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We Ranked The Best Rooftop Bars In Los Angeles, Based On Vibes, Food, And Views

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a proud member of the “basic bitches of LA” club. There’s nothing I love more than gourmet avocado toast, $7 oat milk lattes, spiritual crystals, and of course, a good rooftop brunch spot with an even better bottomless mimosas deal. Naturally, I spent the first half of my 20s scouring LA’s trendiest neighborhoods — from Venice Beach to Hollywood to Downtown — in search of the absolute best rooftop bars.

What can I say, I’m just a gal who loves to enjoy a nice cocktail or two while hanging out high above the ground. And in a city that has year-round nearly perfect weather, how can you blame me? So if you want to experience LA’s bar scene while taking in some of the city’s most picturesque views, I’ve got you covered — I’m breaking down eight of the trendiest rooftop bars in LA and ranking them in order from “might be worth your time” to “YOU CAN’T MISS THIS.”

But first, let’s get into the ranking criteria. Here are a few things I considered when putting together this list.

  • Views and backdrops (for endless Instagram moments, duh)
  • Lively party vibes — Are people going to judge me for breaking out into dance, or will they join in?
  • Bar bites, dining options, and quality of service
  • Having the right amount of “scene” vs. people just trying to find out “who you know”
  • The specialty cocktail menu. Let’s see some originality and presentation, people!

With these points in mind, I compared my favorite LA rooftop bars and pitted them against each other to determine which ones come out on top. Read on for the final results.

8. Perch

Best LA Rooftop Bars
Perch

I’m only putting Perch in the 8th spot because it’s more of a restaurant vibe than an actual nightlife bar. Considering that Perch describes itself as an “elevated resting place,” it’s not somewhere you’re going to get rowdy late into the night. But if you want to impress your partner with a lovely dinner and drinks, then Perch is the perfect place to do it. Its dreamy decor, weekly live music, and downtown skyline views are the key ingredients to its ultra-romantic atmosphere.

Let’s just say, there’s no shortage of twinkling lights and overpriced cocktails. 16 signature cocktails, to be exact.

I recommend the “All The Way Up” cocktail, which is made with Tito’s, lemon, Fiorente, creme de mure, soda, and sparkling wine. If you’re a dark liquor drinker, try the “Monkey See Monkey Dew.” It’s a strong mixture of Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey, Tullamore dew, almond orgeat, and lemon.

The Bottom Line:

Perch is the perfect spot for a date night or celebratory dinner with friends, as you’ll be immersed in the downtown skyline. If you want a full “city” experience and aesthetic, this is where to go.

View the full Perch menu here, and make a reservation here.

7. EP & LP

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Don’t get me wrong, I love EP & LP. It’s where I spent almost every other weekend during my two years of living in West Hollywood. It’s a quintessential happy hour and nightlife spot of the neighborhood, and for good reason. It’s always a good time and the views of the Hollywood Hills make you feel like you’re in the heart of all things “LA.” But that’s also the thing I don’t always appreciate about it.

Despite my self-proclaimed basic bitch-ness, I also appreciate a laidback bar scene where everyone feels welcomed.

EP & LP isn’t somewhere you’d want to show up in casual jeans and a T-shirt. Everyone’s dressed to impress, and it often feels like more of a networking event than just a casual good time at a bar. Since WeHo is crawling with influencers and aspiring actors, a night out at one of the area’s most popular bars can feel like navigating through a herd of social climbers (nothing against them, it’s just not my thing!). Of course, that’s not always the case, but it’s the general vibe of the place. Not to mention, the drinks are ridiculously overpriced and the rooftop bar food is just okay.

But despite the boujee ambiance, I’d still recommend anyone visiting West Hollywood to check it out. Pro tip: The line at EP & LP can get long on the weekends. Get there early to avoid an hour-long (or worse) wait time.

The Bottom Line:

The “scene” is part of what makes LA, well, LA. And that is what makes EP & LP so trendy in the first place. You’ll likely run into influencers and industry folks, making it a memorable experience if you’re in town for the first time.

View the EP & LP rooftop menu here.

6. Cara Cara

If you want sweeping skyline views and laidback vibes, head to the top of Downtown’s Proper Hotel for a meal and drinks at Cara Cara. Whether you’re in the market for boozy brunch with the ladies or you want to chill by a fire pit after the sun goes down, Cara Cara’s expansive outdoor space has pretty much everything you could want in a rooftop restaurant and bar. The comfortable seating areas combined with its seasonal, California-inspired menu and its vast selection of cocktails, wine, and beer make it a can’t-miss spot in Downtown LA.

The Bottom Line:

Cara Cara is the rooftop for foodies. It goes far beyond your average burger and fries you’d normally find at a bar. The head chef, Chef Suzanne Goin, curates the menu seasonally so you know what you’re getting is fresh AF — Roasted cauliflower tacos at a bar? That’s as “LA” as can be!

View the full Cara Cara menu and reserve a table here.

