Drinking after work in LA is a complex and nuanced activity. It’s a chance to wind down with coworkers outside the office or bitch about life with good friends, but it’s also very often just a continuation of actual work. Los Angeles is the city of schmooze – if you aren’t spending your time after work buying drinks, taking drinks, shaking hands, and spotting a false promise before it even leaves someone’s mouth, you’re doing it all wrong. And West Hollywood is that time’s alcohol-soaked epicenter.
Stressed yet? Don’t be. Because whether you’re with friends, colleagues, or scary important people, we have every situation covered. Here is your guide to knowing when and where to have the best after-work drinks in West Hollywood.
It’s not even Wednesday and you’re already having escape fantasies at your desk. Hold tight on that one-way plane ticket for now because your college buddy from New York is in town and he wants to drink. Village Idiot is the kind of bar you don’t see often in LA - trendy but unpretentious, and the right kind of rowdy. They have one of the best beer menus in Weho, and an English pub-style menu that’s way better than it needs to be. Aren’t you glad you didn’t drive to LAX?
There’s a new go-to on the Strip and it’s a stunner. Ivory on Sunset is the Mondrian’s all-day restaurant and also has one of the more impressive patios we’ve seen in awhile. The large outdoor dining area can admittedly get a touch sceney, but you’re probably here pitching your blog to an “international fashion editor” - it’s warranted. There’s a nice beer selection, good cocktails, and very impressive wine stock.
It’s been one of the Wednesdays and the last thing you need is a $14 fruity cocktail and a patio full of Instagrammers. The Surly Goat is a beer drinkers’ paradise and the kind of relaxed neighborhood bar that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Weho. There’s no food menu here, so don’t come hungry. But meet your roommate here at 7pm for a hefty IPA buzz and quick bitch session about how you’ve reached the ceiling at your job, and you’ll stumble out thrilled.
You have a client in town who’ve you never met before, have know idea what they’re like, but you need to impress them. Our choice here is Norah. One of the newer spots in the neighborhood, Norah appeals to a large spectrum. The big, open space is fantastic, with good cocktails and small plates. The vibe is definitely more upscale, but in a way that feels appealing rather than annoying.
Most wine bars have a well-earned perception of being pretentious, over-priced, and ultimately quite dull. Not Vintage Enoteca. The casual Sunset Blvd. wine bar has been around long enough now to be considered a neighborhood staple, and has the nightly crowds to prove it. They have an excellent Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm, an expansive food menu, and a Grilled Cheese Monday event (a new grilled cheese every week)that is not to be missed.
Walking into Plan Check is usually a big sigh of relief. Because whether you’re networking with potential clients, proving to your boss you’re a functioning adult, or ranting to your best friend about how much you hate everything, Plan Check has your after-work situation covered. It’s classy and casual, sleek and laid-back all at the same time. Not to mention one of the most underrated craft beer and wine stocks in the city.
The more you bring Jones Hollywood into your life, the better off you’ll be. And that’s especially true for after-work drinks. While they do provide valet, street parking is usually readily available and that’s huge after another mind-melt of a work day. Waiting inside for you is a dark, retro bar/cafe, where people leave you the f*ck alone and let you drink your beer, talk your talk, and eat your apple pie in peace.
The Abbot Kinney transplant made quick work integrating itself into the weekday Weho drinking scene with its casual cafe vibe and well-priced wine. Zinque’s Euro-inspired space is bright, airy, and inviting, and a welcoming reprieve from some of the more tightly-wound spots that populate the area.
Yes, we dropped a pretty tough review on Laurel Hardware and no, this not us backing down from it. But when you use Laurel Hardware correctly, it can be just fine – and drinks after work is how you do it. Coast up to the bar with your other trendy coworkers, gaze into the kaleidoscope eyes of one their bartenders, and get yourself a well-made cocktail in one of Weho’s coolest spaces.
The Belmont is one of those places that looks like a total nightmare from the outside and is actually the opposite inside. Sure, this casual bar/restaurant is a popular drinking hole for industry-types, but they’re here for the same reasons you are. To unwind after a long day, grab a drink with friends on the patio, and take full advantage of that three-hour happy hour.
The Pikey is the place you go to meet your old high school friend on a Tuesday night for a quick beer and walk out hammered. From the outside it might look cheesy, but the interior of this throwback British pub feels like it predates Columbus in the most authentic way possible. The vibe is always chill, the people don’t suck, and happy hour goes till 7pm. Don’t sleep on the traditional English food either.
Another day, another reason Gracias Madre makes the list. The sparkling shrine to meatless Mexican food is also a solid spot to take a deep breath and drink a stiff cocktail after work. The massive back patio is perfect for anything from drinks with the boss to a casual unwind with the roommate.
The trendy little train car that could – filled to the brim with unfairly beautiful people – never fails as a weeknight spot to grab a drink with friends. The Hudson rides a very fine line between being completely casual and completely too much, but as long as you’re OK with that you and your friends will be more than fine.
The Den is an ideal spot to go on a Wednesday night after your performance review came back not-so-hot and you need a place to get drunk with a fringe friend who won’t judge you. While it does get rowdy here on the weekends, midweek is pretty low-key, and you can always enjoy the fire pits on the patio and above-average bar food. $2 off all beer during happy hour is a nice feature as well.
Yes, that Barney’s Beanery. Though the 90-year-old bar is a bonafide SoCal chain these days, this is the OG location and the quirkiness endures. You come to Barney’s after you’ve already gone home and put your comfies on only to decide that you actually do need that beer. Slide into one of their always-too-small booths, play some trivia, and watch semi-famous sitcom actors sing karaoke. All in your comfies.
Parking remains a hassle on this part of the Strip, but Pearl’s westerly locale is a great option for after-work drinks, particularly if you’re meeting someone who’s driving in from Santa Monica. Once there, you’ll find a casual atmosphere, a good cocktail list, and an expansive two-story patio where you won’t be bombarded by horrible crowds of people. If it’s Tuesday, stick around for $1 oyster night.
Hidden away in a shiny mixed-use complex along Fairfax, it’s easy to forget that The Fat Dog even exists. But you shouldn’t. Because with free underground parking, $3 Coronas during Happy Hour and a completely laid-back, modern pub atmosphere, this is the perfect spot to grab a few no-hassle drinks after work.
Despite being in the heart of Weho’s frenzied Santa Monica Blvd. corridor, Saint Felix is a low-key respite for those looking for a quick midweek cocktail. The place isn’t tiny, but it’s still intimate enough that you can actually hear the person across from you talking. The 4pm-8pm happy hour is the key move here, when food and drink specials abound.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Weho is this tiny, humble neighborhood joint…just kidding. THIS IS THE F*CKING CHATEAU. If that name means nothing to you, grab the nearest magazine and flip open to the “Where Celebrities Go To Get In Magazines” section. That will answer all your questions. That being said, serious business does in fact happen here – so if you have some, this is the power spot to get it done.