23 Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles Worth a Trip Across Town
Get a new view on the City of Angels from high above. And, now that we are able to take a seat at the bar again, there is a rooftop watering-hole for every mood, from the 73rd floor of downtown’s Intercontinental Hotel to a sizzling new poolside scene at the Sixty hotel in bucolic Beverly Hills. These are best rooftop bars in Los Angeles to impress an out-of-towner or just your jaded self, so cheers already.
1. Best for Pretending Like You’re in France: Bar Lis
The Thompson Hotel in Hollywood and Ten Five Hospitality have created a little slice of the South of France on the expansive roof that was inspired by the effortless glamour of the Côte d'Azur in the 1960s. Take in the view of Hollywood sign while you graze on elevated canapes from chef Lincoln Carson (don’t miss the griddled country bread with ricotta and honey), and drink rosé Champagne out of coup glasses before the second round of oysters arrive. There is also a Terrace café and plenty of alfresco seating near the pool plus the breezy indoor lounge area with velvet banquettes for eclectic live jazz music on Tuesdays (from the duo behind French Tuesdays) and DJs on the weekends. Ooh, la la!
1541 Wilcox Ave; 323-465-1234 or hyatt.com
2. BEST BRAGGING RIGHTS: SPIRE 73
It’s on the 73rd floor of the new InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, which is touted as being the tallest outdoor bar in the Western Hemisphere (yay, American exceptionalism!). The panoramic views stretch all the way to Pasadena when the weather is clear, but don’t worry: A tall glass windscreen and heat lamps keep you cozy.
900 Wilshire Blvd., 73rd fl.; dtla.intercontinental.com
3. BEST TRAFFIC JAM ANTIDOTE: THE ROOFTOP BY JG
Get thee to the Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria immediately, if not to sleep there, then to have a drink at the bar and see the lights go down over Beverly Hills. Skip the weekends, when it’s packed; weeknights, this is your perfect after-work place to wait out the traffic.
9850 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-860-6566 or waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com
4. BEST HIPSTER WATCHING: THE ACE HOTEL DTLA
The top of this 1927 building draws in the fashionable crowd, who may be visiting out-of-town friends staying in the hotel or seeing a show at the grand theater in the building. Decorated by trendy celeb favorites Commune Design, the space features an outdoor area inspired by restored Aztec architectural elements and plenty of seating to mingle.
929 S. Broadway; 213-623-3233 or acehotel.com/losangeles
5. BEST TO IMPRESS THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS: HOTEL SHANGRI-LA IN SANTA MONICA
During the day and at sundown, the Onyx indoor-outdoor bar has a beachy, casual feel. After dark, when the DJ and dancing start, the place changes to a more sophisticated (i.e., you can’t wear shorts) destination nightspot.
1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310-394-2791 or shangrila-hotel.com
6. BEST EXOTIC MIXOLOGY: L.P. ROOFTOP
Just upstairs from the sister restaurant, E.P., the wraparound wooden bar looks like something from the Hollywood Hills, which is, not coincidentally, what you’re looking across into. But the real surprise from this perch is the Melrose Rooftop Theatre showing a mix of old and new releases seven nights a week. You’ll want to get the three-course dinner and a movie VIP package and specialty craft cocktails, such as the Tenderoni (gin, sloe gin, cherry herring, pineapple, lemon) which goes down easy in a bean bag chair while the sun sets.
603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-855-9955 or eplosangeles.com
7. BEST FOR FUNKY HOLLYWOOD STREET LIFE: MAMA SHELTER
The multicolored tables and poppy striped banquettes lend a youthful feeling to this sixth–story rooftop, which takes over the roof of the reasonably priced (rooms from $179!) boutique hotel of the same name. Light meals include a make-your-own cheese board with grilled bread, grapes, jam, burrata and prosciutto. A glass (or two) of rose sangria pairs perfectly with that and the view.
6500 Selma Ave.; 323-785-6600 or mamashelter.com
8. Best for the Actual Drinks: Umbrella Social Club
Those frothy-fruity-frozen piña coladas with a floating Hawaiian hibiscus flower from Lono in Hollywood are a work of art and also pack one helluva punch. Now you can get them on a fancy rooftop ‘social club’ at the Sixty hotel in Beverly Hills, along with burger-bar-bites thanks to the crew behind The Melrose Umbrella Company. There are cozy corners with fireplaces and sofas by the pool as part of the semi-private Umbrella Swim Club concept trio that will soon include a swanky new restaurant, Umbrella Supper Club on the ground floor.
