Thinking of dating in Los Angeles? Well, let me tell you, having lived in this city for a while, I've had my fair share of experiences in the LA dating scene. So, consider this your most up-to-date guide on the dating scene in La-La Land, straight from someone who's been there and done that.
So what’s the Los Angeles dating scene like? All in all, it’s vibrant, diverse, and fast—which is all good news for a single person who’s looking to meet and mingle.
That said, while you’ll enjoy a never-ending list of people to meet and places to go in Los Angeles, you’ll likely face certain challenges when it comes to getting into long-term relationships, settling down, raising a family—that sort of thing. So it’s best to play LA’s glitzy dating game knowing exactly what to expect.
What Dating in Los Angeles is Like Right Now
Many young people go to LA to find work. Employers like the University of Southern California, Northrop Grumman, Kroger Corp, Amazon, and Walt Disney Co. entice workers from all over the country to pursue their careers at Tinseltown.
And aside from Los Angeles’s usual tourist spots, there are many other lesser-known points of interest as well, such as the hiking trails around Griffith Park, the vibrant atmosphere of Los Callejones, and the little hidden gems in and around Long Beach.
Why You Should Be Using at Least One App
When dating in Los Angeles, you must have at least one dating app on your phone. With Los Angelean singles being so busy and the crowd being so diverse, you’ll need some help sorting through the crowd.
We do recommend two particular apps:
- If you’re looking for quick flings and casual partners, then AFF (which has a great free trial) is for you.
- Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more serious connection, then eHarmony is the app to use.
Both apps have free trials, so be sure to sign up when you throw your hat into the Los Angeles dating scene. You might also want to check out our other recommendations of the best dating apps in Los Angeles.
Where to Meet Someone to Date in Los Angeles
You can't just stay in and expect to find a date in this city. You've got to put yourself out there. From my own experiences, I've come up with over 40 spots where you can meet and mingle with like-minded singles. These places are not just for casual encounters; they're where people tend to look for real relationships. One of my favorite places for meeting people is The Woodman in Sherman Oaks. I've been there a few times, and it's got a fantastic atmosphere for striking up conversations. I usually get the attention of someone there easily because of how chill the vibe is. Everyone's there to have fun, so it's easy to chat with everyone. Plus, it's a great spot to watch a game and chat with fellow sports enthusiasts.
This guide will have over 40 recommended spots where you can meet and mingle with like-minded singles. These are places where people tend to be looking more for relationships instead of something super casual. If you're not looking for a commitment check out our favorite spots to find hookups in LA.
The criteria is simple—these places all have these traits:
- Lots of singles
- Fun atmosphere
- Easy to mix and mingle with new people
- Quiet enough to actually have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively inexpensive
Let’s start with the first kind of spot that comes to mind:
The Best Singles Bars in Los Angeles
With so many single people, the Los Angeles night scene is all too happy to cater to their diverse tastes. There are many bars where singles go specifically to socialize, and these are some of the better ones:
- The Woodman in Sherman Oaks - 13615 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
- Surly Goat - 7929 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
- Broken Shaker on the roof of the Commercial Exchange Building - 416 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
- Perch on the roof of Pershing Square Building - 448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Seven Grand - 515 W 7th St 2nd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90014
- Mr. Furley's - 14649 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
- Bigfoot West in 1933 Group - 10939 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
- Black Market - 2060 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
- The Fifth if you’re a guy who’s into older women (you should also check out our favorites ways to meet LA cougars) - 4821 Whitsett Ave, Valley Village, CA 91607
Of course, this isn’t nearly an exhaustive list, but you can’t go wrong by giving these bars a try. You’ll eventually find what you like and where your type of crowd hangs out.
Other Great Places to Find a Date in Los Angeles
Of course, when you’re in a city like Los Angeles, it’d be a mistake to limit yourself to bars and gastropubs. You’ll want to check out dance clubs, music lounges, and popular coffee houses as well. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Arena Ktown in Ktown - 3319 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
- Resident, a beer garden - 428 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Sam First in M-Theory Group - 6171 W Century Blvd #180, Los Angeles, CA 90045
- Old Man Bar in Hatchet Hall - 12517 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
- Coffee Connection - 3838 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
- Moongoat Coffee - 7200 Acacia Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841
- Erewhon Market in Broadcast Center Apartments - 7660 Beverly Blvd A, Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you're looking for someone who shares similar interests another great option is Meetup. It's really popular in LA and an easy way to meet other singles in a low-stress way. Also, don’t forget to check out our Los Angeles app guide for an easier, more enjoyable time.
The Apps Dating Coaches Recommend Most For Dating in Los Angeles
Modern dating requires modern solutions. So far, the best solution we’ve found for perpetual singledom is dating apps. Aside from going to places that are popular with single women, you should also be using at least one of the dating apps we’ve tried below.
