The Valley is full of excellent craft beer and cocktail gems if you know where to look. The best places couple their potent potables with a welcoming atmosphere to make the experience of stopping by one you’ll look forward to again and again. Oh, and tasty food doesn’t hurt either!
On this score, Valley dwellers know you don’t have to go far to find a great watering hole in the area. Not only are there outstanding craft beers on tap from all over the world, but you’ll also find spots with creative culinary delights such as deep fried fluffer nutters and Kobe beef chili filled donuts in addition to your more standard pub grub (jalapeño poppers, burgers and the like).
As always it’s hard to please everyone with a list like this so let us know in the comments section about your favorite Valley pubs, bars or lounges.
But enough caveats… on to the list (presented in no particular order).
1. The Local Peasant
Don’t mind the name cause this place is rich with all kinds of liquor. From their pre and post prohibition cocktail collection- Old Fashioned and El Diablo respectively, to Mama’a Little Yella Pils on tap and even keg wine, there’s something for connoisseurs and social drinkers alike. Must-try dishes: the peasant burger with their signature hand-cut fries and housemade jelly doughnuts.
2. Taps Valley Gastropub
This place is truly a hole in the wall in a corner in a strip mall but once inside you’ll realize why it’s developed such a following. They’ve got 20 beers on tap including Black Market hefe and La Fin du Monde and yes, they’re famous for their fried mac ‘n’ cheese (for good reason) but typical pub fare like their nachos are top notch as well. Must-try: the Sweater burger and the Flying Pig.
3. Black Market Liquor Bar
Four words: deep fried fluffer nutter. Sounds like great hangover food but also perfect when paired with Punch for One made with Peruvian brandy. Mixologists Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni developed the drink menu with concoctions including “Red Hot and Bothered” made with jalapeño-infused vodka. On the culinary side is Executive Chef and owner Antonia Lofaso of Top Chef fame with a menu that changes daily featuring popular items such as fried cauliflower with lemon aioli, dill chips with sea salt malt vinegar aioli and mussels with ‘nduja fennel.
4. Blue Dog Beer Tavern
No list is complete without this popular spot that’s also, you guessed it, dog-friendly. They’ve got Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and Green Flash on tap and a bottle selection that includes Gold Road Hefeweizen. Must-try foods: The Squealer burger with bacon and caramelized onions mixed INTO the beef patty and the Chi Chi burger with hash browns and a fried egg.
5. The Federal Bar
The weekend brunch at this NoHo hotspot is a calorie buster but well worth it for the Bloody Mary special made with srirarcha. Draught beers include Allagash Curieux and specialty beers including Deschutes Black Butte and Wells Banana Bread. Must-try foods: Oh My Habanero and the Federal Burger with garlic chips and peppercorn aioli pair either with their delectable sweet potato tots with maple glaze.
6. Boneyard Bistro
It’s a BBQ joint and pub because is there a better combo than brisket and beer? Their libations menu is dizzying with options from craft beer to Japanese whiskey to house cocktails including Sympathy for the Devil made with smoked habanero infused Fidencio Mezcal as well as classic cocktails like the Boneyard Bloody. Must-try foods: The Evanator (for 2-4 people) comes with ribs, brisket or tritip and sides- a perfect medley of what they have to offer. Appetizers include smoked bacon sticks, a specialty not for the faint of heart, and their Kobe beef chili filled donuts because why not?
7. Tony’s Darts Away
This vegan-friendly joint serves beer and wine solely from California breweries and their wine is kept in stainless steel kegs till it’s served. True to their style, they also serve the very first Perry cider made in California along with more than 30 craft beers on tap. Must-try foods: Vegan Apple of My Eye made with apple sage sausage and the Italian Stallion with Italian pork sausage paired with their disco fries with gravy and cheddar.
8. District Pub Noho
The bar features 24 seasonal craft beers on tap including the Angelino from Angel City Brewery and Allagash Curieux. Adventurous eaters might get a kick out of their alligator, lamb, and duck sausage options while the less curious can always go for the dependably delicious District Burger with cherry tomato thyme jam and fontina cheese.
9. Pickwick’s Pub
The best pubs not only serve great drinks and food but also create a fun and welcoming environment and Picwick’s does just that. Besides having 14 draft beers from the U.K. on tap including Smithwick’s they’ve also got live music, karaoke Thursdays (kilts optional) and trivia nights. Come for the beers on tap, homemade chicken pot pie and fish and chips and stay for the endless entertainment.
10. White Harte Pub
If you’re looking for a place to hang on a Friday night that’s fun and laid back look no further than this British pub that offers movie nights, trivia, karaoke and live music. They’ve got 18 beers on tap and beer cocktails like Irish Car Bomb and Irish Steamroller plus authentic British fare. Must-try dishes: The Full Monty breakfast with grilled English bangers (sausage) and Irish bacon and the Cornwall Pasty.
11. The Fox And Hounds
One of the best sports bars in the Valley with 16 beers on tap including L.A.’s G.R. Point the Way and also entertains Songwriters Sunday and a vaudeville show plus the requisite trivia night. The occasion would not be complete without trying their famous beer batter fish and chips or their Shepherd’s Pie topped with a generous amount of cheddar cheese.
12. Laurel Tavern
With 16 American craft beers on tap and some of the best pub fare around it’s no wonder there’s usually a line to get in. Their famous chorizo sliders are made with white cheddar and avocado emulsion and you can pair it with the Golden Road “Wolf Among Weeds” from a brewery in L.A or the cocktail Laurelvardier made with whiskey and vermouth. Other must-try dishes include their pork belly skewers with a maple glaze and the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and duck fat fries.
13. Sweeney’s Ale House
Ryan Sweeney is one of L.A.’s top craft beer connoisseurs of Surly Goat fame and he’s showcasing his talents by taking charge of the tap selection as this newly opened bar. The Dublin Donkey-their take on a Moscow Mule- is made with Irish whiskey and has quickly become a favorite. There are currently 28 draft beers to try and most of the cocktails are made with Irish whiskey. Must-try foods: Blue Fin Ahi Tuna Scoop, Prosciutto Mac and Cheese, Pastrami Burger, and short rib poutine.
14. Crazy Harry’s Bar
It touts itself as a “beer lover’s paradise” and with 18 rotating taps including König Pilsener and the Ninkasi Tricerahops it’s easy to understand why. Must-try: Onion rings and their bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers.
15. Story Tavern
From Figueroa Mountain Zero to Sexy to Stone Ruination and St. Bernardus Abt 12 they offer plenty of options with 33 beers on tap. Bottled beers include the Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA and Samichlaus Helles plus Irish and American whiskey and, if you dare, absinthe. . Must-try: The Mac Attack burger, Guinness Mushroom Burger and the mussels.
16. Tuning Fork
It’s a good sign when you’ve got your own signature American Pilsner, aptly named Tuning Fork Shaggy Pils. They’ve got 17 beers on tap including Modern Times Blazing World, Green Flash Palate Wrecker and El Segundo Hop Tanker. Must-try dishes: Chef J’s jerk chicken au jus, grilled cheesy sandwich, and truffle fries.
On The Thirty: Great Pizza plus 30 craft beers
The Woodman: Another pub from Ryan Sweeney
The Rack: 26 craft beers on tap and 46 bottled also check out their Rack Mac Folder
Instant Replay: Small but good selection of beers on tap and great laid back ambiance.
Bar ONE: In addition to their famous sangria, they’ve got 12 beers currently on tap.
Glendale Tap: 52 craft beers on tap. That is all.
What’s your favorite watering hole in the Valley? Let us know in the comments below!