Insider Guide: LA’s most beautiful rooftop bars

Looking for the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles that locals love? From the historic institutions to the newcomers that are quickly becoming local gems, here are our top picks

Words by Talia Avakian
Last updated: July 27, 2022
Best rooftop bars in LA | a tree, some wooden bench seating with blue striped cushions and tables at rooftop bar the Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel, with a backdrop of blue sky and skyscrapers
Award-winning bar the Broken Shaker on top of the Freehand hotel in LA

Los Angeles’ rooftop bars mix together jaw-dropping views over the Hollywood hills, expertly crafted cocktails and a generous dash of the city’s trademark cool creative energy. Of course, Los Angeles is renowned for its sunshine and warm weather, and the bars and restaurants that perch atop the city’s crop of beautiful hotels are undoubtedly the places to cop an eyeful of soaring mountains and fairy light-festooned buildings both day and night.

Whether you’re in search of a sun-soaked terrace where you can dance to classic rock and country tunes, a sky-skimming aperitif before dinner at one of Los Angeles’ top restaurants, or historic settings to take in ocean scenery while enjoying citrus-fresh cocktails, our curation of LA’s best rooftop bars is bound to wet your whistle.

Best rooftop bars LA | The rooftop bar at Desert 5 Spot at night, with wooden tables under wooden beams silhouetted against a dark-blue sky
Desert 5 Spot is known as one of LA's best rooftop bars for drinks and dancing – and even has its own house band

Desert 5 Spot

Best for: Dancing, country and rock and roll lovers
Location: 6516 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028 in Hollywood 
Price: Cocktails from 18 USD 

Desert 5 Spot is undoubtedly one of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles for dancing, with classic rock and country tunes played by the Desert 5 House Band and a DJ that keeps the music going late into the night. The rooftop at the new Tommie Hollywood hotel is gloriously spacious, with interiors and an exterior with mechanical bull rides on Saturdays, monthly line-dancing events, and 360-degree views over the Hollywood Hills and Downtown. There’s plenty of seating to enjoy the views and the cacti, yucca, and vintage art and furniture makes you feel like you’re in an upscale desert in the west.

Best rooftop bars LA | A yellow cocktail in a tall glass with a lemon slice for a garnish, silhouetted against a warehouse-style window
One of Bar Bohémien's seasonal cocktails

Bar Bohémien

Best for: impressing dates
Location: Citizen Public Market, 9355 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
Price: Beers from 7 USD, cocktails from 13 USD 

Citizen Public Market, housed in the former home of Los Angeles’ Citizen Publishing Company, is on a mission to showcase LA’s grassroots culinary entrepreneurship and has become one of the city’s best-loved food halls in the process. Inside its gorgeous art deco surrounds you’ll find sustainably sourced oysters from Jolly Oyster; free-range organic fried chicken from Go Go Bird; and, up on the roof, Bar Bohémien. Taking its cues from Spain’s tapas restaurants and Paris’s cocktail bars, the bar has a glamorous turn-of-the-century feel that chimes with the building’s architecture – against a backdrop of iconic LA views and a forward-thinking seasonal drinks list offering everything from orange wine to hard seltzers to the Witching Hour, made with Old Forrester bourbon, apple brandy, maple syrups and Angostura Bitters.

Best rooftop bars LA | The lounge area at Merois, with palm-tree-patterned sofas, greenery and a stone fireplace under wooden beams
The rooftop lounge area at Merois West Hollywood

Merois at Pendry West Hollywood

Best for: Desserts with drinks 
Location: 8430 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 in West Hollywood
Price: Cocktails starting at 17 USD

Wolfgang Puck’s elegant Merois, located at the rooftop of Pendry West Hollywood, features an open-air bar area adjacent to its fine dining restaurant where you can sip on refreshing cocktails. Don’t know what to order? Tell the bar which flavours you like, and you may just be pleasantly surprised with specialty concoctions. The ambiance is relaxing and best suited for small groups looking for an intimate setting that feels super special. Insider tip: even if you aren’t in for a full meal, order a dessert with your cocktail as the sweet stuff here is legendary. Don’t miss the Basque-style cheesecake, a crustless cheesecake torched and caramelized on the exterior, with a light and airy interior.


Upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

Best for: Live events 
Location: 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 in Downtown 
Price: Cocktails starting at 14 USD 

Everything from the cocktail syrups to the mixers at Upstairs is made from scratch using techniques like fermenting, pickling and dehydrating, and this is one of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles for enjoying delicious drinks alongside a rotating roster of stellar events and DJ performances. The atmosphere is electric without being overwhelming – no bottle service needed – thanks to the large terrace upstairs, divided into a lounge area with fireplaces and music performances, a main bar area, and a poolside space with seats for soaking up the sun. Events here range from book release parties to pop-up shops and live band performances, so you can take your pick.

two seats by a by terrazzo table at Grandmaster Recorders, Los Angeles
A sunkissed corner of Grandmaster Recorders' rooftop bar in Hollywood

Grandmaster Rooftop at Grandmaster Recorders

Best for: History buffs and music lovers 
Location: 1518 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028 in Hollywood
Price: Drinks starting at 16 USD 

Set in the historic studio where musicians like Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, and many other legends have recorded, Grandmaster Recorders (also home to one of LA’s best restaurants) is in Hollywood’s New Vinyl District, which sits away from the tourist-frequented streets and showcases the area’s musical heritage. Vintage records and pedals at the entrance pay tribute to the building’s past, but the 4,000-sq ft terrazzo-lined rooftop boasting prime views over the Hollywood Hills is really what you’ve come to see. Drinks here are served with creativity and nod to the musical heritage, with names like Bad Magic and Live on Air – and are best soaked up by moreish grazing dishes including chicken parma rolls with crispy chicken breast and mini mortadella paninis.

