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Customers sit at a dive bar watching sports on multiple TVs.
Ercoles in Manhattan Beach.
Wonho Frank Lee

17 Essential Dive Bars in Los Angeles, 2022 Edition

Low-key places to drink with the local set

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Ercoles in Manhattan Beach.
| Wonho Frank Lee

Great neighborhood watering holes populate just about every corner of this massive city, playing to locals who know when to follow the neon lights and weekend karaoke sounds. Best of all, these dependable haunts are frequented by true regulars who have often been working the jukebox for decades and know everyone in the place by name. Sure, they’re called dive bars, but the truth is these places are all about low-key fun, stiff drinks, a sense of community, and — on the right night — a little bit of anything-can-happen magic. Here now are just 17 of LA’s many essential dive bars, presented geographically.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Paul's Tavern

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15425 Chatsworth St
Los Angeles, CA 91345
(818) 891-4848

Paul’s Tavern in Mission Hills does the basics right. The drinks are cheap, there are string lights glowing inside the space, and the pool tables get prominent placement inside. Come in, grab a pint or three, watch some TV, and enjoy.

A deep green sign of a strip mall dive bar at daytime.
Paul’s Tavern.
Paul’s Tavern.

2. Copper Bucket

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17715 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA 91335
(818) 344-3334
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The Copper Bucket is a Reseda staple, first opened in 1951. Drinkers still come through for the delightfully kitschy wood paneling, neon signs, and weekend crowds.

3. The Good Nite

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10721 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 505-3887
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Though some dive bars pride themselves on avoiding karaoke, the Good Nite embraces it. Its success is dependent on reasonably priced drinks and a masterful karaoke DJ. The former is always a welcome sight, and the latter keeps potentially cringeworthy performances at bay. Though dive-y, the Good Nite’s setup feels like a lounge, so select a drink and a song, and nab a taco from one of the vendors out front.

4. Ye Rustic Inn

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1831 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-5757

The wings are the thing at Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz. The crowds now skew decidedly hipster, but there’s still room inside the dim strip mall bar to belly up for a pint or two, some of the city’s best chicken wings, and great conversation.

5. Jumbo's Clown Room

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5153 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-1187
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Jumbo’s is LA dive bar royalty. Part non-nude live dancer spot, part Thai Town pregame destination, this is the place to take out of towners or meet friends. Frankly, there’s no way to do Jumbo’s wrong — unless you try to take a picture inside, of course.

6. Frolic Room

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6245 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462-5890

Hollywood's essential dive bar only gets better as the place gets more crowded. While the drinks are strong and cheap, the scene is the main draw, with everyone from scenesters to old-timers mixing and enjoying the general revelry.

7. Jay-Dee Cafe

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1843 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 281-6887

As the name explains, Jay-Dee’s is technically a restaurant, but you wouldn’t notice just from walking in. This place is all about that laid-back ambiance and weekend karaoke for the San Gabriel Valley set — the wings and burgers and nachos are a bonus.

8. Molly Malone's Irish Pub

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575 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 935-1577
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Not all Irish bars are created equal. At Molly Malone’s, a Fairfax institution for more than half a century, the focus is on pub fare and pints, of course, but the bar is also a legendary spot to catch up and coming musical acts before they make it big.

The exterior of an Irish bar with lights over the sidewalk.
Molly Malone’s.
Molly Malone’s.

9. HMS Bounty

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3357 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 385-7275
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This Koreatown classic seems to be lifted straight out of the late ‘60s, with a convivial after-work and early evening crowd. The food probably won't wow, but the drinks are dirt cheap and the old maritime vibes will feel just right while taking down a few beers.

10. The Living Room

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2636 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 735-8748

Don’t overlook the magic of this longtime haunt. Stationed next to Chef Marilyn’s on the border of Jefferson Park and West Adams, the Living Room keeps the vibe chill as DJs spin old-school grooves. A jazz band performs the blues on Sunday nights.

