The 36 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in Los Angeles
Open-air dining is a year-round thing in California, and with everyone newly vaccinated and ready to mingle, an al fresco patio offers the perfect way to be out with friends sharing great food and drinks (especially now that LA County is once again requiring masking indoors—regardless of vaccination status). While you now need to wear masks indoors, you no no longer need to endure a temperature check at the hostess stand, most places are still doing takeout and/or delivery in case you can't make it to the patio or can't get a reservation. On that note: Whenever possible, make a reservation to ensure you'll have a spot since a seat at one of these joints is even more precious than before. From patios and terraces to courtyards and beachfronts, here are the 36 best outdoor dining spots in Los Angeles.
1. The Courtyard at 1 Pico, Santa Monica
In a creative pandemic-pivot, luxury beachfront hotel Shutters on the Beach turned its former porte cochère into a sparkling, lantern-lit outdoor dining area – and it has been so popular it’s staying that way for now. Tables with benches are softened by thick linen pillows so you can dine in the ocean breezes on a gorgeous plate of hamachi crudo that's as artfully composed as Shutters's famed art collection (which you'll see in the lobby on the way to the loo). Spicy blue prawns on a bed of eggplant tzatziki are another standout dish, as are the grilled lamb chops served with sour yoghurt. Enjoy the savory-yet-light summer menu with a flute of Veuve, but toss all diet caution to the seaside winds and order the famed caramel popcorn sundae to celebrate a new evening out.
1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-587-1717
2. Michaels, Santa Monica
This OG power-patio spot was a permanent fixture in Santa Monica for over 40 years but sadly closed during the pandemic. Now, the leafy interior patio (where now-famous chefs such as Nancy Silverton, Sang Yoon and Jonathan Waxman cut their chops), is back serving their famous California farmer’s market driven cuisine. You can always count on a warm greeting from owner Michael McCarty and don’t miss the local art collection through-out the two-story space curated by his artist wife Kim McCarty.
3. Alta, West Adams
A sweet back patio to dine under blossoming jasmine is a wonderful way to eat Southern comfort food like cornbread with honey butter, pimento cheese with crackers and pickled veggies and deviled eggs. But since this is L.A., there's something for everyone. Case in point: The barbecue sandwich is made with your choice of brisket, chicken or smoked tofu.
5359 West Adams Blvd.; 323-571-4999 or altaadams.com
4. Catch, West Hollywood
The West Hollywood iteration of this chain of seafood restaurant-bars is among the most Instagrammed places in town, thanks to the flower plumes hanging over the open-air archway entrance to the rooftop dining area. But the real draw here is weeknight dining, when the crowds have thinned and you have all the twinkling lights of Hollywood to go with your sushi, sashimi and grilled octopus.
8715 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-347-6060 or catchrestaurants.com
5. Ballast Point Tasting Room, Long Beach
These people are on it: Not only is this among the most gorgeous patio views in Los Angeles with two stories overlooking the Long Beach marina, but the management has also instituted a QR-code enabled contactless ordering system. Turn it into a family event: Rent a Waverunner next door at London Boat rentals then roll in for crowd-pleasing lunch of burritos, burgers and beer.
110 N. Marina Dr., Long Beach; 562-296-4470 or ballastpoint.com
6. Butcher's Daughter, Venice
Your 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. vegetarian resto and beautiful people-watching spot is open for you, with touchless payment and lots of fresh air swirling around. In the morning, have avocado toast. At midday, order a strawberry and fennel salad with pea shoots. And for dinner, sit down with your S.O. and split the pad Thai.
1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-981-3004 or thebutchersdaughter.com
7. ANGELINI OSTERIA & ALIMENTARI, BEVERLY GROVE
Expanded outdoor seating extends right to the edge of Beverly Boulevard at this classic Italian fine-dining restaurant. An octopus antipasti followed by a big plate of creamy pasta, followed by tiramisu...that's the sort of comfort food that will make all those weeks of home cooking fade into memory. And, they have joined forces with sister restaurant next door, Angelini Alimentari, which has an intimate courtyard and many of the same menu items like the famous lasagne verde.
7313 Beverly Blvd.; 323-297-0070 or angelinirestaurantgroup.com.
8. Birdie G's, Santa Monica
A newly expanded patio section makes dining at this hip Santa Monica spot the ideal way to while away the evening. Enjoy comfort food with a cheffy spin from award-winning Jeremy Fox including tomatoes oreganto with whipped ricotta & marinated mussels followed by 'Nduja and strawberry cavatelli with Calabrian chili & fennel pollen.
