15 Best Bourbon Bars In Los Angeles

Though margaritas may dominate the drink menus of some watering holes, Los Angeles also has a surprisingly top-notch assortment of bourbon bars. There's plenty of solid options in the City of Angels to get some good old-fashioned Kentucky bourbon — or perhaps, a Japanese whisky or American whiskey.

For those open to exploration, small batch bourbons and local varieties are gold; for those new to the world of bourbon, some establishments offer special memberships and educational opportunities where patrons can school themselves on the classic Southern libation.

Spanning neighborhoods from downtown Los Angeles to El Segundo to Pasadena and Long Beach, no matter where someone lives in LA, there's likely a great bourbon bar in the vicinity. With that in mind, below are 15 of the best bourbon bars in which to begin. From speakeasies and hidden bars to vintage locations, choose one and sink into a leather armchair, sip a cocktail, and enjoy a completely different side of the city.

Seven Grand

Located in the revitalized Historic Core of downtown Los Angeles, Seven Grand is one of the most well-known whiskey and bourbon bars in the city. Walk into the dimly lit bar on the second floor and ask one of the extremely knowledgeable bartenders for their cocktail recommendation. 

Don't be fooled by the stylish, elegant decor of Seven Grand; it is, in fact, pretty laid back. Upon entering, there are two pool tables on either side of the main bar where you can play a game with friends.

For those wanting an even more intimate experience, go through the hidden door in the back room to visit Bar Jackalope, another bar within the bar. This speakeasy is an eighteen-seat-only Japanese whisky bar with an absolutely staggering collection of bottles. Try visiting on a weeknight, as Seven Grand can get pretty jammed on Friday and Saturday evenings. 

Guests who want to learn more about the bourbons and whiskeys they love can join the Whiskey Society program. Not only can you attend educational events discussing the liquor, but you may also get the opportunity to interact with (and learn from) master distillers and other notable whiskey and bourbon connoisseurs and makers. 

The Far Bar

Sometimes, the best bars are those that are hardest to find. Enter through a charmingly decorated side alley (featuring romantically lit tables) or through the restaurant in the front (a gastropub that serves a combination of Asian and American comfort food); the second entrance technically qualifies The Far Bar as a speakeasy. A lot of first-time visitors get confused stepping foot in the busy, casual restaurant in the front, until they go all the way to the back entrance and come out on the patio.

An urban, slightly industrial ambiance features brick walls and soft lighting, as well as small cafe-like tables, The Far Bar is one of the best kept secrets in Little Tokyo, featuring over sixty different types of bourbon, including a lot of single barrel and barrel proof varieties. Order any of them neat, or order a classic Old Fashioned to get that bourbon taste.

The Varnish

The Varnish is all about quality, not quantity, both in terms of its cocktails and its surroundings. It may not be the most packed bar, and it certainly doesn't have the largest menu — usually there are only a handful of specialty drinks offered at a time — but you can always count on an interesting crowd and one of the best cocktails in town.

Located through the backdoor of an equally famous LA establishment named Cole's French Dip, The Varnish is one of the first and most well-known speakeasies in the city. It serves an array of creative, delicious cocktails in a vintage atmosphere, with an antique-style cash register and an old piano taking patrons back to the roaring '20s. The bar's exposed brick interior, wooden furniture, low lighting, and intimate tables make for a romantic night out.

Best of all, the bar has a big selection of bourbons and whiskeys. Either drink the bourbon neat, order it in a cocktail, or ask for a Varnish special called "Bartender's Choice," where you choose a base, and after they ask a couple of questions about your taste preferences, they will make a cocktail suited to your specific tastes. So grab a friend or a date, head downtown, enjoy a French dip sandwich, and top it off with an inspired nightcap.

The Roger Room

Serving up a wide selection of bourbon brands, from Knob Creek and Basil Hayden to the well-known Bulleit, two of the most popular cocktails at The Roger Room  — Thug and Dueling Banjos — are both made with bourbon, though the former contains Old Forester and the latter Jim Beam White Label Bourbon. If in the mood for a whisky instead, try the Japanese Maple, made with top-tier Suntory Whisky. Relatively rare for a Los Angeles cocktail bar, the Roger Room also keeps a couple of brands of absinthe in the bar. 

Located on bustling La Cienega Boulevard, The Roger Room makes its guests feel like they are stepping into a different world altogether, far away from the nearby Melrose shops. The changeable nature of the atmosphere of The Roger Room is one of the best things about it. Depending on the day of the week, it could be anything from a low-lit, moody cocktail bar to a dance party.

Enjoy the friendly service, award-winning cocktails, and if hosting a party, know that The Roger Room's classy mixologists can be hired for any private event.

The Blind Donkey

With two different locations on almost opposite sides of the city (in Long Beach and Pasadena), The Blind Donkey serves customers from all corners of Los Angeles. The menu features a huge selection of bourbon, emphasizing small batch varieties, plus whisky (including Japanese), scotch, and rye. 

