20 LA Restaurants With Great Views
Head to these spots when you want to take it all in.
LA has smog, sprawl, and a lack of left-turn arrows, but when you get past all that, this city can be pretty scenic. We have mountains everywhere, sandy beaches, and that giant blue thing we call the Pacific Ocean. LA’s patio game is strong, but some spots have views that take it to the next level. Whether you’re trying to impress a boss, a visiting friend, or you simply want to stare at something cool for a few hours, here are 20 restaurants with views that’ll remind you why this city is so great.
Rooftop By JG
Here’s the thing about the Rooftop By JG—it’s located on top of the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, which means a meal here will cost more than whatever it takes to keep that giant fountain at Wilshire and Santa Monica going year-round. And here’s the other thing about this place—it has one of the most objectively jaw-dropping views in the entire city. Here's your plan of attack when it comes to food: skip it. The generic salad and roasted chicken-filled menu is mediocre. Head to the nearly 360-degree space for a few cocktails as the sun sets. It’s our go-to spot when we really want to show off the city to family and friends, but that said, we also leave with a little more love for LA, too.
photo credit: Conrad Los Angeles
San Laurel is one of the seemingly five hundred dining concepts inside the Conrad Los Angeles, a large high-rise hotel inside the larger Grand LA complex in Downtown. All the food comes from Spanish superchef/humanitarian José Andrés, and while there are some good dishes here—the sun-dried tomato tartare is a standout—everything at this 10th-floor restaurant generally falls into the “safe hotel food'' category. But when the views from the outdoor patio are this good, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll happily take down a Basque cheesecake while watching the sunset behind the Walt Disney Music Hall any day.
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photo credit: Matt Gendal
Perched above the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Calabra is a breezy Mediterranean restaurant with an indoor lounge, poolside patio, and curved couches that you can rent out for more privacy. On weekends, the music is loud and people get dressed up to be seen sipping mai tais by the giant circular bar. It’s also only a couple of blocks from the water though, meaning you’ll get unobstructed ocean views and the occasional waft of sea salt air.
Melrose Place LA
Melrose Place (the street, not the restaurant) is LA’s playground for people who like to sip cocktails on rooftops and show off how much Saint Laurent they own. For that reason alone, Melrose Place (the restaurant, not the street), is a perfect fit for the neighborhood. The two-story restaurant is bright and airy with tons of mid-century modern design touches that look great on social media, and the Soho House-esque crowd buzzing around the bar will remind you that you’re not, in fact, a Wilhelmina model. But the rooftop patio is worth a visit. With its own bar area, plush pink booths, fire features, and panoramic views of The Hills, it’s the ideal place when you’re in the mood to be glamorous and pretend the only thing you have to do next week is maybe fly to Milan.
As its name suggests, this Hollywood rooftop is much more of a bar than a restaurant, but come weeknights, you’ll be treated to live jazz and solid canapés like country bread with ricotta, potato croquettes, and a burger with comté cheese. Weekends get more intense—the crowd is composed mostly of tourists and social media stars—but when it all becomes too much, just head out to its massive wrap-around patio with 360-degree views of Hollywood.
Located on top of The Hoxton, Cabra has all the requisite Downtown rooftop amenities—great skyline views, a semi-rowdy crowd full of questionable hat choices, and a pool that someone’s absolutely going to fall into. But what sets Cabra apart from the pack is the food. Run by the chef from nearby Girl & The Goat, Cabra’s Peruvian-leaning menu is filled with light, shareable small plates that are great for large packs of friends and won’t fill you up to the point where you can’t go out afterward. There are definitely some bigger dishes, such as the excellent pork shank with tangerine salad and crispy potatoes, but we recommend sticking mostly to the “Cold Stuff.” Here’s where you’ll find everything from salmon ceviche with pistachio to tuna tiradito topped with passionfruit and jicama.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
Most of the dishes on Dear Jane’s seafood-leaning menu are what you’d expect from an upscale spot in Marina Del Rey. However, its harbor-facing dining room is an excellent spot to sip a martini, slurp oysters, and watch the sunset over the water after a long week. Plus, who doesn’t want to watch rich people float around on private boats knowing your office job awaits on Monday?
It seems like every other week a new, impressive hotel opens up on the Sunset Strip. The latest is The Pendry. The massive complex is actually a mix of hotel rooms, private residences, and several different restaurants, but you want to head right up to the rooftop restaurant, Merois, where you’ll be treated to views of the Hills, Downtown, and even Catalina when the smog hits just right. The Wolfgang Puck-helmed restaurant isn’t reinventing the wheel, but its seafood-heavy menu is filled with dishes like seared scallops, charred octopus, and other things that taste great as you watch the sunset over the city.
