Where to Dine Outdoors in LA Right Now

Grab a meal on LA’s best shaded patios, rooftops, and outdoor spaces this spring and summer.

Few industries were as crushed by COVID as the restaurant industry, especially here in Los Angeles, where most venues found their dining rooms shuttered for the majority of 2020 and a good chunk of 2021. But if there was one pandemic-induced silver lining for eateries large and small, it was the chance to expand their patios to offer diners a chance to safely eat outdoors. Thankfully, we’ve also made considerable progress in the pandemic, with vaccines now readily available for those aged five and older and LA restaurants requiring proof of vaccination in order to dine indoors (until further notice, anyway).

While indoor dining has been back to full capacity for a while now, there are now more sidewalk tables, converted parklets, tented patios, and rooftop oases (often with impressive views to match) in LA than ever before. And now that spring weather is here (as if it ever left), it’s pretty tempting to meet with friends for dinner or drinks under the sun or on a sparkling, string-lit patio after dark. Read on for 25 places around town where you can take down a standout meal and enjoy some fresh air at the same time, and note that while masking requirements have loosened, restaurants are still free to make their own policies—respect the guidelines and tip generously!

Cabra
Photo by Stan Lee, courtesy of Cabra

Cabra

Downtown

After hitting it out of the park with the opening of the long-awaited Arts District outpost of Girl and the Goat last summer, Top Chef alum Stephanie Izard has doubled down on Downtown with this Peruvian-inspired rooftop eatery perched on top of the Hoxton Hotel. Choose between the completely open-air bar-flanked patio with a mix of tables and loungey soft seating or the dining room with a retractable roof, both offering killer views. The menu features shareables of colorful crudos and ceviche sitting atop leche de tigre, salads, and larger plates including a Wood-Fired Skirt Steak and Sweet-and-Sour Whole Branzino. And don’t forget cocktails like a Pisco Sour and tequila-pomegranate LA Dreamin’.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Grandmaster Recorders
Photo by Wonho Frank Lee, courtesy of Grandmasters Recorders

The newly opened Hollywood hotspot from the crew behind E.P. & L.P.andStrings of Life is a massive mix of spaces spread across three floors within—you guessed it—a former recording studio. There’s the main restaurant, offering Italian-meets-Australian-inspired fare; the groovy cocktail bar and lounge Studio 71 Bar with a huge disco ball in the center; and, last but not least, a stunning 4,000-square-foot rooftop deck that stays open into the wee hours. The rooftop, flanked by views of the Hollywood Hills has its own food menu, with bites including Garbanzo Fritters, a Chicken Parma Roll, and cheese-and-herb-stuffed olives. Also look for whimsical cocktails on tap and a handful of wines by the glass.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Ka’teen

Hollywood

Guerrilla Tacos founder Wes Avila’s sexy new spot at the Tommie Hollywood hotel is set almost entirely outdoors and is ultra-heavy on the Tulum vibes, with leather-and-wood barrel chairs, dozens of rattan-covered lights hanging overhead, and lush greenery everywhere. The look matches the Yucatan-inspired menu that ranges from simple chips and guac to a variety of cold seafood dishes like Tuna Aguachile and a Scallop Ceviche Tostada to heftier entrees of Cochinita Pibil and a whole fish with spicy carrots.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Caravan Swim Club
Photo courtesy of The Ingalls

Yes, it’s a stone’s throw from LAX, but the open-air restaurant situated above the pool at the Hotel June will give you that vacation vibe without ever having to set foot on a nearby plane. The space is flanked by potted greenery, firepits, and rattan-covered hanging lights and its menu skews California coastal with Baja Mexican influences. Look for locally-caught crudo, Tequila-Steamed Clams, taco trios, and “Campfire” Farmers Market Veggies plus plenty of mezcal cocktails and biodynamic wines.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Yangban Society
Photo by Dylan + Jeni, courtesy of Yangban Society

This new all-day deli from chefs Katrina and John Hong (spouses who met during stints at Santa Monica fine dining staple Mélisse) has taken over the former Bon Temps space in the Arts District, bringing Angelenos unique Korean-American deli fare. Think pork belly-based Kimchi Pozole, Honey-Walnut Carrots, and seasoned Kale and Chicken Salad, plus plays on Jewish deli classics like sliced Dry-Aged Roast Ribeye and Hot-Smoked Ocean Trout. Grab your grub—and a milk crate seat—and enjoy it under an umbrella in the tranquil alley courtyard.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Poppy + Rose