Outside the Living Room in West Adams.
Outside the Living Room in West Adams.
Wonho Frank Lee

11. Backstage Bar & Grill

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10400 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 839-3892
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Backstage Bar & Grill is somewhat famous in Culver City circles, thanks specifically to its location near the Sony building and its stellar karaoke setup. Celebs have been known to drop in from time to time, but mostly this is a place to belt out a few tunes and turn up with a group of friends looking to hang out under the dim red glow of the lights inside.

12. Hinano Cafe

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15 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
(310) 822-3902
Visit Website

Hinano is a staple beachside dive bar, the kind of sandy spot that visitors and locals love equally. From the simple burgers made behind the bar to the friendly staff and proximity to the sun and surf, Hinano is pure LA. 

A seeded bun and burger with melty cheese and lots of shredded lettuce.
Hinano’s famous burgers.
Wonho Frank Lee

13. The Glen

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7356 Stewart and Gray Rd
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 928-8280

One of Downey’s best places to drink is the Glen, a simple spot for pool, karaoke, and suds. The few-frills environment doesn’t fall victim to the usual trappings of a dive bar — no dusty lampshades or weird old art — and instead focuses on a good time for all.

14. The Greatest

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13766 S Inglewood Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 973-9241

There’s a come one, come all kind of feel to this Hawthorne hangout, where the bar tops are worn, the lights always have a touch of neon, the pool tables get heavy action, and more often then not the beers come with a shot on the side.

15. Ercoles

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1101 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 372-1997
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With its twinkly lights, cheerful bartenders, and burgers made behind the bar, what's not to love about this Manhattan Beach favorite, which dates all the way back to 1927?

A blue shirted cook at a dive bar, replacing glasses.
Working at Ercoles.
Wonho Frank Lee

16. Joe Jost's

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2803 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 439-5446
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Dive bars don't get much older (or more famous) than Joe Jost's, a Long Beach essential for going on 100 years. Yes, the place is that old — and that cool.

17. Mineshaft

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1720 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-2433

Long Beach’s Mineshaft is a special place. Since 1977 the bar (yes, it actually looks like a mine shaft, complete with exposed wooden beams) has been a haven for LBC’s enduring queer scene, and comes complete with pool tables a photo booth, and more.

Mineshaft in Long Beach.
Mineshaft
Mineshaft

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1. Paul's Tavern

15425 Chatsworth St, Los Angeles, CA 91345
A deep green sign of a strip mall dive bar at daytime.
Paul’s Tavern.
Paul’s Tavern.

Paul’s Tavern in Mission Hills does the basics right. The drinks are cheap, there are string lights glowing inside the space, and the pool tables get prominent placement inside. Come in, grab a pint or three, watch some TV, and enjoy.

15425 Chatsworth St
Los Angeles, CA 91345

2. Copper Bucket

17715 Vanowen St, Reseda, CA 91335

The Copper Bucket is a Reseda staple, first opened in 1951. Drinkers still come through for the delightfully kitschy wood paneling, neon signs, and weekend crowds.

17715 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA 91335

3. The Good Nite

10721 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Though some dive bars pride themselves on avoiding karaoke, the Good Nite embraces it. Its success is dependent on reasonably priced drinks and a masterful karaoke DJ. The former is always a welcome sight, and the latter keeps potentially cringeworthy performances at bay. Though dive-y, the Good Nite’s setup feels like a lounge, so select a drink and a song, and nab a taco from one of the vendors out front.

10721 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

4. Ye Rustic Inn

1831 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The wings are the thing at Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz. The crowds now skew decidedly hipster, but there’s still room inside the dim strip mall bar to belly up for a pint or two, some of the city’s best chicken wings, and great conversation.

1831 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

5. Jumbo's Clown Room

5153 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Jumbo’s is LA dive bar royalty. Part non-nude live dancer spot, part Thai Town pregame destination, this is the place to take out of towners or meet friends. Frankly, there’s no way to do Jumbo’s wrong — unless you try to take a picture inside, of course.

