No matter how many new rooftops open, we always come back to Perch, one of the prettiest rooftop bars (and bistros) in town. Patterned tile floors, potted trees full of twinkly lights and charming seating combine nightly for a scene full of Downtown locals, plus a few hundred of their closest friends. Though it’s often crowded inside the interior boudoir-themed bar, you’ll find plenty of breathing room and even a few fire pits on the outdoor patio. From any seat, you’ll want to sample the selection of kir-style cocktails that go beyond crème de cassis. The after-work crowd drops in for happy hour, dubbed Apéritif Hour, weekdays from 4 to 6pm, while late-night partygoers and music-lovers can enjoy frequent DJ sets and live bands. Reservations and walk-ins.
What is it that they say about L.A.’s smog? Oh yeah, the reason for its beautiful sunsets that never get old. Make the city’s pollution and marine layer work for you at these sky-high cocktail bars, where the views rightfully rival the booze. With so many new rooftop restaurants and bars in town, we’ve narrowed this list to the best drinking-oriented spots in the city, rather than full-blown dining destinations. They run the gamut from lowkey Westside rooftops to see-and-be-seen hotspots in West Hollywood, with a few longtime favorites thrown in for good measure.
Most take walk-ins, thankfully, and those that require reservations aren’t necessarily the places we’d endorse paying for a full meal anyway. None of our picks require a cover fee or drink minimum, unless stated otherwise. (There are many more rooftop bars than the ones featured on our guide, but trust us, we've visited every single one of them, and not all of them merit paying premium cocktail prices.)
May 2023: After checking out a few more rooftops, we've added Bar Funke to our guide, and also refreshed our rooftop restaurants list. Stay tuned for our take on the soon-to-open Dante pop-up at the Maybourne, which will bring one of NYC's best cocktail bars to a Beverly Hills hotel rooftop.