Switch it up from classic cocktails by ordering one of the unique drinks on the menu, such as For What It's Worth, which has bourbon, Aperol, Benedictine, and lemon. The bar uses Old Forester bourbon — the oldest bourbon to be bottled and the longest lasting on the market — for this drink, which makes it an extra special treat. If you've never had it, it is definitely worth a try.

The Blind Donkey is a great place to hang out with friends; in addition to a solid food menu, it includes a game room with darts, billiards, Skee-Ball and vintage arcade games.

The Cigar & Whiskey Bar

Located in The Maybourne Beverly Hills, one of the most upscale hotels in the 90210 area code, this bar caters to old fashioned bourbon drinkers. It's a place for those who like to mix bourbon drinks with a quality cigar (the on-site humidor is home to over 1,000), and happens to be one of the only places in otherwise smoke-free Beverly Hills where patrons can sit and have a cigar.

Fall into the luxurious armchairs surrounded by elegant dark wooden walls and accents, and relax with a drink in hand in this tranquil, sophisticated space. If you find yourself getting a little warm in the evening, you can always make your way out to the adjoining outdoor patio. 

The Cigar & Whiskey Bar is most notable for having some incredibly rare bourbons and whiskeys in its collection. You can get your hands on a Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon and one of Macallan's oldest whiskeys. Pair your bourbon drink or cocktail with one of the bar's gourmet small bites, like the arancini or jamon iberico. The food is cooked by the renowned chef of The Terrace restaurant downstairs, Kaleo Adams, so you are guaranteed a wonderful culinary experience as well.

Lost Property Bar

On Vine Street, right off the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there's a door with a neon cocktail sign over it. This is the entrance to the Lost Property bar, a bourbon and whiskey bar known for its expertly-crafted cocktails. In a sea of tourist traps and trinket stores surrounding Hollywood Boulevard, this bar is a breath of fresh air. 

If you're relatively new to bourbon, this establishment is a great place to start fine tuning the palate, as not only are the bartenders extremely knowledgeable about the whiskeys and bourbons they carry, but the menu also provides a breakdown of the different notes to expect in each variety (spicy, smoky, etc.). Adventurous guests can order an Ask the Bartender and drink whatever the mixologist creates.

A popular spot for the theater crowd leaving the nearby Pantages, Lost Property serves bar food in addition to some delicious cocktails. The classy wooden decor is covered with random items of vintage clothing to give the appearance of a lost and found — hence, the bar's name.

The Double Barrel

Bourbon aficionados, head to The Double Barrel for some truly rare and vintage whiskeys unlikely to be found elsewhere. Keep in mind, this isn't a drop-in bar for a nightcap; reservations are required, each with a minimum spend of $100. 

Enjoy a delightful dinner and browse the selection of drinks, including bourbon cocktails like a classic Penicillin, plus a barrel-aged drink called Boulevardier. The Penicillin is made with Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve, while the Boulevardier contains a mix of Old Forester Bourbon, Campari, and Carpano Antica Formula. Make sure to specify that you want the barrel-aged Boulevardier, as there is another cocktail on the list by the same name.

If you find yourself having a marvelous time sipping all the finely aged, carefully selected bourbons at The Double Barrel, ask about the bar's Whiskey Membership, because you'll most definitely want to return again.

Forman's Whiskey Tavern

Sometimes, folks want to knock back a great bourbon without necessarily going to a fancy, expensive, moody bar. On occasions like these, pair that bourbon with some classic American comfort food while in a laidback, lively atmosphere by checking out Forman's Whiskey Tavern in Toluca Lake.

The bar hosts a happy hour on weekdays from 3:00 to 6:00, where certain beers and cocktails are available at a discount, as well as delicious bar food like chicken sliders and fish tacos. Try the tavern's own bourbon varieties, such as the Weller Full Proof Forman's Single Barrel — an aroma of baked apples and vanilla livens up this wheated bourbon, while a sip gives the hint of baking spice and sour cherries, according to the restaurant's menu.

If there's another variety you prefer, it can almost certainly be found in the over 75 bourbon selections on the menu, many of them small batch bourbons rarely found in other LA bars. Try Larceny, Michter's Small Batch, or the Filmland Moonlight Mayhem.


A night at the neat means ordering its exemplary bourbon flight. Or, if you would prefer another spirit for the night, its Japanese whisky, mezcal, or scotch flight instead. The bar prides itself on hand-selecting only the most quality bourbon brands on the market. If you'd rather skip the flight and head straight to the cocktail menu, ask for a s'il vous fraise, made with bourbon, pineau des charentes, strawberry (which helps give the drink its French name), and lemon. 

