Echo Park Bars & Nightlife
1498 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
The most coveted seats inside this small, dim tequila bar are on the wraparound velvet couch, and if you can snag it, by all means do. On the weekends especially, Bar Caló gets crowded with Eastsiders who come for the mezcal and stay for the food. Everything on the menu is meant to be shared, like the Oaxacan hot chicken, roasted garlic guacamole, or a quesadilla with queso fresco and mezcal salsa. The cocktails are all impressive, the food is authentic, and in the summer when the patio is lively and bustling, the whole place hums with a good time.
1412 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park
By day, this Echo Park hangout is a café where patrons curl up on leather sofas with books and laptops, sipping coffee and ordering salads packed with veggies and grains or comforting bowls of tomato soup with toasted sourdough. Once early evening hits, though, it transforms into a jam-packed bar and restaurant, where locals stop in for the popular happy hour and huge cocktail list.
2150 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Judging by the droves of locals who come out to newly opened Bar Bandini on a nightly basis, the dimly lit, refreshingly underdesigned spot met a very obvious need for a chill—but just romantic enough—neighborhood watering hole. The owners earned their stripes working in the food industry in both NYC and LA and wanted to focus on all-natural and organic wines, which they source almost exclusively in-state and serve on tap (the craft beer selection is also worth exploring). It's all supported by a menu of bar snacks (the Sicilian olives are bomb) and small plates of cured meats and local cheeses.
1805 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
This place attracts a local crowd of stylish Echo Parkers with its woodsy/design-y interior, great music, and well-curated selection of beer and wine. It's a bit small, but we actually like that it's snug, while the location makes it ideal for a pre- or post-Echoplex drink.