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A crowd drinking colorful cocktails at All Day Baby in Silver Lake.
Drinks are served at All Day Baby in Silver Lake.
All Day Baby

For Seriously Creative Cocktails, Sidle Up to the Bar at These 16 LA Restaurants

Where stellar drinks and solid cooking go hand-in-hand

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Drinks are served at All Day Baby in Silver Lake.
| All Day Baby

A couple decades ago, restaurants were more concerned with building an impressive wine list than any sort of bar program. Mixed drinks were an afterthought to be enjoyed before or after a meal. But now that cocktails have gained near-even footing with wine, bar directors are creating seasonally driven drinks to complement the kitchen’s cooking.

Although there are plenty of LA restaurants serving quality cocktails, the following are the best of the bunch. Sidle up to the bar at these 16 restaurants for balanced cocktails infused with creativity and imagination.

Added: Accomplice Bar, All Day Baby, Bar Moruno, Cafe Birdie, Causita, Ella, Fanny’s Restaurant, Fellow, Guerilla Tacos, Here’s Looking At You, Kato, Manzke/Bicyclette, Republique

Removed: Belcampo, Scopa, Tasting Kitchen, the Corner Door, Sotto, Gracias Madre, the Church Key, Eveleigh, Terrine, Petty Cash, Birch, Commissary, BS Taqueria, Bar Ama, Bestia, Sonny’s Hideaway, Black Market Liquor Bar

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Cafe Birdie

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The usual move when dining at Cafe Birdie is to first grab drinks at Good Housekeeping, the bar out back, before dinner. But you’d do yourself a disservice if you skipped out on the drinks at the restaurant altogether. Its offerings include classics like a Trinidad sour and zero-proof drinks such as the Something Interesting with sassafras, sarsaparilla, licorice, and coffee ice cubes. But start off the evening with the East LA Fadeaway, a refreshing tequila drink inspired by the Midori sour.

Musso & Frank Grill

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Timeless and classic usually translate to “old and forgettable,” but not at Musso & Frank. This longstanding Hollywood haunt is as relevant — and important to the overall cocktail scene — as ever. —Farley Elliott

Causita

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Bar director Ramsey Musk pulls no punches with his inventive cocktails at chef Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian Nikkei restaurant. His version of the Miami Vice is clarified piña colada with strawberry daiquiri dust on the rim, his Negroni is flavored with wasabi and strawberries, and his caipirinha take is crowned with sweet shiso and absinthe foam.

A yellow cocktail with foam.
Zara mama highball with Toki whiskey, barley sochu, chicha morada soda, and yuzu bitters.
Wonho Frank Lee

Bar Moruno

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Just next door to Causita in Silver Lake is Spanish restaurant Bar Moruno, which relocated from Grand Central Market, and the Original Farmers Market before that. Bar director Dave Kupchinsky (Eveleigh) is serving up imaginative cocktails, such as a salmon-infused gin martini or a Jamon Iberico-washed Old Fashioned, to go along with the Iberian cuisine. 

A light orange cocktail in a tall clear glass with wedge of orange.
Bràulio and tonic at Bar Maruno.
Wonho Frank Lee

All Day Baby

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For something fun and day-friendly, chef and owner Jonathan Whitener’s Silver Lake eatery offers everything to excite anyone’s inner whimsical 20-something. Treats include a creamy Ramos gin fizz shake or a Negroni float, as well as any of bar director Jorge Figueroa’s creations such as the pink Negroni swizzle with Mexican gin. And amazingly the restaurant still offers cocktails to-go.

