Early pandemic days helped to expand outdoor seating in Los Angeles, with city officials shortening and streamlining the approval process to make adding outdoor seats less costly. It’s been a welcome addition to the Southland’s already stunning patios and rooftops, where adjacent parking lots and sidewalks are now ideal al fresco drinking spots for the foreseeable future. It makes sense in a city with 330 average days of sunshine, so LA will take its wins wherever it can. Here are our picks for places to drink al fresco in Los Angeles from north to south.Read More
19 Delightful Places to Sip Cocktails Outside in LA
Have drinks outside on rooftops, patios, and sidewalks
1886 Bar at the Raymond
The Raymond features three outdoor patios. The largest West patio, is primarily for dining but will accommodate walk-ins. The 1886 bar, which has been around for more than a decade, has built a reputation of offering well-crafted cocktails, not only on its seasonal menu but with an impressive 600 cocktails available off-menu. A longtime favorite since the bar opened in 2010 is the Smoking Jacket, a smoky sipper made with pot still Irish whiskey, tobacco bitters, maplewood smoke, and orange-vanilla ash.
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The Alcove’s bricked outdoor patio — a longtime favorite of the weekend brunch set — offers two very different vibes: a bustling sunny scene out front facing the street, or the more intimate shaded oasis tucked out of the way along the side of the building. For whatever mood or weather, Big Bar’s extensive cocktail list has a cocktail that will accommodate. Will it be a refreshing patio pounder or serious martini?
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
In 2021, Antica opened an additional outdoor lounge called Caffè degli Artisti to take overflow from the popular Hollywood restaurant. It’s a lovely add to the mostly outdoor spot, and available to order cocktails along with its Neapolitan pies, pastas, and excellent wine list.
Lady Byrd Cafe
This Echo Park neighborhood restaurant/bar’s unique outdoor seating areas — including tables inside a greenhouse — each have their own characteristics. What’s also available are the solid day-to-nighttime menus and drinks like the Lilett spritz with French fortified wine, tonic, mint, and strawberry.
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Melrose Umbrella Co.
Escape the bustle of Melrose Avenue by ducking into Melrose Umbrella Co’s open-air courtyard. Located in the back of the bar and decorated with greenery, string lights, and a fountain, it’s an oasis that’s perfect for date night, a night out with friends, or even brunch. Day drink frozen Irish coffees and pina coladas, or end the night with a variety of old fashioneds, including one with mezcal, creme de cacao, yellow chartreuse, and orange bitters.
De Buena Planta
Silver Lake’s outdoor charmer De Buena Planta is in high demand. The staff is aware that it’s challenging to squeeze in during busy hours, but does its best to accommodate in this plant-based Mexican restaurant that serves margaritas, palomas, and mezcal negronis.
E.P. & L.P.
Take in a cinematic favorite, such as Pulp Fiction, while passing around a pitcher of frozé with the Hollywood Hills as your backdrop. L.P. Rooftop’s summer movie series Melrose Rooftop Theatre is now a permanent fixture of the rooftop bar, taking over part of its nearby parking lot. Every night from Sunday to Thursday, a different movie is screened with the option to reserve bean-bag chairs for dinner or do first-come, first-serve general admission and order food and cocktails a la carte.
Bar Flores, the vibrant cocktail bar upstairs from Lowboy, boasts a brick-lined patio populated with colorful flowers, umbrellas, and lights. The cocktails here are day-friendly; options include a pisco lavender spritz, a cognac and tepache refresher, and michelada. But on Margarita Wednesdays, come for the $8 margaritas and stay for the live music.
All Season Brewing Company
This Miracle Mile brew pub could be the best use of an old tire shop ever. The 13,000-square-foot Firestone building has patio seating on what used to be a driveway and a taproom and bar in the former high-ceilinged garage. The bar by the Pouring With Heart crew (Casey’s Irish Pub, Seven Grand, and more) naturally offers plenty of drink options. Choose from beer made on-premises, wine or cocktails on tap, or a cocktail menu featuring classics such as an old fashioned or penicillin.
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The Mermaid’s first-come, first-serve outdoor patio is shared with neighboring businesses in the Little Tokyo strip mall and is open seven days a week, going off ‘til 2 a.m. Fill up on hardy pub grub such as loaded nachos and buffalo wings, and wash it all down with the tropical punch Drink Like a Fish, with rum and Earl Grey tea, or the Smokey Eye mezcal pineapple cocktail.
With a classy small, marble-topped indoor bar and plenty of space outside near the new Hotel Per La’s rooftop pool, Bar Clara offers stunning views of Downtown LA along with drinks from Coleen Morton. Her list is especially friendly for daytime imbibing, with options ranging from light to boozy spritzes and the like.
Broken Shaker at Freehand Los Angeles
The Freehand Hotel’s rooftop bar has always been one of the best places in the city for drinking cocktails poolside with a view. The pool area can accommodate any party from solo drinkers to groups of 13. Non-hotel guests must spend a minimum of $45 during hours before 7 p.m., which is not an issue when ordering a dish, a beer, and a cocktail such as the Thirst Trap mezcal-white wine spritzer.
Over the last few years, Hermanito expanded with its sprawling patio. It’s also dog-friendly with an excellent mezcal and tequila collection, along a menu that merges Mexican with Chinese cuisine, resulting in drink-friendly food options like the al pastor pork belly bao.
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Chef Keith Corbin’s inspired, California-inflected spins on soul food are reason enough to visit Alta in West Adams, but the restaurant’s got a not-so-secret weapon in its dreamy garden patio — and it’s now got a greenery-infused streetside parklet to match. Either one is the ideal place for catching up over a cocktail like the citrusy Cali Soul or a spicy Hot n Ready, made with tequila, grilled pineapple, and jalapeño.
Having a refreshing boozy beverage poolside is one thing. When that beverage is a carafe of pomelo spritzes that can be shared with friends, and the poolside comes with views of downtown Culver City, it’s entirely another. Head to this Palm Springs-inspired restaurant on the rooftop of the Shay Hotel for all of the above, as well as snacks like a crudite board made with local vegetables, or rosemary-dusted fries.
Those looking to grab a bite before the drinking begins will appreciate this rooftop bar that sits atop food hall Citizen Public Market in Culver City. Fill up on stuffed pizzettes from Nancy Silverton’s Pizzette or chicken sandos from Go Go Bird, and then head to Bar Bohémien for the Witching Hour, a cocktail with bourbon, apple brandy, maple syrup, and bitters.
No matter what night of the week, there’s bound to be a spirited crowd at this outdoor restaurant and cocktail bar in Venice. Under strung-up lights on what used to the be the restaurant’s parking lot, groups of Westsiders in search of a good time gather for classics like martinis, as well as playful signature drinks. The restaurant’s steak-heavy menu and seasonal vegetable sides soak it all up.
Have a stiff drink or a cold beer with a side of prime Abbot Kinney people-watching on the expansive parking lot patio at The Brig, the institution that’s been around since 1952. You might even catch a live DJ or food truck while you’re there. Go early, grab a beverage, and settle in to watch the sky morph into the color palette of a perfect Venice sunset.
Ballast Point Brewing Long Beach
Clocking in at one of the most stunning ocean views in Southern California is Ballast Point Brewing. The brewery juts out at LA County’s southern-most point, where the seating, shoreline, and boat landing is part of the design. In addition to the dining menu, there’s also a tasting room.