Los Angeles has mastered the year-round outdoor patio, with exemplary renditions of waterside seating, nature-filled decks, and charming courtyards. Sunsets, ocean breezes, string lights, and umbrellas abound for both LA’s warm days and cooler nights.
The city is certainly not lacking in superb places to dine outside, but some rise above the rest. Here are LA’s best restaurants for dining outside.
LA Cha Cha Chá (Arts District)
LA Cha Cha Chá, the outpost to Mexico City’s popular Terraza Cha Cha Chá, landed in Los Angeles’ Arts District in 2021. Homey dishes include a pork shoulder confit carnitas with braised beans and tuna tostada monumento with octopus, cherry tomatoes, habanero, cilantro, and aioli. There’s also a taco and tostada menu to enjoy with inventive cocktails such as a blackberry hibiscus swizzle and red pepper mezcal negroni. The outdoor space exudes a Palm Springs meets Tulum vibe, with Art Deco accents and lush green plants, plus a view of the Los Angeles skyline worthy of the visit alone.
Poppy + Rose (Flower District)
Tucked between two warehouses and a flower market, a rooftop oasis awaits in the middle of downtown at Poppy + Rose. Head to the patio to enjoy a picnic style brunch menu that pays tribute to classic Southern comfort food such as shrimp and grits with pimento-pepper shellfish sauce and a fried chicken benedict, all against the backdrop of a floral outdoor space. The patio is particularly lively in the summer, when diners gather to drink rosé mojitos under umbrella-shaded picnic tables that sit on jade colored turf.
It’s easy to see why Bavel has made such a splash in the LA dining scene, between its award-winning Middle Eastern fare, gorgeous desert-like patio, and critical praise. Right now, the DTLA hit has taken over two other patio spaces with similar twinkle-lit, plant-strewn charm. But the food is just as stellar in all three, with spreads such as hummus and baba ghanoush, grilled prawns with harissa marinade, and slow-roasted lamb neck shawarma.
Felix Trattoria (Venice)
There may be no more coveted pasta in town than what’s offered at James Beard Award-nominated Felix in Venice. Cacio e pepe, tagliatelle bolognese, and spaghetti with bottarga are all options, plus pizza, antipasti, and meat and fish entrees. Outdoor seating is in a small yard with string lights and plants.
Fia (Santa Monica)
Fia’s garden patio is truly special, made extra romantic by string lighting, old growth trees, and an outdoor bar that adds buzzy energy. Take a date there to bask in the space, accompanied by Californian-Italian plates such as handmade pastas (tagliatelle with duck ragu with orange and parmesan), farmers’ market dishes (grilled corn with brown butter and freshly shaved black truffle), and entrees (seared scallops with squid ink risotto and nasturtium). Check out the special experience available at this restaurant: a prix fixe garden brunch. Book by heading to the Experiences section here.
A.O.C. (Beverly / Fairfax / La Brea / Third St.)
A.O.C. in Beverly Grove has long been a go-to for special occasions, thanks to chef Suzanne Goin’s refined Californian-French small plates. Dishes include parmesan-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates, fried chicken with romesco aioli and chili-cumin butter, and potato gnocchi with Maine lobster. The wine list is also a standout for its extensive organic, biodynamic, and sustainable selections. Its Spanish courtyard-style patio is a stunner year round, full of ivy, trees, and even balconies.
Fishing with Dynamite (Manhattan Beach)
Some of LA’s best seafood can be found at Fishing with Dynamite, a Manhattan Beach destination that has managed to become even bigger than before the pandemic through a new patio on the sidewalk from which you can smell the ocean breeze. Seafood options include raw bar, crab cakes, chowder, and grilled fish entrees—and don’t skip the key lime pie for dessert. Check out the special Thanksgiving experience available at this restaurant: Book by heading to the Experiences section here.
