The Ultimate Hipster Guide to LA

By Lesley Balla  |  November 11, 2013
Credit: Wurstkuche

Whether you’re a hipster or a wannabe hipster, hipsterdom has hit critical mass around LA. Just watch any Portlandia bit, and you’ll pretty much feel like it could be in Silver Lake, Echo Park or Downtown. Here are the essential elements of being a true hipster, from bikes to canned beer, and their culinary counterparts for the ultimate hipster dining guide to LA.

  • Credit: Blind Barber


    Dudes can take their facial hair to Blind Barber for some coiffing while their lady or man friends can head to the back bar for some craft cocktail quaffing. Two birds, one perfectly waxed soup strainer.

  • Bicycles

    The bicycle culture has caught on with popular events like Ciclavia and new bike paths around Downtown. A lot of events have bike valets now, including some at Angel City Brewing in the Arts District. Any day of the week, you’ll see two-wheelers parking themselves at Wurstkuche for sausages, Belgian fries and beer.

  • Credit: Golden Road

    Canned Beer

    It’s economical and eco-friendly, so canned beer is kind of cool right now. The Bowery in Hollywood doesn’t have beer on tap, but it does have a great list of canned beers that you should crack open alongside a burger. Check out happy hour when they're all only $4. Or hit Golden Road Brewing for canned beers like Point the Way IPA and Get Up Offa That Brown, which go great with the vegan-friendly menu.

  • Credit: El Prado


    The record collection at El Prado in Echo Park is almost as well known as the beer and wine selection. Weekends and big show nights at the Echo and Echoplex across the street are packed, but weekdays are pretty mellow. It all adds up to automatic hipster romance.

  • Credit: Handsome Coffee

    Serious Coffee

    The coffee explosion makes it possible to get a perfect pour-over in just about any corner of town. There are Handsome Coffee Roasters and Portland’s Stumptown in the Arts District, Go Get Em Tiger on Larchmont and G&B in Downtown’s Grand Central Market, plus Seattle newcomer Caffe Vita in Los Feliz almost usurping Intelligentsia Silver Lake's crown.

  • Ultralocavorism

    It’s not quite Portlandia’s “Is the chicken local?” skit, but knowing that your food comes from a neighbor’s garden (Forage) or Malibu mountainside (Red Medicine) will let your mind rest easy and your palate sing like Mumford & Sons.

  • Credit: Verdugo Bar

    Game Nights

    Jenga, Uno, Connect Four - you name it, they have it. Get your game on at Verdugo Bar during Patio Sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, when happy hour lasts from 3-7 PM. And any time at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, where links and suds will fuel the competition.

  • Credit: Honeycut

    Craft Cocktails

    When you’re looking for booty-shaking cocktails on tap, spirit-heavy concoctions in a piano bar, and a disco with a Saturday Night Fever dance floor, Honeycut, the new hidden hideaway below the O Hotel in Downtown LA, is your place.

  • Credit: Oldfield's Liquor Room


    Think old-timey cocktail lounges with mustachioed bartenders, lumberjack chic, pickling, brewing beer and butchers. What is this, the 1890s? No, it’s just the Thirsty Crow or Oldfield’s Liquor Room, Smog City or The Dudes' Brewing, and McCall’s Meat & Fish or Lindy & Grundy.

  • Credit: WBUR


    If you think having a constant flow of Fernet Branca, the bitter liqueur that gained popularity in the San Francisco cocktail scene a few years ago, means a place gets it, than you were probably the first to know (and to tell all of your friends that you knew first) that places like Harvard & Stone, Seven Grand, Eveleigh and Bar | Kitchen often use it in cocktails (or serve it straight). Bludso’s Bar & Que even has it on tap.