Since its conception as a cafeteria in 1935, Clifton's Republic has retained its trippy edge to claim icon status in Downtown LA. Its massive interior, dominated by a 12-metre-high fake redwood, is a five-storey playground – a riot of taxidermy and nature dioramas designed to inspire a sense of wonder as you sip your way through the choice of bars on each level. 648 South Broadway, Thurs-Sat 6pm-2am.
Located on the 73rd floor of the Intercontinental Downtown LA, this is the highest open-air bar in the western hemisphere. Settle beside fire pits to watch the sunset and the panorama of twinkling lights across LA, with a range of handcrafted cocktails and bar bites rivalling the view. An entry fee of $10 a person ($20 on weekends after 8pm) is waived for guests and those who reserve a table (minimum spend required). 900 Wilshire Boulevard.
Occupying a 1920s movie palace overlooking a Jesus Saves sign, the Ace Hotel spearheaded redevelopment in Downtown LA, and remains a favourite among movers and shakers. Its rooftop bar, Upstairs, is an intimate space with great people-watching poolside but also plenty of quiet nooks for conversation and cocktails. 929 South Broadway.
ANGEL CITY BREWERY
Angel City Brewery in the Arts District is both brewery and a community hub with a calendar of events offering everything from trivia to yoga. Tours are also available of the brewery, while the Public House has an selection of Angel City beer on tap, the perfect accompaniment to tacos bought from food trucks that congregate in the parking lot. A fun, casual and diverse space in an historic building. 216 Alameda Street.
With antiques, pressed tin walls, an old mahogany bar and vaulted stain-glass ceilings, The Wolves resembles a turn-of-the-century Parisian salon, its intimate booths the haunt of LA creatives. With balcony dining overlooking Spring Street and a live performance space, this is a bar to settle in for the long-haul, with French-inspired bar bites complementing the ambitious cocktail list created from home-made liqueurs. 519 South Spring Street.
Broken Shaker on the rooftop of the Freehand Hotel. Photo: Supplied
Located poolside on the rooftop of the Freehand Hotel, Broken Shaker – a James Beard Award finalist and winner of Tales of the Cocktail's Best American Hotel Bar award – brings a Miami beach vibe to the west coast, with pool parties and tiki-inspired decor. Its extensive cocktail list features exotic delights infused with homemade elixirs, as well as punch bowls that serve up to 12. 416 West 8th Street.
Julie Miller travelled as a guest of Los Angeles Tourism.