It's sometimes said that Echo Park is where people who live in Silver Lake come to drink. While we recognize that Silver Lake has plenty of watering holes of its own, we like to think of Echo Park as a particularly booze-drenched part of town. Doubtless, the scene has spiffed up a bit in recent years (see: wine bars), but there's still no shortage of the dives that make that near-dawn walk down Sunset just a wee bit wobbly.
See also: The 10 Best Bars in Silver Lake
Slightly removed from Sunset's beaten-path, 1642 straddles the border of Filipinotown. The tucked away location actually works to this cozy beer and wine joint's advantage, benefiting the local crowd and eschewing lines even on the weekend. Dingy light and exposed brick make 1642 feel like it would be right at home in New York, but the prices aren't Big-Apple crazy. Order a pilsner, and watch the owner's cat have its run of the place. 1642 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-989-6836
See also: The Top 10 Bars in Santa Monica
9. Lot 1 Cafe
People complain that it's sticky inside, but that's part of the charm of this music-centric spot. (Don't worry, we won't describe it as intimate.) The acts can be hit or miss, but sometimes they nab great talent on their way up, like Summer Twins, the late Austin Peralta and So Many Wizards. The cover is never more than five bucks, and they're famous for paying their artists fairly, which makes you feel like you're doing your part against the musical slumlords that inhabit regions further west on Sunset. 1533 W. Sunset Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-481-8400
8. Mohawk Bend
Though the vibe may be a touch bourgeois for some, the draw here is the massive selection of craft beer. The concept of this converted vaudeville theater is California — beer director Lauren O'Neil keeps the 72 taps flowing with the best from the Golden State and one rotating out-of-state brewery. And their prices are low enough that we can forgive all the “locally sourced/seasonally-topped” jargon. It's also worth noting that Mohawk is one of the only bars where you can watch (non-Dodgers) sports in Echo Park. 2141 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026 (213) 483-2337
7. The Echo
Sure it's technically a venue, but in the words of one of The Echo's employees, “We probably sell more booze than anyone else on this street.” While we don't have any cold hard facts to back that statement up, we do know that five dollar Bud tall boys and some of the best live music the City of Angels has to offer is a good business model. And if the music gets too loud you can always escape out to the patio and have a smoke while combing over the old show posters they have pinned up outside. 1822 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-413-8200
See also: Top 10 Miracle Mile Bars
Conversation I had last weekend: “Oh shit, there's a line at The Short Stop again.” “Ah fuck, okay let's go to Little Joy.” Though it's not quite the charming shit-hole it once was after a fancy-shmancy April remodel, the core concept of Little Joy remains unscathed: it's a box to drink in. A solid jukebox, entertaining people watching and pool table make this a stalwart in Sunset's collection of dives. (Extra-credit: The bathroom is now clean, or at least much cleaner.) 1477 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-250-3417
The lack of any real sign doesn't exactly qualify The Short Stop as a hidden gem– the line stretching around the block on weekends is a pretty massive tell. Though that queue is the reason it doesn't occupy a higher spot here, everything else about the bunker-like bar delivers wild night after wild night — a disco-balled dance floor, happy hour till 10, spit-take strong well drinks. There's also a photo booth, so you can actually remember who you spent the night with. 1455 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-482-4942
4. El Prado
Though it's a bit overpriced (cough, cheese plate), El Prado more than redeems itself with friendly bartenders and an all-vinyl playlist. It's not uncommon for Iron Maiden to follow Thelonious Monk; on Wednesday nights the guys from Origami Vinyl take over the turntables and the tunes remain impeccable until the wee hours. It's beer and wine only, but that suits the laid-back exposed-brick vibe that's been so carefully cultivated. 1805 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-484-6079
See also: Top 10 L.A. Bars For Day Drinking
Taix has been an institution in Echo Park for more than 85 years, and several of its waitstaff have been there almost that long. Though it might not immediately jump to mind when debating a weekend watering hole, the classy lounge deserves a lofty position on this list for offering unequaled late night eats and French beers like Kronenbourg. Often, Sunday nights feature free standup comedy with faces more familiar to late night television than the open-mic circuit. The drinks are strong and the lighting is as dark as the sorrows you've come to drown. 1911 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-484-1265
Just under two years old, Jeff Sapsford's Sunset Beer Company is probably the most promising young booze-joint in Echo Park. Tucked between a pizza shop and a dental office, the craft bottle shop/tasting bar hybrid allows free corkage before 8pm on weekdays. Beers on tap are rotated constantly so selection is at a premium. Though the interior resembles an antique office, you are in no way reminded of the work you came here to forget. Rather, its armchairs are the perfect Sunday spot to sink into, chink hoppy IPAs, and discuss the finer things in life. 1498 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026, (213) 481-2337
1. Gold Room
Walking distance from the stadium, the best place to be before or after a Dodgers' game is the Gold Room with a shot a tequila in your hand. And you won't have to sell your soul enjoy that devil's water; a shot and a beer combo is an unmatched four bucks. (That's, like, two dollars a drink.) Also: free tacos, a policy we believe should be implemented citywide. The jukebox blares banda music, the floor is covered in empty peanut shells, and when the boys in blue win there is no rowdier bar in Echo Park, or anywhere else for that matter. 1558 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-482-5259
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