Ask pretty much any Angeleno, and they’ll confess one of the best things about living in Los Angeles, California is the weather. No matter the time of year, you’re nearly guaranteed sunshine and a balmy breeze. This naturally makes way for some of the things we LA residents love the most - hiking up to the Hollywood sign and catching classic flicks during outdoor movie festivals - and of course, grabbing a drink at our favourite rooftop bar to see the city sprawl with all its twinkling lights.
Add the sheer size of Los Angeles to the fact that the weather is gorgeous year-round, and you’ll find no shortage of rooftop bars in this city. But not all are created equal. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or autumn, we’ve narrowed down the 9 best rooftop bars in Los Angeles to enjoy delicious drinks and stunning city views.
In the heart of Hollywood, Mama Shelter offers a trendy place to escape the madness of the Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard. You can see the Hollywood sign from Mama Shelter’s rooftop bar, so it’s an ideal place to go in the afternoon or sunset to catch golden hour upon the Hollywood Hills.
The decor at Harriet’s (which is located atop 1Hotel) harks back to the roaring ‘20s—an age of decadence brought to life with decor like white tassel lamps, striped booths, and marble accents. Absolutely check out the craft cocktail menu since they only use fresh and seasonal ingredients for their drinks.
If you want a ‘see and be seen’ kind of place, then Perch is what you’re looking for. This rooftop bar is popular and almost always has a crowd (both tourists and locals), but the views of Downtown Los Angeles make it a worthwhile stop for a drink. Arrive early, especially on weekends, to avoid a line.
Mama Shelter - Image: Mama Shelter
Upstairs at Ace Hotel
Upstairs has those amazing Downtown LA city views but a more laid-back and personal vibe with incredibly friendly staff who will make you feel right at home. The Ace Hotel chain has a reputation of catering to a hipper, design-conscious crowd, so you’ll often find the DJs here playing anything from underground music to jazz.
Terra at Eataly
Rooftop bars are often ideal for light bites, but Terra (which means “earth” in Italian) offers a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu to satisfy you even at your hungriest. Eataly does Italian food so well you’ll think you’ve landed in Rome and not, in fact, Los Angeles, and it also has an outstanding collection of wines to sip by the fire pit in their garden.
If your idea of the quintessential California lifestyle includes the beach, then you’ll adore the views of the Pacific at Élephante. Warm and welcoming wooden accents make it a comfortable Santa Monica spot to kick back in the afternoon, enjoy a refreshing cocktail, and lounge in that West Coast sunshine mere blocks from the beach.
Ace Hotel LA - Image: Ace Hotel LA
High Rooftop Lounge
Venice has a more casual vibe to neighbouring Santa Monica—this is where you’ll find muscle beach, passers-by rollerblading on the boardwalk, and California surfers out at sea. High Rooftop Lounge is the only rooftop bar you’ll find in this part of town, and it’s an ideal spot for some light bites as you lounge and enjoy the sunset.
Margot feels like a breath of fresh air, with plenty of open space and 360° views of Los Angeles. The atmosphere is a little bit boho, a little bit modern, and approachably elegant, with a menu inspired by coastal Mediterranean cuisine. The indoor section offers plenty of natural light, but if you want to snag a spot outside it’s best to make reservations online in advance.
The Rooftop by JG
After shopping at the luxury stores in Beverly Hills you’ll want an equally posh place to kick back with a glass of wine or a cocktail. The rooftop bar attached to the Waldorf Astoria sits 12 storeys up in a calming garden atmosphere, and its food menu highlights how doing the simple things impeccably well can make all the difference. Expect fresh flavours and breathtaking views.
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