Downtown

The Southern-inspired comfort food eatery (its name is a nod to the nearby Flower Market) has always been a reliable go-to for a Downtown brunch, full of solid stuff like signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles drenched in honey syrup or savory Shrimp and Grits done with pimiento-pepper shellfish sauce. But it’s an even better pick now, thanks to the open-air, third-floor rooftop “Poppy Patio” that launched mid-pandemic. The patio is covered in emerald Astroturf, potted succulents, and umbrella-shaded picnic tables, perfect for downing a Rose Mojito or Lavender Wine Spritzer.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Union

Pasadena

When outdoor dining reopened a year ago, Union held off on an immediate relaunch to create a patio area that better aligned with its overall aesthetics. We’re happy to report that their new raised wood deck is well worth the wait, providing a view of Pasadena’s bustling Old Town district and mimicking the cozy vibes that diners have come to associate with this farm-to-table restaurant specializing in Northern Italian fare through a Cal-fresh lens.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Gigi’s Hollywood
Photo by Liz Barclay, courtesy of Gigi’s

Gigi’s

Hollywood

We’ve been salivating over this French-inspired bistro (with a wine list to match thanks to director Kristin Olszewski) since they first opened in late 2020. The patio is open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, with highlights that include fried oyster-topped deviled eggs, an extravagant seafood tower, caviar service,andChanterelle Agnolotti, all courtesy of chef Matt Bollinger (Trois Familia).
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Madre!
Photo courtesy of Madre!

Madre!

West Hollywood & Culver City & Torrance

Outdoor dining is available at all three LA locations of Madre, Oaxaca native Ivan Vasquez’s modern Mexican tribute to his mother. The restaurant boasts the city’s best mezcal collection and uses regional Mexican ingredients like tiny but potent piquin peppers that provide a jolt to Octopus and Shrimp Ceviche. For a truly special experience, order Mole Palenquero, made using fruits roasted during Mezcal Real Minero distillation, which adds to a beguiling blend of chiles, herbs, nuts, and spices before being blanketed over chicken. Madre also offers tlayudas and tacos, a huevo-powered weekend brunch, and a sizable happy hour menu.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Available for Reservations

Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser have plenty of space to work within the former St. Vibiana’s cathedral. In addition to the main dining room (with retractable roof) and bustling front lounge, there’s now additional (and rather romantic) seating in the Redbird Garden. As always, they continue to serve refined high-end comfort food, dishes like Dayboat Scallops with sunchokes and celery root, and Ricotta Cavatelli in a wild boar sugo. Happy hour (Wednesday-Friday from 5 to 7 pm at the bar) features $10 bites including Prawns and Grits, Duck Wings, and Shishito Peppers, plus discounted signature cocktails, beer, and wine. 
How to book: Specify your preferred seating area on Tock. Redbird outlines reservations and protocols on their outdoor seating webpage.

Available for Reservations

Great White

Venice and Larchmont

Shockingly, Venice’s favorite all-day cafe (from co-owners Sam Trude and Sam Cooper) has expanded since the beginning of the pandemic, last summer debuting a larger space on Pacific Ave, with more room for outdoor dining. They’ve also grown to two locations, with the new outpost in Larchmont offering a similar color palette that recalls white sand beaches, with a partitioned streetside patio as well as an interior that gets plenty of fresh air thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass doors that are opened once the sun comes out. The pizzas, made from a sourdough starter that was born in Sicily over a decade ago, are the real stars of the show here, with innovative options like a breakfast pie that’s decorated with Salumeria Biellese guanciale, a fried egg, mozzarella, onion confiture, and tomato sauce; and a Smoked Salmon Pizza with dill, red onion, capers, and a chive creme fraiche sauce. There are also plenty of sandwiches, pastas, and salads, as well as a breakfast menu (served until 3 pm) with a killer burrito. For the bar program, there’s an impressive natural wine list and a small but mighty cocktail list.
How to book: online.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations
Salazar
Photo courtesy of Salazar

Salazar

Frogtown

Head to Salazar for a spacious outdoor patio that will transport you to a Sonoran oasis, with plenty of cacti and other desert plants, shade coverings, and cobalt blue accents throughout. Chef Esteban Lluis helms a menu that includes new items like Grilled Oysters with guajillo compound butter, Pork Belly Tacos, and a Cactus Salad. Salazar’s carne asada fries are the perfect way to coat your stomach before knocking back a few of their famous prickly pear margaritas.
How to book: online, though walk-ins are welcome.