9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310- 388-6860 or sixtyhotels.com
9. Best for a James Beard Award-Winning Duo: Cara Cara at DTLA Proper Hotel
Award-winning restauranteurs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s (of beloved A.O.C.) long awaited outpost at the Downtown LA Proper Hotel (sister of Santa Monica Proper), designed by Kelly Wearstler, includes an all-day rooftop restaurant and bar. You can lounge by the pool and firepits, with stunning unobstructed views and a menu that focuses on market-driven cocktails and Angeleno food-favorites from al pastor tacos to seafood paella and focaccia from the wood-burning oven.
1100 S. Broadway; 213-806-1010 or properhotel.com
10. Best for Late Night: Issima at Kimpton La Peer
Breeze past the poolside Mediterranean, nautical-themed Issima and head up to the roof designed by Tom Parker of Fettle, who also designed the owners luxe Italian-themed sister eatery Olivetta nearby in the Weho arts district. Here the action starts with a DJ at 10 p.m. and goes until late on Friday and Saturday where you will want to curl up in a plush booth and order a Santorini martini with Grey Goose vodka or a Barcelona with Botanist gin while dancing under the stars. And, you might just be able to grab jubilant co-owner Marissa Hermer from Bravo’s Ladies of London as a dance partner.
627 N. La Peer Drive; 213-296-3038 or lapeerhotel.com
11. Best Mix of Old and New Hollywood: i|O at Godfrey Hotel Hollywood
Spanning over 12,000 square feet, i|O at The Godfrey is one of the largest rooftops in Hollywood that includes two full bars, black and white modern lounging areas with a touch of art-deco, a pool, and spectacular views of the iconic Hollywood sign and Hollywood Hills. Graze on light bites or potato wedges and a detox-retox potion with vodka and pomegranate while you’re waiting to be discovered.
12. Best for DJ’s and Day Drinking: Dream Hotel
If you want live spinning while you look out over the Hollywood Hills, the Dream is known for booking top-notch DJs on the roof including Fisher and Steve Aoki. They also unveiled a new weekend brunch menu with standout versions of shakshuka, French toast made with challah bread, a breakfast burrito and the Party Pouch cocktail with white wine and brandy nectar because it’s high time for day-drinking.
6417 Selma Ave., Hollywood; 323- 844-6417 or dreamhotels.com
13. Best Pacific Design Center Views: The Roof at West Hollywood Edition
OK, it’s not just the colorful Pacific Design Center views that keep us coming back, but the crispy sweet potato taquitos with red mole are also on point, and worth the wait for the elevator at this chic hotel from the legendary Ian Schrager. The open-air bar and lounge awash in shades of white has a wrap-around landscaped terrace that leads to a pool where everyone looks straight off a fashion runway.
9040 Sunset Blvd.; 310-953-9899 or editionhotels.com
14. Best Bar Duo: Bar at Merois and The Britely Social Club
Bar at Merois is the gateway food drug to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant of the same name on the roof of The Pendry West Hollywood. Before your meal, after dining, or just for the fun of it, enjoy a Samurai Sword whiskey, Cointreau, ginger and honey concoction by the fireplace in a cozy art-deco clad lounge. Watch the parade of eclectic people going between the eatery and The Britely Social Club (where you must be a member) on the other side of the pool, also with spectacular views to downtown.
8430 Sunset Blvd.; (310) 928-9000 or pendry.com
15. Best for Gin Botanicals: Terra’s Bar Botanico at Eataly
Enter the marketplace level of Eataly at Westfield Century City and head up to the Terra restaurant where Bar Botanico takes center stage of the rooftop terrace. The wood-burning grill nearby wafts smoked meats and veggies but the bar serves up its own smokey botanical cocktails with top-shelf gin and tonics, plus wines from Italy, if you must do the ‘when in Rome’ thing.