Site Our Experience Our Rating Free Trial Link Experience Highlights Try eHarmony Experience Highlights Try AFF For Free Tinder Highlights Try Tinder
What About Speed Dating in Los Angeles?
Speed dating is still a thing, and it’s very much alive and well in the Los Angeles dating scene. For a reasonable cover fee, you could meet up to 20 singles in an hour or so. That’s a fast way to make new friends, dates, and potential lovers.
Speed dating is great in that you don’t need to “match” with anyone as in dating apps, and it’s done in a safe, controlled environment where people actually want to meet you. So there’s no awkwardness or tension, and each interaction is short and sweet.
If you want to try speed dating in Los Angeles, I suggest you get in touch with agencies who make it their specialty. These include:
Our Best Date Ideas in Los Angeles and Why They're Great
Okay, so let’s say you immersed yourself in LA’s nightlife for a while, and you met someone great. You hit it off really well—you had lots in common, you had the same sense of humor, and you love spending time with each other. Where do you take them next?
Now you’ll need to shift gears a bit, as dinner dates will start feeling boring. Instead, you’ll want date ideas that:
- Have fun and upbeat energy
- Have things going on around you that you can talk about
- Don’t involve you sitting face-to-face for long periods of time
- Have you both moving around a bit
- Aren’t too expensive
- Don’t last for hours and hours so you can cut it short if there isn't any chemistry
- Allow both of you to feel comfortable
- Have a little friendly competition
So, you might want to consider dates that involve the following locations and activities:
- Ice skating
- Take a dance class together
- Shoot some arrows at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Check out a street fair (we have tons)
- Axe throwing
- Escape room
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with booze)
- Botanical garden
Los Angeles never runs out of new things to do, so keep your ears out and mind open for great date ideas. Remember: Simple dates that are fun and exciting are often better than expensive, pretentious ones.
The First Date Idea That We Always Recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in Los Angeles is we always tell them the same thing: meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well you can always extend the date into one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in Los Angeles
Ah yes—the go-to date option. Is it actually advisable to take a date to the bar? If the bar is in a city like Los Angeles, then the answer is definitely “yes.” You could go to a uniquely themed bar every day for a year and still have tons of options left over.
Also, in general, everyone goes to bars on dates. It’s cozy, inexpensive, and fun. Plus, you don’t have to stay in one bar—you can hop to as many as you can manage in a single night. So if the one you’re in right now is too noisy or the crowd’s too rowdy, there’s always the next one.
Here are some of the best date bars in Los Angeles, in our opinion:
- The One Up - 13625 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
- 4100 Bar - 1087 Manzanita St, Los Angeles, CA 90029
- Next Door Lounge - 1154 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
- Oldfield's Liquor Room - 10899 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
- Frolic Room in Hollywood Pantages Theater - 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
- Burgundy Room in Hotel West Inn Hollywood - 1621 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Again—it’s not an exhaustive list, and you’ll likely stumble onto a bar or ten that suits you better than these samples. Just try it out and see how you and your date like it!
Best Date Night Restaurants in Los Angeles
What about restaurants? A city like Los Angeles won’t be in any shortage of fun, exciting restaurants to try. But are they good options for date night?
The answer depends on your relationship with your date. If it’s your first date, then unfortunately restaurants aren’t all that great for it. Why not? Simple—because there’s nothing to do besides talk and eat. First dates make the best impressions when they’re filled with many different enjoyable activities and experiences, and that’s not typically what you’ll get in a restaurant.
Meanwhile, if you’re already a couple, then restaurants are excellent choices for date night. When you already know each other quite well, then chatting over a good meal is a great way to spend your time together. If that sounds like you and you’d like some options, here are our favorite date night restaurants in Los Angeles:
- Laurel Tavern - 11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
- Firefly - 11720 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
- Laurel Hardware - 7984 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
- Commerson at Wilshire La Brea Apartments - 788 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
- The Guest House - 1750 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Garden Café at Norton Simon Museum - 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
- Union Restaurant - 37 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
- Tony's on the Pier at Redondo Beach Pier - 210 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
More Date Spots in Los Angeles We Love
Naturally, you’re not limited to evening dates. LA has many daytime points of interest that make for great date spots as well. We’re talking about parks, hiking trails, museums, game centers, and more.
If you’re thinking of mixing things up with your date—and you should—then here are more date spots in Los Angeles we love:
- Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Night Market at Yamashiro - 1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
- City of Hermosa Beach
- Norton Simon Museum - 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
- Huntington Library - 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108
- The Getty Center - 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
- GameHaus - 1800 S Brand Blvd #107, Glendale, CA 91204
- Highland Park Bowl - 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
- XLanes in Little Tokyo Galleria - 333 Alameda St #300, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Now that you've got some insights from someone who's been in the dating trenches of Los Angeles, it's your turn to explore this vibrant dating scene. Remember, dating should be about connecting with someone special and having a great time together in this exciting city.