Weho, Hollywood, Ktown, Downtown – these are the neighborhoods you tend to think of when planning a big night out in LA. But The Valley? Not so much. And though our massive neighbor to the North probably won’t ever be considered a beacon of LA nightlife, to say there’s no reason to get your drink on here would be a mistake. In fact, some of the craziest bars in the city are over the hill – you just have to know where to find them. So split that Uber fare among your friends and go get weird at our favorite places to drink in The Valley.
Plain and simple, this is the best bar in the Valley right now. After three decades of decay, somebody who knew exactly what they were doing bought this 90-year-old icon and turned it into a complete destination bar. Great craft beer, a solid cocktail list, one of our favorite patios in the city (there’s a giant bulldog status), and the kind of laid-back crowd you simply can’t get on the other side of the hills. Plus, if you don’t like drinking inside a two-story wooden barrel, you’re lying to yourself.
This casual wine bar right on Ventura is the kind of place you walk into and mutter “wow, this is really cool” under your breath without even realizing it. The space isn’t big, but with a wrap-around bar, two-seater booths, and a front couch area, there are plenty of places to burrow in for the night. The bartenders will happily let you taste as many wines as you’d like until finding the one you want, and if you get hungry, there’s a solid menu full of cheese, charcuterie, and everything else that tastes good while drinking wine.
This is one of those places where the vibe changes drastically depending on the time and day of the week. Midweek drop-in? Expect a more subdued, romantic atmosphere perfect for a first date night cap. Saturday night with a group of friends? Expect it dark, loud, and lively. But with a good beer list, above-average food, and one of the more unique spaces on Ventura (seriously, do hobbits live here?), Black Market always manages to find a way to fit the mood.
Heads up to all diehard craft beer drinkers in the Valley – you just got one of the better places to drink rare beer in the city. Surly Goat has been a Weho staple since the day it opened, and they’ve now expanded their empire to Encino, where they have all the room in the world. Expect lots of TVs, shuffleboard, pool tables, and of course, an always-amazing beer list. Encino is probably more well-known for its daycare options than nightlife spots, but if you’re in the neighborhood looking for good beer, Surly Goat is option one, two, and three.
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