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., 213-310-8000 or eataly.com
16. Best Mexico City Vibe: La Cha Cha Cha
The Downtown LA Arts District is no stranger to rooftop views but this one has a bar-concept straight from the popular Colonia Tabacalera district of Mexico City. This buzzy south-of-the-border sister spot just added to the ever-growing regional Mexican wine list, a pasta with whipped avocado, crunchy tuna tostadas, and plenty of private nooks for imbibing when you’re not at the large outdoor marble bar gulping a Oaxacan zombie with aged and overproof tequila.
812 E 3rd St.; 213-265-7707 or chachacha.la
17. Best Ceviche by the Beach: Esperanza
Designed by uber talented Gulla Jónsdóttir (Kimpton La Peer), the chic all white ground-floor restaurant exterior-interior will lure you to a semi-secret back entrance staircase that leads ups to a lounge-bar with an outdoor terrace overlooking Manhattan Beach. Here, locals drink strong fruity margaritas and nibble fresh fish ceviche in the salty sea air almost just like you’re on a weekend break in Cabo, Mexico.
309 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; 424-422-0057 or esperanzamb.com
18. Best for Agave Spirits Near LAX: Caravan Swim Club
The Hotel June rooftop bar-lounge at the adjacent Caravan Swim Club structure was inspired by a Baja-California road-trip with colorfully woven lounge chairs and hand-painted wall murals conceived by Venice-based Studio Collective. Restaurateur Steve Livigni curated an agave-based spirits list with over 100 options where you can graze on squash blossom quesadillas and all-day breakfast tacos while you can catch a glimpse of planes landing at LAX and plot your next getaway.
8639 Lincoln Blvd.; 310-645-0400 or thehoteljune.com
19. Best Bar for a Food Hall: Bar Bohemien
With all the new development in the downtown Culver City area off Main Street, you might have missed one of the greatest rooftop places to perch with a drink. This delightful rooftop is located inside the Citizen Public Market, where Nancy Silverton’s Pizzetta, Good Boy Bob’s coffee shop and The Jolly Oyster are also housed. Take the stairs or elevator up to a full bar floor (from the folks behind Café Birdie in Highland Park) with an ample outdoor wooden patio. Pro tip, you can even bring your food up here or order charcuterie, small plates at the bar so it’s a happy hour sunset win-win.
9355 Culver Blvd.; citizenpublicmarket.com
20. Best for DTLA Poolside Action: Pilot at the Hoxton
On the rooftop of the Hoxton hotel, Pilot is an open-air restaurant and bar inspired by the coast of the Mediterranean. The pool is centered right in the middle where one side is focused around live-fire cooking with seafood, veggies and black truffle pasta in the restaurant, but after 5 p.m. the move here is an Olive Oil Gin martini with grappa and St. Germain in the bar lounge. Should you have one too many, a staycation might be in order.
1060 S. Broadway; 213-725-5900 or thehoxton.com
21. Best for Tiki Cocktails: Wayfarer DTLA
Another mid-century modern inspired downtown hotel drawing an artsy crowd, The Wayfarer just re-opened on Flower Street with an enviable skyline view from The Rooftop bar and lounge that specializes in Tiki cocktails. There is also a tiny splash pool for cooling off if you decide to make a day of it and a firepit for when the sun goes down. We’ll call this one a daycation.
813 S. Flower Street; 213-285-4400 or wayfareredtla.com
22. Best Hotel History: La Casita, Hotel Figueroa
The historic 95-year-old Hotel Figueroa (which used to be a safe haven for female travelers back in 1926, and still supports female artists with a rotating art program) also holds a Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired two-story villa and cocktail lounge. Just above the famous coffin-shaped pool, La Casita features a coastal menu with ceviche, grilled shrimp and tacos alongside a hand-crafted cocktail program with an expansive agave list.
939 S. Figueroa St.; 213-627-8971 or hotelfigueroa.com
23. Best in Glendale: The Glenmark
That’s right, there is something cool to do in Glendale—the next-door neighbor of Burbank. Not far from the Americana at Brand lifestyle mall, lies the under-the-radar Glenmark hotel. The mid-century-inspired lobby décor leads to an elevator that will whisk you up seven floors to a massive 5,000 square-foot outdoor deck for cocktails or events with a full kitchen. Look into the frothy Glenmark Piña Colada with several types of rum and coconut chips or the Mezcal White Negroni with St. Germain that’s worthy of a west-side venue.
1100 N. Brand Blvd., 818-900-2701 or marriott.com
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