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The LA Day Drinking Guide

PHOTO: Alicia Cho

Day drinking is one of the cornerstones that LA is built upon. And how could it not be? It’s constantly sunny and anything below 65 degrees is basically The Day After Tomorrow. With conditions like these, we certainly have no shortage of places to get our drink on while the sun’s out. But just because a place serves mimosas and has a patio, doesn’t mean it’s deserving of your entire Saturday afternoon. Here are the 17 places that are.

The spots

El Tejano

North Hollywood
11122 Magnolia Blvd.

Anyone who doesn’t like playing cornhole on a sunny afternoon is either lying to themselves or is A.I. and simply wasn’t programmed with this detail. El Tejano is a massive Texas-themed bar in North Hollywood, and while their Tex-Mex food menu leaves a lot to be desired, there are very few places we’d rather get a little rowdy on a Saturday afternoon in the Valley. There are two different bars (one inside and one on the back patio), well-shaded areas to sit and relax, a beer pong table, and of course, some glorious corn hole.

Photo: El Tejano / Facebook

Red Lion Tavern

Silver Lake
2366 Glendale Blvd
7.6
MAP

When it comes to day drinking like a professional, Red Lion should be one of your go-to moves. The German beer garden in Silver Lake is a classic, and if you’re here during the day, that back patio is your afternoon buzz nirvana. Sure, the German decor is aggressive/borderline cheesy, but nobody’s complaining when there are eight steins of beer and a sausage platter on the table.

Photo: Jakob Laymane

Beer Belly

Koreatown
532 S Western Ave
7.3
MAP

For as vast as Ktown’s drinking scene is, the neighborhood is lacking in the day-drinking department. Enter Beer Belly, the tiny little spot along Western with a great front patio for drinking away a lazy Saturday afternoon. Don’t come here looking for a rowdy throwdown - this is where you go to drink great craft beer, eat some bar food, pet a bunch of dogs on the patio, and realize this is the life you want always.

Photo: Holly Liss
6.9
MAP

Sunny Spot certainly doesn’t have the best brunch in Venice, and we certainly do not care. Because somehow this place perfectly walks the line of being calm and serene, and also on the verge of complete mimosa mayhem. This is where you come with a few friends for a quick brunch and end up sitting around drinking for four hours until you have to Uber home and pick your car up tomorrow. Why? For $18, you get bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and rum punch without a time cutoff. See you on Monday.

Photo: Alicia Cho

Mama Shelter

Hollywood
6500 Selma Ave
MAP

Day drinking in Hollywood used to mean an afternoon of 2-for-1 shot specials at all those tourist bars with blow-up palm trees out front along Hollywood Blvd. Not any more. Mama Shelter was among the first openings in Hollywood’s latest hotel boom, and while the entire boutique hotel itself is pretty cool, it’s that rooftop patio you need to focus on. Part bar, part restaurant, part place to sit on big comfy couch things and stare out over Hollywood, Mama Shelter can get a little hectic on the weekends, but if you’re playing hooky they’re open all day during the week as well.

The Bungalow

Santa Monica
101 Wilshire Blvd
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This Santa Monica bar/post-grad-Fireball-mixer is one of the biggest daytime parties in the whole city. And why wouldn’t it be? The place is an actual bungalow with tons of different rooms to explore with (new) friends, an excellent patio, and the ocean is literally across the street. Nothing about this place is subtle or relaxing, but if you’re looking to mix it up with hot people who are looking for other hot people, Bungalow can’t be beat.

Photo: Bungalow / Facebook
6.4
MAP

Marix’s Tex-Mex menu is entirely mediocre. Marix’s margaritas, however, are anything but. Come here any day of the week and you will find that excellent open-air patio completely packed and fully intent on getting a little wild. But what you’re really here for is the happy hour: every day of the week, from 3- 7pm, all large margaritas are $6 and pitchers are $19. Stay safe.

