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An Updated Guide to Al Fresco Dining in Los Angeles

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2008_10_hasmapsalfrescodining.jpgEvery year in Los Angeles it seems like summer just doesn't want to give up. The warm weather, endless sun, and cloudless sky stick around well into September and even October. That makes this time of year the perfect opportunity to enjoy meals al fresco, or outdoors. Many restaurants dedicate a large part of their floorspace to accommodating patios. And it also doesn't hurt that a lot of the market-driven cooking and freshly-shaken cocktails are conducive to dining under the sun (under umbrellas) or even under the stars late into the night. Below, Eater presents an updated guide to the best al fresco dining in Los Angeles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
8700 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 859-9859
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After taking over the previous spot Il Covo, AOC now has one of the most charming patios in the city, a completely enclosed area that feels like an Italian villa, not the middle of the city. Chef Suzanne Goin is still preparing market-fresh cuisine like wood-fired clams while sommelier Caroline Styne pairs them with terrific glasses of wine.

2. Alcove Cafe & Bakery

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1929 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-0100
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This popular eatery in Los Feliz has an expansive patio that's great during the day or even late into the evening. The food and baked goods are probably a little unremarkable but with such a nice place to sit it's hard to complain.

3. Venice Beach Wines

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529 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 606-2529
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This local favorite has a swell patio that overlooks Rose Avenue, one of the most happening blocks in the city. This wine bar is a great place to nosh on small bites while sipping a glass of beer or wine.

4. A-Frame

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12565 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90066
(310) 398-7700
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Roy Choi's ode to Hawaiian and Asian cuisine was inspired by picnic dining, and the dishes follow suit by being finger-friendly courses that are best consumed by your hands. The swordfish tacos, beer-can roasted chicken (fried chicken on the weekends), and hoisin ribs are the best things to get, in addition to the fantastic double-patty burger.

5. The Sycamore Kitchen

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143 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-0151
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Though surrounded by brick wall and concrete, this patio is a great place to enjoy coffee or tea and some of the best baked goods and sandwiches in the city, all conceived by the Hatfield's crew. The turkey sandwich and double BLT-A are especially worth ordering.

6. Paichẽ

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13488 Maxella Ave
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 893-6100
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Ricardo Zarate's newest venture, an homage to the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors, sits just a stone's throw away from the ocean, where cool breezes will make the patio one of the best places in the city this summer.

7. Sunny Spot

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822 Washington Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 448-8884
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Roy Choi's take on Jamaican cuisine is a great place to enjoy a meal under the sun. The brunch has a delicious spicy shrimp and grits while dinner features things like jerk chicken, baby back ribs, and roasted lamb. Cocktails are stellar too, with the Death in the D.R. boasting Dominican rum, lime, honey, absinthe, and champagne.

8. Chosun Galbee

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3330 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 734-3330
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While not quite as open as a traditional patio, this outdoor part of Chosun Galbee is great for Korean barbecue fans that would rather not smell like smoke at the end of the meal. Hanbok-wearing servers come around and prepare the grilled meats right before your eyes.

9. Sadie Kitchen and Lounge

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1638 N Las Palmas Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 467-0200
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Though the great cocktails by barman Giovanni Martinez are great enjoyed next to the bar, the patio is really where the action is at Sadie. The southern shrimp & grits and 8oz Sadie burger are menu standouts, along with the Tuscan black kale salad with butternut squash and blueberries.

10. Café Gratitude

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639 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 580-6383
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Both the Rose Ave and this Larchmont location of Cafe Gratitude boast great patios, where diners can dig into a homemade veggie burger or a macriobiotic bowl with sea vegetables. Wash it down with a freshly made glass of juice.

11. Goldie's

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8422 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 677-2470
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The patio sits to the side of this design-minded restaurant on West Third, where every market-driven dishes can be enjoyed from morning until evening. There's bircher muesli for breakfast, diver scallops with kohlrabi for lunch, and hand cut tagliatelle with dungeness crab for dinner, along with great cocktails.

12. Mr Chow Malibu

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(310) 456-7600
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The second outpost of Mr. Chow's LA operation, this terrific setting for high-end Chinese has a great patio to enjoy outdoor dining throughout the summer. They also serve lunch on the weekends for the summer.