2421 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; 310-310-3616 or birdiegsla.com
9. Gracias Madre, West Hollywood
The Cali-glam patio of this vegan Mexican restaurant is a like a trip to a groovy estancia, one where grilled corn with cotija and guac with pico de gallo is joined by Macadamia ricotta enchiladas and organic tequila.
8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-978-2170 or graciasmadre.co
10. Nobu Malibu
Sure it's pricey, but you're only splashing out for an exceptional meal of world-class sushi during a pandemic once in your life! (We hope.) Not only does this chic spot have a crazy-gorgeous setting (a minimalist deck sitting wide on Carbon Beach) but it also boasts beautifully presented and well-executed Pan-Asian food. Don’t miss the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s famous black cod with miso. This seaside dining room’s website crows that it’s one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in the world, so take a picture.
22706 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-317-9140 or noburestaurants.com
11. True Food Kitchen, Santa Monica
Vegans, celiac sufferers, vegetarians: Don’t settle for one or two menu selections like you usually do when dining out with friends. Come here, where bigwig health guru Dr. Andrew Weil and his team will feed you organic kale, butterfly pea flower and a bunch of other dishes with ingredients designed to make you feel great. It might sound tedious and, well, un-yummy, but it’s quite the opposite. The seasonal menu items—such as summer’s heirloom tomato and watermelon soup with turmeric ponzu, and cauliflower polenta bowls with asparagus, snow peas and watermelon radish—are as appetizing as the whole “elevated health food” concept is Californian.
395 Santa Monica Pl., Santa Monica; 310-593-8300 or truefoodkitchen.com
12. Spago Beverly Hills
Even after all these years (the first Spago opened in 1982), chef Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills fine-dining establishment still packs in the celebs, and on any random night you can see them hobnobbing as they walk through the cozy patio anchored by a large stainless-steel outdoor fireplace. Budget be damned, start your meal with caviar accompanied by lemon crème fraîche “snow” and order the summer truffles to be shaved over your handmade agnolotti.
176 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills; 310-385-0880 or wolfgangpuck.com
13. Ca Del Sole, Toluca Lake
This charming Italian restaurant has been serving traditional Neapolitan fare to Valley residents for 25 years, and the country-village-style back patio is the place to experience it. Piping-hot fried calamari, roasted beet and goat cheese salad, and pan-seared jumbo scallops are among the favorites here.
4100 Cahuenga Blvd., Toluca Lake; 818-985-4669 or cadelsole.com
14. A.O.C., West Hollywood
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s wine-centric West Hollywood restaurant opened with a then-groundbreaking concept: Tailor a small-plates menu around a carefully curated selection of wines by the glass. That was back in 2002, and since then the restaurant has expanded to a new location on West Third that’s the rarest of finds, a see-and-be-seen lunch spot where the well-heeled and beautiful crowd is happily eating meals like the farmer’s lunch (roasted veg and chickpea puree and toast) and blistered tomato, Meyer lemon and olive focaccia. Cheers to the dozens of wines by the glass, and be sure to check out their new sister restaurant in Brentwood.
8700 W. Third St.; 310-859-9859 or aocwinebar.com
15. The Rose Venice
After beloved West Side chef Jason Neroni basically reinvented Santa Monica dining with Superba, he took on making over a neighborhood institution, Venice’s Rose Café. The poky diner was reinvented as a sprawling multi-use complex that includes a place to get your coffee and muffin in the morning, a front patio to watch the crowds go by as you eat lunch, and for a sexy date night, hipster-style, a back garden area where you can’t go wrong with a dozen oysters and the morel mushroom tart. And now there's even more outdoor area that management has turned the parking lot into another outdoor patio to accommodate more tables.
220 Rose Ave., Venice; 310-399-0711 or rosecafevenice.com
16. Pez Cantina, Downtown
Who says you need to be near the beach to enjoy a brisk breeze or a fantastic seafood meal? Not you, after you sit on the shady downtown patio here, enjoying a Pacifico beer–battered crab with green papaya and green bean slaw or grilled shrimp and avocado salad.
401 S. Grand Ave.; 213-258-2280 or pezcantina.com
17. Malibu Farm, Malibu
Go for a long walk on the beach and then roll in here for breakfast (served on weekends only). The green-eggs-and-ham skillet with Gruyère, chorizo and green harissa, along with a mimosa and the sound of the gulls and the waves, is the feel-good Xanax replacement your busy schedule needs.
23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; 310-456-8850 or malibu-farm.com
18. The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills
One of a handful of special old-school Hollywood places still in operation, this garden restaurant-bar of the Beverly Hills Hotel is all palmy and filled with flowers—and basically a trip back to the past. Lunch isn’t as buzzy-profesh as it once was, but you can still catch sidelong glances of performers during cocktail hour and at dinner. Over a McCarthy Salad (the chopped affair created for a polo player in the ’40s and served here ever since), a glass of wine and the tinkling of a piano player, you’ll be the star of your own show.