There are a lot of exciting things happening in LA right now, and we count the Beverly Hilton finally making something decent out of their rooftop space among them. The Greek/Mediterranean spot has expansive views of Beverly Hills and an excellent menu filled with dishes like marinated feta and flaky bourekas—plus a brand new indoor bar that debuted in late 2021. This is a great spot for an industry lunch, or when you need to appease a visiting friend who isn’t leaving until they see a celebrity.
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The days of Topanga Canyon’s LSD-fueled, counter-culture commune might be long gone, but there’s no denying this place is still weird as hell. Driving up from PCH, you’ll pass crystal shops, outdoor Shakespeare amphitheaters, and homemade art installations that have all become local landmarks. It’s a fascinating day trip, and one that’s made even better by having lunch at Cafe 27. The almost entirely outdoor space is built into the side of a hill with sweeping views of the canyon that feels like you’re eating inside the tree-house of your childhood dreams. But instead of warm M&Ms and juice boxes, you’ll refuel on omelets, sandwiches, and a very good avocado toast.
LA Cha Cha Chá
Between the massive palm groves, a separate stand-alone bar for late afternoon revelry, and views of the Downtown skyline from nearly every vantage point, Cha Cha Cha’s rooftop patio makes LA look like a million bucks. Add their delicious Mexican menu filled with things like tuna tostadas, tacos, and mezcal negronis, and it’s an ideal dinner spot for just about any occasion.
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Spire 73 is the rooftop lounge inside the InterContinental Hotel Downtown. And yes, the number 73 does mean it’s located on the 73rd floor, making it the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. We were shocked to learn that too, but either way, it makes for a fantastic setting to drink with coworkers or show off LA to a visiting friend. There are countless fire features, big mod chairs to sit in, and 360-degree views of LA. Grab the slaw-topped burger when you get hungry.
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There’s a reason that Margot continues to be so popular—it’s one of the best places on the Westside to catch a sunset. It’s on the roof of Culver City’s Platform complex, and has excellent views of the adjacent train junction. There’s also a wide-ranging menu filled with solid tapas, pasta, and big plates of meat, but you’re really here for the gin and tonics—because they’re fantastic. And the sunset, of course.
If anyone chooses a regular patio over a patio that looks out over the ocean, they are not to be trusted. Which is why, when given the opportunity, you should always have Ballast Point Long Beach waiting in your back pocket. Sure, most people obviously come here to drink beer, but their food menu is solid in its own right with burgers, fish tacos, flatbreads, and other things that go great with beer.
Located on a hilltop overlooking Hollywood, Yamashiro is an LA classic, with views of LA most restaurants only dream about. The 100-year-old Japanese restaurant is admittedly a bit over the top, but that’s exactly why you came here. The menu received a big overhaul a few years ago (which was very needed), and if you’re considering another round of those Zen Garden Martinis, the answer is always yes.
It’s not every day you’re going to be able to convince yourself (or anyone else) to drive to Burbank for a fancy dinner, but when it involves The Castaway, you make it happen. Yes, it’s a bit pricey here, but they recently re-did their menu, and it was a much-needed upgrade. That said, everyone’s still here to huddle around one of the outdoor fire pits and gaze out over the (shockingly) beautiful San Fernando Valley.
One of the best day trips everyone completely forgets about is a jaunt around the Palos Verdes peninsula. This extremely sleepy coastline has Malibu-level views with a fraction of the traffic, plus a fantastic restaurant to soak it all in: Mar’sel. As the main restaurant inside the Terranea resort, Mar’sel serves the kind of very solid (and very expensive) food you’d expect from a resort, unobstructed ocean views, and the romantic vibes that make this a perfect “See, I still love you” date spot.
Paradise Cove Beach Cafe
This beach cafe remains pretty touristy, but at the end of the day, eating your meal with your feet in the actual sand is why you’re here. The menu reads somewhere between cruise line dinner and community pool snack counter, but in general, everything tastes good and the portions are massive. Did we mention your feet are in the sand?
It’s kind of a toss-up as to which view is better at Nobu—the big blue Pacific ocean, or the people-watching. If you don’t see a celebrity here, you aren’t looking hard enough. We’d actually understand if the food here was mediocre, but the best part about Nobu is that it’s the opposite. All that excellent Japanese food comes at a price, but when Diane Keaton and her hats are sitting to your left, that’s the least of your worries.
The Strand House
Located in a giant three-story building with unobstructed ocean views in Manhattan Beach, you’re not going to find much better sights than the ones at The Strand House. Sitting on one of their many patios and watching the sunset with a margarita in one hand and hamachi crudo in the other is something we could do every day for the rest of our lives.