Best Dive Bars
In a city filled with superficial swank and plastic, Los Angeles dive bars are the last bastion of low-key drunks who don’t mind lukewarm suds and a “cash only” policy. Don’t you dare order a schmancy Negroni or any rainbow-hued, blacklight-sensitive drink here, unless you want to gain the nickname Captain Fancypants or, more likely, just get a hair curling rejection. A warning to oenophiles: these places stock the worst of the worst in wine, so, really, don’t even bother, unless you love vomiting. Best stick to what dives do best (and most enthusiastically): beer, shots, pool, and darts. One of our favorite dive bars in LA is White Horse on the ground floor of Super 8 Motel on Western Avenue, just north of Sunset Boulevard; its red walls and black leatherette bar stools lend a sense of unpretentiousness, and the Romanian owner will feed you free hot dogs and popcorn if you’re nice…or tell you to “get lost” if you’re not. If you like your dive bars filthy, Power House on Highland specializes in dingy booths, stiff drinks and Hollywood losers. While the Westside typically avoids cracked seats and beer nuts, the Eastside dives hard: a few great ones to visit are Hop Louie in Chinatown, The Roost in Atwater Village, or the slightly less seedy Short Stop (part-owned by local rock legend Greg Dulli), conveniently just a block’s stumble from Gold Room in Echo Park. And nothing says “dive bar” like PBR, the drink of choice for many a patron at Highland Park’s popular quasi-dive Footsie’s, which has the distinction of hosting a few NFT parties over the years. (We’ll have the Chimay, thanks.) The morning after, head to Ye Rustic Inn for their weekend Bloody Mary Brunch–an interesting mix of locals and twenty-something scenesters who love this amazing seven-buck breakfast-and-drink affair.
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