The Best Outdoor Drinking in LA

For a city that has optimal weather year-round, there’s obviously going to be some good al fresco locations for eats and drinks. From beach piers to downtown alleyways and tree-covered patios, these are the top spots to get your drink on under the sun—or stars. –Whitney Adams

  • 1

    The Ace Rooftop

    Take the elevator straight to the top of the Ace Hotel for stellar views of downtown and a cooler-than-cool crowd. The pool isn't good for much more than a toe-dip, but it's a welcome respite from the hot LA streets. Score a lounge chair, grab a cocktail and you've got yourself one of the best afternoons DTLA has to offer.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • hotel bar
    • outdoor / patio
    • singles scenes
    • craft cocktails
  • 2

    Bar Stella

    Café Stella and its cocktail bar counterpart, Bar Stella, are Silver Lake neighborhood favorites. Adjacent to one another, you can dine on the feels-like-I'm-in-Paris cafe patio and finish the night at the bar. Good-looking hipsters abound, as well as some seriously good cocktails made by dapper bartenders in white jackets and black ties.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • craft cocktails
    • singles scene
  • 3

    Big Bar at Alcove

    The bar side of the popular Los Feliz brunch eatery Alcove has some serious outdoor real estate. One of the larger patios on the east side, Big Bar is home to well-crafted seasonal cocktails and simple bar food. As you walk through the front gate and patio, you’ll see two adjoining bungalows, like a duplex of food and booze. The café is to the right and Big Bar on the left. Bypass the panini press, grab a drink and head straight outside to claim your spot in the more secluded patio just around the back side of the bar.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • full menu
    • bar food
    • singles scene
    • craft cocktails
  • 4

    Chateau Marmont

    Since the 1930s, The Chateau Marmont has been the place for stars to hole up, hide out, hook up and misbehave.  The bungalows have been graced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Jim Morrison, James Dean, John Belushi, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and so many more. This little slice of Hollywood history and glamour has a large Spanish-style courtyard and garden terrace complete with amazing landscaping, bougainvillea and olive trees—the ideal place to grab a drink and play LA tourist for a night. While bartenders are relatively skilled with the classics, the real draw here is the view and the escape. There’s nothing else ...

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • outdoor / patio
    • historic
    • hotel bar
  • 5

    Cliff's Edge

    This is simply one of the prettiest places to eat and drink in Los Angeles, especially on the huge outside patio. The Silver Lake mainstay has gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, bringing in a fantastic new chef, overhauling the wine list and creating a solid cocktail program. During the summer, star bartender Matthew Biancaniello hosts a botanical cocktail pop-up on Wednesday evenings, but even when he’s not there the bar is a winner.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • full menu
    • good wine
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • oysters / raw bar
  • 6

    Eveleigh

    Smack in the middle of West Hollywood’s somewhat superficial nightlife scene is this bungalow and garden oasis. Tucked behind a wall of plants, the sprawling restaurant has two bars: one up front in the house, and one in the back of the festive garden dining area. Inside, a rustic fireplace burns on cooler nights and the walls are festooned with vintage knickknacks. Outside, the twinkling lights and soft breezes make this one of the city’s best patios. But while Eveleigh is all about ambience, it's also a bartender’s bar that consistently plays host to some of the city's top talent.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoors / patio
    • lots of whiskey
    • New California wine
    • Italian wine
    • French wine
    • singles scene
    • craft cocktails
  • 7

    Far Bar

    You'll know you're in the right place when you see the bright neon Chop Suey sign. Far Bar, housed in a former Little Tokyo Chinese restaurant from the '30s, has a charming alley patio nestled between tall, red-brick walls and lit by strings of twinkling cafe lights. The melting pot crowd of locals and hipsters, old and young, is decidedly “downtown.” Go for the extensive Japanese craft beer list and international whiskey selection, not the food.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • full menu
    • outdoor / patio
    • sports
    • lots of whiskey
  • 8

    Good Times at Davey Wayne's

    You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered onto an old That '70s Show set when you stumble through the vintage refrigerator door that serves as the gateway to Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. The Houston Brothers' hazy homage to the era their father grew up in involves a retro yard sale, an RV trailer pop-up bar, rollerskating dancers and a patio lined with astroturf and floral print lawn chairs. Cocktails are just as campy, including modern renditions of the Grasshopper, the Fuzzy Navel and the Salty Dog. Unlike those sloppy, saccharine drinks of the past, however, these are improved with ingredients like ...

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • craft cocktails
    • dancing
    • cheap date
    • singles scene
    • games
    • bar food
  • 9

    Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar

    Oceanside drinking on a pier in Malibu? You could probably just set up a cooler and some folding chairs and people would come. But Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar, beautifully renovated in 2014, has become a bona fide destination. The bar can execute the classics well and the wine list offers a number of smaller, avant-garde California producers tucked into a larger list of more predictable, mainstream options.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • full menu
    • craft cocktails
    • New California wine
  • 10

    Soho House

    Sadly, you need to be a member or know a member to gain entry to the exclusive Soho House. But if you manage to get in, stay all day (and night) and soak up the sweeping views of the city while enjoying some premium people watching. The balcony off the bar is furnished with plush sofas and wingbacks—the ideal spot to grab a cocktail—and the roof garden restaurant down the hall is home to one of the most beautiful dining rooms in LA.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft cocktails
    • outdoors / patio
  • 11

    The Standard Biergarten

    Tucked into one side of The Standard Hotel’s rooftop, the Biergarten is a little mini Berlin, high up in the downtown sky. Waitresses in lederhosen tees serve up pretzels and bratwurst from 12 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. daily. And if you’re so inclined there are also ping pong and foosball tables available for a little friendly, pilsner-fueled competition.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • craft beer
    • games
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • hotel bar
  • 12

    Tropicana Bar at The Roosevelt

    If you want to relive spring break, figure out a way to spend a day at the Roosevelt Hotel's pool. Rent a room for the night, bring a gaggle of friends and do it up right. As Hollywood as the scene can be at times, the pool is big enough that you can carve out your own separate experience. And the courtyard's palm tree view might as well be a postcard from the most idealized version of LA one could imagine.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bottle service
    • hotel bar
    • singles scene
    • day drinking
    • bar food
  • 13

    Verdugo Bar

    One of the city's best beer bars also happens to have a great patio. Tucked away on a random side street in Eagle Rock, Verdugo is easy to miss. Enter through the dark and moody bar, grab a beer (there are plenty of interesting selections on tap and some in cask) and head to the patio for communal seating and easy drinking.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • singles scene
    • cheap date

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