Speakeasy Bars in Los Angeles

Top 5 Speakeasy Bars in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, a city sparkling with glamour and stories, holds a special charm for those who seek adventures beyond the glaring lights of Hollywood. My own journey through this city of dreams began one summer when I stayed on a friend’s boat in Marina del Rey. The gentle rocking of the boat and the salty sea breeze were my companions as I embarked on a quest to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets: finding the best speakeasy bars in Los Angeles.

Each evening, as the sun dipped below the Pacific, painting the sky in hues of orange and purple, I found myself drawn to the allure of these hidden establishments. Los Angeles, after all, is a city with many layers, and its speakeasy bars are like hidden pearls, tucked away behind unmarked doors and nondescript facades. These bars, reminiscent of the Prohibition era, are not just about the drinks; they are about the experience, the thrill of the clandestine, and the stories that unfold within their walls.

It was in these speakeasy bars that I discovered a side of Los Angeles far removed from the typical tourist trails. From the heart of Hollywood to the charming corners of the Downtown Arts District, each bar offered a unique glimpse into the city’s diverse cultural fabric. In the following guide, I share with you the top 5 speakeasy bars in Los Angeles, each a testament to the city’s love for mystery and its penchant for the extraordinary.

Death & Co.

Death & Co cocktail bar in LA

Location: 818 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Link: deathandcompany.com/dcdtla

Nestled in the Downtown Arts District, Death & Co. is a gem among speakeasy bars in Los Angeles. This underground bar is almost a secret realm, requiring keen eyes to locate the unmarked door guarded by a bouncer.

Inside, the ambiance is a sophisticated blend of modern and classic, with a cocktail menu that boasts categories like “light and playful” and “boozy and honest.” The drinks are on the pricier side, reflecting the use of unique, hard-to-find spirits and time-tested techniques. The speakeasy also offers a small food menu to complement its extensive drink selection.

Lost Property

Lost Property cocktail bar in LA

Location: 1704 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Link: lostpropertybar.com

Located in Hollywood, Lost Property offers an enchanting escape on Hollywood Boulevard. This whiskey bar is renowned for its wholly original drinks and a setting that feels like a step back in time. The bar’s interior is dark and cozy, featuring mid-century-inspired decor with dark wood, leather, and unique vintage elements.

It’s a place where conversation takes the lead, supported by a backdrop of solid oldies tunes played at a low volume. The unmarked entrance next to Pineapple Express, often signified by weekend lines, leads to this hidden treasure among speakeasy bars in Los Angeles.

Black Rabbit Rose

Location: 1719 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Link: instagram.com/blackrabbitrose

Black Rabbit Rose in Hollywood stands out for its magical theme. It’s part of the vibrant Hollywood speakeasy bar scene and offers an experience filled with tableside magic and theatrical surprises.

The bar features Victorian elegance with leather booths, red curtains, and an ambiance reminiscent of Houdini’s era. The cocktails here are as theatrical as the setting, and the entrance, marked by a rabbit sign, leads to a world of Victorian splendor and enchantment.

Adults Only

Adults Only cocktail bar in LA

Location: 7065 1/2 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Link: adultsonlybar.la

This Hollywood bar, Adults Only, offers a unique entry experience through the facade of a vintage video store, leading to a world of refined nightlife. As the night progresses, the atmosphere shifts from elegant to vibrant and energetic.

The bar boasts a full range of cocktails, DJ sets, and a pool table, making it a versatile destination among speakeasy bars in Los Angeles. The combination of its discreet entrance and lively interior makes it a must-visit for those exploring the speakeasy scene.

The Varnish

Location: 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Link: instagram.com/theoriginalvarnishbar

Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, The Varnish stands out as a premier destination among speakeasy bars in Los Angeles. Hidden away at the back of Cole’s, one of LA’s oldest public houses, this bar is accessed through an unmarked door at the back of the restaurant. Inside, you’re greeted by an intimate and cozy atmosphere that harks back to the classic speakeasy era.

The Varnish is celebrated for its meticulously crafted cocktails and its dedication to the art of mixology. The dark wood, leather booths, and subdued lighting create an ambiance that’s both sophisticated and welcoming, making it a perfect spot for a quiet conversation over expertly made drinks. The bar often features live jazz, adding to the authentic, vintage feel of the place. This hidden gem in downtown LA is a must-visit for those seeking a genuine speakeasy experience.

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