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LA

Guide

The Least-Awful Rooftop Bars In LA

When you absolutely have to be on a rooftop in LA, make it one of these 16 spots.

16 Spots
Launch Map
16 Spots
Launch Map
Updated May 25th, 2021

In a city with as much sunshine and tall buildings as LA, you’d assume it would be easy to find great bars, patios, and dance parties on rooftops. It’s not. But the weather’s getting warmer, you have a dress that’s been sitting in your closet for over a year, and there’s a deep yearning within you that’s begging for strong cocktails and panoramic views of the city.

But now is not the time to give in and go to places with overpriced drinks and crowds full of people who still scream when LMFAO comes on. Stick to these 16 rooftops in LA, always try to make a reservation, and both you and your tiny black dress will be happy.

Featured In

THE ROOFTOPS

Andrea D'Agosto

Cha Cha Cha

$$$$
$$$$ 820 E 3rd St

This is the rooftop bar to end all other rooftop bars. Not only is Cha Cha Cha not awful, but it somehow manages to achieve a perfect Venn diagram of fun, casual, and downright beautiful. Located on a lush, tree-filled rooftop in the Arts District, this is where you come when you want a one-way ticket to the city depicted in movies like La La Land. It’s the perfect place to swing by with a couple friends for mezcal cocktails and tuna tostadas, hit a romantic date night out of the ballpark, or seal the deal with someone you’re desperately trying to convince to move to LA.

Reservations can be made through their website.

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The First Timer’s Guide To Eating In LA

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E.P. & L.P.

$$$$ 603 N LA Cienega Blvd

Chances are, if you’re over 21 and owned a bandage dress in the year 2014, you’ve been to E.P. & L.P. Ever since they opened their doors on Melrose and La Cienaga, they’ve been famous for their incredible rooftop patio (and infamous for their long lines on the weekend). With unobstructed views of West Hollywood and plenty of space in between tables, it’s an ideal place to eat and drink outside while still feeling comfortable. They’ve been closed for the last year, but just reopened with a new menu (think lots of seafood, like baja tuna crudo and anchovy toast), a new wine program, and a completely redesigned space.

Reservations can be made through Resy.

Wonho Frank Lee

Mama Shelter

$$$$
$$$$ 6500 Selma Ave

This classic Hollywood restaurant can be a bit of a scene (we did attend a commercial post-production agency’s holiday party here once), but they’ve also got one of the best rooftop patios in the city. No matter what day of the week it is, you’ll find a fun crowd here, lounging on giant day beds while surrounded by spectacular views of the city. It’s a 50/50 mix of actors trying to get as drunk as possible, combined with Europeans on holiday doing the exact same thing. There’s a full food menu, movie-themed cocktails, foosball, and lots of room for you to stand back and watch the chaos unfold around you.

Limited capacity, operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Wonho Frank Lee

Broken Shaker

$$$$ 416 W 8th St

Located at the very top of the Freehand Hotel in Downtown LA, Broken Shaker is exactly what you might picture when the words “Los Angeles rooftop bar” pop into your head. Despite the hoards of people posing in front of the pool, $15 cocktails, and the overall see-and-be-seen attitude, this rooftop bar still manages to remain relatively low-key. It offers all the requisite things you need for a proper day at the pool, like strong drinks, unobstructed views of the city skyline, and enough animal floaties to populate Noah’s Ark.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Krystal Thompson

Margot

$$$$ 8820 Washington Blvd

We still don’t know how we feel about Culver City’s Platform complex (is it chic? Dystopian? Maybe both?). What we can be sure of, though, is the power of Margot’s rooftop patio. With excellent views of the California coast, plus a close proximity to the adjacent train junction, this popular patio on the Westside is secretly one of the best places in town to catch the sunset. There’s plenty of space to sit around, drink good cocktails, then choose from a solid menu of small plates like jamón Ibérico, crudo, and pan con tomate.

Reservations can be made through their Resy.

Pilot

Pilot

$$$$ 1060 S. Broadway, Rooftop

It’s no secret that many hotel restaurants start to look the same after a while, a constant revolving door of drab interior design, washed out overhead lighting, and “California-inspired” offerings that read like they were spit out of a menu generator. Avoid all that and head to Pilot. It’s located on the top of The Hoxton hotel in Downtown LA, and stands out due to their expansive skyline views, sleek outdoor patio, excellent tequila-heavy house cocktails, and a solid Mediterranean menu that features everything from black truffle mafaldi to a paella for two.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Harriet's Rooftop

Harriet's Rooftop

$$$$ 8490 W Sunset Blvd

If you’re looking for a place in Weho with incredible views, Harriet’s is going to be your best bet. They have a huge space on the top of the 1 Hotel West Hollywood, packed with pinstriped furniture, lots of trees, and a panoramic vantage point of the city, all of which make it feel like you’ve been invited to a treehouse’s inner sanctum. The cheese plates, bowls of fruit, and fish tacos are solid, and the seasonal cocktails are even better. What you’re really here for, though, is getting a taste of the kind of view you’d have from a $3 million house in the Hills.

Reservations can be made through their website.

