The Sunset Strip needs no introduction. It is, after all, one of the most famous stretches of pavement in the entire world. Spanning roughly from Crescent Heights to Doheny, this mile-and-a-half conglomeration of bars, restaurants, hotels, and grungy music venues is where extremely famous people come to live and other famous people come to die. Frankly put, it’s a complete sh*show.
And though its days as a rock n’ roll epicenter are long gone, The Strip still lives up to its debaucherous reputation. Except for one thing - it’s mostly terrible. There are only so many overpriced rooftop restaurants and franchised dance clubs you can handle before realizing you’ve completely wasted your Saturday night. That said, there are ways to do it correctly. Whether it’s a rowdy country bar or the best sushi restaurant in LA, here are 15 places where you want to be eating and drinking on The Strip.
In 2010, an LA kid opened a nondescript restaurant next to his parents’ Thai spot on Sunset, and completely changed how people eat and drink on The Strip. One of the best restaurants in the entire city, Night + Market is casual, shockingly easy to get into, and has an open dining room that turns into a full-on party most nights of the week. The food is spicy, but there’s an extensive wine list and giant towers of Chang beer to help cool things down.
Chateau is probably the main reason why you’re on The Strip. This classic hotel/bar/restaurant is the spot your friend from the East Coast has been wanting to check out since before they even booked their flight. It’s hard to blame them. Chateau is always a good time, and there’s no better vantage point to watch a very famous person eat a salad outside. Tables on the patio are usually hard to come by, so we tend to walk into the bar, order cocktails, and then people-watch behind our favorite pair of oversized sunglasses.
Sometimes you just have to say “f*ck it,” go to Saddle Ranch, take a Fireball shot, and ride the bull till dawn. We love Saddle Ranch because it knows exactly what it is - a ridiculous disaster of a bar that’s as rowdy as it is cheesy. You’re going to make out with someone with a Monster energy drink tattoo and they’re going to ask for a ride to their parents’ house in the morning, but you’re not even mad. It’s exactly what you signed up for.
Sushi Park is the exact opposite of whatever gaudy restaurant on The Strip where you celebrated your step brother’s college graduation seven years ago. Located on the second floor of an ordinary strip mall, this no-nonsense sushi place is where you’ll find some of the very best fish in the city. Omakase at the bar is the way to go, but if you’re in the mood for something lighter, a la carte is available at the tables. Just don’t expect any California rolls, tempura, or teriyaki. Those are banned and there’s a sign out front specifically stating so.
Like Chateau Marmont, this hotel pool bar/restaurant is about one thing - the scene. Come here any day of the week and you’ll find great service, famous people screaming into their cell phones, not famous people doing photoshoots in the pool, and the purposely unemployed getting as drunk as possible at 3pm. Inside you’ll find a mediocre restaurant component, but skip that, and go right to the pool area instead. This is where all the action is, and even though the $19 price point on the drink is a tough pill to swallow, the cocktails themselves are pretty good (read: strong).
You could argue that The Pikey is technically not on The Strip and you’d probably be right. But given the extreme lack of tolerable bars around here, it’s best to keep this British bar in your back pocket. Down the block from Zankou Chicken on Sunset, The Pikey has a cheesy pub aesthetic, but after few pints and a bowl of curry, you don’t care. The crowd is definitely trying to get as drunk as possible, and you’ll want to join them. They also have a late-night Happy Hour on the weekends.
Considering how much of a nightlife destination The Strip is, quality late-night food options are almost non-existent - save for Greenblatt’s. This classic Jewish Deli has been open since 1926, and while it’s not our favorite deli in town, it’s still pretty good - especially after a long night of tequila sodas. Our order is usually the #3 hot pastrami, a bowl of matzo soup, and at least a pint of macaroni salad for the Lyft ride home.
Tesse isn’t a great restaurant, but it is great for very specific situations. Namely, when you need to impress a client, close a deal, or appease your boss who spent all day screaming at Jerry Bruckheimer over the phone. In other words, it’s a total industry restaurant. The big, modern space is objectively beautiful, but also objectively soulless. It looks like someone’s third home in the Palisades that gets cleaned twice a week even though no one’s slept there in six months. The meat-heavy menu is enormous and pretty inconsistent, but if you stick to the tartare, the charcuterie, and the desserts, you’ll have a perfectly fine meal.
Let’s not forget that Sunset was once home to the most important music scene in the country. While those days are behind us now, the holy trinity of The Whiskey, The Roxy, and The Viper remain, each with their own long and extremely infamous histories. The Roxy remains the best place to get whiskey-hammered and listen to live music. Nobody has a more consistent lineup and better sound than this enduring icon.
Just when you reach that point where you can’t take another second on The Strip, Rock N’ Reilly’s saves the night. This is where you go when you’re completely done waiting in line at Skybar, and some Euro-bro just asked you if he can walk to the Bellagio from here. Time for some whiskey shots, fish and chips, and a narrow back patio that gets wild in a hurry.
If the lines of paparazzi at Chateau Marmont give you anxiety, head around the corner to Chateau Hanare. Located inside an old bungalow in Chateau’s back property, Hanare is the most objectively serene restaurant on Sunset. An upscale Japanese spot, it’s definitely overpriced (what else is new?), but the kaiseki food here is good. Make sure the house-made tofu, kanpachi, and fried chicken hit the table.
Maybe you’re not looking for fancy food and/or pools with DJs. If you’re just cutting across town and need a quick and affordable meal, go eat some soup at Daikokuya. The classic ramen spot opened fairly recently on Sunset, but the quality is just as high as the original in Little Tokyo. Also, the interior is dark and quiet, making it the perfect place to hide away and eat a bowl of noodles by yourself.
Daughter’s is a new Jewish deli run by the granddaughter of LA pastrami royalty - the owner of Langer’s. This tiny, order-at-the-counter spot only has a few tables and some stools, so this isn’t your work floor lunch spot. Come here when your life is hanging by a thread and you need to cry into some matzo ball soup in solitude. The pastrami hasn’t reached Langer’s levels yet, but it’s still solid, and they certainly know how to build a good sandwich. That said, our favorite thing here is the bagel and lox.
In the land of sky-high rooftop bars and unneeded infinity pools, The Den remains a relatively low-key (and low to the ground) drinking option on The Strip. It gets bro-tastic on the weekends, but if you’re here, that’s probably what you’re looking for anyways. There’s never a line or cover, and those fire pits out front just got way more exciting after that shot of tequila you just took.
Pinche’s is a chain these days, but the tiny OG Weho location has four letters that the other locations do not: BYOB. In a city that will do anything in its power to stop you from bringing your own booze, Pinche’s welcomes it with open arms. Combine that with a relaxed, bright space and tacos that are always better than you remember them being, your Sunset Strip jumping off point has been found.