The Best Rooftop Bars in Downtown LA

By Maggie Griswold


When you think of traveling to LA, you probably picture all the beach activities first (which, fair). But Downtown Los Angeles, aka DTLA, should definitely be on your radar, too—especially when it comes to the nightlife.

Much like NYC, DTLA has different pockets that offer tons of unique restaurants and bars, all with various themes and vibes. The best part? Many of them have epic rooftop situations that give you stunning views of the city skyline, not to mention the iconic Hollywood Sign in the distance. (Hi, photo-ops!) Even if you're convinced that the beaches of Santa Monica are the only place to be while in LA, it's worth venturing downtown at least once to check out the breathtaking sunsets and lit-up buildings that make up this part of Los Angeles. We rounded up 12 of the area’s must-visit rooftop bars, from the eclectic to the super chill to the sleek and sophisticated. Read on for the best places to sit back, relax, and enjoy some great craft cocktails—plus a (low-key underrated) view of Los Angeles.


Broken Shaker

If you're in the mood for an intimate, eclectic, and fun venue, head to the top of the Freehand hotel in DTLA and soak in the vibes at Broken Shaker. It's also a great place for a casual first date.

Glowing review: "Great cocktails perched above Downtown LA make for a relaxing evening with chill vibes." says one review. "The music is trendy, but not blasting which makes it a great bar to chat with friends. The cocktails are unique, pretty, and delicious."


Cara Cara

For a bougie and very LA rooftop experience, hit up Cara Cara at the DTLA Proper Hotel. You'll swoon over the interior, designed by Kelly Wearstler, (including the gorgeous lobby) on your way up. Pro tip: The fries are a must.

Glowing review: "It was an absolutely beautiful experience," one review raves. "Great place for drinks, food and a wonderful view. Totally loved it, so much charm!"


Cabra

Calling all foodies! If you like your cocktails with a side of delicious food (think Peruvian inspired dishes like bass ceviche), the Cabra atop The Hoxton Hotel is the place for you. Day or night, you can't go wrong.

Glowing review: "Wow, I'm going to be honest. I was a bit skeptical coming here, but they proved me way wrong," says one review. "This is one of the best rooftop lounges to eat that I've ever been."


Upstairs

The aptly-named Upstairs at The Ace Hotel not only has gorgeous views, but a fun happy hour Tuesdays through Fridays with $3 chips and salsa and $7 cocktails—perfect for after-work drinks or a chill weeknight date.

Glowing review: "This place is a gem!" says one review. "As soon as you open the doors, you know you're in for a treat. You check in upstairs where they give you a charge card and then descend down the stairs to the lounge area."


The Highlight Room

After sundown, the rooftop pool area of The Highlight Room turns into a dance floor, so you can sip on drinks and boogie the night away.

Glowing review: "It’s a cute place next to a swimming pool with a great, unblocked view of the Hollywood sign," says one review.


The Rooftop

The Rooftop at The Wayfarer is a chiller atmosphere, thanks to the comfy booths and laid back feel. It’s also open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and as a bar—so you can enjoy the LA skyline whenever you please.

Glowing review: "What a fun rooftop dining and bar experience right in downtown LA!" says one review. "As a cookbook author, I always enjoy eating out and appreciate good food, nicely plated. The Rooftop did not disappoint."


Perch LA

Head 15 floors up to the vibe-y Perch LA rooftop and enjoy delicious cocktails, tasty food (don’t sleep on the popular short ribs), and an effortlessly cool atmosphere.

Glowing review: "I get the hype! I loved my experience here and would definitely come back," one review says.


Soho Warehouse

If you have a Soho House membership or have a friend willing to take you, the Soho Warehouse rooftop is an iconic Los Angeles experience. Don't forget to take all the pics!

Glowing review: "The ambiance, staff and customer service are outstanding!" says one review. "Whatever your mood, there is an area to resonate that vibe so you truly enjoy your time there. The views from every point of the rooftop are breathtaking."


La Barra at LA Cha Cha Cha

La Barra at LA Cha Cha Chá has an extensive cocktail menu, making it perfect for those who like to get a lil’ bit extra with their drinks. Start with the Strawberry Milk Punch, made with strawberry, almond, and brandy,, and don’t forget to eat something, too—those drinks will get you otherwise!

Glowing review: "Really good drinks and a great vibe. If you're a fan of spicy drinks I highly suggest it," one review says.


Spire 73

At the top of Downtown LA's InterContinental Hotel (which is 1,100 feet tall, btw) you'll find Spire 73 — a chic and modern rooftop bar that almost feels futuristic, complete with sleek white chairs and oh-so-LA fire pits.

Glowing review: "This rooftop restaurant and bar offers breathtaking views of the entire city, chic fire pits, signature cocktails and and a wonderful culinary experience," says one review.


71 Above

For a luxe dining experience high up in the LA sky, try the 71 Above Sky Lounge. Visitors can't stop talking about just how good the menu is—so bring your appetite.

Glowing review: "Spectacular. Food is great. Limited menu but the food is on point. The 3-course is $89. The view is just unbelievable," one review says.


Desert 5 Spot

If you're willing to venture a bit outside of DTLA, you have to stop by Desert 5 Spot. It's inspired by Joshua Tree, roadside motels, and, as the website states, cosmic Americana. It might be the least-stuffy LA bar you ever visit (in the best way).

Glowing review: "Thank you Desert 5. For a group that usually usually avoids Hollywood Nightclubs, we felt at home and welcome," says one review.


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