A beer stein-shaped sign greets visitors to the divey street-side bar, but it’s all about the back patio at this Silver Lake institution, a fixture since 1959. Current owner Aidas Mattis and his family still maintain the Bavarian connection with imagery of the Berlin bear and a 3-D mural of old-school, beer-toasting Germans and wall-mounted promotional tins from classic German breweries like Warsteiner and Bitburger, also served on tap. Schnitzel and sausage are series regulars at Red Lion, as are Oktoberfest celebrations.
Sure, L.A. may not have grilled fish on sticks as they famously do in Munich, but the spirit of Oktoberfest is in effect year-round at these beer gardens. We’re not only focusing on German-style taprooms here: Yes, we’ve included some of our favorite Bavarian-inspired beer bars, but also some spots that simply have patios too pretty to pass up. So we’ve assembled the best alfresco places for a pretzel, a wurst or two and some suds (variety is key for beer gardens, so we’ve steered away from single-brand breweries, as much as we love them). From a beer hall in Pasadena to a lively bar in Santa Monica, we’re raising our glasses to the best beer gardens in the city.