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Food

The Best Outdoor Dining Spots in Los Angeles

July 30, 2021 by Christina Champlin
The front patio at Girl & the Goat. Photo by Anthony Tahlier.

Los Angeles weather permits dining outdoors almost all year long. But that doesn’t mean all outdoor food spots are created equal. From rooftop views, to seaside dining and eating in lush garden spaces, this list is here to help guide you through the best of outdoor dining in Los Angeles County at the moment (in my most humble opinion!).

Read on, and hopefully you’ll find your next outdoor dining adventure.

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Girl & the Goat (DTLA in the Arts District)

With two gorgeous outdoor spaces to dine at, it might be hard to choose where you want to sit. On the walk up to the entrance you’ll notice a bright open air room with hanging plants and glass-less window framed walls that take full advantage of the breezy California weather. Tucked away from street view is a shaded side patio lined with rows of potted greenery and string lights hung above the red brick building. Guests at Girl & the Goat are treated to a globally inspired menu created by James Beard award-wining Chef and Owner Stephanie Izard. Highlights include a goat liver mousse board served with warm crumpets, Thai sweet n’ sour grilled whole branzino and a mango sticky rice dessert surrounded by a coconut cloud topped with a tangy green mango tamarind ice cream. -> More information

Esperanza Cocina de la Playa (Manhattan Beach)

Located right in the heart of Downtown Manhattan Beach, Esperanza gives off the kind of luxury coastal vibe you might expect in Cabo San Lucas. Designed by award-winning architecture team Gulla Jonsdottir, the restaurant features a modern open air space to sip margaritas in. With a Baja inspired menu you can’t go wrong with the seafood dishes here which include Shrimp Taquitos, Langosta Fajitas and a seafood stuffed Chiles Rellenos. The restaurant is also walking distance from the Manhattan Beach Pier which makes it a great spot for a date night. -> More information

Ballast Point Brewing (Long Beach)

The San Diego brewery has built a seaside restaurant in Alamitos Bay Landing, and the two-story space features several outdoor patios with fire pits, and over 60 beers on tap. More than just a beer spot, the all-day food menu runs the gambit from wings, tacos, and salads to bone-in pork chops. -> More information

NOBU (Malibu)

Overlooking Surfrider Beach and Malibu Pier, NOBU is hands-down the most stunning beachside restaurant in Los Angeles County. The minimalistic style architecture blends into the surrounds highlighting the spectacular ocean views Malibu is know for. This is the kind of restaurant you bookmark for special occasions. Guests are treated to a modern Japanese menu designed by chef extraordinaire Nobu Matsuhisa. -> More information

The Roof at The West Hollywood EDITION.

The Roof at The West Hollywood EDITION (West Hollywood)

Rooftop dining with panoramic views of the city never go out of style. That’s exactly what you’ll get at The Roof. The Latin-inspired SoCal menu crafted by Chef John Fraser includes crab nachos with cheese poured table-side, and a must-have Lomo Saltado topped with crispy potato sticks. Pair your meal with a number of tropical forward cocktails. Reservations are highly recommend, especially during that magical L.A. sunset hour. -> More information

Casita del Campo (Silver Lake)

Rudy del Campo and family opened Casita del Campo in 1962, the restaurant serves Mexican classics in a vibrant and colorful atmosphere. The building is bright pink and the interior including the patio space features every color in the rainbow. Enjoy chips, margaritas, and generous plates of comfort food like enchiladas and tamales. -> More information

Post & Beam (Baldwin Hills)

The cozy patio at John and Roni Cleveland’s award-winning California soul food restaurant is encircled by greenery, including a flourishing succulent wall. Guests can sit at several tables with sunshade sails overhead and string lights that provide illumination to evening diners. A seat by the fireplace on 60’s print vinyl patio furniture is also an option and a great spot to take a photo. Menu highlights include the shrimp and grits, crab cakes, mac n’ cheese and short rib with shaved horseradish. The Hurricane cocktail made with three types of rum, real passionfruit and fresh juices, is basically a party in a glass. -> More information

The Garden at Manuela
The Garden at Manuela. Photo by Katrina Frederick.

Manuela (DTLA in the Arts District)

Head to the Arts District to dine in the courtyard of the Hauser + Wirth complex, where you’ll literally be surrounded by art. Chef Kris Tominaga’s seasonal SoCal focused menu includes barbecued oysters in harissa sauce, sliced tomato with Dungeness crab dressing, and chipotle mushroom rubbed salmon. The biscuits with Steen’s butter and Col. Newsom’s country ham is a signature dish always on the menu and can be spotted at every table. This year Manuela also expanded operations into the property’s scenic garden space on the weekends. A Tropical Nights themed menu is featured every Friday night and a menu of bites with an on-site bar shaking and stirring up produce-driven cocktails by Beverage Director Niki Kotantoulas pops up on Saturdays and Sundays. -> More information

Oste (West 3rd.)

