Cool Spots, Food

17 Spots for the Best Cocktail Happy Hours in L.A.

January 11, 2017 by Sheryl Craig

Happy hour cocktailing is the perfect opportunity to meet up with work colleagues, catch up with friends, let loose after a tough week, or just say yes to your latest Bumble catch.

Wherever in Los Angeles you are at 5 p.m. the good news is that you are likely nearby a happening bar or restaurant with happy hour offerings you won’t easily be able to pass up. From DTLA to the beach, whether you’re an imbiber of the classics or someone willing to take a chance on the bartender’s latest artisanal cocktail concoction, you won’t be disappointed in this happy hour list (presented below in no particular order, numbered only for reference).

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Cheers to the end of another work day!

[RELATED: The Ultimate List of Oyster Happy Hours in Los Angeles]

It's the first Friday of 2017 #timeforadrink

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1. Paley

It’s libation time at the Paley, which offers a glam Hollywood happy hour Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. This Hollywood deal is one you can’t walk away from — get 50% off draft beer, wines by the glass, and craft cocktails. For the new year, the Paley bar program offers “Hang Loose,” with tequila, passionfruit, Aperol, lime, habanero, and a chili rim, and “Kanpai” (“cheers” in Japanese) created with prosecco, Yamayuzu sake, chamomile, clementine, and grape. Half-off bar bites include oyster shooters and steak frites — a bargain on price but not on taste.

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2. Le Petit Paris

Happy hour guests are invited during the workweek, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., to catch up with friends or co-workers at Le Petit Paris, downtown L.A.’s stunning French brasserie. Sipping, savoring, and shopping (check out La Boutique for French specialty items) will be the highlight of anyone’s week. Cannes-based restauranteurs David and Fanny Rolland and Executive Chefs Baptiste Grellier and Jeremie Cazes, deliver a time-honored happy hour menu of well drinks ($9) including the house Petit Paris cocktail (Bombay, champagne, citrus), house wine ($7) and beer ($5) and French small bites such as mini hamburgers, oysters, tuna tartare, and truffle French fries.

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[RELATED: 22 Superb Spots for the Best Happy Hour in Los Angeles]

3. Avec Nous

Wet your whistle at Avec Nous (its English translation is “with us”) at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. The intimate French bistro’s new cocktail hour happens daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests will find a wealth of items all priced at $10 and under including the French favorite Boulevardier (similar to a Negroni), a Moscow Mule, and a refreshing Paloma ($8 each), as well as featured sparkling, red, or white wines ($10 per glass). Happy hour fare honors the bistro’s French roots with $2 oyster martinis, $8 foie gras crostini, $8 truffle fries, and $10 grilled lamb chops.

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4. Viviane

The Viviane happy hour experience is tres chic, due to its French ambiance and classic cocktailing. Located at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, the outdoor poolside seating offers the perfect setting to relax with an $8 cocktail like a Sidecar (various legends claim its origins in London or Paris, just after World War II or during the 1920s, a gin gimlet, or perhaps a rye Old Fashioned. Imbibers are also invited to sip on French sparkling, rose, red, and white wines ($7-$8 per glass), or a Steigl Pils ($7). The happy hour menu, recently updated by Executive Chef Michael Hung, now offers Kumamoto oysters, a la carte cheese and charcuterie options, and the ultimate French fries. Happy hour at Viviane is daily from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring complimentary valet parking.

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 5. elysian

Put elysian on your radar in January 2017 — the Cali-fare Elysian Valley restaurant (only a 15-minute drive from Hollywood and 10 minutes from DTLA), launches its new Anti#sad! Hour (aka happy hour). A perfect date spot, eylsian welcomes Angelenos to this unique weekend happy hour, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The outdoor lush forest feel on the patio complements nature with cocktails ($8 to $10) like Lost Orchard (vodka, apple juice, lemon, honey and ginger), Indian Summer (rye, pear liquor and amaro), Winter in Oaxaca (mezcal, campari, lime and kumquat) and Sobral Santos (Cacoa rum, ancho reyes chile liquor, pluot, mint, and honey). Delicious bar snacks at $4 to $8 per plate include olives/almonds, Koji radish and cuke sprinkled with dulse, and chicken liver pate.

