Wanderlust Wednesday: Best Rooftop Bars To Grab A Cocktail In Los Angeles
With perfect patio weather nearly all year, it’s always a good idea to grab a drink outside in Los Angeles. I don’t really drink much these days (not because I don’t want to), so you’ll probably find me with a sparkling water or iced tea (I know – super lame). But I still love a good rooftop bar or restaurant with a view, good company, and some great munchies.
If you’re looking for a spot with a view, you’re in luck – Los Angeles is home to plenty of prime rooftop bars where you can sip a cocktail and soak in the scenery. Here are a handful of the hottest LA rooftop spots to enjoy this summer:
Let’s start with my favorite – the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. It can be a scene, but if you show up early and grab a spot by the pool, you can enjoy a drink while watching a sunset over the amazing view of DTLA. I’ve stayed in the hotel, and although it LOOKS cool and is very Instagram-friendly, the furnishings are a bit too modern and hip for my taste (I prefer a super comfy bed and great amenities any day). The attached gothic style Theater at Ace Hotel is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I saw Nick Cave here (how dark, moody and appropriate for a gothic theater, right?) and watched some comedy shows. Definitely put this on your must see list.
This is a Los Angeles rooftop (and pool) that not many people know about. It’s off the beaten path – not in the super touristy areas, so it’s a great option if you want to avoid the Hollywood types. I’ve only been here for lunch a few times, but I really enjoy it. Great view, great food and the staff are very friendly. I was there once when one of the umbrellas fell and almost hit my fiancé, Gregg, in the head. It was kind of scary (luckily he ducked just in time) and embarrassing because of course everyone turned around to watch the commotion. The staff didn’t see or hear it but we told them and they were nice about it. They didn’t comp our food, but they offered us a free dessert for the next time we come (uhhhh thanks?). A weird, random experience, but I will go back. It’s too hard to find a non-crowded rooftop in LA, so this is still one of my faves.
Located at Venice Beach, this rooftop bar is tucked away at the top of a local hotel and comes armed with some of the best views in the area. You’ll find a tasty selection of cocktails, wines and beers on the menu to indulge in, not to mention a selection of small bites. When the nights get chilly, hotel staff will pull out heat lamps and blankets to keep guests cozy and warm, making this a perfect rooftop bar to visit year-round.
You’ll want to call ahead and make reservations to ensure you’ve got a seat at this luxe rooftop bar and pool – it’s only open to the public during the evening, and even then, it’s reservation-only. However, if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at this bar, you’ll be treated to some of the best views downtown Los Angeles has to offer while you sip on cocktails whipped up by some of the finest bartenders in the area.
For an experience you won’t find anywhere else, check out Perch. This is one that you will find on EVERY list of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles and for good reason! Aptly situated among the rooftops of LA, you’ll pass through the French-inspired interior before arriving on the open-air patio, equipped with a perfect view of the downtown skyline. Indulge in a menu of French-inspired fare as you sip a glass of wine or carefully assembled cocktail. Great for date night!
The Broken Shaker can be found at the top of the Freehand hotel, along with the pool. You can find incredible cocktails here that’ll bring you back to the beach – which isn’t hard, given the tiki-inspired decor. Soak up some sunshine next to the pool during the day, or stick around until the sun goes down and the DJ turns up the music to party into the evening. There can be a long wait at night, so if you hate lines, try to go early.
As the highest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere, Spiare 73 lays rightful claim to its spot on the list of best rooftop bars in LA. Situated at the top of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on the 73rd floor, this swanky bar is filled with lounge seating, cozy cabanas and outdoor fireplaces to set the mood. They say it’s the tallest open air bar in the Western hemisphere. Cocktails don’t come cheap at this bar, but for the view, it’s worth the indulgence. There is a $25 entrance fee for non-hotel guests after 8 pm.
If you want to get a view of Hollywood itself, Mama Shelter is a great option. It’s very cozy (especially if you get a spot on one of the couches) and you get a great view of the Hollywood sign during the day. It’s very colorful and cute – a litle oasis in the city! They don’t take reservations though, so grab a seat early. Valet is expensive, so take a Lyft if you can.
The next time you’re looking to spend an evening beneath the stars in Los Angeles, check out one of these local rooftop favorites. You won’t be disappointed! If your favorite didn’t make the list, leave a comment and let me know which bars are worth checking out!
Most of these rooftop bars are not cheap – you pay for the ambiance! On a budget but looking for something fun to do in LA? Check out my guide: 10 Totally Free Things To Do in Los Angeles!
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