It's Memorial Day weekend! What better time to practice that ancient art of drinking while the sun is still up. Actually, here in Los Angeles, the world capital of atypical work schedules, we need reliable day bars all the time.
See also: Photos of L.A.'s Best Day Drinking Spots
The impetus behind day drinking comes in two forms: 1) consuming liquid sunshine in the actual sunshine or 2) pretending sunshine doesn't exist. We're celebrating some of the former but mostly the latter. In fact, to be honest, we like dark indoor spots where no one we know is likely to find us. And hey, if they open early that's even better. So here are the 10 best L.A. bars that offer welcome respite from the cruel world (and are open by noon at the latest).
10. Prince O' Whales
The P.O. W. is for those days that you don't quite make it to the beach. Like, you get within three blocks and decide that it's just more fun to be drinking inside. This Play Del Rey institution has been buttressing the Ballona Wetlands for decades and plying locals with standard sports-bar grub. The beauty of the place is in exactly how homey and, dare-we-say, Cheers-like it is. $7 beer and burger special? Such a great way to start a day-bender. 335 Culver Blvd., 90293; (310) 823-9826
After an annoying pop cultural upswing pirates are getting kind of annoying, so it's better if you consider Redwood more of a Goonies bar than a swashbuckling one. Perfect for those days where you're all, "I'd love to get drunk at Disneyland in the late '70s, but I don't want to drive, be around people, or be at Disneyland." The food's "meh", but the drinks are fierce and the day staff seems oddly happy to be there. 316 W 2nd St., 90012; (213) 680-2600
While the weird mumble-crooning downstairs rules the evening, the beergarden rules the day. It's brighter than a basement, but not too bright and it's still got that Bavarian brashness that makes it a whole day spent wasted well worth it. 2366 Glendale Blvd., 90039; (323) 662-5337
See also: The 10 Best Bars in Silver Lake
7. Jay-Dee Cafe
This one is completely under the radar, but hopefully it won't stay that way. It's basically a concrete box in Alhambra, but I can't think of a better place to shut out the sunlight in that part of town. The cocktails are so cheap that will need their perfect patty melt to cushion them, and their staff's so friendly you'll forget you drove this far East on the 10. Never fear: Jay-Dee's got you covered until dusk. 1843 W Main St., 91801; (626) 281-6887
See also: The 10 Best Bars in Culver City
6. Cozy Inn
The Cozy Inn is a magical place full of shuffleboard and cheap hooch. Day boozing at Cozy starts at 6am, so be sure to set your alarm. The regulars have their fishing photos on the wall like something out of a Hemingway - Bukowski novel mashup. Where in hipper parts does such a thing happen? Nowhere. Sure, the staff is occasionally gruff, but what loving dysfunctional family isn't? 11155 Washington Pl.,90232; (310) 838-3826
5. The Cork
Man, The Cork. Such a great spot for mid-day juicing. It recent years its prices have gone up and it has taken on an overall more professional sheen, but shoot, it's still got it. Fried comfort food, drinks as stiff as a preacher's collar, and an amazing jukebox. The staff is all smiles and the daytime clientele is decidedly old-school. 4771 W Adams Blvd., 90016; (323) 731-2030
4. Living Room
Want to hit up off-the-radar spot that doesn't have some ridiculous alcohol combination filled-out by micro-flavors or whatever? What if you just want to get fucked up in a chill place? The living room. Not yours, but theirs. And it feels like exactly that. Stick around for their killer evening blues acts. 2636 Crenshaw Blvd., 90016; (323) 735-8748
See also: Top 10 Miracle Mile Bars
3. Hank's Bar
Hank's is the dive bar that other dive bars have dreams about. If you're downtown and dreaming of pink elephants at 9am, there's nowhere else you want to be (that hasn't closed down, RIP King Eddy's). Seeing that it has an all you can eat Indian buffet place in the same lobby, you can tastefully avoid sunshine and also not starve to death. 840 S Grand Ave.; 90017;(213) 623-7718
2. Drawing Room
The Drawing Room is easily the best bar in Los Feliz . We were close to calling a tie with the above establishment. When you're here, you're going to linger. You're going to commit to a goal and that goal is getting soused. The staff will help you, nay, push you like you've never been pushed before. Other perks? The hands-down best jukebox in L.A. 1800 Hillhurst Ave.,90027; (323) 665-0135
No other bar in Echo Park hits all the right notes with both locals and scenesters. If there was ever a war between young hip chasers and the dyed-in-the-wool natives, Gold Room would be where they signed the peace accords. It's a joint security area full of smiles, cheap liquor, and occasionally free tacos. The $4 tequilla and beer specials don't hurt either. 1558 W Sunset Blvd., 90026; (213) 482-5259
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of L.A.® online at laweekly.com/best-of.
See also: The 10 Best Bars in Silver Lake
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!