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Salazar
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

The best outdoor dining in L.A.

Under a tree, by the beach, up in the mountains—we found the best outdoor dining spots in L.A. to eat alfresco

By Erin Kuschner, Stephanie Breijo and Time Out contributors
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There’s no such thing as alfresco season in L.A., a city where outdoor dining can be done year-round. Natives and transplants alike know that most meals can be enjoyed outside, whether you’re at a coffee shop, a taco truck or a fine-dining restaurant, and it’s simply a way of dining life across the city. But the very best outdoor dining? Those are the spots where you can hear the waves crashing from a rooftop or get lost in the walls of ivy that surround your patio table. Here are the best restaurants for outdoor dining in L.A.

We’ve updated this guide with reopening dates and current operation formats; every venue without notation currently offers dine-in service, and we’ll be updating regularly. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in Los Angeles

Best patios and outdoor dining in L.A.

Nobu Malibu
Nobu Malibu
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

1. Nobu Malibu

Restaurants Japanese Malibu

Nobu Malibu is one of those places that’s so stunning, you may just hear yourself muttering, “Is this real life?” With a menu designed by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the iconic restaurant—overlooking Surfrider Beach and Malibu Pier—is so close to the beach that you can see the footprints in the sand. Its minimalist aesthetic complements its natural environment, and the sushi and modern Japanese food is just as disarmingly beautiful as the setting. Mini tacos are filled with deliciously creamy uni, and Nobu’s signature tiradito—thin slices of whitefish dotted with chili—are wonderful. Just be sure to ask for patio seating when you make a reservation (and you will be needing a reservation).

Salazar Frogtown patio
Salazar Frogtown patio
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

2. Salazar

Restaurants Mexican Frog Town

Salazar has delayed its Friday, July 3, reopening and will remain closed until further notice.

When you step into this mechanics shop turned Mexican restaurant, you instantly feel like you’ve left L.A. for a breezy scene south of the border. It’s a world where cacti and bougainvilleas encompass you during a meal of tacos al pastor, chilaquiles and tart, salty margaritas. By day, plenty of trees and umbrellas offer shade, and the “lobby” open space allows kids to play while you await one of their many wooden tables paired with colorful chairs. By night, a romantic atmosphere takes hold of this place, but worry not—because the great food remains the same.

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Photograph: Courtesy Castaway/Marie Buck

3. Castaway

Restaurants Contemporary American Burbank

Burbank’s gem of a patio is hardly a secret. In fact, it’s been one of the SFV’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.

4. Kincaid’s

Restaurants Steakhouse Redondo Beach

Put your name in at the front desk for an outdoor table—trust us, it’s worth the wait. You’ll be dining on delicious food from a seafood-heavy menu with the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing along the shore below you. Kincaids is a great spot for a sunny-day brunch, especially if you love bloody Marys—they have an epic bloody Mary bar—or, grab an early dinner to watch the sunset in one of the South Bay’s most beautiful settings.

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Plant Food + Wine in Venice
Plant Food + Wine in Venice
Photograph: Courtesy Plant Food + Wine

5. Plant Food + Wine

Restaurants Vegan Venice

Plant Food + Wine will reopen on Friday, July 3.

Throw a stone in Venice and you’ll likely hit a vegetarian restaurant—or at least an incredibly health-conscious eatery. Plant Food + Wine is no exception, though its breezy patio seating and communal aesthetic is a definite bonus. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the restaurant offers healthy vegan cuisine that features seasonal items to create innovative dishes such as kung pao cauliflower, watermelon poke, kelp cacio e pepe, and even cashew raclette. A hefty wine list rounds out the menu, and you can enjoy it beneath the trees on the restaurant’s stellar, comfy back patio.

6. Alta Adams

Restaurants Soul and southern American West Adams
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With vines draping from the fence, bulb lights hanging overhead, and plenty of chef Keith Corbin’s California soul food, the back patio at Alta Adams is an ideal space for lounging and dining for hours on end at any point of the day or night. There’s ample seating back here and the space feels a bit more quiet than the main dining room or the chef’s counter, which is perfect for those of us who’d rather sit in a scenic corner to hide how many bowls of that garlicky, breadcrumb-topped mac and cheese we can eat.