Available for Reservations

Opened at the beginning of the pandemic, this bistro from Misty Mansouri that took over the former Pollen place got creative in its effort to protect diners, erecting mini greenhouses in its parking lot and arranging potted plants and florals alongside purple string lights to create a romantic, European-inspired ambience. The menu offers all of your breakfast favorites, like a variety of benedicts, frittatas, and pancakes, with vegan eggs available by request, plus salads, bowls, sandwiches, burgers, juice, and a thoughtful kids menu. There’s also a short list of wines available by the bottle or the glass, beer, cocktails, and sangria. The restaurant promotes intentional sourcing, tapping local purveyors like Larder Baking Co, Jetty Coffee, Mary’s Free Range Chicken, and more.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Terra

Century City 

Located on the third floor of Eataly LA, Terra’s wraparound rooftop provides 360-degree views of the nearby Hollywood Hills, with string lights draped throughout and plenty of heating lamps to counteract the ocean breeze. A wood-burning Italian grill adds a delicate char to seasonally driven dishes (the Alla Grigila, or “from the grill” section of the menu deserves your attention) that pair well with botanical cocktails as well as the restaurant’s extensive wine list. 
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Playa Provisions

Playa Del Rey

Though the pandemic has forced chef/owner Brooke Williamson to close three of her four LA restaurants, Playa Provisions has held on, perhaps due to its versatility of bridging four unique food concepts under one roof. King Beach Cafe sits at the front of the building, offering coffee drinks, pastries, casual breakfast and lunch fare, plus beer, wine, and canned cocktails. Head to Dockside for a fine dining experience that explores the Top Chef winner’s love of seasonal, coastal California ingredients, complete with a full bar and dreamy beach views from their patio. Small Batch is an obvious choice for dessert with homemade ice cream and desserts, while Grain Whiskey Bar boasts an extensive whiskey collection and cocktail menu for capping off your night.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

République

Mid-City

LA’s favorite brunch spot is back and busier than ever—which these days means that you should arrive sooner rather than later to avoid a seriously long wait time, but once seated, you won’t be shoulder to shoulder with other diners. And a glance at the brunch menu, with standouts like wood-fired shakshuka, kimchi fried rice with tender short rib chunks, and a croque madame made with house-cured ham and house-baked bread, proves that good things truly do come to those who wait. If you prefer a firm meal time, book a dinner reservation. Regardless of when you choose to stop by, Republique’s airy parklet, complete with shade coverings and twinkling lights, will be ready for you. Make sure to raid the pastry case for chef Margarita Manzke’s latest creations. 
How to book: Walk-ins accepted on a first come, first served basis for brunch. Dinner reservations can be made online.

Available for Reservations

Park's BBQ

Koreatown

Jenee Kim created an iconic Korean barbecue restaurant in 2003, with photos of Korean and American celebrity diners lining the walls. They’re currently out of sight indoors, but Kim created an inspired open-air structure in the parking lot with tabletop grills and propane tanks at each table. Prime beef and American Wagyu are the biggest draws, and prized cuts like Wagyu ribeye cap would be hard to find at other KBBQ spots. Combos, called “A Taste of Park’s BBQ” and “Taste of Wagyu,” are great to share. Jjigaes (stews) and savory pancakes also stand out. 
How to book: Via Yelp.

Piccalilli
Photo courtesy of Piccalilli

Piccalilli

Culver City

Freewheeling food truck grads Macks Collins and Bryan Kidwell once again fire up the patio at their downtown Culver restaurant to serve Asian-influenced comfort food. Their Thai-inspired chicken katsu is reason enough to visit, featuring pounded, panko-coated thigh meat showered with potent pickled bird’s eye chiles. The duo has punctuated their streamlined menu with even more treasures and the five-spice pork is a fun riff on Peking duck served with classic duck accompaniments and pan-fried roti.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Perch

DTLA

One of our essential dining experiences in LA, this open-air restaurant spans two floors atop a historic building that overlooks surrounding office towers and adjacent Pershing Square. The plant-lined 15th floor dining area features vintage-looking tile floors and the 16th floor rooftop is dotted with potted plants and fire pits. Perch is ostensibly a modern French bistro with date-friendly vibes and dishes like French onion soup, filet mignon au poivre, and bouillabaisse, though they do delve into other cuisines. Weekend brunch may be the most popular time to visit Perch for Bellinis and Benedicts topped with smoked salmon or Maryland blue crab.
How to book: Book a table by calling 213-802-1770 or online.