13. Little Next Door

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8142 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-1010
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This cute French bistro on West Third feels a bit like Paris, a little more casual than the Little Door. There's escargot, charcuterie, Nicoise salads, and moules frites, all paired with champagne or other beverages for a great summer night's dinner.

14. Dominick's

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8715 Beverly Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 652-2335
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Chef Brandon Boudet's old-school Italian, with pastas like spaghetti and meatballs or whitefish picatta are great when enjoyed in the confines of Dominick's patio.

15. Il Cielo

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9018 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 276-9990
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Arguably one of the most enjoyable patios in the city, the romantic ambiance tends fills up quickly with diners on dates. There are even rose petals and candles galore.

16. Barney Greengrass

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9570 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 777-5877
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Perched over Beverly Hills, this underrated aerie has great smoked and cured fish, like the white fish or lox, especially when placed over bagels and spread with cream cheese. There's a near unobstructed view of the Hollywood Hills that makes this a great al fresco spot.

17. Drago Centro

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525 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-8998
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A recent addition to this large Italian restaurant in the Financial District, the patio is a congenial place to enjoy happy hour or a casual lunch with co-workers. The pastas are all handmade and the cocktails are worth ordering in twos.

18. Wilshire Restaurant

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2454 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 586-1707
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Another one of the great enclosed patio spaces in the city, Wilshire Restaurant has a magical evening ambiance, where diners can enjoy market-driven cooking under the stars.

19. Polo Lounge

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9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 887-2777
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Newly redesigned and updated for this century, Polo Lounge is still one of the ultimate places in LA to see and be seen.

20. Scarpetta

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225 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 860-7970
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Located on the edge of a fully conceived park in the middle of the Beverly Hills Triangle, this patio at Scott Conant's Scarpetta makes the hours waste away, with glasses of prosecco and bites like burrata with roasted cauliflower, yellowtail crudo, and of course the signature spaghetti as the perfect companions.

21. Perch

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448 S Hill St 13th F
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 802-1770
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This restaurant and lounge towering over Pershing Square in Downtown is one of the most remarkable places to enjoy an outdoor drink or dish in the city.

22. Eveleigh

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8752 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 239-1630
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Still a hot spot on the Sunset Strip, the quality of the cocktails never seem to wane here, with a constant flow of innovative bartenders mixing and shaking behind the bar. The food is pretty good too.

23. Ray's & Stark Bar

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5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6180
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A tremendous spot to enjoy a midsummer night's dinner (or a midday lunch), Ray's presents chef Kris Morningstar's elegant, simple comfort fare in constant view of museum-goers.

24. Spago Beverly Hills

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176 N Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-0880
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Wolfgang Puck's enduring flagship in Beverly Hills still has one of the best patio spaces in the city, thanks in part to an improved menu that encourages more casual dining and sharing of plates. Chances of catching a celebrity dining here might be higher than anywhere else in Beverly Hills.

25. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air

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701 Stone Canyon Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90077
(310) 472-1211
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Definitely one of the most glamorous places to enjoy a meal outdoors in L.A. There are lush gardens all around and a massive marble fireplace to warm things up. The fare is standard high-end Wolfgang Puck, meaning loup de mer with sweet white corn or crispy veal "wiener schnitzel."

26. Connie and Ted's Seafood

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8171 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 848-2722
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This West Hollywood seafood shack has an impressive patio that overlooks Santa Monica Blvd, which doesn't necessarily beat the Atlantic Ocean in terms of view. But still, Michael Cimarusti's perfectly executed New England seafood fare more than makes up for it.

27. Wood & Vine

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6280 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 334-3360
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The rather extensive outdoor patio at this Hollywood restaurant features a blazing firepit, which adds both warmth and comfort to the entire space. The happy hour is definitely the time to come, where drinks are a mere $5. Definitely a great urban escape from the absolute mess that is Hollywood Blvd at times.

