Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles

Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles

If someone asked you to imagine Los Angeles’ skyline, we’re guessing your mind would draw a blank. That’s because Los Angeles isn’t just a city, it’s 88 cities. It’s Pasadena and Burbank, Glendale and Malibu, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, each with their own signature skyline. So, when it comes to rooftop bars – a.k.a. the easiest way to show off a city’s sights - each one wants to outdo the other. It’s a tough race too. From Pacific views in Venice and skyscraper shots in Downtown LA (DTLA) to infinity pools above Sunset Boulevard where you can do a bit of Selling Sunset house hunting while you swim, here are our picks of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles.

  1. Cara Cara
  2. Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel
  3. Élephante
  4. Desert 5 Spot
  5. Canopy Club
  6. Bar Lis


Cara Cara


Los Angeles can’t help but ooze cool and Cara Cara is its most prized example. Elevated in every way, you’ll think you’ve walked into an episode of The Kardashians as you swoon over its monochrome interior, futuristic fire pits and innovative wine and cocktail menu paired by award-winning sommelier Caroline Styne. Plates run small (think seasonal, farm-to-table fare) but views come big at this DTLA spot where you’ll be able to spot City Hall from the hulking Wilshire Grand Center. Reservations are tricky to snag, so we recommend talking to our Californian Concierge for help getting a sky-high table. But trust us, once you’re there, at golden hour, with a table of light-bites before you and a cold Sauvignon in hand, the advanced planning for one of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles is completely worth it.


Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel

West Hollywood

Your night club days might be behind you but if there’s a time to dust your dancing shoes off one last time, it should be for Harriet and her rooftop. Located in the personality-packed city of West Hollywood, Harriet’s is the prime spot for ogling, whether that be at the influencers and celebrities that always seem to gravitate towards its glitzy rooftop or the jaw-dropping views that surround it. Order a few herbaceous cocktails and take a seat in its garden-like setting complete with deep burgundy awnings, tasselled umbrellas and string lights framing its sweeping urban views. Or, if the sights and songs take you, dance the night away on its disco dance floor.


Harriet’s Rooftop



Santa Monica

Date night called and it’s taking you to Élephante. Channelling the spirit and cuisine of coastal Italy, this Santa Monica suntrap more than fits the bill if you’re after a bit of low-lit romance. Book a table at its aptly named Sunset Room, replete with natural stone and wood that complement the dimming sun just perfectly, and tuck into a smorgasbord of small plates featuring whipped aubergine and rigatoni verde with mushroom ragù. Bookend your meal with its signature pavlova topped with white chocolate mousse, vanilla bean ice cream and fresh fruit and you’ll understand why bagging a reservation at this haute spot is such a feat – and treat.


Desert 5 Spot


Who says you can’t have a bit of country in Los Angeles? Not Desert 5 Spot. With its cowboy-chic design inspired by Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, this rooftop successfully combines city views with country tunes and a crowd that genuinely and unironically enjoy dressing to its theme – no need for heels here. Weekly line dancing classes draw in the out-of-towners but it’s the drinks that attract the locals. From cactus and cowboy-shaped cocktail glasses that carry the bar’s signature mezcal-based ‘Ring of Fire’ and zingy ‘Walk the Line’ to the sounds of the nightly house band that transform the bar into a small dance floor, Desert 5 Spot is the perfect antidote to the city’s more upscale rooftops.


Desert 5 Spot


Canopy Club

Culver City

We’ve watched enough films set in the ‘City of Angels’ to know that the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles should come with pools surrounded by pastel parasols and panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills. Fortunately, Canopy Club got the memo. Located on the top floor of Culver City’s Shay Hotel, you’ll find yourself juggling a sensory overload as your eyes simultaneously stop to scan the sweeping skyline and follow in the direction of koji-marinated steaks and avocado tacos. But what’s even better is that no one else really knows about it. So while at Élephante, where you won’t even be able to sit down without a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style reservation, here you’ll be able to waltz right in. Plop down on a lounger, order a fruity cocktail and let the Californian sun wash over you.


Bar Lis


If you’ve come to Los Angeles to get a slice of the celebrity, you’ll find it in Bar Lis. For this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill rooftop bar, this is the French Riviera in the sky. From the moment you step out of its lift (or elevator if we’re getting into the American swing of things), past its blue and white pinstriped wall covered with vintage photographs and central stone-finish water fountain, you’ll realise you’re not on Sunset Boulevard anymore. Your eyes will likely make a beeline for the Hollywood sign that’s framed perfectly by the bar’s trailing foliage, but make sure to look around for famous faces – this is a known celebrity haunt – and the cocktail menu. With concoctions like ‘Petit Paloma’ (tequila, rum, grapefruit, lime and soda) and ‘Jane Birkin’ (vodka, French liqueur, mint, lime and cucumber) up for grabs, you’ll have a hard time knowing where to look first.

Written by Naomi Pike
Header Image by Zoe Fiji