This Santa Monica terrace offers a postcard-worthy panorama of the palm-tree–lined beachfront without the clubby vibes that overrun some of the spots closer to the ocean. The breezy rooftop feels like a chic living room—just one that happens to serve cacio e pepe pizza and squid ink and crab gemelli.
Whether hiking or driving, Angelenos are willing to put in the work for a memorable view—and the same goes for eating—though with a little less cardio required. In a city spread between the ocean and the mountains, it’s no surprise that restaurants with spectacular views, whether on the beach or a rooftop, are in no short supply.
But restaurants can’t rely only on their vantage points (at least, not the good ones), and plenty simply aren’t worth the scenery tax (we’re looking at you, basically every spot on the Sunset Strip). On the flip side, we can think of dozens of charming patios in canyons and beach communities that are plopped in picturesque areas but without a view of anything but some twinkly string lights.
So with all those rules out of the way, we think these 20 restaurants below manage to offer just the right mix of picture-perfect views with menus that hold their own.