearby theaters, like the Hollywood Palladium or the Pantages Theater. The prices are typical for LA, but the quality of the food and brews makes it worth it. The menu has the usual burgers and wings, along with a collection of exotic sausages like smoked duck, pheasant, and elk. They offer specials on different nights, including 50-cent wings on Thursday. Note that specials do not apply if there’s a big show going on at one of the venues nearby.
If you’re a fan of Belgian-style beers, then immediately get up and go to Little Bear in LA’s downtown arts district. I mean, check the hours and don’t walk out on work, but why haven’t you been there yet? The airy and open bar features 15+ beers on tap and an extensive bottle list. The food menu has a bit of a Belgian tilt too, with brunch, lunch, dinner and late night dishes offered. The crispy Brussels sprouts are a favorite, but leave room for a Liege waffle for dessert.
The Village Idiot
The Village Idiot is an expertly named, high quality American pub that is a welcome respite in West Hollywood. The welcoming bar is polished without feeling too fancy. There are just eight beers on tap, but it’s a nice variety of largely California craft brews. They also stock lots of bottles big and small, and make beer mixed drinks if you’re feeling adventurous. They are known for their classic pub food, including a hearty plate of fish and chips and a steak and potato pie. Village Idiot also incorporates booze into their cooking, such as a beer broth for their mussels and a Guinness brownie with Bailey’s pudding and Jameson cream. Plus, you can order brunch until 5 on the weekends!
Tony’s Darts Away
As many Disney, Warner Brothers and other studio day laborers know, Tony’s Darts Away is the best neighborhood bar in Burbank. It has all of the comforts of a local bar, including games, dart boards (obviously), pool table, and 38 glorious taps of California craft beers. This tap-only bar has a slight emphasis on IPAs, but there are plenty of options for all kinds of beer drinkers. The food menu is vegan-heavy but with all the classics. Order a sausage from their long list of options, including a number of vegan varieties and lots of toppings to choose from.
Should you find yourself on the west side and in need of a beer and a bite, try Bar Food on Wilshire. They have a generous happy hour, from 2:30-8 every day, and it includes several beers, drinks and some food. The bar sports 30 rotating taps featuring local beers, popular favorites and some more interesting brews. They also offer 200 kinds of whiskey. The menu features lots of bar snacks like single sliders and some bigger options. The food has greatly improved the last year, and the happy hour and drink selection is hard to beat.
Laurel Randolph is a food and lifestyle writer hailing from Tennessee and living in Los Angeles. She enjoys cooking, baking and candlestick making. Tweet at her face: @laurelrandy.