Love isn’t a pipe-dream, it’s a process. But if you want the result, you have to commit. And part of that commitment is seeking out like-minded members of the opposite (or preferred) sex who you may just have enough in common with to actually form an attraction. Stated simply, people who like the same things as you are more likely to like you.
And the beauty of Los Angeles is that we pretty much have something for everyone and every type of interest, even in the case of our bar scene which, paradoxically, is usually the last place that anyone expects they’d actually find the love of their life.
To that end, we’ve created a rundown of a bunch of types of L.A. bars (and we’ll use the term bar loosely) where you can find people just like you, with specific examples and links to more information to help plan your next evening out on the town.
Now, we can’t guarantee you’ll fall in love, but do we promise you could…. if only you’re willing to try.
For the Dog Lovers
In The Truth About Cats and Dogs, a veterinarian-radio show host asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man asks her on a date at a bar. While this plotline is highly implausible, it is possible to meet a guy or gal who appreciates furry friends. There’s a multitude of pet friendly bars in Los Angeles. The Attic on Broadway is known for their bloody marys, Mac n’ Cheetos, and pup fan base. In fact, they even have a special menu for their dogs.
Another great spot is Angel City Brewery. They offer an extensive beer menu, indoor and outdoor privileges for the pups, and even hold dog-washing fundraisers for Much Love Animal Rescue. Lastly, Fat Dog is also a great spot to mingle with other dog owners on the patio and munch on speciality hot dogs.
For those Who Care for Their Hair
Who doesn’t feel a little bit of a “love high” after inhaling the fumes of hairspray? Hairspray swears and sings by it. Dry bars are a great place to meet singles while you’re relaxing and trimming those fried ends. Blind Barber in Culver City is a very niche, speak easy bar hidden behind an actual barber shop. Get a fresh cut and then head to the backroom for a beer and an epic grilled cheese sando. Added bonus, they also host an awesome, free monthly comedy show on the last Monday of the month called The Secret Show at the Blind Barber. At the trendy Stag Hair Parlor in Hollywood, the stylists offer free beer to their clients while you’re getting your hair cut. The salon also draws in a very attractive crowd, might I add and I swear that’s not the alcohol talking.
For Those Who Sing Their Feelings
Music is the language of love and we remember it wistfully in Lost in Translation as an aged movie star and a listless young woman troll Japan’s karaoke bars one evening. Karaoke bars are one of the best places for casual singers to duel, duet, or solo showcase their vocal chords. With their slogan being “bad singers, good drinkers”, you can only expect a fun time at Boardwalk 11. Tokyo Beat pairs a great happy hour, dancing, and a bustling, diverse crowd in this fun karaoke bar in Little Tokyo. Cafe Brass Monkey is also a classic go-to for all of the Cher and Steven Tyler impersonators. It has a dive bar vibe with an energetic crowd and delicious snacks to refuel in between songs.
For Those Who Lay Off on the Sauce
Alcohol doesn’t have to an equal a good time and it often blurs the lines of love and lust. In You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks’ and Meg Ryan’s characters seemingly fall in love over the internet, but their first actual almost date is in a coffee shop. Go Get Em Tiger is the spot for the die-hard coffee drinkers. It is there where you’ll meet your caffeinated match, or even spot a celebrity crush or two. Dogtown Coffee is another great spot on the westside of L.A.
Haus Dessert Boutique in Koreatown is a hidden gem of a bar hugged by all of the best Korean BBQ joints in the area. They have exotic coffee drinks (like a Strawberry Latte for instance), scrumptious pastries and crepes, and the best shaved ice dessert you can imagine. Haus hosts a very social atmosphere that broadcasts a live stream of instagram on their monitors – if you see a picture of a cute guy or gal you like, they’re likely to be there that very day or night.
On the healthy end of the spectrum, The Punchbowl is a lovely, raw, vegan juice joint in Los Feliz where other clean-eating souls are privy to relaxing and sipping smoothies in their heavenly haven. The best part about this place is that the owners met and fell in love at a pressed juicery bar themselves before opening up this shop. Who knows, sparks may fly if you catch someone else sipping on the “Spark Plug” juice too.
For more caffeinated goodness, check out our list of the the best coffee spots in Los Angeles.
For Those Who Love to Laugh
In Top Five, the emotional attraction between a struggling comedian and an eclectic reporter comes to full bloom when he returns to the Comedy Cellar for an impromptu stand-up set. As Robin Williams once said, “Comedy is acting out optimism.” Why not meet someone in a positive space? In a bar setting, comedy is the booze of love. Below is a list of seven nights of some of the best weekly or bi-weekly comedy shows that you should check out:
Mondays – Hot Tub Show w/ Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Shaal – The Virgil @ 8P ($5)
Tuesdays – Performance Anxiety hosted by T.J. Miller & Eli Olsberg – The Pleasure Chest @ 8P ($7 w/ free beer and parking)
Wednesdays – Backyard Comedy Show hosted by Tony Sam & Wes Hudson – The Backyard @ 10P (free)
Thursdays – An Sho(w) – 9 on Vine @ 8P (free)
Fridays – Peachy Keen Friday – Bar Lubitsch @ 8:00P (free)
Saturdays – 12 Shiny Nickels – Westside Comedy Theatre @ 11:30P ($10)
Sundays – Punch Comedy – The Pikey @ 9P (free)
For more comedy date ideas, check out our list of the best free comedy shows in Los Angeles.