Edendale

Silver Lake
2838 Rowena Ave
7.3
MAP

There was a time when even the thought of going to Edendale on a weekend was met with immediate heartburn simply because of how long you knew you’d be waiting for a table. Luckily, those days are gone, and Edendale has turned into a fantastic neighborhood brunch spot with a front patio ideal for mimosa-ing your way through the weekend. The fire station-turned-restaurant still has a great, low-key atmosphere and food that’s always solid.

Photo: Benji Dell
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You like drinking in the day, you just hate dealing with the obnoxious crowds that come with it. Make moves to Loreley. This somewhat-hidden German beer garden along La Brea is the low-key drinking place this part of West Hollywood needed. The food, while not phenomenal, is authentic and sometimes you just want a giant soft pretzel and a pork schnitzel sandwich with your beer.

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Block Party proves that if you give the people good beer and a good place to drink it in, they will come. This place is in the middle of the action on Highland Park’s York Blvd., and while the front bar area is always a good time, you’re here for that massive back patio. Long wooden tables, cruiseship-sized bocce ball courts, and a retro hot dog stand. And if you’re not a hot dog person, you can order in any outside food you want. In which case, we’d need to have a talk.

Photo: Block Party / Facebook
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Santa Monica has no shortage of hotel rooftops overlooking the ocean, but the majority of them are overpriced, filled with glaring housewives, and just not all that much fun. Our move is Hotel Erwin. The tiny boutique hotel right off the Venice boardwalk can become a bit of a bro-apocalypse as the night goes on, but come early enough in the day and enjoy a fairly mellow vibe, excellent bloody marys, and an rousingly attractive crowd.

Photo: Alicia Cho
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The downtown brewery situation as a whole could be its own guide, but for time purposes we’ll just cut to the chase - go to Arts District Brewing. The beer is fine, but you’re here because the space is massive, there’s an entire row of skee ball in the back, and if you get hungry, so can hit up Fritzi next door for some rotisserie chicken. If you’re rolling deep this weekend and worried you won’t find a place that everybody will be happy with, A.D. Brewing is the answer to your problems.

To anyone who’s never done it, the idea of day drinking at The Abbey is, at best, questionable. But the secret is that daytime is actually the best time to drink at the most famous gay bar in LA. The scene can certainly get a bit wild later in the afternoon, but this is when the crowd is actually local, with far less to prove than the frantic bridge and tunnel crowds that descend upon the place at night. Also, the brunch menu is incredibly solid.

Photo: Benji Dell
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There are several hotel bars on this list, but Tropicana is the only place that veers into full-on pool party mode. Serving as The Roosevelt Hotel’s pool bar, Tropicana is the closest you’ll find inside LA city limits to a long weekend in Palm Springs. Beautiful people, strong drinks, and never-ending pool action in a setting that feels like a sexy 1960’s Burt Reynolds night soap. Warning - the cocktails can get pricey here.

Photo: The Roosevelt / Facebook
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The dream of drinking all day and getting a little weird on the beach is a very real one. But the harsh reality is there are very few places where you can actually accomplish that unless your old pot guy sublets in Venice now. And that’s why The Whaler is so essential. The two-story bar right on the boardwalk has solid bar food, cheap drinks, and a fun crowd not afraid to let some sloppiness sneak into their Saturday.

Photo: Alicia Cho

Resident

Arts District
428 S Hewitt St.
MAP

Resident is one of those places was seemingly built specifically for day drinking. The almost- entirely-outdoors bar in the Arts District has a great patio that never gets too crowded, a bar inside an Airstream, and a food truck on the premise for when the munchies hit. But the best part? The water misters hanging over all the tables for when that summer heat really kicks in. Splish splash.

Tart

Beverly Grove
115 S Fairfax Ave
6.8
MAP

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying Tart is still one of the best places to drink all day and not care how drunk you get even though you have an 8am meeting tomorrow. You’ll come for the food and probably enjoy it a little more than you thought, and then promptly clear your table for the parade of massive alcoholic bunch bowls that will send you into outer space. And by outer space, we mean the pool, which gets you 50% off your meal if you jump in with your clothes on.

Photo: Tart / Facebook
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