The Best Restaurants For Drinking Beer
The 14 best restaurants for drinking craft beer in LA.
You’re done with work, and it’s time for a beer. But you’re also hungry, and the last thing you want is to spend your night in some sports bar eating quesadillas next to a guy who just asked you if his flips flops smell.
Finding great beer and great food in the same place isn’t as easy as it should be, but it’s certainly not impossible. From upscale seafood restaurants to BBQ joints to exotic sausage emporiums, here are 14 full-scale restaurants (we’ve left off breweries and taprooms) for when you want good food and even better beer.
Like Crossfit and people who enjoy talking about themselves, pizza and beer are perfect together, and Mohawk Bend understands this. Here, you’re drinking from what might be the best selection of local beer in LA - there are 70 California beers on tap - and ordering one of their great pizzas. Go for the White Mushroom, which, like most of the menu, can be made vegan.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Connie & Ted's
Connie and Ted’s might be in the middle of Santa Monica Blvd., but it lets you pretend that you’re the kind of person who spends the summers in Bar Harbor (that’s a fancy term for Maine). It’s a neighborhood-y spot with a big menu of East Coast seafood classics, and it attracts a crowd that’s more interested in having a beer and a bunch of clams than anything else. The beer list includes stuff from excellent-but-tiny LA County breweries, but seeing as Craftsman’s O’Stout is filtered through oyster shells, you should probably just order that.
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Little Bear is a Belgian bar/restaurant in the heart of the Arts District with a beer list that is also 100% Belgian. If your only reference point for Belgian beer is a Chimay someone passed you once at the Hollywood Bowl, know that Little Bear’s beer stock includes saisons, blondes, sours, pal ales, dark ales, and everything in between. As for the food, it’s your typical bar menu stuff, but everything is good, particularly the short rib poutine and Belgian fries. The large industrial space is the perfect big group spot before a night out downtown.
Brewco Manhattan Beach
This casual Manhattan Beach spot has such an extensive beer selection that we sometimes forget they’re a full-scale restaurant. Their nachos and fish tacos are excellent and exactly what you want after a long day of sneaking drinks at the beach, but if you leave without unconsciously plowing through at least two baskets of their curly fries, we can’t help you. When it comes to their beer list, expect everything from European sours to hazy IPAs to milk stouts. And if you’re not sure what any of that means, the unpretentious bartenders will happily make sense of it all.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Beachwood is a full-scale BBQ restaurant right along the promenade in downtown Long Beach. While their BBQ is solid and you’ll eat more than your fair share of their housemade cornbread, you’re really here for the beer. Beachwood has been one of California’s best craft breweries for a while now, and it’s home to one of our favorite IPAs of all time (Melrose). Sitting out on their patio drinking a West Coast IPA and watching people walk by looking for the aquarium is exactly how every Saturday should go.
Unless this is your third day in Los Angeles, you know that Father’s Office is home to a very famous burger. But lost in all the “are we really ok with no ketchup” burger debate is an undeniable fact: the beer list here is fantastic. It includes the almost-impossible-to-find Pliny the Elder, and Belgian tripels brewed by monks living in abbeys, which sometimes feels like the only place left to escape hearing people fight about the ketchup thing.
The Library Alehouse
Having a lot of taps is a sure sign a restaurant is serious about beer. Having a livestreamed tap list on their website is a whole other level of serious. Library Alehouse has one of those, constantly updated so you can strategize your drinking before you even leave the house. Once you’ve arrived, head to the back patio, post up at the picnic tables, and order the Russian River beer you’re unlikely to find on any other patio in town. For food, go for the stuff you want to be eating outside, like fish and chips and pulled pork sandwiches.
There’s a decent amount of BBQ places on this list and, in case you’re an alien in a host body, that’s because beer and BBQ taste really good together. But Bludso’s makes some especially great barbecue. Their La Brea location is big and modern and ideal for big groups that get bigger at the last second because your friends never commit to things in advance. They have plenty of rotating beer specials, plus Three Weavers and El Segundo Brewing are always on tap.
Located in a big warehouse in Venice (with another location in the Arts District), Wurstkuche serves German beer and very good sausages made out of a lot of meats you wouldn’t expect to be sausagefied (sausaged?). It’s a great spot to post up with a group and attempt to work your way through all the taps.
Chances are you’re somewhat familiar with Texas, Memphis, or Carolina-style BBQ. But Santa Maria-style? Maybe not so much. That’s what Boneyard Bistro is making in Sherman Oaks and it’s time to put it in your BBQ rolodex. Santa Maria-style means everything is grilled over red oak wood, and while tri-tip is usually the most common meat used, the star at Boneyard Bistro are the beef ribs. Wash all the BBQ down with beer from any of their 42 taps or 125 different bottles.
Stout could just lean on the fact that it’s a burger spot (with locations in Santa Monica and Hollywood) that stays open until 4am every night. But instead of dialing it in for the tourists, they serve extremely good burgers and a really well-curated beer selection. The Six Weeker, with brie, fig jam, and caramelized onions, works well with a lambic or a wit, but if you’re struggling to narrow things down, the staff here are really helpful too. Head here on a Saturday night when your friends want to go to a terrible Hollywood club and show them that drinking Sixpoint IPAs until 2am is going to be way more fun.
The Best Places To Drink Craft Beer In Los Angeles
photo credit: Dylan + Jeni
Black Market Liquor Bar
With a name like Black Market Liquor, you’d probably assume you only go to this Studio City restaurant to drink cocktails. And while you certainly can, taking advantage of their tremendous beer list is a smart choice as well. With seven rotating taps and over 30 different bottles ranging from Boomtown to Modern Times to Eagle Rock Brewery, Black Market concentrates mostly on LA-based brewers, but there are some regional spots thrown in too. The food menu covers a lot of ground (the fried cauliflower and Korean wings are musts), but everything is easily shareable and exactly what you want while drinking too much beer on a Tuesday.