While the weather is warm and the evenings are long, there's no better place to enjoy happy hour or a romantic night out than high above the city on a rooftop bar. It's the best time to sip a cocktail among the palm trees and tall buildings at one of the many rooftop bars in L.A., each with their own signature style, drinks, and breathtaking views.
Although each venue is unique, most include some version of the same ritual. Upon arriving, you'll be led to—or expected to find—an elevator that will transport you upstairs to the top floor of a building where you'll emerge to find an entirely new vision of the sprawling city. Downtown, you'll walk among sleek modern skyscrapers. In Hollywood, you'll find yourself surrounded by palm trees. On the West Side, a hazy view of city lights in the distance will dominate your line of sight.
Head to L.A. staples like Mama Shelter, Perch, and Pearl's for refreshing cocktails and stick around for the sweeping views as the night grows long. Here are 10 of the best rooftop bars in the city that deserve a spot on your L.A. bucket list.
Blocks away from the tourist-ridden Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, you'll find Mama Shelter, a hotel with a street-level coffee shop, restaurant and bar, and rooftop oasis six stories up. Stop in for drinks, small bites, or a full meal surrounded by eclectic, colorful décor. It's just the place to take in a view of the hills, the Hollywood sign, and downtown L.A. in the distance.
Signature Cocktail: My Girl (Four Roses bourbon, fresh lemons, strawberries, basil)
Head to Eataly, the bustling Italian marketplace located in Century City, for a low-key rooftop experience away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and Hollywood. With plenty of lounge seating, twinkling lights, and greenery, Terra—Eataly's rooftop restaurant—is the ideal spot for a tasty cocktail before dinner on the roof or at one of the many Italian restaurants awaiting inside Eataly.
Signature Cocktail: Mountain (Ferrari Brut, chamomile-infused Grappa, lemon)
Spend a night out above West Hollywood at Catch L.A. The swanky restaurant is never without a line of luxury vehicles outside and is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. The restaurant offers views of downtown and Hollywood from its open-air dining room where you can indulge in fresh seafood and refreshing drinks in style.
Signature Cocktail: One Too Many (Strawberry-infused Absolut Elyx, Lillet Rose, coconut, avocado, rose, lime)
E.P. & L.P
While the actual rooftop bar is simply called L.P., most regulars refer to the local watering hole as E.P. & L.P. Located above E.P., an Asian restaurant, the bar features signature drinks and small bites with a luxurious view of the city. Colorful décor and overgrown botanicals mark this trendy hub where you can sit by a firepit and enjoy an after-work drink or a late-night bite.
Signature Cocktail: Bittersweet Symphony (gin, house-made White Pimm's, cucumber, mint, lemon soda)
Perched on the roof of the Freehand Hotel, Broken Shaker delivers handcrafted cocktails in the center of Downtown Los Angeles. It was the winner of the Cocktail's Best American Hotel Bar award, so you can be sure to find a heavenly drink at this spunky rooftop bar. If you're staying at the hotel, you can also enjoy the rooftop pool for the true L.A. experience of tanning poolside with a drink in hand.
Signature Cocktail: Sunset on La Playa (Don Julio, Singani 63, swizzled with prickly pear, rosemary, and fresh lime juice)
Spend a night out at the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere, Spire 73. In case that statement alone isn't enough to convince you to make the trek out to DTLA for a cocktail, consider the sprawling city views from the 73rd floor of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, the enticing drink menu, and the luxe décor waiting for you. Not for the faint of heart, this rooftop bar is seriously high up and offers a clear view of the city below.
Signature Cocktail: 1100 Feet (Glenmorangie Scotch, Benedictine, Lillet Blanc, Creole bitters, dried apricot)
Among the many restaurants and bars dotted along the Sunset Strip is Pearl's, a rooftop destination with sparkling views and exquisite libations. Go for dinner, drinks, or even brunch to experience West Hollywood from above. The WeHo spot features three different floors, each with something different to offer, but you'll want to head straight to the third floor to catch a view of the city waiting down the hill.
Signature Cocktail: Pearl's Potion (Captain Morgan, passion fruit pureé, Mandarine Napolean, lemon juice, champagne float)
Something about the antique-inspired décor, French cuisine, and live jazz music at the aptly named rooftop bar Perch, will transport you back in time. Ride an elevator up to the 15th-floor restaurant, bar, and lounge where you can opt to stay inside or enjoy the patio and DTLA skyline. For a truly intimate experience, head up the stairs to the 16th floor for a cozy setting to enjoy drinks with a view.
Signature Cocktail: Writer's Block (Grey Goose La Poire vodka, St. Germain, lemon, sparkling wine)
The Roof on Wilshire
The Roof on Wilshire is a chic lounge setting situated on top of the Hotel Wilshire, a boutique Kimpton Hotel. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks year-round by the pool with a stunning 360-degree view of Los Angeles from this Miracle Mile spot. Expect modern tables, couches, and firepits made for cozying up with someone special.
Signature Cocktail: Wilshire Rosemary Rye Sour (Bulleit rye whiskey, lemon juice, egg white, rosemary, and a dash of Angostura bitters)
Another Downtown L.A. delight, the rooftop at The Standard hotel offers panoramic views of both the city skyline and the mountains. Sip drinks alongside a heated swimming pool on the red AstroTurf deck and dance the night away on the dancefloor. You'll also want to spend some time lying in one of the many waterbed pods sprinkled throughout the roof (yes, they're exactly what they sound like).
Signature Cocktail: Raspberry Beret (premium vodka, raspberry, elderflower liqueur, lime)