Downtown L.A. is definitely on the come up as a place to live and work. And it's without a doubt one of the best spots in town to throw back a few cocktails.
We should know — after serious deliberation, numerous parking battles, and more booze than is healthy, we have determined the ten best watering holes in downtown.
10. La Cita
With so many “speakeasies” these days, one often longs for a good ol' fashioned dive, along with its cheap drinks and unpretentious environment. What makes La Cita unique is its personality: Every night of the week the bar has a different theme, from mustache Mondays to thirsty Thursdays to the “angry hour on Fridays.” Oh, and don't forget reggae love night on Sundays. 336 S Hill St.; 213- 687-7111
9. Pattern Bar
The large windows and spacious layout make Pattern Bar the perfect spot for a daytime cocktail. Located in the fashion district, all the well drinks on the menu are named after fashion designers, including Coco Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Valentino. The drinks are more than just clever names, however, they're crisp and strong, making this spot genuinely “buzzworthy.”100 W 9th St.; 213-627-7774
Where do pirates go when they want to get a drink? They go to the Redwood Bar & Grill, of course. (Also, fans of The Goonies.) Decked out in over-the-top pirate décor, this funky dive bar is L.A's ultimate pirate pub — call it nautical swag. Great bands perform here too, and the food is not bad! 316 W 2nd St.; 213-680-2600
See also: Top 10 Bars in Venice
7. Seven Grand
Located directly above Mas Malo Mexican restaurant, Seven Grand looks as if Davy Crocket, the king of the wild frontier, was in charge of the interior decorating. Indeed, Seven Grand takes its deer heads and antlers, as well as its Markers Mark, very seriously. Known for attracting a sizable crowd even during the week, this spot is ideal for the trendy social butterfly. With live music Sunday-Wednesday night, cigars for sale, pool tables and strong Whiskey cocktails, it's worth discovering this frontier your own self. 515 W 7th St.; 2nd Fl; 213-614-0737
The fast pace of L.A makes it easy to overlook the city's beauty; thankfully, the view from Perch's rooftop lounge will bring it all into perspective. Catch the sunset here — bring a date! Throw in the tasty drinks and there will be no stopping you. 448 S. Hill St.; (213) 802-1770
5. The Varnish
True to the speakeasy style, the only way to enter '20s themed bar The Varnish is through a generic, unlabeled door located in the back of Cole's (see below). The dimly lit, intimate space feels like the real deal. It's also world-renowned for talented mixologists who concoct drinks using, yes, chemistry beakers. For all of these reasons and more, The Varnish is a must-visit. 118 E 6th St.; 213-622-9999
The unpretentious vibe at Villain's Tavern is pretty kick ass. Located off the beaten path in the Arts District, Villain's feels like an apothecary's hideout in the middle of nowhere. The massive arch of potion bottles is a trip, and the drinks are worthy of applause. Whether it's a simple whiskey soda or their grapefruit and jalapeño infused Greyhound, the bartenders know how to craft an elixir. 1356 Palmetto St.; (213) 613-0766
And speaking of Cole's: Known for stellar Old Fashions and French Dip sandwiches, this restaurant/bar is a popular spot among locals. And unlike the majority of trendy bars that aim to look vintage, Cole's is authentic. The public house has operated since 1908, making it one of the oldest bars in all of L.A. Offering drink specials like an all day happy hour every Tuesday, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary brunch on Sundays, it easily hits the mark. 118 E 6th St.; 213-622-4090
Spring Street is on its A game when it comes to service, beer, food and their happy hours. Located in the
Arts District historic core, the small industrial style bar has a New York City feel. It won't, however, won't burn a hole in your wallet, and the happy hour is particularly affordable. With a rotating menu of beers (as well as 26 on tap) combined with a variety of delicious sandwiches, it's no wonder Spring Street is usually poppin'. 626-B S Spring St.; 213- 622-5859
See also: The Top 10 Bars in Santa Monica
1. Far Bar
Located in Little Tokyo, Far Bar's dynamic setting and talented bartenders make it the best of the bunch. The main bar offers 400 different types of whiskeys — some of which aren't otherwise available in the U.S. In the back of the bar is a smaller room with TV screens and 37 beers on tap. On top of the extensive booze list are their delicious wasabi fries. But perhaps what most sets Far Bar apart? The service. Hospitable doesn't even begin to describe it. 347 E 1st St.; 213-617-9990
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See also: Our slideshow of downtown L.A. bars
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