The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-887-2777 or dorchestercollection.com
19. Gjusta, Venice
This Venice spot started as a bakery for the Abbot Kinney anchor fine-dining resto Gjelina, but it has since evolved into a deli-bakery-café-market hybrid—basically, your all-day hang. There’s a patio with roll-back canvas awnings where you can eat your banh mi Americano or porchetta melt from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Mix up your beverage order with a seasonal shrub; like everything here, it’s sourced from five different local farmers’ markets.
320 Sunset Ave., Venice; 310-314-0320 or gjusta.com
20. The Albright, Santa Monica
You’d think the draw here would be the location, sitting right on the Santa Monica Pier, but it’s a couple of other things. Namely, the dependable seafood dishes (like fish and chips and clam chowder) presented in a spiffily branded, tightly run ship of an operation. The second draw is the passing parade, as the steady stream of international tourists and hip locals traverse one of Santa Monica’s iconic destinations.
258 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; 310-394-9683 or thealbright.com
21. Broken Shaker, Downtown
On top of the Freehand Hotel in DTLA, this poolside bar with small bites has a less corporate, more festive vibe than many places where there’s a premium on communicating “Look at me, I’m on a roof.” Here, the beach-shack bar setup and the oilcloth tablecloths make you feel like you’re atop someone’s Waikiki high-rise, not next to a hotel pool. Tuna tostadas and fried chicken with yuzu kosho are menu standouts, as is the daily punch your server will tell you all about.
416 W. Eighth St.; 213-612-0021 or freehandhotels.com
22. Idle Hour, North Hollywood
Revel in not only the cool night air but also the glories of SoCal programmatic architecture, which was born in the ’40s as business owners built structures in recognizable shapes designed to entice passing drivers into stopping. The front of this bar-brunch spot is shaped like a whiskey barrel, for motorists to stop in and drink during an “idle hour.” (It was declared a cultural monument in 2010.) Around back, there’s a fire pit and another example of the style—a pipe-smoking dog that served as the Bulldog Café until the mid-’60s. Wait out rush hour from 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays with a happy hour menu of chicken sliders on Hawaiian bread, white-cheddar sloppy Joes and root beer barbecue wings.
4824 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood; 818-980-5604 or idlehourbar.com
23. Mama Shelter, Hollywood
Order beer-infused shrimp or an Impossible burger atop the Mama Shelter hotel. Or keep it alcohol-focused, and wash an order of spiced fries down with one of a handful of Moscow Mule-inspired cocktails in which ginger beer is paired with everything from passion fruit to Jameson. Whichever one you choose, you can enjoy this outdoor spot until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and no reservations are required.
6500 Selma Ave; 323-785-6669 or mamashelter.com
24. Plant Food and Wine, Venice
Matthew Kenney’s plant-based menu at this chill Venice spot will satisfy vegans and possibly convert their eye-rolling, animal-product-eating friends. Whether it’s a raclette starter (made from cashews, naturally) or a surprisingly dense heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna, this elegant but unassuming restaurant is just like its Venice ’hood: upmarket and socially conscious. Enjoy newly renovated back patio, especially during the week when the whole 'hood is quieter.
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-450-1009 or matthewkenneycuisine.com
25. E.P. & L.P., West Hollywood
This packed rooftop (the L.P. part) between the fashion and interiors districts is having a renaissance—and all the better to enjoy small plates like roasted mushroom with Oaxacan cheese tacos or salt and pepper calamari with shishito peppers. Toast to finally getting out of the house with a California Love: white wine, rosé aperitif and seasonal fruit.
603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-855-9955 or eplosangeles.com
26. Fia, Santa Monica
This calm, quiet and gorgeous tree-lined back patio is reason enough to plan date night here. But the extensive wine list and menu which includes dependable Italian classics like chicken Parm as well as more exciting fare like Gochujang cauliflower with tahini? Well, that seals the deal.
2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 424-280-4196 or fiarestaurant.com
27. Soulmate, West Hollywood
Soulmate is a Spanish haven on Robertson Blvd. with a plant wall cascading down into an entire alfresco main dining room. Order pans of seafood paella, chicken croquettes and entrée sized fried eggplant. Be sure to sip the rainbow layered “Weekend in Palm Springs” cocktail with vodka and passionfruit by ‘startender’ Naomi Schimek formerly of The Spare Room at Hollywood Roosevelt.