Providence

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Quietly one of the originators of great cocktails in LA, Providence continues to make top-notch drinks in a small bar just to the right of the entrance that works as a waiting room before people enjoy their tasting menus. Or the move can be to just pop in and have a crafted cocktail at a classy establishment. —Matthew Kang

The bar at Providence.
The bar at Providence.
Noe Montes

At any restaurant by Umbrella Hospitality Group, cocktails are not an afterthought. For the Beverly Hills eatery on the ground floor of the Sixty Hotel, owners Austin Melrose and Zach Patterson tapped Dorian De Tappan of BG Beverly Hills to craft elegant drinks with Patterson, such as a lychee martini take and a flaming tequila and golden beet cocktail.

Pompeii cocktail with Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, agave, heat at Ella restaurant in Beverly Hills
Pompeii cocktail with tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, and agave.
Wonho Frank Lee

République

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The cocktails at chef Walter Manzke’s Mid-City restaurant in the historic building by Charlie Chaplin are constantly changing to keep up with the influx of fresh ingredients steadily coming into the kitchen. Bar director Shawn Lickliter and team use the ripest seasonal fruit for their creations. But the most special drinks can be found off the menu, such as the restaurant’s private barrel spirits. And espresso martini lovers will want to experience Republique’s version, which they make with cognac.

Here's Looking At You

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Los Angeles diners breathed a sigh of relief when the beloved Koreatown restaurant was able to reopen its pandemic-shuttered doors thanks to a successful GoFundMe campaign last year. Its cocktail program hasn’t missed a beat, continuing with its inspired themes, such as Spring 2022’s Market Wilderness, which features drinks with golden beet-infused Grüner Veltliner and wasabi-lychee shrub.

Fanny's

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The Academy Museum’s restaurant has a drink called “World’s Best Martini” on its menu, and it may very well deliver. After all, barman Julian Cox tested a long list of vodkas and gins to discover the perfect combination. What precedes it on the menu are elaborate cocktails inspired and named after movies, such as the must-have Some Like It Hot Old Fashioned, made with buttered popcorn bourbon and served alongside a tiny bucket of popcorn.

A bartender with a ponytail pours alcohol.
Cocktails in progress at Fanny’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Bar director Adam Fournier—one of Imbibe’s 75 People to Watch and U.S. World Class Bartender of the Year—has been luring cocktail enthusiasts over to Westwood with his exquisitely crafted cocktails. But his nonalcoholic program is worth the visit as well, offering compelling flavors, textures, and presentations, such as the self-carbonating Sake Lees Bomb with mouth-tingling buzz-button foam.

A classic bar with a liquor shelf and seats along it.
The bar at Fellow.
Fellow

Manzke and Bicyclette

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Chef Walter Manzke’s two restaurants that took over the Pico Boulevard space previously occupied by Picca and Sotto demonstrate exactly what bar director Shawn Lickliter can do with a bar program. At Bicyclette, he fills a cocktail book, not menu, with pages and pages of drink options, including aperitifs, collins, sours, spirit-forward cocktails, and nonalcoholic drinks. Upstairs at fine-dining tasting menu-only restaurant Manzke, you don’t need a reservation to drink at the bar. But you do need the funds. The cocktails are made with vintage spirits and range from $25 to $65, or splurge on one- to two-ounce pours for $15 to $400, depending on the bottle.

Redbird

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With a solid cocktail program built by Tobin Shea, Redbird is one of the classiest places to enjoy a beverage in Downtown. The elegant fare by Neal Fraser certainly pairs well with the drinks.

Guerrilla Tacos

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The cocktail program by Ramsey Musk (also of Causita) complements the creative dishes at this corner taco eatery beautifully. Order fun, food-friendly drinks like the Mami Chula Negroni, a grassy and vegetal cocktail made with mezcal, sotol, and platanos.

Diners regularly snag reservations for this Arts District restaurant, which opened up in its new Arts District location earlier this year, for its Michelin-starred Taiwanese dishes. But its program by bar director Austin Hennelly should not be overlooked. It’s the best in town, not only for its next-level cocktails (that 10-minute Sloe gin fizz) but its thoughtful nonalcoholic options, which include zero-proof wine, beer, and flights. Walk-ins can come in for drinks, order a la carte, or partake of the six-course tasting menu. But priority will be for those with reservations.

Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

Accomplice Bar

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The bar attached to chef David Kuo’s Little Fatty expanded into an 80-seat space three years ago, and barman Jerom Morris continues to serve up cutting-edge culinary cocktails such as a pretzel and mustard-infused dirty martini.

Cafe Birdie

The usual move when dining at Cafe Birdie is to first grab drinks at Good Housekeeping, the bar out back, before dinner. But you’d do yourself a disservice if you skipped out on the drinks at the restaurant altogether. Its offerings include classics like a Trinidad sour and zero-proof drinks such as the Something Interesting with sassafras, sarsaparilla, licorice, and coffee ice cubes. But start off the evening with the East LA Fadeaway, a refreshing tequila drink inspired by the Midori sour.

Musso & Frank Grill

Timeless and classic usually translate to “old and forgettable,” but not at Musso & Frank. This longstanding Hollywood haunt is as relevant — and important to the overall cocktail scene — as ever. —Farley Elliott

Causita

A yellow cocktail with foam.
Zara mama highball with Toki whiskey, barley sochu, chicha morada soda, and yuzu bitters.
Wonho Frank Lee

Bar director Ramsey Musk pulls no punches with his inventive cocktails at chef Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian Nikkei restaurant. His version of the Miami Vice is clarified piña colada with strawberry daiquiri dust on the rim, his Negroni is flavored with wasabi and strawberries, and his caipirinha take is crowned with sweet shiso and absinthe foam.

A yellow cocktail with foam.
Zara mama highball with Toki whiskey, barley sochu, chicha morada soda, and yuzu bitters.
Wonho Frank Lee

Bar Moruno

A light orange cocktail in a tall clear glass with wedge of orange.
Bràulio and tonic at Bar Maruno.
Wonho Frank Lee

Just next door to Causita in Silver Lake is Spanish restaurant Bar Moruno, which relocated from Grand Central Market, and the Original Farmers Market before that. Bar director Dave Kupchinsky (Eveleigh) is serving up imaginative cocktails, such as a salmon-infused gin martini or a Jamon Iberico-washed Old Fashioned, to go along with the Iberian cuisine. 

A light orange cocktail in a tall clear glass with wedge of orange.
Bràulio and tonic at Bar Maruno.
Wonho Frank Lee

All Day Baby

For something fun and day-friendly, chef and owner Jonathan Whitener’s Silver Lake eatery offers everything to excite anyone’s inner whimsical 20-something. Treats include a creamy Ramos gin fizz shake or a Negroni float, as well as any of bar director Jorge Figueroa’s creations such as the pink Negroni swizzle with Mexican gin. And amazingly the restaurant still offers cocktails to-go.

Providence

The bar at Providence.
The bar at Providence.
Noe Montes

Quietly one of the originators of great cocktails in LA, Providence continues to make top-notch drinks in a small bar just to the right of the entrance that works as a waiting room before people enjoy their tasting menus. Or the move can be to just pop in and have a crafted cocktail at a classy establishment. —Matthew Kang

The bar at Providence.
The bar at Providence.
Noe Montes

Ella

Pompeii cocktail with Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, agave, heat at Ella restaurant in Beverly Hills
Pompeii cocktail with tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, and agave.
Wonho Frank Lee

At any restaurant by Umbrella Hospitality Group, cocktails are not an afterthought. For the Beverly Hills eatery on the ground floor of the Sixty Hotel, owners Austin Melrose and Zach Patterson tapped Dorian De Tappan of BG Beverly Hills to craft elegant drinks with Patterson, such as a lychee martini take and a flaming tequila and golden beet cocktail.