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7. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele

Restaurants Italian Hollywood
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One of the world’s most famous—and oldest—pizza operations in the world touched down in Hollywood, carving out a garden oasis just off the main drag. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele’s seating is almost entirely alfresco—be it on that cozy front deck or in that gorgeous, enclosed brick patio—and that back bulb-lit section is secluded, serene and stylish. Of course, the pizza is stunning, too: Neapolitan-style pies gooey in the center and blistered around the crust are what you should always order, but we wouldn’t blame you if you got distracted by the small plates and pastas.

Neptune's Net
Neptune's Net
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/carlfbagge

8. Neptune’s Net

Restaurants Seafood Ventura County

Neptune’s Net is currently only open for takeout via the new drive-through system.

True, sometimes the view from the patio of Neptune’s Net is more bikers than beach, but when bikers aren’t racing down PCH and showing off their tricks (swoon), diners at this beloved seaside spot can get a good look at the Pacific Ocean, which stretches out before them. The casual seafood restaurant, which first opened in 1956, is a solid place to come for a basket of fried shrimp and some clam chowder before heading across the street to watch the sunset. It’s iconic to a T, and one of the best places to dine outside by the beach.

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9. The Draycott

Restaurants British Pacific Palisades
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This London-meets-California brasserie puts fresh and refreshing hits on the table—especially on the patio tables. With a vibe that practically screams “garden party” and “afternoon tea” and “yes I will have another mimosa in the sunshine,” the Draycott’s alfresco seating, which is tucked into the heart of the Palisades Village complex, is one of the sunniest and chicest spots to dine on the Westside. Operated by the husband-and-wife team of Matt and Marissa Hermer, it’s a stylish and family-friendly spot to grab salads, pastas, roast meats, English-pea dip, and one of the neighborhood's favorite brunches.

AOC
AOC
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

10. A.O.C.

Restaurants Californian Beverly

The French countryside meets Napa at A.O.C., where the outdoor patio channels the best of both worlds. The restaurant and wine bar on West 3rd Street isn’t entirely outside, but the indoor dining room spills out onto a gorgeous open-air space, where a small balcony peeks out over diners and foliage creeps up the restaurant’s walls. Wide umbrellas shade visitors on sunny days, and heat lamps warm people up at night—though the wine does a good job of that, too. Suzanne Goin’s vibrant small plates and shareable (read: romantic) dishes only make for an even more picturesque meal.

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Alcove Cafe
Alcove Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy Alcove Cafe

11. Alcove Café and Bakery

Restaurants Eclectic Los Feliz

Housed in historic bungalows, this combination cottage-like café and cocktail bar serves up large plates of gourmet American classics. Breakfast items are served all day long, and you can expect to find diners filling up the beautiful garden patio at all hours—and especially for weekend brunch—whether they’re here for a stack of pancakes, a meaty, flavorful burger or one of the fantastic cocktails at Big Bar. At night, twinkling lights line the patio, and in the warmer months, Alcove turns its outdoor space into a theater, hosting dinner and a movie under the stars.

Photograph: Courtesy The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel

12. The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Restaurants American Beverly Hills

Even if you’re not a Hollywood VIP trying to score a deal over your eggs Benedict, you’ll probably find your Sunday brunch at the Polo Lounge pretty glamorous anyway. It’s a little on the cheesy side—spotless white tablecloths and live jazz and all that—but there may be no finer place to enjoy blueberry ricotta pancakes or frittata than on the Polo Lounge’s beautiful outside patio. Dainty, wrought iron chairs and bougainvilleas fill the space—if Alice and the Mad Hatter came to L.A., they would undoubtedly meet here for tea.

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13. Everson Royce Bar

Bars Cocktail bars Downtown Arts District
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E.R.B. is currently only open for takeout and delivery.

When approaching the bright orange door to E.R.B. (Everson Royce Bar, technically speaking), it’s hard to know what to expect behind it. The concrete exterior of the Arts District haunt seems intentionally non-descript: A bold neon sign above the door reads simply “BAR”—the small plaque beside it, “everson royce bar, est. 2015,” verifies the bar’s identity. But beyond the door it’s not only bustling and warm, but elegant and welcoming. Out back, the verdant, spacious patio offers ample seating for drinking, dining and stargazing through the twinkle of overhead light strings while you nosh on some of the city’s most consistently good cocktails and one of the best burgers in town—it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends in any season.

Firefly's outdoor patio
Firefly's outdoor patio
Photograph: Courtesy Firefly

14. Firefly

Restaurants American creative Studio City

Firefly is currently open for curbside pickup only.