The Rooftop by JG

Rooftop By JG

$$$$ 9850 Wilshire Blvd

Located on the 12th story of the Waldorf Astoria, this lush rooftop patio serves a panoramic experience that’s just as luxurious as the neighborhood it’s housed in. Emerald green chairs are draped in satin, cocktails are strong and tasty (we like the slightly spicy ginger margarita), and you’ll have a view of the city that’ll either make you feel like a bird soaring over the California coastline.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Catch

Catch

$$$$
$$$$ 8715 Melrose Ave

Half-night club, half-restaurant, Catch’s upstairs patio is nothing short of magic – there are plants draped over every surface, twinkly lights wherever you look, and a clientele that looks like they shop at Hermès and Acne “just for fun.” Much like Catch’s original outpost in NYC’s meatpacking district, this West Hollywood spot seems to attract every actress/model/DJ “on the brink of making it” within a five-mile radius. And while that may not seem like your ideal destination for a Friday night, their seafood-focused menu is quite solid, with dishes like grilled jumbo shrimp to wild-caught snapper sauteed in lemon brown butter and served with a black truffle puree.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Hotel Erwin

High Rooftop Bar at Hotel Erwin

$$$$
$$$$ 1697 Pacific Ave

LA is home to plenty of unsolved mysteries (like the sudden disappearance of the Mr. Peanut mural on Temple Street), but none are more perplexing than the lack of good rooftop pool/bars/restaurants on the Westside. Luckily, we have the High Lounge. The rooftop space at the Hotel Erwin in Venice is one of the few hotel rooftops you can check out even if you’re not a guest. Though there isn’t a pool, the drinks are solid and the views are as good as you’d expect from a hotel one block from the beach. The crowd on the weekends can get bro-tastic, but if you’re able to go on an off-time, or after work during the week, you might have the place to yourself.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Perch

Perch

$$$$
$$$$ 448 S Hill St

While Perch isn’t one of the new, shiny rooftop bars that have become ubiquitous with Downtown LA, it’s still a great option for when you’re in the mood to dramatically gaze off into the distance while you’re surrounded by super tall buildings. Located on the top floor of an old office complex overlooking Pershing Square, the view of downtown from Perch’s outdoor patio is spectacular, plus its fire pits, live jazz music, and solid French-leaning menu don’t hurt either.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Castaway

Castaway

$$$$
AmericanSteaks  in  Burbank
$$$$ 1250 E Harvard Rd

There aren’t too many reasons why we’d drive to Burbank, but a reservation at The Castaway is definitely one of them. Yes, dinner can easily cost $100 per person, but their recently redone menu now has a wide range of options, including short rib Benedicts at brunch, double smashburgers, and an entire raw bar. Plus, they also have $22 bottomless mimosas guaranteed to make the already fantastic views of the SFV even better.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Ace Hotel

Trying to find a restaurant that pleases everyone is difficult, even if that “everyone” just means you and your many whims and fancies. Head to the Ace Hotel. They’ve got a massive industrial rooftop space that’s got the best of every world imaginable, including a full bar, cozy outdoor fire pits, a pool area, and tons of tables to spread out on. Just know that it can certainly get crowded on the weekends.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Santolina

Sant'olina

$$$$ 9876 Wilshire Blvd

Up on the top of The Beverly Hilton hotel is where you’ll find Sant’olina – a new Mediterranean bar and restaurant offering spectacular views of the Los Angeles skyline. From the floral blue tablecloths to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the patio here reminds us of a fancy country club cabana, except without the wafting scent of sunscreen or stray tennis balls. Instead, you’ll find shareable dishes like phyllo-baked halloumi, bright-red beet muhammara, and grilled za’atar chicken served with preserved lemons and fattoush salad, all served from a vantage point you probably haven’t experienced since you last rode Disneyland’s Soarin’ Over California ride.

Reservations can be made through their website.

Bar Bohemian

Bar Bohemien

$$$$ 9355 Culver Blvd

The latest addition to Culver City’s rooftop pantheon is Bar Bohemien, a new cocktail lounge on the top of the historic Citizen Public Market. The building itself has been around since the 1920s, and mixes the original brickwork with plush leather green bar seats and huge, arched windows – creating somewhere that’s a little mysterious, a little art deco, and 100% where you should be going on your next first date. Look for drinks like the “Fire & Rain,” which combines mezcal, lavender bitters, and fresh lemon, or just choose from their list of craft beers and wines from local California producers.

Limited capacity, operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Torched!

Torched! At The Gastro Garage

$$$$ 6250 Hollywood Blvd

Over in West Hollywood, Torched! is a new experimental pop-up specializing in the art of table-side blowtorching. They’re located on the rooftop of the W Hollywood, where you’ll find a prix-fixe meal made up of eight courses, gorgeous views of the city, and more pyrotechnics than Lady Gaga’s halftime show. From braised New York strips to savory brioche donuts filled with nitrous foam, all of the dishes here are designed to be cooked via blowtorch, and are assembled on-site by skilled gastro mechanics. In the words of Paris Hilton, “That’s Hot.”

Dinners take place every Saturday and Sunday night, reservations can be made through their website.

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