Since the sun shines pretty much year-round in Southern California, outdoor dining is easy to come by. In the summertime it’s our preferred way of eating out (see what we did there?). So, we rounded up 25 (and this is only skimming the surface!) of our favorite outdoor SoCal restaurants to spend your summer at. They boast great food and even better views. So, start making your way down the list and hit every last one by summer’s end!
Malibu Farm, Malibu: What better view could you ask for than the Pacific Ocean, a swarm of surfers riding the waves, and a vintage pier? Each corner of the restaurant and cafe is gram-ready with a nautical-chic, modern, whitewashed vintage vibe.
El Prez Beach Bar & Cocina, Pacific Beach: El Prez is known for their rooftop, right off the boardwalk, that overlooks Pacific Beach. Their gourmet tacos are made with fresh, local ingredients and served in house-made tortillas; perfect to pair with a fresh margarita at sunset!
Gracias Madre, West Hollywood: This plant based and 100% organic restaurant’s outdoor seating area more than doubles the indoor seating capacity. Colorful cushions, stylish tilework and cascading, potted plants make the whole place feel like something out of a high-design Mexican home magazine.
The Deck, Laguna Beach: Just steps away from the sand, The Deck is unique oceanfront dining experience in Laguna Beach. Grab a table and stay a while to enjoy their creative cocktails, fresh seafood, and live music!
The Strand House, Manhattan Beach: With 180° sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Manhattan Beach Strand, world travelers and locals alike gather around for the view. Each week, their world renowned chefs roam the local California farmers markets sourcing seasonal produce directly from the best farmers in town.
The Cottage, La Jolla: We happen to be big weekend brunch fans around here, and The Cottage knows how to do it well. Built in the early 1900s, The Cottage serves up an exceptional breakfast and lunch on a sun-drenched patio. The stuffed french toast and trademark granola are well worth the weekend wait!
E.P. & L.P. Rooftop Bar, West Hollywood: With spectacular views of the hills and the hollywood basin, E.P. & L.P is one of the largest format roof decks in LA. It’s one of our favorite places to head to enjoy the sunset or have a late night snack and glass of wine around the fire pit after a long day at work!
Zaytoon, Santa Barbara: A local Santa Barbara favorite, Zaytoon is an oasis where you can experience fresh and tasty Lebanese cuisine. Out on a garden, perfect to enjoy with special guests, you can experience the sounds of a waterfall, the glow of little lights and the warmth of fire.
The Stonehaus, Westlake Village: From the outdoor pizza oven to the live music and wine flights, the outdoor area at The Stonehaus is no disappointment! This Westlake Village winery was modeled after a cobblestone-filled Tuscan country estate and makes you feel as though you’re right in the heart of Italy!
Tidal, San Diego Mission Bay: A fire pit-dotted deck, communal tables, cozy lounge furniture and a savory menu of shared plates beckon casual group gatherings and lively conversation - though the 180° views of Mission Bay might just leave you at a loss for words!
The Cabana Cafe at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills: One of the most unique spots in L.A. to dine alfresco, the Cabana Cafe serves breakfast all day, fresh salads, wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and smoothies in a casual-chic poolside environment.
Perch, Downtown Los Angeles: Another one of our all time favorites, Perch is incredibly unique at every turn. A French inspired rooftop bistro offers unobstructed views of Downtown Los Angeles, and makes it feel as though you are truly floating at the skyline!
Mediterraneo, Westlake Village: Mediterraneo brings the culinary excellence and stylish atmosphere of a European bistro to beautiful Westlake Village. Surrounded by romantic gardens, vineyards and a private lake, Mediterraneo is a favorite around here for weekday happy hour.
Beachcomber Cafe, Newport Coast: An Orange County long time locals favorite, Beachcomber Cafe is California cuisine in a 50s-inspired beachy setting with spectacular ocean views since you are literally right on the sand.
C Level, San Diego: Resting on stilts atop San Diego Bay and overlooking the city skyline of Coronado, C Level has one of the best views in all of San Diego. Our favorite time to go? Catch the end of happy hour and stay for the sunset over the water.
The Bungalow, Huntington Beach: Our favorite spot to visit on Sunday afternoons, the venue’s rustic and vintage interior design, expansive ocean views and uniquely curated spaces are complemented by a refreshing menu of signature cocktails and exclusive bites from culinary partner Bear Flag Fish Co.
Mohawk Bend, Echo Park: A retrofitted 100-year old Vaudeville theater, Mohawk Bend now uses only California ingredients to create pizzas, seasonal salads, elevated pub food, and delicious desserts that appeal to vegans, vegetarians, and meat-lovers alike.
Cliff’s Edge, Silver Lake: A hidden gem off Sunset Blvd, Cliff’s Edge is truly known to be Silver Lake’s best kept secret. An outdoor, leafy, romantic patio makes this Californian eatery a go-to for both a one-of-a-kind brunch or a romantic dinner.
Geoffrey’s, Malibu: Enjoy magnificent views of the Pacific coastline complemented by waterfalls and tropical plants to create a romantic Mediterranean meets Malibu atmosphere. The space is designed so that every table in the house has a panoramic view of the ocean – yes please!
Schooner or Later, Long Beach: The waterfront diner serving breakfast and lunch for 30 years over, and also seen on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is a must-visit. Schooner or Later is a casual and laid back local fave. Next time you’re craving a true American brunch, this is your pick!
Skyloft, Laguna Beach: Perched on the Southern California Riviera, Skyloft is Laguna Beach’s hottest new restaurant with fantastic smokehouse meats, the freshest seafood, and live music 5 nights a week. Skyloft is THE gathering place for getting together with old friends and meeting new friends in a hip, fun setting.
Palmilla, Hermosa Beach: With a lovely outdoor patio area, perfect for soaking up the sea breezes from the ocean just footsteps away, Palmilla is a favorite for a mix between fine-dining and home-style Mexican cuisine. Don’t forget the margaritas or watermelon coolers!
Hello Betty Fish House, Oceanside: Hello Betty Fish provides a visual reflection of the local, eclectic characters of Oceanside’s beach life. Their menus reflect an updated spin on classic Baja SoCal beachside favorites such as margaritas and fish tacos, using only the most fresh and local ingredients and seafood. Hit the rooftop for one of the best views in town!
Ballast Point, Long Beach: A San Diego native comes north! The beautiful, and massive, new location provides sweeping views of the shoreline thanks to one entire wall of glass. There’s even a teak wood patio at the far end, taking advantage of the ample sun and salty air. Sit back, relax, and sip on one of their many cold brews.
Harvest, Laguna Beach: With patio views of the golf course and a sweeping canyon, Harvest invites guests to get caught up in the world of a Laguna local that’s off the beaten path in every sense. Open at 7am, beat the crowd and head to OC’s newest and buzziest culinary experiences for brunch!