It's the time of year when friends and family come back home to L.A. for the holidays. And many are keen to arrive well before the turkey starts roasting, which leaves the question: what is there to do? Perhaps grab a drink? There's nothing like that local bar to relax, unwind, and catch up with old friends. Here now, Eater presents a handy guide to drinking on Thanksgiving Eve in L.A.Read More
Where to Drink on Thanksgiving Eve in Los Angeles
This downtown drinking den is still a great locals bar while having some of the best cocktails in town. The pretension simply isn't there, just belly up to the bar and order something from the classic recipe-based menu, or whatever you're feeling at the moment. For something more, say agave, there's Las Perlas across the street.
2. The Daily Pint
This crowded beer and whiskey bar in Santa Monica has resisted any and all attempts of refinement, and that's a good thing for imbibers looking for a good time. The Scotch menu in particular is impressive.
3. Tonga Hut
North Hollywood, CA 91606
A classic Tiki bar that's been around for decades, the drinks are stiff and cheap at Tonga Hut. Though a trek for most people in the main part of L.A., it's an easy hike for those in the lower Valley. For something else tiki in the Valley, try Tiki No in North Hollywood.
Neat will probably never win any awards for anything cocktail based, despite having a fantastic program that makes solid drinks night in and night out. Plus, the sipping spirits are about as good as you could get for a neighborhood bar. Always a great place to unwind before the holiday weekend. For a bigger space, there's always The Famous on Brand Blvd.
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5. 4100 Bar
As nice of a local dive as you could get, the pretension is nowhere to be found at this bar, where the drinks are strong and relatively inexpensive for the ambiance, which is nice enough to actually have a decent date. But Thanksgiving Eve isn't for dates, it's for revelry, and the place sure fits the bill. For a different scene, there's always Bar Stella at Sunset Junction.
6. Bigfoot Lodge West
Los Angeles, CA 90034
The westerly outlet of Bigfoot Lodge is campground and cabin done right, with solid cocktails and a fun atmosphere to boot. And for something festive and seasonal, try the toasted marshmallow, basically a campfire version of the white russian. For some more serious cocktails, walk over to Oldfield's nearby.
7. Club Tee Gee
Los Angeles, CA 90039
A bar that is as unassuming as one could get, the prices aren't as low as most dive bars, but that's probably for the better, to keep the clientele just above the riff raff normally found at places like this. The bartenders are mighty friendly and pour a strong drink. The booths are useful for packing in friends from out of town. For something a little more modern, there's Village Tavern next door.
8. Verdugo Bar
Though the beers tends to get first draw here, there's a full bar for people who aren't necessarily down the carb load of brews. The gin & tonics and other well drinks get a strong hand for not too much dough. Always a good recipe. If the scene's not for you, bounce over to York, where you can try drinks at The York.
9. Chez Jay
This legendary seaside dive is still going strong after decades of business. While you're bound to see a celebrity or two, the scene is going to be great no matter what, so bring along a load of friends and party hard.
10. Jones Hollywood
The rock & roll ambiance of Jones is hard to deny when you're looking to have a good time. The food here is pure comfort, from the pizzas and pastas to the legendary apple pie. Drinks are reasonably priced too, which makes Jones a great place to waste away the hours on Thanksgiving Eve. Formosa, right across the street, is also a nice place to wander to afterwards.
11. The HMS Bounty
This old-time Koreatown haunt feels like the kind of place Don Draper would pregame the night (they actually did film Mad Men here). The booths are plush and drinks are strong, making it a fine place to revel with friends and family visiting town. For the next level, try The Prince just a few blocks away.
12. The Wellesbourne
Los Angeles, CA 90064
The Westside has plenty of quasi-cocktail bars that make decent drinks in a cheerful place, and the Wellesbourne certainly feels that way. There's a large shuffle board, loud music, and plenty of seating in the expansive space. For something different, trek over to Sawtelle and try out some late night karoake.
13. Library Bar
This longtime pub in the heart of Downtown's Financial District makes for great place to have some beers or sip on a cocktail, without the bother of a legitimate cocktail bar. The food isn't half bad either, plus there are other bars to wander too if the scene gets old, like The Standard or Perch.
14. Frolic Room
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 what's the main draw, with everyone from scenesters to old-timers mixing and enjoying the general revelry. Bounce over to nearby Burgundy Room for another classic Hollywood dive experience.
15. Buena Vista Cigar Club
Perhaps the most approachable bar in Beverly Hill's Golden Triangle, this tends to be more of a boys club, though everyone's welcome at this cigar bar, where the scotch selection is primo and the service isn't just friendly, it's really accommodating. There's nothing like scotch and cigars for the holidays.
16. Mandrake Bar
This is where the South LA and Mid-City hipsters like to congregate, and for good reason. The vibe can range from chill to decently excitable, depending on the night of the week. And Thanksgiving weekend should provide plenty of that. Also nearby, Father's Office, if it's not too late.