Best Outdoor Bars on Ocean Ave
Local favorites for ocean air and al fresco cocktails and bites in Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey.
Élephante | Santa Monica
There are rooftops, and then there are scenes. Santa Monica’s breezy, all-day sky-high restaurant and bar is a little of both at all times of the day. Sure, Elephante serves light, bright food with seasonal ingredients (and the pizza’s not bad), but we’re all about the cocktails and of course the view. The indoor-outdoor space feels like a dream living room, with modern, comfortable-but-chic furniture and a stunning view of the ocean off the patio, but with a space like that, it’s also one of the toughest SaMo reservations to land. Best to book in advance, instead of fighting the Westside’s most gorgeous clientele for a walk-in spot.
High Rooftop Lounge | Venice
Beachside rooftops are in surprisingly short supply in L.A., making Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge an in-demand spot for sun-kissed Venice locals. Even if you’re staying at the hotel, be sure to make a reservation; there’s nothing like a multi-hued sunset over the Pacific with a cocktail in hand to get Angelenos buzzing. Getting chilly? Evening bar-goers can wrap themselves in one of the bar’s cozy blankets, along with a spiked cocoa or hot toddy. If you don’t like your drinks sweet, stick to local craft brews to pair with munchies like gourmet sliders and street tacos.
The Bungalow | Santa Monica
From hospitality visionary Brent Bolthouse comes The Bungalow; is a paradigm in romantic socializing and creative meeting space for the Westside of Los Angeles The Bungalow is a space that evokes a breezy, beachside Baja lifestyle. The place feels more like a home than a bar, with mismatched tables, chairs and couches. In addition to the front deck with its fire pits, lush foliage and twinkling tree lanterns, the Bungalow also has a laid-back game room with a pool table, a private dining room, a back garden and a large main bar with high raftered ceilings. Moroccan tile work, Mexican blankets, multiple fireplaces, whitewashed walls, French doors and custom brickwork complete the scene.
Fig Tree | Venice
Fig Tree has always been a neighborhood classic, family-owned and serving the community since 1978. They now have and inspired new menu serving natural wines, cocktails, and food all with the feel and flavor driven by their Latin roots and love for the Pacific coastline. Sit on the patio that’s open all day and feel the ocean breeze at this seaside cafe on the Venice boardwalk.
The Pier House | Venice/Marina Del Rey
The Pier House is a lunch-through-dinner restaurant right in the heart of Venice, CA run by the Venice Restaurant Group and Lauren Koeppe of Create Hospitality that works a menu as varied as salads, sandwiches, fish and chips, and pasta, to evening cocktails over a steak or Cornish game hen. The breadth of chef Terry Kim’s menu is very much on purpose, as the Pier House aims to be a big, relaxed kind of place for loads of folks heading to the beach. Inside, the Jeffrey Kurt-designed spot has been overhauled to give off a rather breezy vibe, complete with sunset views out over the sand. Rustic woods, marble, and greenery round out the place while patio side of things is being left more to attached sister restaurant Cartolina.