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6. Herringbone

“Pre-game” revelers looking for wallet-friendly drinks and bites are invited to indulge in Herringbone’s Oyster Hour Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.. As much as the $1 freshly shucked oysters take the spotlight at this Ocean Ave. happy hour, the restaurant/bar’s cocktail specialties are both imaginative and refreshing. Two absolute favorite drinks are Grow A Pear ($7), which is a cucumber-infused gin cocktail rounded out with cilantro, jalapeno, St. Germain and lemon, and the palette-zinging Jaleberry ($7), strawberry jalapeño infused tequila, lime, and agave to sweeten the deal. Wines by the glass and draft beer are also available.

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[RELATEDThe 30 Tastiest Eats You Can Get in L.A. For Only $1.00 (or Less!)]

faith & flower rupicola negroni week

Photo Credit: Faith & Flower

7. Faith & Flower

Always ready to satisfy, Ryan Wainwright, Director of Bar Programs for Bombet Hospitality Group and lead bartender Darwin Pornel embrace Los Angeles with seasonal and colorful cocktail collections at Faith & Flower. This downtown roaring ’20s hotspot offers Social Hour from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Pornel’s signature drink concoction is English Milk Punch, created with about everything under the sun including rum, bourbon, brandy, absinthe, and sweet spices like cinnamon, cloves, and coriander. A glass of milk punch is pretty much all you need to chill out, while giving you all the feels. Mmm…good. The Holland Razorblade with Genever, lemon and cayenne, and Southside Rickey with London dry gin, lime, mint and soda are also palate-worthy (each are $7).

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8. Everson Royce Bar

Known for delicious mixed drinks and hipster Arts District attitude, Everson Royce Bar gives guests the opportunity to explore its happy hour menu time and time again. Head over there Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., for drink and bar bite menu deals – both cocktails and wine by the glass are $7. Pitchers of beer and boilermakers (beer and a shot) are on the menu too, just check with your server whether specials offered. You can get a cocktail of your choice, or one from ERB’s menu (Yo LA Tenga, Mateo Street Margarita, Santee Alley, The Homie Swirley, Oaxacan Kid Negroni) or bartender’s choice. Seriously, all are excellent choices.

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Today, America deserves a toast. #RepealDay #prohibition

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9. Eveleigh

Eveleigh is a neighborhood restaurant and rustic bar that serves happy hour all day, and what’s wrong with that? Nothing! Located in West Hollywood on the infamous Sunset Blvd., Eveleigh’s $8 cocktails are inspired by fresh market and garden ingredients using small-batch spirits. The bar creates its own infusions and syrups that are mixed into various cocktails. Gin drinkers are enticed by the housemade gin and tonic, while bourbon fans should try the Rocking Chair Money, which mixes bourbon with an Earl Grey-infused sherry, aperol, and is brightened with grapefruit, lemon and honey. Wine and beer specials such as a bar-made michelada ($6) and beer and a shot ($7) round out happy hour.

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10. Citizen

Modern and low-key, Citizen is Beverly Hills’ newest hangout. Take a seat at the relaxed bar for happy hour offerings from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Here, Citizen serves its happy hour cocktails on tap ($8 each) — choose a Denizen three-year rum Mai Tai accompanied by a creole shrub, a Wisconsin Old Fashioned made with Kirschwasser brandy, a Singapore Sling or Western Sour. Beer, wine, and rose are available too. Don’t miss the 7 for 7 ‘til 7 food deal: lamb meatballs, mussels, burrata with La Quercia Ham, marinated olives, soba noodles, and little gem salad.

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11. Franklin & Co Tavern

Franklin & Co. Tavern in charming Franklin Village is the local pub for catching the game (TVs at the bar), eating a quick dinner (fried chicken sandwich) or grabbing a snack (German pretzel, please) and drink. Charming and personal, Franklin is that local place where you’ll get to know the bartenders and servers by name. Happy hour goes from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; it’s easy on the pocket and a treat for drinkers. While the bar serves rotating seasonal cocktails ($6), well drinks ($5), select drafts ($4), and wine specials ($5), what patrons like best from Franklin is its Bloody Mary.

