Let’s face it. A lot of people in L.A. are broke most of the time: That “no guacamole with your burrito,” “paycheck-to-paycheck” kind of broke. Some of us have two roommates or two jobs to pay for a one bedroom apartment because rent is seriously a joke (a really mean one at that). However, as much as we complain about the cost of living, ridiculous traffic, and rising gas prices, there’s nowhere else in the world we’d rather be. For those of us on a budget, even though we may live in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., that doesn’t mean we still can’t have a good time. With that said, here’s your essential pub crawl guide to the cheapest drinks this side of Fairfax.
First Stop: Happy Hour at Fiesta Cantina
Any pub crawl needs to begin with a decent happy hour, and Fiesta Cantina, located at 8865 Santa Monica Blvd., has one of the best happy hours in West Hollywood. Seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., they offer a 2-for-1 special on all drinks (yes, all drinks.) Their Bottomless Weekends feature bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s for $11.95 until 3 p.m. They also offer all you can eat tacos every Tuesday for $7.95, and if you’re anything like me, you can probably eat your weight in tacos. My biggest piece of advice: go slow and drink plenty of water. Visit www.fiestacantina.net to check out their other specials.
Next Stop: West Hollywood’s Famous Trunks
Located at 8809 Santa Monica Blvd., Trunks was the first bar I ever went to in L.A., long before I became a West Hollywood regular. It had everything I needed: cheap drinks and a pool table. (Back in New York, I was a serious pool hustler.) Nearly 15 years later, Trunks is still one of my favorite places to grab a drink. Beyond having a great staff that adds to its appeal as your friendly, neighborhood bar, Trunks also offers a solid variety of spirits for a fraction of the price. They’ve got Lagunitas, Stella Artois, Blue Moon, Corona, Bud Light, and Coors on tap for no more than $6, as well as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon for a whopping $4 a glass. I’m a fan of their house cocktails, which range from $9 for the Trunks Margarita, Sex on the Beach, and Trunks Clementine to $12 for their Old Fashioned and Signature Cosmopolitan. Trunks also offers a different happy hour for just about every day of the week. Visit west.hollywood.trunksbar.com to get their full menu.
Final Stop: West Hollywood’s First Sports Bar, GYM Bar
A fellow West Hollywood regular and very good friend of mine introduced me to GYM bar a few months ago, and it’s now become one of my favorite bars in L.A. Located at 8737 Santa Monica Blvd., GYM bar is known in West Hollywood as one of the only sports bars and decent places to play darts with just the right amount of dive. If sports aren’t your thing, they’ve got one helluva karaoke night every Monday. Disclaimer: the people who karaoke at GYM bar, including their bartender Josh, sound like they literally came straight from Broadway. (I sang “Wonderwall” by Oasis and instantly regretted it.) From 9 p.m. to close, on nearly every day of the week, they offer great deals on their drinks. On Sundays, they have $4 Pabst Blue Ribbon and $7.50 Three Olives cocktails. To kick off the work week, on Mondays they have $7.50 Three Olives Vodka and $4 bottles of Bud and Bud Light. Tuesdays offer $6 well drinks, $3 pints, and $11 pitchers of Miller Lite and Coors Light. Visit www.gymsportsbar.com for more drink specials.
Encore: Five Guys to Soak Up All that Booze
Right next to GYM Bar is one of my favorite sandwich staples, Five Guys. Anyone who’s had their fair share of drunken nights knows that there’s nothing better to sober you up than grease and carbs, and Five Guys offers just that and so much more. They’re simple, to the point, and hit the spot.
My final words of advice: take a friend, drink responsibly, and don’t Snapchat anything you’ll regret in the morning.