5. Skybar

Located at the top of the Mondrian hotel on the iconic Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (one of LA’s trendiest neighborhoods), Skybar Los Angeles is a pool partier’s paradise. Depending on when you go, the vibe will either be that of a few drinks relaxing by the pool or a mini Vegas-like day club full of half-naked 20-somethings. It’s a lively and seductive atmosphere that makes you want to make questionable decisions in broad daylight.

In other words, if you’re looking for a quintessential LA-style party, look no further than Skybar. With bottle service, live DJs, and high-quality booze, the open-air, ivy-covered rooftop is a must if you’re visiting LA during summer.

The Bottom Line:

As I said, Skybar is a pool partier’s paradise. If you’re looking for a good time in the sun, you’ll certainly find it here.

View the Skybar Los Angeles menu here.

4. Broken Shaker

On a night out in Downtown, Broken Shaker is my favorite place to start the night. It’s great for pregaming a show at the many DTLA concert venues or grabbing a few cocktails and light bites before heading out for a bar crawl. The vibe here is casual yet cool, which is put on full display with brightly colored furniture, poolside dining, and overhead lights strung across the property. The drinks are just as vibrant as the bar’s aesthetic, too. The bartenders really know how to garnish (the key to my taste in drinks, obviously).

Out of the 12 colorful cocktails at Broken Shaker, my favorite is the “Extreme Thirst,” which is basically an elevated spicy margarita. It’s made with El Tesoro Blanco and has grapefruit and jalapeno, Avua Cachaca, charred Meyer lemon juice, orgeat, and grated nutmeg. Although, I’m also a sucker for the kombucha-infused concoction known as the “Hibiscus Bliss” — which consists of Grey Goose peach and rosemary essence, martini Fiero, fennel sirop, lemon, and grapefruit juice, then topped with June Shine hibiscus kombucha. It’s the ultimate summertime libation.

The Bottom Line:

I’ve never been to Broken Shaker and had a bad time. It’s just an all-around solid bar choice, and its location makes getting around downtown easy. The drinks are tasty, you don’t need to worry too much about dressing up, and you can count on a comfortable environment for sparking conversation with new people.

Check out Broken Shaker’s menu here.

3. The Highlight Room

The Highlight Room is Hollywood glamour at its finest. The 11,000-square-foot, 10-story rooftop venue has one of the best (if not the best) views in all of LA. It offers an unobstructed 360-degree look at LA’s most iconic scenes, from the Hollywood Hills to the Downtown skyline. During the day, The Highlight Room makes for the ultimate poolside brunch spot (yes, the avocado toast is on point). Once the sun goes down, it turns into a full-on outdoor club with table service and dancing. It really is the best of both worlds.

The Bottom Line:

Being here makes you feel boujee. If you’re visiting LA, then chances are you packed your chicest getup — Highlight Room is the perfect place to show it off, all while taking in the grand city landscape.

Learn more about The Highlight Room’s pool, lounge, menus, and special events here.

2. Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter in Hollywood was certainly in the running for my first-place pick. But its lack of space and big seating areas compared to some other LA hotspots can often make it overcrowded or leave you waiting for an hour just to make it upstairs. But of course, that long wait time is due to its well-deserved popularity. The rainbow umbrellas and chairs make it a vibrant and lively spot for weekend brunch or afternoon day drinking (or both on the same day).

The rooftop has a great view of the Hollywood sign and its surrounding areas, as well as glimpses into Downtown and the West Side. The bar serves tons of specialty cocktails, wine, champagne, and beer, so you’re sure to find a boozy beverage to your liking. I love “The Long Kiss Goodnight” cocktail, made with Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila, amaro Montenegro, fresh lime juice, ginger, agave, and hibiscus. It’s a whole mess of tantalizing flavors that makes you sip it down just a little too quickly.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re worried about getting the perfect LA vacation pic, Mama Shelter’s colorful aesthetic, decorative drinks, and Hollywood views are your best bet.

Check out the full rooftop drinks menu here.

1. High Rooftop Lounge

If you ever find yourself in Venice Beach, put the High Rooftop Lounge on your itinerary. Located at the top of Hotel Erwin, steps from the iconic Venice Boardwalk, this beachside bar continues to prove its number one spot on my list of LA’s finest rooftops. Not only does it have an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean (it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset), but it also offers a 360-degree view of the rest of LA. You can see everything from the Downtown skyline to the Hollywood Hills, as seen on the bar’s 360-degree virtual rooftop tour.

Aside from the view, High Rooftop Lounge inspires carefree vibes and the laidback Southern California attitude that embodies Venice Beach. The signature drinks are always on point, and while the food isn’t anything more than your usual bar snacks, it’s tasty enough to fuel your late afternoon happy hour turned into late-night weekend adventures.

The Bottom Line:

High Rooftop Lounge is the epitome of what most people think of when they hear “California.” Overlooking one of the most iconic beach locations in the city (and the entire state), it’s a rooftop bar that you just can’t miss. Plus, it’s within walking distance of other bars, restaurants, and boutiques, so it’s super accessible whether you start or end your night here.

View the High Rooftop Lounge drinks menu here.

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