The Best Outdoor Dining Patios In Los Angeles
By Elizabeth Held
Los Angeles has nearly perfect weather year-round, but it's the summertime when al fresco dining really turns up. From old favorites to exciting newcomers, we’ve rounded up some of the best patio dining experiences in the city. As for what "patio dining" encompasses, we're differentiating it from rooftop or poolside dining (and excluding the narrow sliver of outdoor tables found in front of restaurants throughout L.A.), focusing instead on open-air, street-level spaces—it's a specific type of experience that’s surprisingly uncommon in this 75-and-sunny city. The following restaurants also have exceptional food, ensuring an all-around idyllic summer meal. Bon appétit!
(Courtesy of AOC/Facebook)
Just down the road from mid-city’s bustling section of 3rd Street, AOC's breezy dining room opens onto a romantic outdoor garden dotted with laurel trees and an open hearth. With a kitchen helmed by L.A.’s renowned chef and restaurateur Suzanne Goin, you can look forward to thoughtful Californian-meets-European fare. Try the Spanish fried chicken with romesco aioli or the wood-oven-roasted clams with sherry and green garlic. An expansive wine list complements the food and charming atmosphere.
AOC is located at 8700 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, 310-859-9859.
Salazar. (Courtesy of Salazar/Twitter)
With one of the most expansive patios in town, Salazar is the perfect location for all-day tacos, aguas frescas cócteles and margaritas. A large pergola provides welcome shade for the restaurant’s casual dining area, inviting guests to take a seat and stay a while. Palm trees and cacti share the space with patrons, creating a desert-like haven for L.A.’s hungry and thirsty. The restaurant specializes in meats, fish and vegetables grilled over mesquite, and seasonal veggies are featured in tacos and plates throughout the year. Come early or be prepared to wait—this is a hot destination right now.
Salazar is located at 2490 Fletcher Dr., Frogtown, no phone number.
(Courtesy of Gracias Madre/Facebook)
Even if you’re a carnivore, you’ll quickly fall in love with the beautiful space at Gracias Madre and forget you’re eating cashew cheese and coconut bacon. The plant-based food, by the way, is delicious and flavorful, no matter your preference on meat. From tacos and flautas to grilled tofu and black bean burgers, the menu offers a fresh, organic take on meatless Mexican food. Inventive cocktails range from seasonal sips and boozy popsicles to mezcal tastings and premium concoctions for high-rollers. While this is an optimal space for summer, heat lamps and cozy blankets draped over each table make this an enjoyable destination year-round.
Gracias Madre is located at 8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-978-2170.
(Courtesy of Everson Royce Bar)
EVERSON ROYCE BAR
Come to Everson Royce Bar for the expansive, beautiful patio. Stay for the diner-style burger, flaky buttermilk biscuits and phenomenal barrel-aged cocktails. The atmosphere at E.R.B. is relaxed yet stylish, with a mix of tables and benches for various-sized groups throughout the space. Games like bacci ball line one wall of the patio, creating a playful, social atmosphere. On weekends and holidays, catch visiting chefs for unique pop-up menus, musical acts and DJs, and other special events. Wine Wednesdays feature a $25 prix-fixe menu that changes weekly, which includes a flight of three wines with a paired dish from Chef Matt Molina.
Everson Royce Bar is located at 1936 E. 7th Street, Downtown, 213-335-6166.
(Photo courtesy of The Ponte)
Scott Conant of Scarpetta fame took over the old Terrine spot on Beverly Boulevard earlier this year and opened The Ponte. That’s good news for L.A. diners, who can still get Conant’s incredible pasta while enjoying this gorgeous outdoor dining oasis. Other menu highlights include pizzas, roasted chicken and fish, and charcuterie; a thoughtful list of vegetables cooked in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven round out the menu. There's also a posh list of Italian-focused cocktails from mixologist Ryan Wainwright. The restaurant is also open for brunch, perfect for enjoying your coffee al fresco on sunny weekend mornings.
The Ponte is located at 8265 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-746-5130.
(Courtesy of Cliff's Edge/Facebook)
The patio at Cliff’s Edge is one of the best date spots in the city. The lush, romantic space is enveloped by the arms of a large, ancient ficus tree, creating a secret garden just steps away from Sunset Boulevard. The food is rustic yet sophisticated, with cured meats and salads to start, followed by large-format poultry, fish and beef entrees. Choose a bottle from the restaurant’s extensive wine list, or try one of the “timely” or “timeless” cocktails, depending on your level of nostalgia. Round out your meal with a choice of seasonal desserts, like Nutella pudding or house-made beignets, or a selection from the substantial cheese menu.
Cliff’s Edge is located at 3626 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-666-6116.
