The Best LA Bars For Big Groups

When your crew is running deep, here are 15 great bars where everyone will fit and have a good time.
The Best LA Bars For Big Groups image

photo credit: The Semi-Tropic

You like to drink, and you like to hang out with (most of) your friends. But sometimes it’s hard to do those two things simultaneously. Especially now that two friends grew to four friends, and then those friends called their friends, and the group is now running twelve deep.

Finding a bar that can fit everyone and make them all happy is easier said than done, but it can be accomplished. Whether you’re trying to plan your birthday party, an after-work bonding event, or you’re just dealing with a randomly huge group, we tracked down the 15 best spots to make your night as smooth as possible.


Bar Food

Arts District

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysFirst/Early in the Game DatesOutdoor/Patio Situation
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This popular Arts District spot has one of the best back patios in the city, and it’s a great pick for gathering everyone you like in one place. The massive space is lined with picnic tables, covered by a huge canopy, and glows under a galaxy of string lights. Most people come here to drink, but they also serve a solid food menu involving flaky buttermilk biscuits, shrimp buns, and a life-changing bar burger. Whether you’re looking for a post-work hangout for your entire group chat or just a chill date night plan, ERB can handle it all.

photo credit: Grandmaster Recorders

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsDate Night


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Grandmaster Recorders is a three-in-one bundle for big group hangs—they’ve got a ground-floor restaurant, a sexy disco lounge, and a rooftop bar. In fact, you could potentially spend an entire night at this former-recording studio on Cahuenga in Hollywood. Just be prepared to spend around $100 per person on dinner and more than likely talk at an ear-splitting volume throughout your time at the bar.

Zebulon is a live music venue in Frogtown, but on weekends after 11pm the entire place transitions into one big dancefloor. Whether you grab a table outside on the large patio or claim a corner inside the crowded bar, Zebulon is perfect for any kind of big, social gathering where good and moderately priced cocktails are appreciated. Find some time to dance with your friends under the disco ball, get a pitcher of cheap beer, and tear the place up until 2am.

After a long day of meetings that could have been emails, you and your co-workers deserve a solid drink. If your office is in DTLA, that's when you'd head to Perch. The Downtown rooftop has a massive two-story outdoor space, a classic French menu filled with dishes like buttery steak frites and linguica-filled bouillabaisse, and various string quartets and live bands throughout the week. Plus, unlike most spots with 360-degree views of the city skyline, you can still get a drink here for under $10 during their weekday Happy Hour.

On weekends, this historic DTLA spot is an all-out nightlife metropolis spanning three separate floors. There are multiple bars, a hidden tiki room with a boat in the middle of it, and some of the most intense taxidermy you’ve ever seen. Clifton’s is the kind of place where it’s virtually impossible to be bored, so bring a group of friends who aren’t afraid of a little adventure.

Echo Park’s The Semi-Tropic has big wrap-around couches, tons of tables scattered throughout, and a small snacks menu for when you need something to chase that Aperol spritz. In other words, it’s the perfect place for low-key drinks with a group. We especially like meeting friends here before seeing a show at The Echo down the street, but it also works well for casual birthday hangs when you actually want to catch up with the person sitting across from you.

photo credit: Tiny's Hi Dive

Tiny's Hi-Dive image

Tiny's Hi-Dive


With its pool tables and red leather booths, Tiny’s Hi-Dive feels like the kind of classic watering hole where every other patron is a regular. It might not be the hottest scene in town, but you come to this Chicago-inspired dive on Sawtelle to savor timeless pleasures like cold draft beers, slushy cocktails, and big baskets of fries, set in a space roomy enough for groups. Also, the bar has an entire mule menu featuring a tasty whiskey mule concoction that’s $6 during happy hour.

All Seasons is the perfect “meet in the middle” bar for when you’re bringing together people who live on opposite sides of town. It’s located inside a former car service station in Mid-Wilshire with both indoor and outdoor seating, a row of skeeball machines in the back, and a Chica’s Taco window that people can order from when they get hungry. Most people here are drinking beer, but there are also some solid cocktails and $5 well shots if you’re looking to get a bit rowdy.

Although it's in a slightly secluded location on Colorado Ave., Santa Monica Brew Works is always full of big groups drinking draft beers and eating pizza. They’ve got a massive outdoor space complete with picnic tables, string lights, and an abundance of cute local dogs. The Brooklyn-based pizzeria Emmy Squared runs the kitchen, so you’ll probably end up sharing a couple of their signature sheet pan pizzas—they exist somewhere between thick-cut Detroit-style and a gooey New York grandma pie.

This bar right next door to Johnny’s Pastrami in West Adams is owned by the same people, which means you can bring food over directly from the restaurant. It’s the perfect place to gather all your friends around a spread of affordable deli classics and gin martinis. Their huge patio has more than enough room for guests to come and go as they please, and the old-school R&B playlist will keep everybody grooving until midnight.

Hidden along Western Ave. in Koreatown, this jam-packed indoor/outdoor beer garden is a great location for a  nonstop party. Expect cheap beer, excellent bar food (like kimchi seafood pancakes and honey fried chicken), and large groups of friends chain-smoking on the patio like it’s a competition. While you might not spend your entire night here, Ddong Ggo is a fantastic place to kick off whatever hijinks you’re planning afterwards.

If you’re looking for a good pregame spot before a Dodgers game, HPB’s newer location in Chinatown is a great option. Highland Park Brewery has been one of LA’s best craft breweries for a while, but the original location is pretty small. The new spot across the street from LA State Historic Park is in a nice big warehouse space and has a dog-friendly patio, so you can roll in with a big crew and their four-legged friends without a problem. The bar snacks are also way better than they need to be (get the cheese curds).

This 90-year-old Silver Lake landmark has been everything from a jail-themed speakeasy to a community theater, but is now a bonafide supper club where you can make a night of it with dinner and a show (did someone say Flamenco?). Even if that’s not your vibe, El Cid is still one of the best places to grab a drink and lounge outside with the crew. The massive patio is always welcoming, and never gets so crowded you want to die (or just go home).

When in doubt, Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake is always the move. The German beer garden has been one of our Eastside go-to drink spots for a while now, but when you’ve got a big group in tow, it’s a pretty inevitable solution. Its Bavarian theme is kind of overkill, but when you’re sitting on that massive back patio with a boot of beer next to you, you want all of it. And also another boot of beer.

Highland Park might not be the most conveniently located area of town to get your friends to on a Saturday night, but once they see what’s happening at Block Party (and the rest of York Blvd. for that matter), their bitching will cease. The colorful beer bar might not look like much from the sidewalk, but that back patio is as good as it gets. Great beer, good atmosphere, and a retro hot dog cart on the premises—no further convincing needed.

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