Best rooftop bars LA | Upstairs bar at the West Hollywood EDITION at night, with intimate table topped with glowing tea lights, and views over LA
Near-infinite views over LA at the West Hollywood EDITION's Upstairs bar

The Roof at the West Hollywood EDITION

Best for: Premium spirit lovers, seafood and vegetarian offerings  
Location: 9040 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 in West Hollywood 
Price: Cocktails starting at 20 USD

Offering gob-stoppingly gorgeous views over the ocean and the city all the way from Santa Monica to Downtown – and one of the only spots in LA to do so – The Roof at the West Hollywood Edition easily slides into the list of LA’s best rooftop bars just for the setting alone. Throw in playful cocktails with ingredients like wasabi salt; premium spirits running the gamut from scotch, bourbon, and Japanese whiskey to tequila and mezcal; and food from a Michelin-starred chef John Fraser and you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for success. Don’t miss raw bar bites like the seafood tower filled with oysters, king crab, and ceviche, the vegetarian tacos or indulgent Cinco Leches Cake with pistachio and gooseberry jam.

Best rooftop bars LA | a pinky-orange liquid with a large cube of ice sprinkled with spices in a short round cocktail glass at La Cha cha cha
La Cha Cha Cha's pale-pink strawberry milk punch cocktail. Photo by Wonho Frank Lee

Cha Cha Chá

Best for: Dinner and drinks, date night  
Location: 812 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 in Arts District 
Price: Cocktails starting at 16 USD 

Parking up for a drink at Cha Cha Chá makes you feel like you’ve escaped to a Mexican villa, and is one of LA’s most beautiful bars, rooftop or no. Design is Palm Springs meets Acapulco, with wooden fixtures, terracotta tiles and pastels, while more than 150 plants (including some special rare varieties that green-fingered fans will enjoy) have been used to create private nooks ideal for canoodling couples. Drinks and dishes are as fresh and inventive as the design, from rotating plates like ceviche and tostadas to cocktails including a strawberry milk punch with strawberry, almond, sumac, brandy, and tequila, or the old fashioned with blue corn masa, corn whiskey, and elote liqueur. It’s located in the Arts District, so you can walk to a range of galleries and breweries for pre- and post-entertainment.

a fire pit and seats overlooking Los Angeles from MYA Rooftop at the Glenmark
MYA rooftop bar sits atop Glendale's only boutique hotel, The Glenmark

MYA Rooftop at The Glenmark

Best for: Groups and events, cigar aficionados
Location: 1100 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, California, USA, 91202 in Glendale
Price: Cocktails starting at 17 USD

Most rooftop bars in Los Angeles are on the west side, but MYA is a welcome treat for those looking for a prime rooftop in Glendale and near Pasadena. Situated atop Glendale’s only boutique hotel, The Glenmark, this sprawling rooftop offers panoramas over the mountains and the city, lounges with fire pits, and tables for dinner selections, specialty cocktails, and premium spirits. It is one of few locations where you can enjoy cigars in a dedicated section, with humidors planned to be added soon. The large space, bespoke specialty cocktails, and a range of food and drink packages make it ideal if you want to plan a party, too.

Best rooftop bars in LA | A cactus, some succulents and artwork against some blue-painted wooden siding
Artistic details at the award-winning bar the Broken Shaker, on the roof at the Freehand Hotel

Broken Shaker at Freehand Los Angeles

Best for: Cocktail connoisseurs, relaxed drinks with friends
Location: 416 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 in Downtown
Price: Cocktails starting at 16 USD

Broken Shaker is a relaxed rooftop bar right in the heart of Downtown, featuring a pool deck and cocktails with small bites. Drinks here are made to impress, and there’s no denying that they’re some of the best in town: the bar is a James Beard Award finalist, and it won Tales of the Cocktail’s Best American Hotel Bar. The serves are made with homemade elixirs and combinations you won’t find anywhere else, from hibiscus kombucha with rosemary essence to charred Meyer lemon juice with grated nutmeg. Old fashioned lovers should try the Broken Shaker’s take, a PB&J old fashioned featuring peanut butter-washed rye, Old Forester bourbon, guava cordial, and Everything Bagel bitters.

Best rooftop bars LA | Sleek white interiors with palm trees overlooking the pool at the Santa Monic Proper Hotle's Calabra bar; with a low table topped by a backgammon set and reclining wooden chairs
The sleek poolside Calabra bar at Santa Monica Proper Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Ingalls

Calabra Restaurant and Bar at the Santa Monica Proper

Best for: Wine lovers and sunset views 
Location: 700 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 in Santa Monica 
Price: Cocktails from 10 USD, wines from 15 USD 

Perched within walking distance from the beach, Calabra is primed for looking out over the ocean. The rooftop restaurant and bar is a hotspot for catching stunning sunsets in the evening, with local crowds that come dressed to impress. The views are complemented by a wide selection of biodynamic wines, with offerings from locations that include California, France, South Africa, and Argentina to Old World wines from Europe and vintage ports from Portugal. It also has a brilliant range of small-batch spirits and rare sake selections with flavours of cantaloupe, mandarin orange, and umami.

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