28. Laurel Hardware

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7984 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 656-6070
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The back garden patio at Laurel Hardware, the popular West Hollywood eatery and bar, might be one of the loveliest places to enjoy a casual lunch, dinner, or brunch. With trees and natural shrubs galore, it feels like an escape from the bustle of the city. Nosh on the fantastic burger, featuring comte cheese and Peruvian rocoto sauce, or enjoy the lamb neck with mustard spaetzle.

29. Bucato

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3280 Helms Ave
Culver City, CA 90034
(310) 876-0286
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This Culver City newcomer has more patio space than dining room area, which means it's the ideal place to enjoy a meal outdoors. Evan Funke's near-perfect pasta, made with the utmost care and attention to detail, might be some of the best in the city. And everyone raves about focaccia for good reason.

30. Flores

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2024 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 273-6469
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This small patio in the former Sawtelle Kitchen space has a complete barrier against the boisterous Sawtelle sidewalk, making it an ideal place to snack on things like pork croquettas, deviled eggs, or a large place of lamb pasta while sipping rose or a terrific glass of Cote du Rhone. More of a nighttime al fresco spot, though Flores does lunch, too.

31. Rao's

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1006 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 962-7267

The back patio at this hideaway of a restaurant in Hollywood is the new hangout for celebrities and those looking to people watch in general. The familiar Italian-American food doesn't challenge, but maybe that's a good thing. You wouldn't want the meatballs to get in the way of the stars, but at the tables and in the sky above.

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1. AOC

8700 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

After taking over the previous spot Il Covo, AOC now has one of the most charming patios in the city, a completely enclosed area that feels like an Italian villa, not the middle of the city. Chef Suzanne Goin is still preparing market-fresh cuisine like wood-fired clams while sommelier Caroline Styne pairs them with terrific glasses of wine.

8700 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

2. Alcove Cafe & Bakery

1929 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

This popular eatery in Los Feliz has an expansive patio that's great during the day or even late into the evening. The food and baked goods are probably a little unremarkable but with such a nice place to sit it's hard to complain.

1929 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

3. Venice Beach Wines

529 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291

This local favorite has a swell patio that overlooks Rose Avenue, one of the most happening blocks in the city. This wine bar is a great place to nosh on small bites while sipping a glass of beer or wine.

529 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

4. A-Frame

12565 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

Roy Choi's ode to Hawaiian and Asian cuisine was inspired by picnic dining, and the dishes follow suit by being finger-friendly courses that are best consumed by your hands. The swordfish tacos, beer-can roasted chicken (fried chicken on the weekends), and hoisin ribs are the best things to get, in addition to the fantastic double-patty burger.

12565 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90066

5. The Sycamore Kitchen

143 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Though surrounded by brick wall and concrete, this patio is a great place to enjoy coffee or tea and some of the best baked goods and sandwiches in the city, all conceived by the Hatfield's crew. The turkey sandwich and double BLT-A are especially worth ordering.

143 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

6. Paichẽ

13488 Maxella Ave, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Ricardo Zarate's newest venture, an homage to the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors, sits just a stone's throw away from the ocean, where cool breezes will make the patio one of the best places in the city this summer.

13488 Maxella Ave
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

7. Sunny Spot

822 Washington Blvd, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Roy Choi's take on Jamaican cuisine is a great place to enjoy a meal under the sun. The brunch has a delicious spicy shrimp and grits while dinner features things like jerk chicken, baby back ribs, and roasted lamb. Cocktails are stellar too, with the Death in the D.R. boasting Dominican rum, lime, honey, absinthe, and champagne.

822 Washington Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

8. Chosun Galbee

3330 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

While not quite as open as a traditional patio, this outdoor part of Chosun Galbee is great for Korean barbecue fans that would rather not smell like smoke at the end of the meal. Hanbok-wearing servers come around and prepare the grilled meats right before your eyes.

3330 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

9. Sadie Kitchen and Lounge

1638 N Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028

Though the great cocktails by barman Giovanni Martinez are great enjoyed next to the bar, the patio is really where the action is at Sadie. The southern shrimp & grits and 8oz Sadie burger are menu standouts, along with the Tuscan black kale salad with butternut squash and blueberries.

1638 N Las Palmas Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028

10. Café Gratitude

639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004