Where To Drink In LA During The Holidays

Countdown to the holidays with a cocktail (or three) at these 13 spots.
Where To Drink In LA During The Holidays image

photo credit: Shelby Moore

Grabbing drinks during the holidays is a classic seasonal experience, like picking out a Christmas tree or getting yet another Chipotle gift card at your company’s white elephant. It’s a special time of year when dingy dives turn into festive, tinsel-filled bars, and the weather is cold enough to find boiled wine remotely appealing. From cheery drinking holes with tons of string lights to boozy haunts celebrating the spooky side of Christmas, here are the best places to drink in Los Angeles during the holidays. 


photo credit: Shelby Moore


Downtown LA

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Death & Co, our favorite moody subterranean cocktail spot in DTLA, is throwing a very Hallmark-esque Christmas pop-up in its Standing Room. Titled “Season’s Greetings,” the party has all the vintage touches: tinsel, Christmas wreaths, and rum-spiked eggnog poured into cute boot-shaped shot glasses. There’s also a bunch of other holiday-themed cocktails, like a coquito highball and a sugar plum negroni. Expect vintage snacks like peppermint muddy buddies and tater tots that can be ordered with caviar if you’re feeling luxe.



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Tiki bars and old dives are not the same thing, except they kind of are at this spot. This Long Beach bar is somewhere you can play pool, eat wings, and order a rum cocktail from a bartender wearing a Hawaiian shirt. And during this time of year, it can put even your Scrooge of a father-in-the-law in the holiday spirit. The space is lined with tinsel and twinkly lights, there’s an animatronic Santa throwing up shaka signs, and the bar takes holiday cocktails seriously. Try the Rudolph’s Flame, with amaro, pineapple, and cinnamon-cranberry syrup, and the Whiteout Conditions (“served hot!”) with mezcal-spiked white chocolate butter batter. 

photo credit: Fairmont Century Plaza

Fairmont Century Plaza image

Fairmont Century Plaza



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You could drop a fortune to fly down the Swiss Alps on two sticks, or you can get a taste of après-ski in Century City. Throughout this month, you can book your own mini chalet at the Fairmont Century Plaza and eat a three-course meal for $105 per person that includes soup, schnitzel, and chocolate fondue. And, of course, there’s booze, like spiked eggnog, glüwhein, and an “espress-ski” martini. Each chalet seats two to eight people. 

photo credit: Frosty's Christmas Bar

Frosty's Christmas Bar image

Frosty's Christmas Bar


Can we even call this a bar? This touring Christmas pop-up might be better described as an over-the-top production, complete with Rockerfeller-sized ornaments, photo-ops for your Instagram feed, and lots of booze. (Do not bring your kids here to meet Santa, he’s busy doing shotskis with the elves.) This Hollywood attraction serves a few specialty cocktails, like mezcal mules and the Grinch-a-rita with tequila and pineapple juice. They even offer—we can’t believe we’re writing this—bottle service. Tickets are available here. 

Justine’s Wine Bar has that dim, warm light that feels extra fitting this time of year, plus some kitschy holiday decor we’re really into. Their Halloween skeleton is still sitting behind the bar, legs crossed, martini in hand, and wearing a festive Santa hat. The Christmas tree is lit up, the bar is pouring chilled reds, and the food menu has some hearty specials (get the excellent vegan shepherd’s pie). Also, keep an eye on their Instagram for events like rom-com screenings and jazz nights. 

If you can get a reservation for the “Miracle at The Ordinarie,” consider it a real Christmas miracle. (Seriously, book those tables now.) Come early if you plan to walk in because people can’t get enough of this annual pop-up. This American gastropub in Long Beach looks like that one house on your block that drops a month’s salary on Christmas decorations: lights, tinsel, stockings, and paper snowflakes are in every corner. There’s a holiday food menu available (gingerbread sundae included), but most people come to drink the seasonal cocktails, like mulled wine, the Christmaspolitan with spiced cranberry sauce, and the potent-sounding Elfing Around #2 with cognac, champagne, and absinthe.

photo credit: Alley Lounge

Alley Lounge image

Alley Lounge



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Located behind Fin in Culver City, Alley Lounge is a speakeasy that goes all in on the festive holiday decor. Apart from string lights and a lifesize Santa figurine that stares into our souls, the bar offers a list of holiday cocktails, including the Candy Cane Crush with rum, candy cane syrup, and coconut cream, and a cranberry Moscow Mule called the Mule Tide.

This Eagle Rock aperitivo bar is known for its loud, buzzy, and borderline chaotic scene, but that’s usually every drinking spot on the days leading up to Christmas. Capri Club is setting the mood with red lighting, lots of tinsel, and fernet espresso martinis. Other seasonal cocktails include the Awful Good Girl with amaro and soda and Twice Shy made with lemon, honey, and black pepper & rosemary-infused gin.

The Fountain Bar has long been a refuge for disgruntled retail workers or anyone who has been dragged to The Grove against their will. But this small outdoor bar is one of the most Christmas-y spots you could drink at in Los Angeles, and there’s not a single strand of tinsel in sight. It’s simply positioned smack dab in front of the Grove’s gargantuan Christmas tree, which means you can simultaneously drink a martini, listen to Christmas hits, and kill time as your significant other enters the trenches (a.k.a. the Nordstrom shoe section).

Hollywood’s Lost Property is hosting a darker-than-usual holiday party based on Krampus, a scary folkloric character that looks like Mr. Tumnus’s cousin from hell. Expect black Christmas trees adorned with doll heads, reindeer skulls, and on-brand cocktails (there’s currently no info online, so you’ll have to wait and see the menu in-person). Get tickets to this spooky pop-up event here. 

The Mermaid is a Little Tokyo dive bar that’s also ditching warmth and cheeriness for a more sinister approach to Christmas. Their holiday pop-up is called “The Siren Who Stole Christmas,” based on Pimu, a treacherous mermaid who lures sailors to their watery graves. But the cocktails at The Mermaid remain fun, festive, and full of rum, like a coquito and the Sinterclaws with white rum, orange, and passion fruit. Also, the holiday menu is part of their Cocktails For A Cause program, where a portion of sales are donated to adopting a family for Christmas. 

This massive, upscale DTLA restaurant used to be an abandoned church, which, for some, might be the closest they’ll get to a religious institution this holiday season. It also happens to be a gorgeous space with two bars serving an extensive holiday cocktail menu, including the Charlie Chaplin with apricot wine and Bombay Bramble, a coquito with Bacari 10-year rum, and a Jack Daniels-infused pumpkin punch.

Don’t let the name fool you––Big Bar isn’t that big. Tucked away inside The Alcove in Los Feliz, this cramped cocktail bar can be a tough place to snag a seat on weekends, but it makes up for it with truly excellent drinks. This year’s holiday cocktail offerings include classics like a hot toddy, an irish coffee with brown sugar, as well as a drink called Here’s To It To Do It made with tequila, bitters, and lemon.

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