Available for Reservations
Fia
Photo courtesy of Fia

Fia

Santa Monica

Chef Brendan Collins and Michael Greco took over Wilshire Restaurant in 2019, revamping a longtime Westside favorite with their seasonal Cal-Italian menu. Fia’s charming plant-lined garden patio is romantic enough for a date but casual enough for any occasion. Dishes like chicken “Parmesan” with buffalo mozza, and handmade capellini with lobster Bolognese provide much-needed comfort. Collins also makes occasional nods to his British roots like beef Wellington with bacon-wrapped asparagus. 
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Margot

Culver City

Even before the pandemic hit, this stylish restaurant already provided one of LA’s best outdoor dining experiences. Their sprawling patio atop the mixed-use Platform complex delivers 360-degree city views from tables and lounge seating amidst potted plants and rustic flourishes. The dinner menu from Michael Williams and his team includes grilled focaccia with a choice of accompaniments, house-made pasta, and bone-in pork chops. Sunday brunch offerings include French toast with cinnamon ricotta and fried chicken with Calabrian chile infused honey. Bonus: IB Hospitality’s sister restaurant Norah now has a sidewalk counter and backyard patio to accommodate WeHo diners during the crisis.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Ashland Hill

Santa Monica

This gastropub from On The Verge Hospitality (the group behind Santa Monica restaurants like Margo’s, The Golden Bull and Art’s Table) might not look like much from the front. The surprise comes after you order at a window and retreat to the back patio. A mural of Humphrey Bogart from “The Big Sleep” sets the tone, complete with a quote from Raymond Chandler: "It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in." Two of Ashland Hill’s primary vices are the ambitious craft beer program and its burger, a behemoth with sharp white cheddar, caramelized onions, and special sauce, served with herb & Parmesan fries.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Idle Hour
Photo by William Bradford, courtesy of Idle Hour

Idle Hour

North Hollywood

Forget the cocktails, craft beer, and better-than-average bar food—the main reason to visit Idle Hour is definitely the setting. The 1933 Group revived this legendary North Hollywood bar, which dates back to 1941 and last served as an apartment. The primary structure is barrel-shaped, which is a sight to behold, and the back patio is certainly inviting, with standard tables and shady trees. The patio even hosts a replica of Culver City’s bygone, dog-shaped Bulldog Café, which now wears a mask. They’ve also launched a mule menu for cocktails featuring house-made ginger beer.
How to Book: online.

Available for Reservations

Gjusta

Venice

This gorgeous Cal-Italian bakery/deli/cafe, and sibling to legendary outdoor dining destination,Gjelina(now reopened!), was owner Fran Camaj’s final triumph with former partner Travis Lett. Scan their pristine display cases for baklava croissants, fresh-baked breads, cured fish, pizza, rotisserie chicken, and a Sightglass coffee bar. Continue to the back patio and find a bohemian wonderland with mismatched tables, strings of lights, sail-shaped shades, and ‘gram-worthy plant life. For the pandemic, Gjusta added a host station off the parking lot and full-service dining out back.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations

Chef Helene Henderson runs two restaurants on Malibu Pier, including a casual breakfast and lunch destination with Malibu Farm Pier Cafe and a fine dining destination with Malibu Farm Restaurant. Both eateries are beloved for using farm-fresh ingredients prepared with simple techniques that bring flavors to the forefront. Pass by casting fishermen to reach the rustic cafe and attached restaurant at the end of the dock. At the restaurant, a white wood awning provides shade, while umbrellas cast shadows over tables at the cafe, and both spots provide uninterrupted views of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.
How to book: Malibu Farm Pier Cafe only allows walk-ins for breakfast and lunch; make reservations via Yelp for Malibu Farm Restaurant.

Momed
Photo courtesy of Momed

Momed

Atwater Village

Alex Sarkissian’s modern Mediterranean concept rests along railroad tracks, which means you’ll get the occasional horn blast in your ear. It’s worth it to experience the outdoor setting at the creative Atwater Crossing compound. A concrete patio with wood front gives way to coffee and wine bars, both fronted by stylish white and grey tiles. Marble communal seating adjoins a covered patio with blonde wood tables and white wicker chairs. Foodwise, expect creative, sometimes non-traditional Mediterranean food, like avocado hummus and duck shawarma.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram @modlizbeth and Twitter @lalizbeth.

Danielle Dorsey is the Los Angeles Editor at Thrillist.

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS.com, a Los Angeles based company that showcases the best-tasting food & drink through online coverage and custom culinary tours. Follow him on Instagram.