Grab a slice of Europe on the charming patio of Oste, where golden gates separate the sidewalk from the cafe, which is encased by blue walls adorned with leafy plants. The menu features traditional Italian dishes like steamed mussels, fresh globes of burrata, and decadent pastas. But the main attraction is the Roman-style pizza, called pinsa. A highly digestible version of pizza, the fermented pinsa dough is made of 80 percent water and a variety of premium gluten free flours resulting in an airy dough strong enough to haul generous portions of pepperoni, mortadella, and prosciutto. -> More information

Malibu Farm Restaurant & The Malibu Farm Cafe (Malibu)

This pair of farm-to-table oceanside restaurants sit right on the Malibu Pier. Malibu Farm Restaurant is located at the start of the pier and offers a full-service day to night menu and a full bar. The more casual Malibu Farm Cafe is situated at the end of the pier and operates on a day time menu ordered at the counter. -> More information

The outdoor patio at Saso. Photo by Fried Chicken Studios.

Saso (Pasadena)

Chef Dominique Crisp’s Basque-inspired bistro is housed in the beautiful courtyard of the historic Pasadena Playhouse. Cobblestone floors, trees, twinkling string lights overhead and a soothing water fountain gives this spot its charm. A large-scale mural from local artist Tim Biskup and a modern floor plan add contemporary touches to the century-old historic structure. On the menu you’ll find seasonal pintxos (Spanish bar bites) crudo, and larger plates like the bone-in wagyu steak, whole fish and Pasta Saso a handmade duck egg-yolk pasta with shellfish, fin fish, prawns, and ginger. -> More information

Gracias Madre (West Hollywood)

Dine on Mexican food reimagined vegan style on the patio of Gracias Madre. The al fresco space is lined with 80-year-old olive trees and hosts its own outdoor bar. In the evening the place is romantically lit up by candle light. -> More information

Terra (Century City)

Enjoy rooftop views, wood-grilled dishes and botanical cocktails at Terra the rooftop restaurant at the Eataly Complex. Request a seat at one of several dining tables or opt for a more casual experience at the stand alone bar situated at the center of the roof. -> More information

The patio at Castaway. Photo: Courtesy of Castaway

Castaway (Burbank)

There’s not a bad seat in the house on the patio of Castaway. Sprawling views and twinkling city lights from both Burbank and Downtown Los Angeles makes this place an absolute hot spot during sunset hour. This decades old restaurant has changed drastically with a modernized look and elevated American menu. Dine on caviar topped fries, table side scorched wagyu, and 30 day dry aged ribeye. Cocktails here are next level, some are even immersive like the Beauty & The Beast inspired “Belle”, which is a must for anyone aspiring to become a Disney princess one day. -> More information

Alcove & Big Bar (Los Feliz)

The beloved cafe and award-winning bar program is housed in a cottage style building surrounded by a lush garden patio with plenty of outdoor seating. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the American style menu includes a number of classic morning eats, hearty salads, craft burgers and more. Simply order at the counter, add a slice of cake too (yes, it’s as good as it looks) and make your way to an available table. If you’re coming for a drink, ask the bartender for cocktail recommendations, as new drinks are created almost daily by the team. -> More information

A.O.C. (West 3rd.)

Suzanne Goin’s market-driven, small plates wine bar features a rustic European inspired patio with walls lined by ivy, a brick fire place and several small balconies that over look the outdoor space. On the menu are cheese plates, wood-fired clams, wagyu beef cheeks and a very popular Spanish fried chicken. -> More information

L.P. Rooftop Bar (West Hollywood)

L.P. offers sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills and beyond in a chic but casual setting. As the largest rooftop bar in the area there are no reservations for this hot spot, simply pull up and find a seat. On the menu are globally inspired bar bites and cocktails. -> More information

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Photo via Dama

DAMA (DTLA in the Fashion District)

Chef Antonia Lofaso’s Latin-inspired DAMA has one of the chicest patios in the city. The 5,000 square foot space features an indoor lounge, three private terraces and a large outdoor patio with pink seating and pops of green accents. -> More information

Michael’s (Santa Monica)

The patio at Michael’s is a garden oasis bursting with bright green trees, ferns and palms. Savor a California centric menu featuring local farmers market produce in an intimate atmosphere that feels a world away from the bustling streets, despite being only steps away from the 3rd Street Promenade. -> More information

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (Hollywood)

Walk into this world renown Neapolitan pizzeria and the first thing you see is the stunning brick patio, where tree planters bracket an open view to the wood-fired oven where guests can watch pizza being made from start to finish. There’s just something so satisfying about watching your meal be prepared, and then taking that first patiently-awaited bite. -> More information

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