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Sant'olina Rooftop Nighttime
Photograph: Courtesy Wonho Frank Lee

The best rooftop restaurants in L.A.

Because rooftop bars aren't the only way to enjoy breathtaking views.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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When it comes to Los Angeles rooftops, restaurants and bars are as alike as apples and oranges: Sure, they both get the job done, but in entirely different ways. Unlike many of best L.A. rooftop bars in the city, these mostly open-air rooftop eateries offer excellent (rather than merely passable) food, gorgeous views and, in most cases, basically require a reservation to nab a table. More than a handful are in the skyscrapers of Downtown, and some are better suited for a breezy brunch than a romantic dinner. In rarefied air, things get pricey fast, so budget accordingly before enjoying a meal at one of L.A.’s best-in-class rooftop restaurants.

June 2022: To help you kick off your summer in style, we’ve refreshed both our rooftop bars and restaurants guide—making sure you’re getting the most up to date information on the best of the best around. Happy (peak) rooftop season!

The 15 best L.A. rooftop restaurants, ranked

  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • West Hollywood
  • price 4 of 4

Though other WeHo hotel restaurants might possess a similar winning combination of ritzy, ultra-chic interior design and breathtaking urban vistas (plus the glitzy patrons to match), only Wolfgang Puck’s newest fine-dining endeavor strives to do more than just coast on its looks. Pairing aesthetics with actual substance, Merois demonstrates that later works in a longtime celebrity chef’s oeuvre, even one as expansive and commercialized as Puck’s, can still delight and outright impress seasoned diners. French Californian dishes with plenty of Asian culinary influences, all atop the Pendry's rooftop? Sounds like a date to us.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 3 of 4

This mostly outdoor second-story Arts District restaurant from Mexico City boasts stunning design, impeccable cocktails and, of course, great food. We love its tequila-forward cocktail list, dinner menu emphasizing fresh seafood and dessert menu by Ellen Ramos, including the passionfruit-topped arroz con leche and blueberry almond mazapán. The addicting house-made tortilla chips, thicker than most you find in this city, make an order of guacamole an essential for any table. Combine that with a couple rounds of drinks and tacos and the sunset, and it’s the perfect way to spend a relaxed evening out in the city. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Downtown Fashion District
  • price 3 of 4

This 10th floor Downtown rooftop comes courtesy of Stephanie Izard, whose Girl & the Goat outpost in the Arts District has also drawn rave reviews. In similar Chicago-to-L.A. fashion, Cabra is the second location of the Top Chef winner’s Peruvian-inspired small plates concept, with Izard’s usual sharp, playful takes on dishes like striped bass ceviche and lomo saltado. From appetizers to dessert, there’s something memorable and delicious for everyone to love at Cabra. The quinoa and tuna salad’s cornucopia of bright flavors and textures particularly won us over, and caramel-covered picarones—sweet potato doughnuts topped with puffed rice—stood out on the dessert front. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Santa Monica
  • price 3 of 4

Located upstairs from Santa Monica's Laemmle Theater, Élephante is the best Westside rooftop restaurant, period. Inside, chic modern wood furniture and a selection of cacti and lush houseplants set the stage for a stunning view of the ocean from the aptly-named Sunset Room. Meet friends during the day for brunch and lunch, then bring a date at night for low-lit romance. Our go-to is the whipped eggplant dip with puffy flatbread, but there’s also excellent pizza, pasta and a sunny weekend brunch with the likes of soft polenta with eggs, crab and sweet corn. Given the excellent food and ambience, it's also nearly impossible to snag a table as a walk-in, so make sure you book in advance.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • West Hollywood
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Perched above a glitzy nightlife-oriented stretch of West Hollywood, Catch LA is the West Coast outpost of the pan-Asian inspired NYC eatery. It's a definitive place to see and be seen, with a gorgous flower-lined hallway, an open-air dining room and patio, plus breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hils. Depending on the night you stop in, you'll typically find one or two papparazi staking out outside, if you're wondering what kind of crowd this attracts. Once you get upstairs, the sceney rooftop haven offers expensive, but decently made sushi, wood-fired seafood and other small plates, as well as an exorbitantly priced special occasion-worthy brunch. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Downtown Financial District
  • price 3 of 4

Situated high atop the US Bank Tower—71 floors, to be exact—71Above offers a stunning view of Los Angeles to accompany modern American fare from chef Javier Lopez. At this altitude, you won't find a better skyhigh dining experience anywhere else in the city. Prix-fixe meals can be had in either the dining room or at the bar, with dishes like poached oysters, agnolotti, steak tartar and scallops gracing the menu. While the overall menu skews conservative, the fine dining level food never fails to please, and the service at 71Above is always impeccable. For a more private, culinarily geared experience, opt for one of the two chef's table booths, which allows diners front row seats to the restaurant's open kitchen. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Beverly Hills
  • price 3 of 4