Unlike some other bars, neat is less of a destination and more of a local hangout, so you're likely to observe a great atmosphere here with some regulars dropping in throughout the night. Though the decor is stylish and sophisticated, the bar adds accents like colorful lights on the ceiling to create a fun ambiance, which is why it is a great spot for dates and hangouts.

Customers rave about the bartenders here, as not only do they make killer cocktails, but they are also helpful and friendly to customers, encouraging a warm, lively atmosphere.

Thirsty Crow

The Thirsty Crow likes to work with traditional, sustainable methods, both for bartending and for its meals. The establishment uses quality, homemade ingredients, like in-house infusions and homemade jams. Bartenders here also like to use original recipes for some of their most classic cocktails, plus original methods of making them.

The bar's claim to fame is that it offers over 60 small batch bourbons to its customers. Order the Whiskey Sour, made with a Jefferson Small Batch Bourbon, lemon, egg white, and bitters, to get a taste of one of them. Sit at the wooden bar and sip a bourbon cocktail of choice to soak in the vintage, retro ambiance of the place, a welcome change from the trendy bars and eateries of the surrounding Silver Lake area. 

Owned by the same company that operates Sassafras Saloon, plus a handful of other atmospheric bars in the city, The Thirsty Crow aims to evoke a warm, cozy, and traditional bar atmosphere without too much fuss.

The Normandie Club

Part of the Hotel Normandie in LA's Koreatown, the posh design and setting of The Normandie Club, as well as its dark and intimate vibe, gives the impression of a somewhat moodier bar than it actually is. Though the bar belongs to a hotel, it's actually a great spot for locals looking for a fantastic cocktail in a laidback setting to enjoy with friends or a date.

The cocktail menu is deceptively short, yet full of exquisitely made classic drinks like the Collins, Daiquiri, and Old Fashioned. However, if the latter with its coconut washed bourbon doesn't satisfy your taste for the drink, you can ask the enthusiastic bartenders to make pretty much any well-known cocktail you would like, and chances are, they can do it. The Old Fashioned is also part of a social hour the bar holds from 6:00 to 8:00, when it is offered at a discount alongside some other cocktails.

If you can't decide what to order at all, ask to roll the dice. The bartender will hand you some dice to play with, and each number you land on corresponds to a different drink you can potentially shoot from the wall.

R6 Distillery

An increasing rarity for the rapidly corporatizing world of LA nightlife, the R6 distillery in El Segundo is, in fact, a family-owned affair. This grain-to-glass distillery makes its own bourbon under the R6 label, fully sourced from local ingredients in order to operate sustainably. You can pick between the straight or blue corn bourbon and get a taste of what the on-site distillery produces.

The bar, like many bourbon bars in the city, is a classy, dimly lit, antique establishment inspired by the Prohibition Era. The R6 Distillery also includes a brewery, so even if brown liquor isn't to everyone's taste in the group, friends can try one of the craft beers made here instead. If you're visiting during a warm Southern California evenings, you can also enjoy R6 bourbon out on the distillery's patio.

Your visit to R6 helps support a good cause, as the veteran-owned distillery is partnered with Soldier's Best Friend, a charity group committed to partnering veterans suffering from PTSD with service dogs that help them deal with every day life and provide constant companionship.

Old Man Bar

Head to the back of Hatchet Hall to find the Old Man Bar, fashioned after a rustic lodge with a fireplace, aged wooden tables, and antique portraits and taxidermy on the walls giving off the vibe of a bygone era.  

The bar menu focuses quite a lot on American whiskeys and bourbons. Try something different here like the Elijah Craig or Four Roses Small Batches offered on the menu. The former is used to make the Bourbon peach tea, which also includes lemon, basil, amaretto and pearls. It's actually considered a cocktail for two, so make sure to enjoy it with company. 

Alternatively, you can order one of the bar's private barrel cocktails, which play on variations of the Old Fashioned. Get it in the classic style, or try the Australian Old Fashioned (Starward single barrel, demerara, and bitters) or the Old Man Old Fashioned (made with High West brandy finished bourbon). The bar here serves a full brunch and dinner menu, so you can combine a bourbon drink with a scrumptious meal.


Sassafras is a New Orleans-themed bar that brings a touch of the South to the sunny streets of Los Angeles. With antique furniture and an old conveyer belt that shows off the select whiskeys, bourbons, and other liquors available at this modern saloon, Sassafras is a throwback to another time. The bar was built in an old Savannah-style townhouse, further lending it a touch of the deep South. 

In addition to an incredible selection of bourbon, the bar serves a great Old Fashioned featuring an Old Forester 86 Proof Bourbon. Sassafras typically features live music and shows every Saturday, with the occasional old-school-style burlesque show on Sunday evenings. Weekends are always a great time here, with a lively vibe, a fun crowd, and the sense that you have been transported, at least for a moment, to a different time and place.

Drop by on any weekend night for a fun, raucous evening with wonderfully crafted drinks to enhance the mood of the night.