Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles: 9 Places to Drink with a View

Published by: Bounce4 October, 2022

If you've not lucked out yet on spotting any famous faces while you're in Los Angeles, don't despair. There's one surefire way of getting closer to the stars, although not the same kind, and that's by going to a rooftop bar.

There are fantastic rooftop bars all over Los Angeles, so no matter whether you're staying in West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, or Central Los Angeles, you'll come across one with views that will literally take your breath away.

The views from the rooftop bars in this California city are truly something to write home about and post pictures of on your social media. Rather than just have nighttime shots of the city skyline, pop up to a rooftop bar during the day while you're out shopping in Los Angeles, and you'll get some amazing photos that will leave your friends open-mouthed with envy.

Not all of the rooftop bars in Los Angeles have the same vibe. Some are swanky drinking holes that may make you say ouch when you get your bill; others are not so classy and cater to normal folk who want to enjoy a sky-high drink without ending up broke. Choose the rooftop bar you go to wisely, and it'll be a memorable experience you'll remember for all the right reasons.

Should you need a safe place where you can drop your bags off before you go rooftop bar hopping, consider using one of the Bounce luggage storage facilities in LA. Bounce luggage lockers provide a convenient and secure solution to luggage storage in Los Angeles. They're economical, too, so you'll have dollars left over to spend on some classic or craft cocktails, which will make your night out extra special.

Best Rooftop Bars In Los Angeles

Mama Shelter Rooftop

What it's like:

If you're not quite feeling ready to saunter into the swankier rooftop bars in Los Angeles, consider starting in Mama Shelter. Mama Shelter hotel's rooftop bar is perfect for a leisurely weekday or weekend brunch in a comfortable setting with views of the city and the iconic Hollywood sign.

The painted wooden furniture at Mama Shelter gives it a relaxing Mediterranean vibe that's accentuated by the nearby palm trees. The food and drink aren't Mediterranean, though. Here they serve a varied menu of southern dishes mixed in with Cambodian and Japanese cuisine alongside some great burgers.

The Mama Shelter rooftop bar in Hollywood has won several awards, so it's a popular place. You can't book a table for the rooftop, though, as they accept walk-ins only. Go early, and you’ll get a table. Go late, and you might not be so lucky.

Our Recommendation:

Mama's Famous Le Royale Burger or the Cambodian meatballs with papaya slaw washed down with a couple of glasses of Cotes du Rhone rose.

Location:

6500 Selmar Avenue

The Moment Rooftop

What it's like:

Head up to the rooftop bar of the Moment Hotel, and you'll be able to look down onto Sunset Boulevard. That's not a bad view to look at while you're having a couple of tipples. The rooftop bar is finished with lots of varnished wood, which is somehow reminiscent of the deck of a large luxury yacht, with bright orange soft furnishings that tie in well with the sunset theme.

While the Moment Hotel is a low-rise building, you can still see out over Hollywood Hills as well as onto the boulevard. There is both indoor and outdoor space here, but because of the low seating and bar stools, this is the sort of place to go for posh nibbles and craft cocktails rather than for dining.

Our Recommendation:

Time your visit to The Moment Rooftop right, and you'll hit happy hour, and that can never be a bad moment, whichever way you look at it.

Location:

7370 Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Rooftop

What it's like:

This rooftop lounge isn't called the Sunset Rooftop just because it's on Sunset Boulevard. If you're looking for a rooftop bar to watch the sun go down over Hollywood Hills with an artsy vibe, this is the rooftop bar for you.

The outstanding decorative feature at the Sunset Rooftop is the hanging umbrellas, although as it rarely rains in California, maybe parasols would be a better description. The décor may be a little whimsical, but the menu here is certainly not, so if you're looking for food rather than specialty cocktails, this is where you should be.

At the Sunset Rooftop, they serve a fantastic offering of food that varies from quality meat dishes to pho bowls to gyros and burgers, as well as daily specials and salads which will get your mouth watering. To guarantee you get a table at this rooftop restaurant, it's a good idea to book in advance.

Our Recommendation:

The grilled lamb cutlets with a side of broccoli and a glass of good red wine, followed by your favorite sundowner cocktail to drink as the sun sets over Hollywood Hills.

Location:

6099 Sunset Boulevard

Spire 73

What it's like:

You can add another level of amazing to your rooftop bar visiting when you're in Los Angeles if you go to Spire 73. Spire 73 is the rooftop terrace of the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, and it's not been named 73 for no reason. This rooftop bar, according to the hotel chain, is the tallest open-air bar in the western hemisphere.

Located on the 73rd floor, this bar and rooftop restaurant is in a class of its own. Think fire pit in the center of the outdoor seating and panoramic views that will make you dizzy if the high altitude doesn't. The prices may make your head spin too, but going here once is definitely worth it.

Our Recommendation:

If you're going to go all out on a night out, then go for it. Start with a craft cocktail like the Airmail at 1,100ft or the City View. Follow that with a delicious appetizer of Ahi Tuna Tartare and an entree of skin-seared Alaskan salmon. There's only one way to end a meal like that: a serving of California strawberry cheesecake and a glass of sparkling rose wine.