This breezy hotel restaurant from the h.wood Group (Delilah, The Nice Guy, SLAB) offers stunning views of the hills any time of day, as well as flavorful, upscale Cal-Mediterranean cuisine, but the citrus tree-lined roof of the Beverly Hilton truly transforms into the ideal spot for romance at night. On weekend nights, live Greek music plays from 7 to 10pm, while h.wood Group chefs Michael Teich and Burt Bakman’s flavorful Cal-Mediterranean cuisine wows from every angle. A verdant yellowtail crudo infused with citrus za’atar and a decadent caviar-topped potato latke are must-order appetizers here, though you can’t go wrong with any of their wood-fired entrées. The cocktails are excellent as well, particularly the Spicy Siena—Sant’olina’s take on a spicy marg.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Century City
  • price 3 of 4

Perched high above Santa Monica Boulevard, Eataly's rooftop restaurant and bar offers surprisingly scenic views for an eatery inside a mall. Head upstairs from the Italian cuisine emporium’s second-floor market to find a gorgeous patio eatery offering homemade pastas, plus straightforward vegetarian-friendly grilled entrées, for a delightful plein air meal that just happens to be at Westfield Century City. Casual drinkers can post up for refreshing Italian spritzers at the bar, while Terra’s cozy fire pit is the ideal place to bring groups of four to six. Don’t miss the tableside gelato cart for dessert, complete with a bevy of traditional toppings, including amarena cherries and crushed almonds.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Burbank

Burbank’s gem of a patio is hardly a secret. In fact, it’s been one of the Valley’s special-occasion go-tos for decades. But the Castaway your parents went to before prom has a whole new look: Its stellar, sweeping views of the Valley, Downtown and beyond remain, and in addition to sleeker, more modern décor, the menu’s also gotten a revamp. Steaks, whole roast fish, impressive charcuterie boards and luscious pastas are now the norm, and make for perfect snacky fare, full dinner or brunch on that spacious patio with one of L.A.’s most romantic views.

  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • South Park

With small plates from farm-to-table icon Suzanne Goin, highly focused, yet breezy cocktails and amazing views of Downtown, Cara Cara would easily land on our best rooftop bars list, save for one not-insignificant snag: tables take up most of its square footage, and they’re almost always packed with reservations. Walk-ins are forced to hover by the firepit or jockey for an empty table, making this excellent rooftop bar more of a light-bites lounge. Don’t let all the hoops deter you, though—the food, drinks and definitely the view at this Downtown rooftop restaurant definitely justify the need for advanced planning.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 3 of 4

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 the boudoir-themed interior is often crowded, those who book earlier tables for dinner will find a much cozier atmosphere before the late night crowds set in, plus a menu of traditional French favorites like steak frites, French onion and a vegan-friendly plat provençale. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Margot’s location—the third and topmost floor of Culver City’s Platform complex—might be its main draw, but it’s pleasing to see that one can get a pretty decent meal at this coastal Mediteranean-leaning restaurant with a cozy, heated patio and glittering all-glass atrium. Chicly dressed groups and romantic couples on dates are the norm here, but unlike West Hollywood or Downtown rooftops, the general atmosphere isn't full of hot air. Standout menu items include the housemade foccacia, patatas bravas and wagyu bolognese bomboletti, as well as flourless chocolate torte come dessert time.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Santa Monica

Eighteen stories above Santa Monica, the Penthouse at the Huntley offers a wraparound view of the Promenade and the Pacific Ocean, plus a luxe white interior and chandeliers. In short: The restaurant is picture-perfect, and even comes with a ride up an all-glass elevator. Though the pricey Mediterranean-inspired New American food runs more adequate than truly memorable, the chance to enjoy a long evening with a loved one—or even a group of friends—at this ultra-romantic Santa Monica eatery with breathtaking ocean views is more than worth the cost of admission.

 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Hollywood

Wraparound views of the hills and straightforward Cal-Mediterranean cuisine make the Dream Hotel’s rooftop nightlife destination an equally scene-y eatery for weekend brunch and dinner. Take in views of the Hollywood sign from the Grill’s glittering black-and-white checkered dining room—the kind of place where you’ll see groups celebrating birthdays, bachelorette parties and bemused out-of-towners just hoping to soak it all up, and don’t forget to order the house salt and vinegar chips.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Beverly Hills
  • price 4 of 4

You’ll find most food items you order astonishingly mediocre and overpriced at the ultra-expensive luxury rooftop atop the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, but Rooftop by JG (short for mononymous celebrity chef Jean-Georges) also boasts the highest 360-degree views in the area, making it perfect for special occasions—and the primary reason why it’s still on this list. More restaurant than bar, Rooftop by JG reserves the best seats in the house for diners, while walk-ins are consigned to the first-come, first-served bar and lounge area. When it comes to food, skip almost everything but the ginger marinated tuna tartare. Oh, and the tortilla chips. Those are good too.

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