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12. Redbird

For a fun and energetic happy hour, Redbird is the place to be. This restaurant from Chef Neal Fraser offers an outstanding food and drink service with a daily happy hour (literally speaking) hosted in its bar and lounge 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Designed by one of L.A.’s mover and shaker bartenders, Julian Cox, the cocktail menu has an abundance of standouts including the Brown Derby ($7), a lemon, pamplemousse, and honey-bourbon mix, Chi Chi vodka ($7) with coconut cream and pineapple, and a yuzu cocktail, among others. If you are in the mood for a snack, shishito peppers and crispy quinoa ($9) and Redbird’s Reuben tartine are perfect for sharing.

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13. Tiki No

Tiki No gives patrons a virtual vacation right smack in L.A. Within its tropical setting, Tiki No has a daily happy hour leaning towards rum cocktails. One sip of a Navy Grog, the Zombie, a Mai Tai, the Toasted Marshmallow, the Lychee Luau or Coconut Mojito and you’ll be quickly transported to island life in mind and spirit. Note that the Scorpion Bowl is made to share. Wine, beer, and champagne are served here as well. Happy hour is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with Sunday Karaoke from 9 p.m. ‘til closing.

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14. Simbal

Little Tokyo’s Simbal is a refreshing spot for happy hour, with a menu influenced by the flavors and ingredients of Southeast Asia. Hit the bar from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for happy hour craft cocktails for $8: Jade of Hearts (vodka-based with hints of lemongrass, Thai basil, and cocchi rosa apertif) and Spring Awakening (jasmine tea-infused gin, orange blossom honey, lemon and orange bitters, and Shrub cocktails ($6). If you aren’t sticking around for dinner, which is a must, you have to at least sample one of Simbal’s fine cuisine offerings on the HH menu: marinated chili wings ($8 for 6), steak tartare seasoned with authentic Thai larb ($9) and everyone’s favorite edamame hummus.

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*Cue dramatic music. 🎶😍🎶 #OldFashioned

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15. Idle Hour

Be sure to tag #IdleHour when taking your HH selfie at Idle Hour Bar in North Hollywood. Locals like it here for the people, the carefree atmosphere, and inexpensive cocktails during happy hour. You’ll find classic cocktails for $7 – Old Fashioned, Collins, Mule, and Paloma, and a list of well drinks for $5. Idle Hour also serves house white and red wine by the glass for $5 and beer that is discounted by $2. The historic building was erected in the 1940s in the shape of a barrel and was originally utilized as a tap room. Today, after multiple owners and restorations, the building still stands, serving locals drinks and food.

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16. The Sherman

Locals are discovering the inviting ambience of The Sherman, located in Sherman Oaks. Mixologist and partner to owner Theo Mavro, Phil Felton, along with Executive Chef Jason Francisco have pulled together a unique hangout that is easy to get to right on Ventura Blvd. Check with the bar for happy hour specials – the menu includes a cocktail of the day and The Sherman takes $2 off all happy hour food for guests. The Sherman is playful, naming drinks after L.A. iconic freeways and roads– the 405 created with Voli “light” vodka; the Coldwater, a lovely Belvedere vodka, coconut milk and Kahlua; and the Sepulveda, Grey Goose La Poire Vodka spritzer with muddled cucumbers, orange, raspberries, and soda.

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17. La Cuevita

You have come to the right place for smokey margaritas and palomas — La Cuevita. This little Mexican cave is dark, spicy, and brilliant at hosting an unforgettable happy hour. Everyday, La Cuevita provides a slew of agave-based cocktails for $5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., as well as other spirits and liquors. Set in Highland Park, La Cuevita is a fun night out. The bar hosts a wealth of special events and activities, including live jazz, hipster DJs, dancing, free tacos on Tuesdays from 10 p.m. until Midnight, and free movie nights. Follow their Twitter for up-to-the-minute bar happenings.

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