Pompeii cocktail with Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, agave, heat at Ella restaurant in Beverly Hills
Pompeii cocktail with tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, and agave.
Wonho Frank Lee

République

The cocktails at chef Walter Manzke’s Mid-City restaurant in the historic building by Charlie Chaplin are constantly changing to keep up with the influx of fresh ingredients steadily coming into the kitchen. Bar director Shawn Lickliter and team use the ripest seasonal fruit for their creations. But the most special drinks can be found off the menu, such as the restaurant’s private barrel spirits. And espresso martini lovers will want to experience Republique’s version, which they make with cognac.

Here's Looking At You

Los Angeles diners breathed a sigh of relief when the beloved Koreatown restaurant was able to reopen its pandemic-shuttered doors thanks to a successful GoFundMe campaign last year. Its cocktail program hasn’t missed a beat, continuing with its inspired themes, such as Spring 2022’s Market Wilderness, which features drinks with golden beet-infused Grüner Veltliner and wasabi-lychee shrub.

Fanny's

A bartender with a ponytail pours alcohol.
Cocktails in progress at Fanny’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

The Academy Museum’s restaurant has a drink called “World’s Best Martini” on its menu, and it may very well deliver. After all, barman Julian Cox tested a long list of vodkas and gins to discover the perfect combination. What precedes it on the menu are elaborate cocktails inspired and named after movies, such as the must-have Some Like It Hot Old Fashioned, made with buttered popcorn bourbon and served alongside a tiny bucket of popcorn.

A bartender with a ponytail pours alcohol.
Cocktails in progress at Fanny’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Fellow

A classic bar with a liquor shelf and seats along it.
The bar at Fellow.
Fellow

Bar director Adam Fournier—one of Imbibe’s 75 People to Watch and U.S. World Class Bartender of the Year—has been luring cocktail enthusiasts over to Westwood with his exquisitely crafted cocktails. But his nonalcoholic program is worth the visit as well, offering compelling flavors, textures, and presentations, such as the self-carbonating Sake Lees Bomb with mouth-tingling buzz-button foam.

A classic bar with a liquor shelf and seats along it.
The bar at Fellow.
Fellow

Manzke and Bicyclette

Chef Walter Manzke’s two restaurants that took over the Pico Boulevard space previously occupied by Picca and Sotto demonstrate exactly what bar director Shawn Lickliter can do with a bar program. At Bicyclette, he fills a cocktail book, not menu, with pages and pages of drink options, including aperitifs, collins, sours, spirit-forward cocktails, and nonalcoholic drinks. Upstairs at fine-dining tasting menu-only restaurant Manzke, you don’t need a reservation to drink at the bar. But you do need the funds. The cocktails are made with vintage spirits and range from $25 to $65, or splurge on one- to two-ounce pours for $15 to $400, depending on the bottle.

Redbird

With a solid cocktail program built by Tobin Shea, Redbird is one of the classiest places to enjoy a beverage in Downtown. The elegant fare by Neal Fraser certainly pairs well with the drinks.

Guerrilla Tacos

The cocktail program by Ramsey Musk (also of Causita) complements the creative dishes at this corner taco eatery beautifully. Order fun, food-friendly drinks like the Mami Chula Negroni, a grassy and vegetal cocktail made with mezcal, sotol, and platanos.

Kato

Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

Diners regularly snag reservations for this Arts District restaurant, which opened up in its new Arts District location earlier this year, for its Michelin-starred Taiwanese dishes. But its program by bar director Austin Hennelly should not be overlooked. It’s the best in town, not only for its next-level cocktails (that 10-minute Sloe gin fizz) but its thoughtful nonalcoholic options, which include zero-proof wine, beer, and flights. Walk-ins can come in for drinks, order a la carte, or partake of the six-course tasting menu. But priority will be for those with reservations.

Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

Related Maps

Accomplice Bar

The bar attached to chef David Kuo’s Little Fatty expanded into an 80-seat space three years ago, and barman Jerom Morris continues to serve up cutting-edge culinary cocktails such as a pretzel and mustard-infused dirty martini.

Related Maps