(Courtesy of the Alcove Cafe & Bakery/Facebook)
ALCOVE CAFÉ & BAKERY
As if the Alcove Café & Bakery bungalow wasn’t charming enough, the sprawling front patio makes this place irresistible on a nice day. The café is located in two of the oldest houses in Los Feliz, and the remodeled space includes many traditional architectural elements alongside beautiful outdoor gardens. Ideal for brunch, a midday coffee with a slice of cake, or a romantic dinner, Alcove is a solid choice for just about every dining and drinking occasion. From May to September, Alcove hosts "Dinner and a Movie" night on the third Tuesday of each month, with a special dinner and cocktail menu for each month’s screening.
Alcove Café & Bakery is located at 1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, 323-644-0100.
(Courtesy of Vinoteque on Melrose/Twitter)
VINOTEQUE ON MELROSE
Walk up a few steps on Melrose and past the love locks wall, and you’re instantly transported into what feels like a charming European courtyard. Vinoteque is one of the city’s most welcoming wine bars, and its lovely environs set the scene for a leisurely evening. One of the added bonuses is that they will open any bottle on the wine list as long as you order two glasses of that wine, saving you the commitment of ordering the whole bottle. To complement the wine, guests can nosh on well-composed cheese plates and a variety of tapas, like buttermilk fried cauliflower and herbed lamb meatballs. On Wednesdays, stop by for a lively outdoor trivia night under the stars. Follow Vinoteque on its social channels to hear about special events, like movies screened on the patio or live music.
Vinoteque is located at 7469 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 310-860-6060.
(Courtesy of Playa Provisions)
DOCKSIDE AT PLAYA PROVISIONS
Playa Provisions is the most ambitious endeavor yet from Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson. With four unique dining and drinking areas−including the intimate Grain Whiskey Bar and playful Small Batch ice cream and coffee shop−Playa Provisions can easily turn into an all-day culinary destination. The more high-end dining option, Dockside, offers a sophisticated indoor-outdoor dining experience, with a mix of cozy fire pits and booths nestled under strings of twinkling lights. Like all of Chef Williamson’s restaurants, the menu is inventive and well-executed, offering a variety of seafood-centric bites for timid and adventurous palates alike. Guests can also enjoy inventive cocktails from Grain on the patio—the Fall Fashioned that comes with bourbon, apple brandy, and cinnamon and brown sugar syrup is a highlight.
Playa Provisions is located at 119 Culver Blvd, Playa Vista, 310-683-5019.
(Courtesy of Momed/Facebook)
MOMED - ATWATER VILLAGE
Momed has two locations in Los Angeles that dish out modern Mediterranean (or “Momed”) cuisine. While the Beverly Hills location has a few outdoor tables, the Atwater Village outpost is where you head for prime patio time. The spacious, pleasant terrace is dog-friendly and well-designed. Momed features unique spins on traditional Mediterranean food, such as its duck shawarma and avocado hummus. Try one of Momed’s various pides—flatbread cooked in a wood-burning oven—for another delicious choice. The patio is also an excellent location to enjoy a nice bottle of wine, and the restaurant waives corkage fees every Wednesday.
Momed is located at 3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village, 323-522-3488.
(Courtesy of Loreley)
Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten sports one of the greatest patios in the city on an unsuspecting stretch of La Brea. One substantial long wood table, built around a palm tree, serves as the courtyard’s centerpiece, evoking old-world charm with a modern twist. A number of booths and sit/stand areas make this an ideal space for large groups and intimate gatherings alike. The beer list is composed of primarily German brews, but a number of local and national craft beers grace the list, too. Food is traditional European fare, with sausage plates, spaetzle and potato pancakes as options.
Loreley is located at 1201 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood, 323-378-5869.
(Courtesy of Sawyer)
From the bright and airy dining room to the stunning garden patio, Sawyer exudes good vibes. The outdoor section is cozy and inviting, with a colorful tiled floor, fireplace for chilly nights and an abundance of greenery surrounding the space. The menu is modern American with a heavy focus on seafood and vegetables—think seasonal salads, mussels and branzino. Inventive cocktails and a solid daily happy hour complement this attractive space. Sawyer gets bonus points for allowing guests to make reservations for both dinner and brunch.
Sawyer is located at 3709 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-641-3709.
(Courtesy of Sunny Spot)
Opened in 2009 by L.A. restaurateur Dave Reiss (The Brig, Alibi Room), this California cookshop is bright and funky. The colorful patio bleeds into the open-air restaurant, which boasts a distinctive personality that’s delivered through the music, menu design and food. With a killer happy hour and a popular brunch, Sunny Spot is a great choice for get-togethers no matter the time of day. The Caribbean-inspired food menu offers tacos, snacks and larger plates like chicken mole and braised short ribs. Tropical cocktails—and $18 bottomless mimosas during weekend brunch—enhance the patio experience.
Sunny Spot is located at 822 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey, 310-448-8884.
Elizabeth Held is a Los Angeles-based writer who will never grow tired of exploring this city's great food and restaurant scene. She's also an avid home cook and will travel anywhere for the promise of a great meal.