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Best Bars In Highland Park

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(credit: Chris Wormald)

(credit: Chris Wormald)
The title of L.A.'s hottest bar scene goes through more changes than the Dodgers' starting pitching rotation. At this very moment, Highland Park appears to have a firm grip on the belt which leads us to the more difficult question of Figueroa St. or York Blvd? It's a tough call with both of Highland Park's main thoroughfares offering an impressive boozy options paired with great food, music, and even bowling. Maybe just call it a draw and enjoy all that Highland Park has to offer.

eta-katy-abramson - VERIFIED Dave Klein
(credit: Katy Abramson)

Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 274-4755

Mere steps from its older sibling The Greyhound, this cozy newcomer to Figueroa St. might just be the best date spot in Highland Park. All vinyl DJ sets, rotating art exhibits, and can't miss Thursday night live jazz sessions provide the perfect complement to ETA's sophisticated hand crafted cocktails and sleek exposed brick interior. While traditional bar snacks are offered, ETA is a BYOF (bring your own food) establishment, so feel free to grab that stellar Greyhound burger from next door for a standout family affair.

Pro tip for early birds: take advantage of ETA's brand new everyday happy hour for discounted drink specials.

highland-park-bowl-wonho-frank-lee - VERIFIED Dave Klein
(credit: Wonho Frank Lee)

Highland Park Bowl
5621 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 257-2695

While facelifts in Los Angeles don't often result in an improvement, the recent renovation of this nine-decade old local landmark certainly proves to be the exception. Thanks to the 1933 Group, Highland Park Bowl has been restored to its former Spanish revival glory. Needless to say this is not the spot for glow in the dark bowling, frozen pizza, and watered-down bottom shelf drinks. Instead, expect eight stunning refurbished lanes, classic wood-fired Neapolitan pies, and a terrific assortment of craft beers as well as draft and hand crafted cocktails highlighted by the Dude Abides, a Big Lebowski inspired White Russian. Lanes are rented by the hour so bring a friend or five and party like its 1927.

the-york  - VERIFIED Dave Klein
(credit: The York)

The York
5018 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-9675

An OG of the Highland Park renaissance, this is the type of laid-back gastropub that belongs in any neighborhood. Expect elevated versions of the familiar like sirracha wings, truffle grilled cheese, and the Thai Cobb salad which combines spinach, egg, papaya, peanuts, and tomato for a tasty version of two L.A. staples. Drink selections include local craft beer, moderately priced wines and classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule and a killer Paloma. The York is open for lunch and dinner seven days week but be sure not to miss weekend brunch which features satisfying hangover remedies like chicken fried steak and the bacon, fried egg, cheddar, and potato topped Good Morning Burger.

sonnys-hideaway  - VERIFIED Dave Klein
(credit: Sonny's Hideaway )

Sonny's Hideaway
5137 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-2000

Dark wood panels and worn-in leather banquettes set a retro mood at this craft cocktail and "eclectic American" cuisine specialist that feels like the ideal after-work haunt for the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce set. While jacket and tie is most definitely not required, a Hawaiian shirt might be in order for Tiki Tuesday when tropical libations and an island-inspired plate of smoked hamachi make an appearance. Standard dinner fare includes smoked devil eggs served with a green tomato relish and equally sinful ricotta dumplings. The expansive cocktail menu ranges from a can Schlitz to Death in the Afternoon, a luxurious brunch-time combo of absinthe and sparkling wine that takes hair of the dog to a whole other level.

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(credit: Block Party)

Block Party
5052 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 741-2747

Celebrate the great outdoors of East LA at this year-old Highland Park favorite which offers roomy patio and an equally impressive shuffleboard. That's right, show off the skills you learned while on that one cruise you took as a kid (or those visits to your grandparents' retirement home) which enjoying cans of craft beer and refreshing cocktail concoctions courtesy of Gracias Madre and Café Gratitude beverage director Jason Eisner. Day drinkers should take advantage of the bar's early opening on the weekend. If the weather's hot, keep things chill with Block Party's potent margarita slushies.

(credit: La Cuevita)

La Cuevita
5922 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-6871

Every night of the week is a fiesta at this festive spot courtesy of the 1933 Group which features an old-world Mexican grotto inspired interior as well as an outdoor patio. Whether it's Jazz Sunday, Movie Monday, or Taco Tuesday, there's always something special going down at La Cuevita. Agave is king here, as mescal and tequila rule the cocktail menu. Bring plenty of Lincolns as La Cuevita offers five dollars from 5 to 9 as well as daily five dollar drink specials.

hermosillo-sarah-gardner - VERIFIED Dave Klein
(credit: Sarah Gardner)

The Hermosillo
5125 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 739-6459

This former escort club is now home to some of the hottest IPAs and barrel-aged saisons in Los Angeles courtesy of Highland Park Brewery which resides on premises. The draft features an ever changing assortment of HPB brews along with a handful of expertly chosen guest taps. You can even take the party home with you, as growler fills of select beers are available. Non-beer drinkers can choose from a well-curated list of wine from the tap and bottle. Come hungry, as The Hermosillo offers some of the best bar food in town including potato-based papas nachos, crispy parmesean polenta bites, and a beer battered (of course) fried fish sandwich 20,000 leagues above a filet-o.

Article by Dave Klein
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