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Best Bars Worth Visiting In The Valley

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(credit: istockphoto)

If you're up in the San Fernando Valley and you don't feel like driving to Hollywood to go out at night, there are some great spots to hit right in your own neighborhood. Traffic can still be brutal going from one end of the Valley to the other, so at least we threw a bone to the West Valley, too.


11720 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-1833

When someone thinks of a spending their evening in a bar, they it's to either meet someone new or go on a date. It's rare that a venue can meet both these needs for their clients. However, the Firefly in Studio City wraps both themes up and delivers them with a style and class of their own. The Firefly can be easy to miss, as the outside of the lounge is unmarked and covered in ivy, but once you are clued in by the valet, when you walk through the doors, the ambiance hits you immediately. The main bar has a library theme to it and comes across as relaxed and eclectic. Serving up drinks such as the Honey Bee (House Infused Grapefruit Gin, Honey, Fresh Grapefruit Juice) and a Lychee Martini (Premium Vodka, All Natural Lychee Puree, Splash of Grapefruit, Fresh Lime), the Firefly's bar menu is on par with its equally alluring late night menu which offers up wares like a Firefly Burger, Cast Iron Skillet Mussels and Black Kale Salad. The Firefly proves that the Valley can still offer up a hip and classy nightspot.


Fox & Hounds
11100 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 763-7837

Fox and Hounds is a British pub that somehow, when stumbling about London one day, got a little lost and ended up right on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. Just like any good Brit would do, they brought along their love of footy (Rugby for the Yanks out there) and soccer, and when the seasons are going, you can walk in and find the true Brits of the LA area parked in the main bar area, watching the big screen and wearing their favorite team's jerseys. As a night spot, it's atmosphere is friendly, a bit loud at times but overall very casual. This is a place you go to grab a pint with your friend, laugh and listen to the cover bands that play regularly on the weekends. You will find many real Brits here, but also a lot people in their late 20's- mid 30's who just want to take a little trip to England for a couple hours without waiting in line at the TSA at LAX after being on the 405 for over an hour.


Crazy Harry's Bar
20112 Saticoy Street
Winnetka, CA 91306
(818) 357-2182

So you've had a rough day at work or your kids have been driving you bonkers all week. You need a break but you just don't have the energy to get dressed to the nines and wait in a long line to get into an overpriced downtown or Hollywood bar where no one will say more than two words to you. So where do you go? Winnetka, apparently to Crazy Harry's Bar. Crazy Harry's is a fun, casual place where the patrons love the food but come for the inexpensive drinks. Almost everyone is jeans and a Tshirt each just seeking a place to unwind and have a good brew. The beer selection offers about 20-25 beers, but you can be assured that one is not like the other. The beers come from all parts of the world and don't be surprised if you get a little lesson in brews from the bar manager or from Harry himself. Cheers!

mint julep drink alcohol
(credit: istockphoto)

The Red Door
10057 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(818) 277-3884

The Red Door's name derives from the fact that their main entrance is a red door in an alleyway that you may miss if you aren't looking for it. A speak easy theme right near the border of Burbank, The Red Door is Toluca Lake's little secret. Relaxed and alluring, romantic and friendly, this place knows how to leave it's mark. You can throw back a few cocktails with your friends while watching an old black and white film, or just relish a glass of wine by the glow of candlelight. While the food is on the slightly pricier side, the drinks are the real appeal here. This is no pub either, so the beer selection is limited but the atmosphere is themed more toward that of cocktails and mixers.


12518 Burbank Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91607
(818) 505-3870

The Valley is a place full of unique and interesting characters. Valley folk follow the beat of a different drummer and aren't afraid to show it. Bar ONE knows this and has made themselves a place that any Valley girl or boy is proud to claim their own. If you are looking for a regular brew, you won't find it here. BarONE only serves up only craft and specialty beers and they have an ever changing menu of wine because they believe in finding wines from wineries that are small production and unique. But while they are picky on what they serve, they also know how to have a good time. Weekly events include Sunday Night Trivia, Monday Mystery Micro-Brew Night, Loteria! on Tuesday, Record Player Party on Wednesday and Thursday Night we host weekly Tastings & Products-to-Go. It's a place where you can let your true Valley-ness shine through.

Yolanda Machado is the Sassy Mama in L.A. LA Native, valley girl for life, when she isn't stuck in traffic, she enjoys movies, wine, food and discovering new places to take her family throughout LA while avoiding the 405.
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