LA's weather is basically perfect 12 months out of the year. And the obvious result of that is a patio scene that no other city in the country can even come close to. Here are 25 of our favorite spots to eat and drink outside.Less
ERB is one of those mythical places that just gets everything right. This restaurant/bar in the Arts District has fantastic cocktails, a massive wine and beer list, and bar food that’ll change the way you think about bar food—including one of the best burgers in the city. And yet, it’s the massive back patio that keeps us coming back. With a mix of small and big group tables, plus tons of space to stand and mingle, hanging out in this string-lit backyard is an ideal Friday night plan.
Say hello to the best daytime patio in Los Angeles. This outdoor cafe/bike shop in Frogtown has been open for a few years now, but their sprawling, graffitied patio has only gotten better with age. There are long, shaded picnic tables filled with friends drinking beer and pitching pilot scripts, families fueling up on breakfast sandwiches or burgers before biking down the river, and solo laptop warriors there to soak up rays, listen to records, and maybe get a little work done.
El Cid is unknown to many, and that’s what makes it so special. Walk through the standalone door frame on Sunset in Silver Lake, step down the steep staircase, and you’ll pop out on a patio you’ll never want to leave. With two separate levels, plenty of seating, and old black-and-white movies projected on the walls, this is the ideal spot to take a table over with friends for brunch or stop in for a quick nightcap and snacks after a date.
Located on a quiet side street a few blocks from Hollywood and Highland, this upscale pizzeria feels a world away from the chaotic neighborhood it resides in. While we’d come here regardless for the excellent Neapolitan pizza, the incredible back patio is the reason we’ll stay all night. With red brick walls, string lighting, a full fireplace, this space has all the features you want in a great patio, but it’s the glass window that peers into the pizza kitchen that takes it to a different level.
When we first walked onto Cha Cha Cha’s rooftop patio, something shifted inside of us. Massive palm groves hide secret alcoves of tables, a separate stand-alone bar for late afternoon revelry, and views of the Downtown skyline from nearly every vantage point. Cha Cha Cha makes LA look like a million bucks, and with a delicious Mexican menu filled with things like tuna tostadas, tacos, and mezcal negronis, it’s an ideal dinner spot for just about any occasion in the book.
Benny Boy Brewing takes everything stereotypically macho —beers, brews, fire pits, and of course, the namesake boy—and throws them together, creating a cool Lincoln Park hangout spot that feels like a grown-up summer camp. Equal parts brewery, cider house, and beer garden, this is the perfect place for big groups to gather ‘round, split beer flights, and contemplate taking an axe throwing class together.
From the thatched tunnel entrance and the ethereal club music to every server repeatedly reminding you that it’s “Tulum-themed,” there’s a lot going on at Ka’Teen. If you’re looking to get dressed up and have a messy, over-the-top night out in Hollywood, Ka’Teen is where to be. The mostly outdoor space is great for big groups, there’s a $495 bottle of Dom Perignon on the menu (if that’s your energy), and as for the food, the Yucatan-style menu has several bright spots.
If anyone chooses a regular patio over a patio that looks out over the ocean, they are not to be trusted. Which is why, when given the opportunity, you should never pass up an afternoon at Ballast Point. Sure, the atmosphere is one ice luge away from being a Phi Kappa Alpha recruitment party, but once you get up to the second-floor patio, none of that matters. With panoramic views of Long Beach harbor and the coast, this is what drinking in California is all about.
We’re not sure why there aren’t more places to eat Southern food outside in LA, but as long as we have Alta, we’re happy. This West Adams spot has a huge outdoor dining room for you to eat your fried chicken and black-eyed pea fritters. The cocktails here are also perfect for outdoor drinking, because they’re sweet and refreshing, with ingredients like butter-washed bourbon and peanuts.
The days of Topanga Canyon’s LSD-fueled, counter-culture commune might be long gone, but there’s no denying this place is still weird as hell. Driving up from PCH, you’ll pass crystal shops and home-made art installations. It’s a fantastic, fascinating day tip and one that’s made even better by having lunch at Cafe 27. The almost entirely outdoor space is built into the side of a hill with a multi-level patio that feels like you’re eating inside the tree-house of your childhood dreams.