The Boyle Heights nightlife scene has come a long way in the last decade, partly thanks to the Metro Gold Line, which runs right through one of the historic neighborhood's main corridors, First Street. There have always been local Mexican dive bars in the area but, until recently, not much that appealed to the young generation of Mexican-American. That's changing, however, and M Bar is a big reason why. Though it's not as hip as some spots in the area, its lack of pretentiousness helps drive its appeal. On any given night, M Bar features locally sourced entertainment, from live cumbia to comedy, all with no cover charge. When it comes to drinks, stick with the signature Michelada, a spicy Mexican beer cocktail that is proudly made to order. —Javier Cabral
1846½ E. First St., Boyle Heights, 90063. mbarbh.com.