Los Angeles, CA

5 Best Live Music Bars in Los Angeles

Diana Bernardo

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Los Angeles has stunning concert halls and enormous arenas where some of the biggest names in the music industry often perform. But some people are not into big crowds every night of the week. So if you want to enjoy live music in a more intimate setting, here is a list of the best live music bars in the City of Angels!

The Silverlake Lounge

Located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, this bar supported the explosion of indie acts in the early 2000s. Bands like Rilo Kiley, Silversun Pickups, Metric, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club appeared regularly on the stage at the Silverlake Lounge. The bar continued to be a favorite among the local alternative crowd throughout the years. Even Lord Huron had a residency here when they were starting out.

The bar itself has a very long history dating back to the 1930s. The 1970s brought a change, and Silverlake Lounge started hosting drag and cabaret shows. The interiors have a grungy feeling, and many visitors regard the Silverlake Lounge as their neighborhood dive. It is no wonder because the food is excellent and drinks are surprisingly affordable.

The Hotel Cafe

The Hotel Cafe began as a small coffee shop in 2000, but it soon became one of the most beloved venues in Los Angeles. Located on Cahuenga Boulevard, many famous singer-songwriters performed here. The list includes John Mayer, Damien Rice, Meiko, and many more. The venue expanded thanks to the increased public interest and now has two stages. Plus, the Hotel Cafe also has a small record label.

Unfortunately, the Hotel Cafe stopped serving food, but there are plenty of restaurants in this part of Los Angeles if you want to grab a bite. The bar has a great selection of beer, spirits, and wine. With two stages and a busy events calendar, everyone can find a performance that suits their musical taste. So if you enjoy discovering brand new artists, spend a casual evening at the Hotel Cafe.

The Love Song Bar

The Love Song Bar is a dream come true for hipsters. The retro interiors are lovely, with vintage furniture, antiques, and an old piano in a corner. Additionally, the bar has an impressive vinyl collection, and the staff plays records all day long. Evenings are reserved for small live shows, usually by up-and-coming artists.

The food menu is somewhat unexciting, but the pizza is mouthwatering. With that said, the cocktails list is outstanding. Some of them celebrate icons of alternative culture. So you can order a Karen O, Arcade Fire, or Hunter S. Thompson cocktail. The Love Song Bar is a cozy place with an old-school feel that will make you feel welcome right away.

The Mint

The Mint is another longstanding bar on this list. Established in 1937, this legendary venue welcomed acts like Stevie Wonder, Mazzy Star, Jeff Buckley, and the Wallflowers. You will find the Mint on Pico Boulevard, close to Carthay Square. Here you can hear live music every night of the week.

While its focus is on indie, alternative, and rock, the Mint often shakes things up with country and Americana acts. The venue is spacious but still very intimate, with a good view of the stage and a performer regardless of where you are seated. Since the Mint is also a restaurant, guests may order food during live shows. House cocktails are popular, but the beer selection is outstanding too.

Molly Malone's Irish Pub

Even though it seems almost impossible, you can experience Ireland in the heart of Los Angeles. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub has been around for more than 50 years and is still a hit among locals. The pub has even made appearances in several Hollywood movies, solidifying its iconic status. Of course, the interiors are all about Ireland. You will see paintings of famous Irish figures, as well as the regular guests of the pub.

In the beginning, the pub focused on Irish traditional songs. The owners decided to include more genres, so now guests can enjoy all types of music (except for metal and hard rock). Flogging Molly, Joan Osborne, Lenny Kravitz, and many more performed at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.

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