Firefly may be the closest thing to a modern-day secret garden in L.A., walls of tangled ivy included. Found on a more popular stretch of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, the fine-dining restaurant offers modern-American cuisine in a romantic, cozy setting: The heated patio is decorated in candles and twinkling lights—it’s almost as pretty as the carefully constructed dishes you’ll be digging into. On Monday nights, live jazz usually fills the outdoor space.

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15. Cecconi’s

Restaurants Italian West Hollywood

Leave the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood at the entrance to this walled-in, open-air patio covered with lush plantlife. This modern-Italian restaurant whips up breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as cicchetti (Italian tapas), seven days a week. Specializing in Northern Italian cuisine, the menu covers everything from pizza to fish to exemplary pastas, with California-inspired dishes like ahi tartare and ash-baked beets, to boot. The wine menu is just as diverse: Choose from more than 50 varieties as you congratulate yourself on finding what truly feels like a hidden alcove in the heart of Weho.

Block Party
Block Party
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

16. Block Party

Bars Beer bars Highland Park

Block Party is currently only open for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.

York Boulevard’s patio of choice can fill up fast, so make a beeline for the outdoor area in the back and its wooden picnic benches the second you enter this breezy, no-frills bar. Stay cool with frozen drinks and a killer bottle selection—and in the winter, stay warm with pyramid-shaped heaters. Should the tables be taken or your crew get antsy, there’s even shuffleboard to keep the fun and games going. There’s no kitchen, but this block of Highland Park hosts regular pop-ups right out front—especially of the vegan variety—and you can bring any food in with you or have it delivered right to the bar.

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Winemaker Dinner at Eveleigh
Winemaker Dinner at Eveleigh
Courtesy: Photograph Eveleigh

17. Eveleigh

Restaurants American West Hollywood

Most restaurants on the Sunset Strip don’t have to try very hard—they have a built-in tourist market thanks to the iconography and allure of the neighborhood—so it’s refreshing when a Strip restaurant is actually quite good. The Eveleigh is that restaurant, with lamb meatballs, dungeness crab pasta, hanger steak with romesco sauce; the kitchen keeps it simple and gets it right, and the space, especially so. Most of the seating is outside, either on the front patio, or the stellar enclosed back terrace, which offers views of the city and feels a bit like you've been invited to a cozy but exclusive dinner party.

18. Home

Restaurants American Los Feliz

Home is, as the name implies, all about making visitors feel like they’re lounging on their own outdoor patio with friends. Comfortable, welcoming and, well, homey, the charming Los Feliz spot is shrouded in trees that provide shade on sunny mornings when you’re here for comfort food like mac and cheese, a turkey Reuben and fried chicken and waffles.

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Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

19. Gracias Madre

Restaurants Mexican West Hollywood

Gracias Madre is currently only open for takeout and delivery.

A cross between Mexican chic and Palm Springs casual, Gracias Madre in West Hollywood is where you want to take visitors from out of town to prove that Mexican food can be made totally vegan—and it’ll still be craveable. It can also be enjoyed outside on a beautiful patio lined with 80-year-old olive trees. Plenty of umbrellas shade diners from the afternoon sun, while at night the space warms up with heat lamps and a small fireplace. Dip into a bowl of guacamole, a couple sopes con mango and one of the bar’s phenomenal cocktails.

20. Aroma Coffee & Tea

Restaurants Cafés Studio City

Formally a private home, Studio City’s Aroma Coffee & Tea transformed itself into a restaurant and café where you can grab a coffee to-go or order a full meal to enjoy at one of its darling bistro chairs and marble tables. The inside of the restaurant boasts a homey, library-like ambience, but the wraparound patio holds the best seats in the house: Calming fountains trickle in the background, while at night, the outdoor space ignites with fairy lights—the perfect setting as you tuck into that giant piece of chocolate cake.

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Spago Beverly Hills
Spago Beverly Hills
Photograph: Courtesy Spago Beverly Hills

21. Spago of Beverly Hills

Restaurants Californian Beverly Hills

A retractable roof, two outdoor fireplaces, olive trees and white tablecloths make the patio at Spago one of the sexiest—and most coveted—places to dine in the city. True, it’s also a place where you’ll probably see the odd celebrity—and accompanying paparazzi—but you’ll be too involved with your salmon flatbread or plate of handmade agnolotti to notice. It’s not a bad problem to have.

Take your outdoor experience to new heights

Mama Shelter Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Mama Shelter Los Angeles

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