5153 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

6. Frolic Room

6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Hollywood's essential dive bar only gets better as the place gets more crowded. While the drinks are strong and cheap, the scene is the main draw, with everyone from scenesters to old-timers mixing and enjoying the general revelry.

6245 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

7. Jay-Dee Cafe

1843 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

As the name explains, Jay-Dee’s is technically a restaurant, but you wouldn’t notice just from walking in. This place is all about that laid-back ambiance and weekend karaoke for the San Gabriel Valley set — the wings and burgers and nachos are a bonus.

1843 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801

8. Molly Malone's Irish Pub

575 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The exterior of an Irish bar with lights over the sidewalk.
Molly Malone’s.
Molly Malone’s.

Not all Irish bars are created equal. At Molly Malone’s, a Fairfax institution for more than half a century, the focus is on pub fare and pints, of course, but the bar is also a legendary spot to catch up and coming musical acts before they make it big.

575 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

9. HMS Bounty

3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

This Koreatown classic seems to be lifted straight out of the late ‘60s, with a convivial after-work and early evening crowd. The food probably won't wow, but the drinks are dirt cheap and the old maritime vibes will feel just right while taking down a few beers.

3357 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

10. The Living Room

2636 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Outside the Living Room in West Adams.
Outside the Living Room in West Adams.
Wonho Frank Lee

Don’t overlook the magic of this longtime haunt. Stationed next to Chef Marilyn’s on the border of Jefferson Park and West Adams, the Living Room keeps the vibe chill as DJs spin old-school grooves. A jazz band performs the blues on Sunday nights.

2636 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

11. Backstage Bar & Grill

10400 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Backstage Bar & Grill is somewhat famous in Culver City circles, thanks specifically to its location near the Sony building and its stellar karaoke setup. Celebs have been known to drop in from time to time, but mostly this is a place to belt out a few tunes and turn up with a group of friends looking to hang out under the dim red glow of the lights inside.

10400 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

12. Hinano Cafe

15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292
A seeded bun and burger with melty cheese and lots of shredded lettuce.
Hinano’s famous burgers.
Wonho Frank Lee

Hinano is a staple beachside dive bar, the kind of sandy spot that visitors and locals love equally. From the simple burgers made behind the bar to the friendly staff and proximity to the sun and surf, Hinano is pure LA. 

15 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292

13. The Glen

7356 Stewart and Gray Rd, Downey, CA 90241

One of Downey’s best places to drink is the Glen, a simple spot for pool, karaoke, and suds. The few-frills environment doesn’t fall victim to the usual trappings of a dive bar — no dusty lampshades or weird old art — and instead focuses on a good time for all.

7356 Stewart and Gray Rd
Downey, CA 90241

14. The Greatest

13766 S Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

There’s a come one, come all kind of feel to this Hawthorne hangout, where the bar tops are worn, the lights always have a touch of neon, the pool tables get heavy action, and more often then not the beers come with a shot on the side.

13766 S Inglewood Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250

15. Ercoles

1101 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
A blue shirted cook at a dive bar, replacing glasses.
Working at Ercoles.
Wonho Frank Lee

With its twinkly lights, cheerful bartenders, and burgers made behind the bar, what's not to love about this Manhattan Beach favorite, which dates all the way back to 1927?

1101 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Related Maps

16. Joe Jost's

2803 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804

Dive bars don't get much older (or more famous) than Joe Jost's, a Long Beach essential for going on 100 years. Yes, the place is that old — and that cool.

2803 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804

17. Mineshaft

1720 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Mineshaft in Long Beach.
Mineshaft
Mineshaft

Long Beach’s Mineshaft is a special place. Since 1977 the bar (yes, it actually looks like a mine shaft, complete with exposed wooden beams) has been a haven for LBC’s enduring queer scene, and comes complete with pool tables a photo booth, and more.

1720 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802

Related Maps