Gracias Madre – West Hollywood (West Hollywood)
Organic vegan Mexican food is the focus of spiritual Gracias Madre, which just so happens to have one of the most iconic patios in town. It’s a sprawling space in West Hollywood with picturesque trees, string lights, and umbrellas to provide shade. Traditional dishes get a vegan makeover, such as the jackfruit birria burrito, mushroom fajitas, and macadamia ricotta enchilada.
Perch LA (Downtown)
Perch LA’s two-story rooftop overlooks Pershing Square, Downtown, and beyond. Couched areas, cane chairs, tables, plants, bars, and live music come together to create quite the scene. French fare such as steak frites, bouillabaisse, and crème brûlée make up the menu, and cocktails are a particularly strong point, like one with rum, strawberries, mint, lime sugar, and sparkling wine.
République’s award-winning pastries and French brasserie fare are still the talk of the town after nearly a decade in Mid-City. Beyond the always-outstanding croissants, cookies, pies, cakes, breads, quiches, and tarts, the savory menu includes dishes such as Santa Barbara spot prawns with brown butter and ponzu sauce or organic chicken tagine with baby turnips, merguez sausage, figs, and couscous. The historic building was erected by Charlie Chaplin in 1929, and the restaurant patio’s shade sails, string lights, and greenery make the outdoor space an inviting spot to enjoy a quick bite or a longer meal.
Minimalism goes to the max on Rossoblu’s DTLA patio, with a stunning industrial mix of concrete, straight metal lines, and shrubs. The Michelin-rated menu combines Italian and Californian influences, such as in the antipasto dish with eggplant, tomato sugo, basil, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, or brick chicken with date jus, preserved lemon, and Tuscan kale. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of pasta, too, and the signature is tortellini and sacchetto in brodo, a comforting dish for cool LA nights. If you can’t get there, consider one of Rossoblu’s online classes, demonstrating pasta, pastry, and cocktail making.
Socalo (Santa Monica)
Acclaimed Border Grill founders Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are behind this modern Santa Monica Mexican spot. An all-Mexican wine list accompanies the food, with dishes such as seared fish tacos, corn esquite, and lamb birria. Outdoor seating is on the sidewalk and a patio shaded by bright orange umbrellas and romantically lit by string lights.
Wabi on Rose (Venice)
Flowers and greenery overflow on Wabi on Rose’s Venice dreamy patio, decorated in shades of millennial pink. The Japanese restaurant focuses on sushi, from maki rolls and sashimi to the chef’s choice omakase — cutely named “Make it Rain” after chef Rain Pantana. The restaurant has successfully rebounded after a 2018 fire, and it’s now ideal for an energetic night out.
A lush rooftop garden beckons visitors to the aptly named Openaire, located on the second floor of the trendy Line Hotel. Award-winning chef Josiah Citrin — behind the two-Michelin-starred Mélisse — runs the kitchen, and his menu showcases fresh, California-centric flavors and local ingredients. The creative cocktail menu is a draw for the poolside venue, as is brunch, which includes bottomless mimosa and Bloody Mary’s in addition to favorites such as the corn flake-crusted French toast with caramelized bananas.
Marco Polo at Silver Lake Pool and Inn (Silver Lake)
Coastal Italian meets California cool at Marco Polo’s laidback patio restaurant, just south of the Sunset Junction. Large white umbrellas and cane chairs create the right ambience for sipping on a spritz and enjoying oysters on the half shell, or diving into a bowl of casarecce fra diavolo pasta.
Anajak Thai (Sherman Oaks)
Walking into Anajak Thai’s alleyway and patio is like entering a convivial barbecue. Chef Justin Pichetrungsi and his family transformed this casual outdoor space, tucked behind a Ventura storefront, into one of the city’s most sought after culinary experiences. Enjoy their Thai Taco Tuesday hits such as the soft shell shrimp taco or Chinese sausage tostada to the sounds of 90s R&B and hip-hop. Standout dinner menu items include massaman brisket curry and southern Thai fried chicken, plus a special omakase tasting menu that runs from Friday through Sunday. An expansive wine list focusing on international natural and biodynamic varietals is another reason Anajak shines.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.