Sometimes all you need is a toned down, or run down dive bar, where you can forget your sorrows with some cheap drinks and everyone (for the most part) is interesting and easygoing. Or you just want to play pool or darts with some friends and listen to a local band; or maybe sing karaoke with a bunch of strangers. Regardless of the reason, dive bars are known to be a fun time and this list guides you through some of the best and eclectic ones on the Westside of LA.Read More
10 Westside Dive Bars for Cheap Cocktails
I’ll take a shot and a beer please. Well is fine.
Backstage Bar & Grill
Culver City’s Backstage Bar & Grill is the go-to watering hole for karaoke (go early to put your song selection in) and cheap drinks in the area. With Sony Studios nearby, the bar is sure to be busy, but friendly bartenders keep you coming back. If you’re not on a date, get the garlic fries, and Seahawk fans will have an extra special time during football season.
Barkowski, named after writer Charles Bukowski, showcases an array of poetry to enlighten you upon entering. With perfectly dimmed lighting and a much cleaner atmosphere than most dives, Barkowski is a cool bar to check out. If you’re stuck in on Pico or just need a new place to hang, consider Barkowski for a variety of craft beers, bumper pool, and darts.
Chez Jay was declared a Santa Monica landmark in 2012 and since 1959, not too much has changed. Sure, it’s more like a divey restaurant, but you’ll find a variety of delicious classic seafood and steak dishes in an extremely friendly ambiance. For a local hangout free of pretentious people, travel back in time at Chez Jay for a distinctive Santa Monica experience.
Cozy Inn is sure to have something fun for everyone, with pool tables, shuffleboard games, dartboards, and even video bowling. If you are looking for competitive pool games, you’ve come to the right place. The bartender is known for having a heavy hand, and the drinks are so cheap you’re bound to work up a heavy dose of liquid courage.
Hinano is a Venice staple and takes the cake on dives, simply thanks to its dark lighting and sawdust-covered floors. Once inside, get a taste of local Venice with affordable beers, well cocktails, and the well-known $6 Hinano burger. Come for the frosty mugs of beer and the delicious burger, and stay for the pool tables, free popcorn machine, rock and roll, and a friendly, casual environment.
JP's Sports Bar & Grill
Looking for cheap ice-cold domestics, a jukebox full of classics, and a night full of eccentric Santa Monica locals (including Peter Dante from Adam Sandler’s movies)? Look no further and cruise in to JP’s to get your dive bar on. With sports on TV and even a few old arcade games, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and cheap drinks alone or with friends. Pro tip: Go across the street to NY&C and grab some pizza and bring it back to the bar for some late night grub.
Lost & Found
Located in a strip mall by an incorporated part of West LA (just west of Santa Monica's edge), how much divier could Lost & Found get? The bar is cash only, so just $20 for the night guarantees you a fun night. With most drinks between $4-6, you’ll get your money’s worth. It’s a sports dominated bar with the typical pool table, jukebox and free popcorn, and even free parking right out front (but taking an Uber is recommended). Expect a mostly 30 something crowd and refreshingly friendly bartenders, which can be a hit or miss in LA.
Prince O' Whales
It’s no secret that Playa Del Rey has popped out some great restaurants lately. But for a classic dive, Prince O’ Whales (or POW) is a standout in town. With a few different rooms, it doesn’t get overly crowded. And with Ping-Pong, beer pong and flip cup on the patio, it’s perfect for hot summer nights.
The Daily Pint
The Daily Pint has been a Santa Monica drinking institution for over 25 years. Here, you’ll find the perfect divey atmosphere with over 33 beers on tap, more than 100 different bottled beers and not to mention, a wide selection of whiskeys. And if you’re a connoisseur, spot hard-to-find bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle. So whether you love craft beer or scotch, shuffleboards or foosball, The Daily Pint has you covered.
It would be easy to pass TRiP while driving on Lincoln in Santa Monica. But once you find it, look forward to a dark setting with great music performances and decent bar food. If you’re a local, TRiP has weekly events like trivia on Friday nights, burlesque on Wednesday nights and open mic on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, for all you Chicago Bears fans, you now have somewhere to watch football.