You don't need to be a guest at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown to go to the rooftop, but if you want to eat, you will need to book a table.

Location:

900 Wilshire Boulevard

The Rooftop

What it's like:

The Rooftop at the Wayfarer Downtown LA may be situated at a lower altitude than Spire 73, but it is equally as classy as its higher counterpart. This rooftop terrace is the perfect place to lounge as it's furnished with comfortable sofas and well-padded armchairs. They're ideal for sitting back and drinking in the sight of the Downtown LA skyscrapers that surround it.

During the week, the hotel rooftop opens for lunch from 11 am until 5 pm, when service changes to a dinner menu. They also present a special nine-course weekend brunch which is worth getting out of bed for.

Here they're proud of their bartender’s mixology skills, so expect nothing less than top-quality craft cocktails that are just that bit different from everywhere else. The food menus cover all tastes even if you're into raw food or love Thai noodles, there'll be an appetizing dish.

Our Recommendation:

Food-wise would have to be the Thai peanut noodles and one of their signature cocktails like a Mango Unchained or maybe a Hotline Bling. Decisions, decisions.

Location:

813 Flower Street

Skybar Los Angeles

What it's like:

The truth is, if you're staying in West Hollywood, you'll be spoilt for choice where rooftop bars are concerned. The Skybar at the Mondrian Los Angeles is yet another on the Sunset Strip that needs to feature somewhere on your agenda. Don't pay it a visit, and you'll be missing out.

Go to the Skybar during the day and take your swimming things. It has a super rooftop swimming pool and plenty of sun loungers where you can recline while sipping on one of the signature cocktails they serve here.

Go at night, and from this high rooftop lounge area, you'll see West Hollywood in all its illuminated glory and be able to enjoy live music until the early hours. If you're going at night, eat dinner before you go, as food is limited to poolside snacks like spicy mac and cheese balls, pizza, and sliders

Our Recommendation:

The Skybar Guava Mojito or the Belle de Jour, which is made with Moet Chandon but costs the same as the other cocktails. Don't pair it with the mac and cheese balls, though, as the hot spice will spoil the taste of the champagne.

Location:

8440 Sunset Boulevard

Onyx Rooftop Bar

What it's like:

If you're staying in Downtown LA, then you will need to go a little out of your way to go to the Onyx Rooftop Bar, but it's a journey that will pay dividends if you're bored with the city skyline. The Onyx Rooftop Bar is on top of the Hotel Shangri La in Santa Monica. The hotel's prime coastal location means the rooftop lounge has fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the Santa Monica pier.

This bar is super contemporary and decked out in classic black and white, but who's taking any notice of the décor, even if it's supposed to replicate Hollywood glamor, when there's the beach and ocean to look at? The rooftop lounge has both indoor and outdoor seating, so if there's a stiff ocean breeze blowing, you can take refuge inside.

Our Recommendation:

One of their signature cocktails like The Last Tango or London Calling as a sundowner while you view the sun going down on the ocean.

Location:

1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

Bar Bohemian

What it's like:

Bar Bohemian is the rooftop terrace to head for in Los Angeles if you like to drink in a garden atmosphere. This terrace is lined with tall conifers that, while they do block the view to some degree, make for a natural-feeling environment rather than a city one.

This outdoor bar is located in the Citizen Public Market in Los Angeles, and they specialize in craft cocktails, wine, and beer. It's a great place to be if you want a couple of drinks in a laid-back atmosphere where the conversation with your friends or partner isn't going to get too distracted by the views of Los Angeles.

Our Recommendation:

Bar Bohemian is one of those cocktail bars that's all about drinking so don't go hungry or, unless a dish of peanuts fills your stomach, you'll stay hungry. If you're looking for a relaxed and not too expensive date night option, this could be the one.

Location:

9355 Culver Boulevard

Bar Lis

What it's like:

Bar Lis is what can only be called a favorite Los Angeles hangout. Located in the heart of Hollywood, Bar Lis is one city drinking hole where you may eventually run into some of those elusive terrestrial stars. Even A-listers need to go to a chill-out spot like Bar Lis on occasion.

What makes Bar Lis so great are the eclectic boho furnishings that range between plush velvet and beach-style striped fabric. It may sound strange, but it all goes together well to create an atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home. The potted palms, candles, and views of the Hollywood sign definitely help too.

While they may state that this rooftop bar is based on the French Riviera, don't believe it. It's all Hollywood, so expect some faux Cote d'Azur touches, but they work. Here you'll be able to indulge in classic cocktails and small plates inspired by that far away Mediterranean coastal resort. Bar Lis may not be authentically French, but it's certainly fun.

Our Recommendation:

Posh it out at Bar Lis with an Espresso Martini or a Jane Birkin while you nibble on sophisticated light bites like fries coated with fine herbs and served with an aioli dip.

Location:

1541 Wilcox Avenue

Conclusion

Los Angeles truly has some of the best rooftop bars and terraces in the world. They're almost like a mini-culture all on their own. Try one, and you'll probably find you have no interest in drinking at ground level in LA ever again, and quite honestly, who can blame you?

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