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 low-key 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.
From rooftop watering holes in Downtown and Hollywood to a few tried-and-true beachside bars in Venice and Santa Monica, here are the city’s—literally—top rooftop bars.
June 2022: Just in time for summer, we’ve refreshed our rooftop bars guide with a slew of vetted new rooftops. Enjoy!