631 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood; 310-734-7764 or soulmateweho.com
28. Manuela, Arts District
Manuela in the Arts District has a new garden bar patio in the Hauser & Wirth complex for weekend brunch. Shrimp and grits or chili de Arbol chicken are star dishes by Chef Kris Tominaga along with perfectly crispy churros for dessert. You can also dip into Tropical Cocktail nights with eight new tiki-inspired drinks and don’t forget you are in the middle of an art gallery and bookstore so it’s OK to linger.
29. Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery, Pasadena
This unique spot in Old Town Pasadena is a front-facing cheese and wine shop but also an excellent bar and restaurant with a historic brick laden back patio for grazing on cheese boards, fried cheese curds, pasta topped with burrata and some of the best soft-serve ice-cream in town. If you are lactose intolerant, not to worry, there are plenty of non-fromage options such as charcuterie, salads and the comforting roast chicken on a bed of wild rice pilaf and veggies.
40 W Green St, Pasadena, 626-389-3839 or agnesla.com
30. STK The Hideout, Los Angeles
STK Steakhouse has merged from a modern, interior restaurant at the W Hotel in Westwood Village to a lively alfresco scene out near the pool. Order seafood towers, cowgirl ribeye steaks, Parmesan truffle fries and a trio of mac-in-cheese (traditional, bacon and lobster) with your cucumber stiletto martini. Weekends bring mimosa or bloody Mary bottomless brunch with smoked pork belly eggs Benedict. If that’s too much excitement right now, you can still order their stellar cheeseburger and fries deal for take-out or delivery via the website.
930 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles; 310-691-7850 or stksteakhouse.com
31. Cinque Terre West, Pacific Palisades
This fairly new casual Italian near the bustling Palisades Village might be under-the-radar but they are serving some of the most authentic and delicious Ligurian cuisine. The plant-strewn courtyard is where you might catch a local celebrity dining on made-from-scratch handkerchief pasta with fresh pesto, short ribbed truffle agnolotti in black truffle sauce, pizzas or roasted branzino alla Genovese. And, they are expanding with a wine bar and charcuterie offering right next door.
970 Monument St Ste 110, Pacific Palisades, 310-454-0709 or cinqueterrewest.com
32. Redbird, Downtown
What started as a wedding and special event space in the back garden of Chef Neal Fraser’s Redbird-Vibiana space, has become so popular that it’s now a permanent dining area for brunch or dinner (when it’s not booked.) Dig into everything from wild boar pasta to a porterhouse for two amid the bucolic setting which feels like you’re in Europe, not downtown Los Angeles.
114 East Second Street, Los Angeles, 213-788-1191 or redbirdla
33. Damian, Arts District
Mexico City Michelin-starred chef Enrique Olvera is behind this modern, sleek south-of-the-border eatery in a repurposed warehouse space downtown. The industrial-chic patio mixes polished concrete and wood accents separated with an abundance of foliage which is perfect for social distancing or any intimate gathering—not to mention a selfie that looks like you’re in Mexico City. Order the grilled lobster, uni tostada and tamal de elote with a range of over 40 agave spirits to complete the look.
2132 E 7th Place, Los Angeles, or damiandtla.com
34. Cara Hotel, Los Angeles
This boutique hotel off the beaten path in Loz Feliz actually has three different white-washed patios for dining that feels more like you’re ensconced in a private Mediterranean villa complete with 100 olive trees in terracotta pots. Add to the escapism with a whole roasted branzino or lemon fettucine, where can even drizzle a tiny tableside bottle of olive oil made from the owners French family farm during lunch, brunch or dinner.
1730 N. Western Ave, Los Angeles; 323-672-8990 or carahotel.com
35. Ardor, West Hollywood
This romantic restaurant is so enshrouded in greenery that its almost hard to tell where the outdoor space begins and ends. In keeping with the verdant decor theme, the menu showcases veggie-forward and ‘flexitarian’ dishes from Michelin-star chef John Fraser who was mentored by chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Napa. Here you will find light as a feather milk bread encrusted with beefsteak tomatoes, arugula farrow risotto and cauliflower caccio e pepe. Cocktails range in color codes from a “clear” garden vodka to an “orange” blanco tequila with carrot juice—it’s so L.A.
9040 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood; 424-310-1572 or ardorweho.com
36. Bacari, Silver Lake
One of the most beloved and romantic patio escapes right off Sunset Boulevard for decades was Cliff’s Edge. Thanks to Mediterranean-themed mini-chain Bacari, they are back in business serving plenty of the brands popular cicchetti appetizers and lamb stuffed eggplant under twinkling lights and clinking glasses of Prosecco rosé.
3626 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles; 323-928-2098 or eatwithbacari.com
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