For The Wine Snobs
The movie Sideways proves that there’s definitely something alluring and poetic about someone who knows the fundamentals of a good glass of wine. Bar Covell in Los Feliz has an intimate and cozy atmosphere with bartenders that are interactive with their customers about the kinds of wine they have to offer. Venice Beach Wines has a an upbeat, attractive crowd to match it’s exquisite wine list, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s by the beach. Bottle Rock in Culver City also has a vast collection of European wines and delicious finger foods with a communal atmosphere, very open for people to meet other wine lovers.
For Those Who Have Game
In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, a guy plays a rough game of chutes and ladders to defeat all of his crush’s ex-boyfriends in order to win her over. That being said, sometimes a competitive spirit and teamwork spurs romantic interest. Blipsy Bar in the Larchmont Village area is a funky dive bar with 80s decor, cheap drinks, old pinball machines, and arcade games like Donkey Kong and PacMan. Or maybe you’ll like Eighty Two in the Arts District. Why not challenge a stranger to a game and see where it goes?
The Cozy Inn in West LA is fun spot with some classic bar games. They have a shuffle board table that nearly extends from one side of the bar to the other, two pool tables, and a dart board. The even better news? They open at 6:00am, so no excuses. Brennan’s Pub in Marina Del Rey is also a good choice, the main attraction being “turtle racing”. It’s worth a visit if you haven’t experienced that yet.
If you’re feeling a little more upscale, The Spare Room Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel is a great option; however, it’s not your typical fancy Hollywood bar. They have a bowling alley, photo booth, Jenga, Connect Four, and Dominoes, all at your disposal.
For more reference, check our our list of the best adult arcades in Los Angeles.
For Those Who Have Dance Fever
In Save the Last Dance, dancing serves as a better proof of chemistry than small talk. The best spots to dance tend to be a throwback to the past. The Echoplex and the Echo have themed nights ranging from Funky Sole (60s to present day funky soul dance party music), Dub Club (reggae music), or Bootie LA (an all around bootleg mashup, sweaty, dance party) . Or you could take a walk through a refrigerator door and enter the 70s at Goodtimes at Davey Wayne’s.
Davey Wayne’s has a live-band every Friday night where it’s groovy to boogie down to oldies with some other old souls with your blackberry bourbon snowcones. If you’re diggin’ more of top-40 scene, Ocean Bar in Hermosa Beach is the place to meet other thirsty singles. With a rooftop view of the beach, a romantic fireplace, and pulsing hip hop, you’ll at least fall in lust.
For The Smokers
I’m not advocating drugs here, but in a hilarious scene in It’s Complicated, a divorced couple releases any leftover negative tension by sneaking to the bathroom at their kids’ party to smoke marijuana. On a more mild note, hookah bars have a warm, inviting atmosphere that encourage people to share conversation over flavored water pipes.
While the most popular spots are Gypsy Cafe and Habibi Cafe in Westwood Village, the post-college crowd tends to gravitate toward Ali Mama Cafe on Sunset. With an ample list of hookah flavors, you can mingle upstairs and downstairs to get a grand survey of the scene. La Descarga, an enchanting speakeasy bar that opens through the likes of a coat closet, allows you to smoke cigars and dance salsa, the best of both worlds.
Should you be looking to smoke cigarettes and drink tropical drinks, head to Tiki Ti Bar, where you’ll meet other breezy dudes and dudettes who also have a similar appreciation for all things Hawaii.
For Those Who Appreciate Art
Of course Ferris and Sloane shared a kiss at an art museum in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! The great thing about museums is that the walls are covered in conversation-starters and icebreakers. Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA is a great bar to stop by after browsing the exhibits; you’re likely to meet someone with similar tastes on the residing patio. Wine & Canvas and Painting & Vino Los Angeles are also two companies in the Los Angeles area that hold painting classes with cocktails for the artistic souls. The Mandrake prides itself on being a bar + art gallery (bart gallery) with a cool second room reserved for music and graffiti art if you’re feeling colorful.
A Final Word
The Los Angeles bar scene is a diverse and colorful fishbowl, and sometimes it’s possible to find love in the last place you’d expect.
So why not not swim around and explore?
Whether you’re an animal lover, a hair king or queen, a shower singer, a sober soul, a wine connoisseur, a laugher, a gamer, a dancer, a smoker, or an artist, you’re likely to get that real-life “meet-cute” if you put yourself out there.
What’s your favorite kind of bar to meet potential mates in? Let us know in the comments below!