LA is a hilly, sprawling city, which sucks for lazy bikers, but is perfect for lazy boozers who like a commanding view for their nightcap. From West Hollywood to Venice, open-air drinking is a way of life here, thanks to year-round sunny weather and the gorgeous landscape. There’s a handful of great rooftop options that get seriously packed, so make a reservation (or arrive early) to avoid long lines at these hotspots that sport the best views of La La Land.
EP & LPE.P. & L.P., La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA, United States
EP & LP, on La Cienega in West Hollywood, has only been around for a few years, but it’s easily the best rooftop bar in the area. Though only three flights up, in an unassuming building, the rooftop sports breathtaking, 360-degree views of the cityscape, including the Hollywood Hills. It’s the perfect sanctuary, with a 21-foot long bar, cushy sofas, and a separate, more private area in the back with day beds that you can reserve (for small or big parties). We recommend you get here at sunset, the most optimal time landscape viewing, and stay as the staff tricks out the space with great lighting and fire pits. Expect a full bar, expensive champagne, a set of flight clubs (like 5 rum flights for $50), and specialty cocktails you can order by the pitcher (for instance, Rebel Rebel with pisco, bianco vermouth, fresh pineapple, fresh lime, jasmine syrups, and yuzu bitters for $75).
Skybar MondrianMondrian Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA, United States
The bar never closes at Mondrian West Hollywood. By day, the pool gets tons of action and by night, the Skybar is packed to the brim. Skybar conjures everything you would imagine for a trendy hotel bar in West Hollywood, especially after the sun sets: velvet rope entrance, ivy-covered pavilion, stylish guests dressed to the nines, and the signature highlight, a breathtaking view of the sprawling city. This is the Sunset Strip’s best outdoor rooftop bar to see and be seen. Live DJs turn out killer sets and the crowd is party hungry. Don’t order anything fussy here. Drinks are weak and take forever to make, serve and receive, but beers are good to go. Cheers!
Ace Downtown Los AngelesAce Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Nothing is going to wow you like Ace Hotel’s open-air roof deck Upstairs. Since it opened in 2014, this place’s unobstructed, 360-degree downtown skyline views have yet to be rivaled. It’s become the ultimate party spot for an eclectic array of partiers (OK, fine… mostly hipsters), who sprawl throughout this space that crowns a 1927 gothic-style building. The views are incredible, the vibes are good, live DJs play great beats, stiff cocktails abound, and thanks to the hipsters who dominate, canned beers are cool again here.
High Rooftop LoungeHigh Rooftop Lounge, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Located in Venice, which errs on the grungier, artsier, edgier and more colorful side, is the High Rooftop Lounge. We’re talking homeless skateboarders, work-at-home programmers and parents with mohawks. Situated in Hotel Erwin, it’s actually the only rooftop bar in Venice, so expect a party, especially in the daytime when you can soak up some sun and get a good breeze from the Pacific Ocean, which you’ll be facing. There’s a diverse bunch up here, but mostly young dudes who like to wear flip flops and cool shades. It’s super chill, and you won’t find many better rooftop bars in the city.
Mama ShelterMama Shelter Los Angeles, Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, United States
You’re going to end any outing into Hollywood with a cold drink, and there’s no better place to do it than Mama Shelter. The 70-room, Philippe Starck-designed boutique hotel (a French brand) has become a fun hotspot with a sports bar, a dramatic lobby people can’t stop Instagramming, and a great rooftop bar with 360-degree views that get as far as the Pacific Ocean. No seriously. Best view in Hollywood, and that even includes the famous Hollywood sign. Despite the fact it’s a boutique, closer-to-budget hotel, the rooftop is a magnet for the cool crowd, serving up inventive, Mama-themed cocktails (like “How I Met Your Mother” with Hangar One vodka, Aperol, red grapes, mint, lemon and wheat beer). Mama knows best, right?