The Best Wine Bars In Los Angeles

Any place that sells marked-up bottles and bowls of olives can call itself a wine bar. These 17 spots prove the genre can be a whole lot more.
The Best Wine Bars In Los Angeles image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

We love wine. And we love drinking it with friends. But in order to convince us to sip chenin blanc somewhere other than on our couch, we need more than just a run-of-the-mill, sleepy bar. Luckily, more wine bars in LA are starting to prove that the genre can be incredibly exciting. Whether you’re meeting a client or a first date, or your old roommate just wants to drink something great tonight, these are the LA wine bars you need to know about.


photo credit: Maria Alvarez

Wine Bar

Atwater Village

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good WineDate NightLive Music
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This Atwater Village wine spot is a hybrid shop-slash-bar, complete with a small theater where a few times a week you can catch a comedy show or live music. The entire bar glows red like a darkroom at a photo studio and the clog-clad clientele treats the roomy cellar like a lo-fi lounge. At Baby Battista, the short, rotating wine list is filled with bizarre-sounding options like “hipster animal” and “jauma disco,” but you can also snag that bottle of chilled red you already love from the shop upstairs for a $20 corkage fee. They’ve also got charcuterie you can snack on while watching whoever is on stage from the comfort of a decades-old loveseat.

Koreatown’s Coffee MCO is a cafe by day, and a neon-hued natural wine bar by night. Its nocturnal alter ego is known as the Red Room. Every Thursday through Saturday, the Salomon and cargo pants crowd of Olympic Blvd. piles in for a glass of something fizzy and funky. The wine list is on the smaller side which makes choosing a bottle less daunting, and the staff will gladly pour you taste until you find something you like. Aside from natty wine, the Red Room has yuzu highballs and small plates from rotating chefs doing pop-ups. You can pretty much expect this two-floor wine spot to be packed after 7pm—check their Instagram before you arrive to see if they’re hosting a DJ set, singles mixer, or dance party.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

We often fight over whether this cozy spot on Melrose is more of a wine bar, restaurant, or casual hangout spot. The answer is it’s all three—and that’s why we love it so much. Come any night of the week and you’ll spot friends sprawled on the front patio sipping funky Slovenian riesling, dates snacking on dishes like king salmon crudo and celery salad, and up-and-coming comedians secretly hoping you come up and say something. The whole place feels less like a traditional wine bar and more like a green room after-party at an indie film festival. 

Many wine bars think they’re cool because they book DJs and attract micro-influencers who drink pet-nat like juice. Justine’s in Frogtown is cool because it’s unlike anything else we’ve come across. This kooky, psychedelic wine bar does a good job of shutting out the outside world. Walls are decorated with murals of blue goddesses, soothing dream pop echoes from the speakers, and this oddly hypnotizing orb of light glows from behind the bar. We should also mention that the natural wine selection is great, as is the vegan Italian-leaning menu. Show up, lean into the plush velvet booths, and snack on mushroom calamari as you enjoy a bottle of chilled red.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

The Ruby Fruit might just be the most joyously raucous wine bar we’ve been to in LA. The new Silver Lake queer space is the first lesbian bar to open in this city in over a decade and already feels like a lived-in tentpole of the community. Imagine wall-to-wall people every night with the party often spilling out onto the sidewalk and even the parking lot. As far as the wine list goes, it’s fairly barebones—there are only ten or so options. If you’re able to snag a table, be sure to take advantage of their excellent snacks menu (the hot dog hits especially hard after that fourth glass of barbera).

On weekends, the sidewalk of this natural wine bar in Chinatown is a see-and-be-seen zoo. So don't be surprised if you clock people standing around with glasses of gamay until midnight. But you can also usually walk right up and claim a wooden banquette or tiny table inside their low-lit space. Wines by the glass span from French pét-nats to juicy Australian reds, with nothing on the daily rotating menu priced over $15. Because the place is run by the same people who operate Silver Lake wine shop Psychic Wines, count on Bar Triste's friendly staff to talk you through the bottle list.

Amid the protected bike lanes, baby strollers, and other telltale signs of gentrification on the stretch of Venice Blvd between Mar Vista and Venice, El Chucho stands out as being pretty cool. The space (formerly La Potranca) had been a neighborhood dive for years, serving cheap beer and screening soccer for Spanish speakers stopping somewhere before heading home from work. The new owners have kept the pool table, soccer, crass posters, and cheap beer. And they’ve also added natural wine, vinyl DJ sets, and given the bathroom a deep clean. El Chucho is a total scene on weekends (in case you need to wait in a line to feel something). On weeknights, it’s a tame spot for a catch-up.

