From climbing under a bed to corresponding with a seemingly hidden peephole… Here’s the lowdown on some of the best speakeasies in Los Angeles, how to get in, and what to order.
If your friends ask where you found out about the speakeasy, just shrug and say, “I know someone.” We won’t tell if you don’t.
Source: Hyve Mag
Where: 10797 Washington Blvd, Culver City
What Is It: Surprisingly, not a place to get a risky haircut, but the LA expansion of the New York-based cocktail bar. The bar area is surprisingly large and filled with vintage-looking leather booths, red metal chairs, and a black-and-white checkered floor. Come here for well-crafted cocktails and fancy finger food.
How to Get In: Look for the all-white building with the window decal “BARBER SHOP,” walk into the barbershop and walk through the white door in the back. It’s not open until 6pm, so why not get a nice fade or mustache trim at the real working barbershop in front before heading in?
What to Order: Sweeney Ted, an egg-white based whiskey cocktail, paired with any of their delicious grilled cheese sandwiches (which also comes with a kale salad side, because, you know, LA)
Source: Discover Los Angeles
Where: 810 S Spring St, Downtown
What Is It: An intimate dive bar with red vinyl booths hidden inside an underground bank vault. Because it’s underground, there’s no cell phone reception, so it’s perfect for getting in some analog person-to-person socializing and annoying your Instagram-loving friends.
How to Get In: Look for an easy-to-miss neon sign from the street. Walk down the stairs into the basement until you see a giant bank vault door, which leads to the underground bar.
What to Order: Bison Mule, a version of the Moscow Mule with cinnamon spin.
Source: R Bar Facebook
Where: 3331 W 8th St, Koreatown
What Is It: A dimly lit and hip bar with a jukebox, great happy hours with food (5pm-9pm), and designated karaoke nights (Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday).
What to Order: Moscow Mule, which pairs well with the bar’s dark decor.
Source: No Vacancy
Where: 1727 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles
What Is It: Next to Dirty Laundry is another speakeasy-style bar by the Houston brothers. This bar, in a restored Victorian house, features DJs, live jazz, burlesque dancers, and a tightrope act in the outdoor patio area. Lines are pretty crazy so unless you’re there before 9:30pm, there’s probably no way you’re getting in. Tip: The vintage phone booth underneath the main staircase is actually a photo booth.
How to Get In: Look for the red “No Vacancy” sign. If you’re able to convince the front manager to let you in (make a reservation at novacancyla.com and make sure to dress to impress), walk up the staircase into a hallway with three unmarked doors. Try each door to find the unlocked one, enter that room, and you’ll be greeted by the host and let into the speakeasy space.
What to Order: The Professor, an Old-Fashioned with Bols Genever gin created by mixologist Francois Vera.
Source: Ricki Kline
Where: 11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
What Is It: Cool, stylish, and intimate craft cocktail bar for people who enjoy fancy drinks. The bartenders take mixology very seriously and put a lot of care into making some impressively delicious concoctions. Plus, all menu drink names are fantastic puns (Tea Pain, Ladies is Pimm’s Too) with hilarious drink descriptions (someone had a lot of time on their hands).
How to Get In: Enter through the left side alley of the Barrel and Ashes building. Reservations highly recommended (818-623-8088) as walk-ins can be difficult. The bar is open only Wednesdays through Saturdays from 7pm to 2am.
What to Order: Bartender’s Choice. Trust these guys, they’re professionals and won’t do you wrong.
Source: Under Raidar
Where: 1725 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles
What Is It: Upscale Prohibition-style speakeasy (think tufted leather seats and dark wood walls) by the Houston brothers, featuring DJs and live music (follow their Instagram to find out who’s performing). The bar is located in a space that was supposedly an actual 1920’s speakeasy where silent film actor Rudolph Valentino went to get his drank on. The name “Dirty Laundry” is a nod to when alcohol was smuggled around in laundry baskets during the Prohibition. There’s also a hidden dance room in the back that gets really crowded, so get there on the early-side if you want to get in.
How to Get In: Look for the neon sign that says “SEX” – that’s the entrance. Head down the stairs to the basement to get into the bar.
What to Order: Hollywood Park, a bourbon mint julep with a Pop Rocks garnish because adulthood means being able to order whatever kid things you want without guilt.