La Pharmacie du Vin is the kind of place you bring a date or a few friends on a sunny afternoon when you don’t want to rush the experience. This wine shop near the Sunset Junction sign in Silver Lake has an outdoor area that resembles a courtyard in a Spanish villa. Sit next to a blooming bush of roses and eat charcuterie all afternoon like an off-duty (read: unemployed) model. All the wine on the menu is for sale in the shop, where sommeliers wear navy lab coats and hundreds of bottles line dark, wood-paneled walls.

When it comes to the demographics of people who hang out in Santa Monica wine bars, Wally’s is typically tourists and sugar babies, Esters is a holding ground for hangry people waiting for their table at Cassia, and Bodega is 23-year-olds on dates. Then there’s Offhand, the chill, sophisticated-enough antidote to all of the above. Sure, the building itself looks like it could be a Chipotle from the outside. But inside, they’re spinning vinyl, pouring interesting wine, and the lighting is right. This is a great spot to meet up with friends or a date when you want to chit-chat, but also want to feel like you’re out on the town. Come by for a drink and you’ll probably stay for two.

At first glance, Melanie in Beverly Grove looks and feels like many other good wine bars around town. There’s a curated list filled with mostly European biodynamic wines, a cute space that feels like a friend’s living room right as the party is starting to peak, and a menu filled with snacks you want to eat while drinking chilled Beaujolais. But what makes this spot truly recommendable is the staff. No question here is a dumb question, even if your date asks if orange wine is made from oranges. As far as the food goes, plump, buttery mussels in a vadouvan curry are a standout. And though it’s not technically on the menu, be sure to ask for a side of their perfectly-crispy shoestring fries.

This casual wine bar in Glassell Park is much larger than it appears. With two different interconnecting patios and a main bar area that’s as outside as it is inside, you have several choices when it comes to seating. If you’re rolling in with a big group though, we recommend the leafy, semi-private back patio. Beyond the wine, expect small plates like charcuterie, seasonal pasta like tagliatelle in yuzu butter, and other things that taste great as you work your way down their excellent by-the-glass list, which includes an entire chilled red section.

With its sprawling sidewalk patio and menu packed with orange wines, Tilda is where you go to impress someone, anyone really. If you’re not familiar with skin contact wines (although, the fact that you’re out in Echo Park somehow tells us you are), the team will patiently walk you through their menu of native Portugal varietals and the like. If you’re hungry, grab a tinned fish board or the meatiest, most buttery Castelvetrano olives you’ve ever had in your life.

Voodoo Vin is a natural wine bar in Virgil Village with a collection of 400 bottles and a menu of simple small plates that slightly upstages the generous pours. The candlelit space feels like you’re in a barebones café with only a couple of posters on the walls, two communal tables, and a few chairs scattered on the sidewalk. It’s an intimate spot that doesn’t take reservations, so your best bet is to take a few friends who know what “full-bodied” means and snack on a few of the Persian-leaning dishes, like shallot yogurt dip with sagnak and lamb-stuffed pepper.

At Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City, one glass of chilled gamay becomes four in the blink of an eye. Aside from the easy atmosphere, the food menu has everything from cheese boards and chicken skewers to a delicious $17 bar burger topped with raclette and caramelized shallots. Swing by on weeknights between 4 pm and 7 pm when some glasses cost less than $10. 

With a long wooden bar, leather booths, and plenty of floral wallpaper, Holcomb is nice enough for a first date you care about, but also casual enough for a weeknight outing in a semi-embarrassing outfit. Expect a tremendous wine list—this Highland Park spot is run by the same people as the equally excellent Bar Covell in Los Feliz—and bartenders who’ll happily let you taste-test until you find the right glass. Also, tell your dog that the front sidewalk patio is friendly to their species.

Tabula Rasa is the anti-wine bar wine bar. There's probably a live band in the corner of this industrial space in East Hollywood and most people inside will be talking about Moby’s free meditation album and not the malbec they’re currently holding. But you can still expect great wine, along with a solid beer list and a snacks menu that has no business being as delicious as it is.

There are a lot of things French people do better than us. One of them is wine. So Garçons de Café, a little wine shop and bar in the Spring Arcade run by three Frenchman, is always an excellent choice. The wine list is mostly French with some bottles from Italy, the US, Lebanon, and Mexico, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, try one of the wine flights. Accessorize your glasses with a cheese and charcuterie platter, a Parisian sandwich, or some crème brûlée—berets are optional (but suggested).

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