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Credit: Paséa Hotel & Spa 
Credit: Paséa Hotel & Spa 

Ocean or Skyline Views? 12 Elevated SoCal Restaurants That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

From Views to Vibes, These “Elevated” Restaurants Are Sure to Please

We’re living in the self-proclaimed age of the foodie, where everyone is looking for their next best meal and the concept of elevated dining tickles the taste buds. Sprinkled throughout Southern California is an assortment of award-worthy restaurants with views and vibes for days. From on-the-sand eateries to haunts in the Hollywood Hills, these sky-high establishments offer vistas that’ll sweep you off your feet…and a menu to match. Rooftop Restaurants Southern California




Views of: Downtown Laguna Beach and the ocean

Even though Laguna Beach is a city that hugs the California coast, there are only a few restaurants in town that have those quintessential ocean views everyone dreams of—Skyloft is one of them. Sitting smack-dab downtown just off of the famed Pacific Coast Hwy, this spot is the perfect place to scope out the surf or catch a sunset. Skyloft offers a California BBQ fusion menu featuring burgers, brisket and everything in between. With live music Wednesday through Saturday, patrons can enjoy a libation and a listen all while getting that Instagram-worthy sunset snap.

Location: Laguna Beach

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California

Las Brisas

Views of: Main Beach in Laguna

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

If you really want to take advantage of the Golden State’s brag-worthy weather, Las Brisas is the place to do so. A staple of the little town of Laguna Beach, this waterfront Mexican restaurant has been serving up some of the best margaritas in town since 1979. Coining its own category of coastal California cuisine, Las Brisas is the type of place where the views are just as yummy as the food itself. There’s plenty of surf (quite literally) and just as much turf on the menu with an array of shareable appetizers like the corn mousse tostadas and BBQ pork spareribs. 

Location: Laguna Beach


Views of: The Huntington Beach coastline

Credit: Paséa Hotel & Spa

Want to relive your childhood treehouse fantasy? Head to Tanner’s in Huntington Beach for your fix. This restaurant and bar located within Paséa Hotel & Spa and next to Pacific City pours up your favorite drinks and feeds you delicious food while they’re at it. Overlooking the sands of Huntington Beach, this special spot is always a scene with their rotating specialty cocktails. Be sure to check out their happy hour (Monday through Thursday, 4-6 p.m.) to enjoy deals on select items. Oh, and they do a bangin’ brunch too!

Location: Huntington Beach

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California


The Rooftop at Mission Pacific Hotel

Views of: The Oceanside Pier

Credit: Mission Pacific

This rooftop situation will have you saying “ay dios mio” to just about everything on the menu. The Rooftop at Mission Pacific Hotel offers Mexican bar bites done right with views all the way down to the motherland herself. Grab a Pacific Time or a Mission Chill off of the cocktail menu and find your beach (which won’t be hard since there’s one right in front of you). Whether you fancy tortas, tostadas or tacos, anything off of this carefully curated menu is worthy of a second bite.

Location: Oceanside

The Rooftop by STK

Views of: The Downtown San Diego skyline 

Credit: Andaz San Diego,

Whether you’re swinging by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, The Rooftop by STK at Andaz San Diego is a real crowd-pleaser. The Tiki Spritz is great any time of day and the fried chicken sandwich is sure to cure any impending hangover. Located in the heart of downtown, this oversized rooftop has perfected the indoor/outdoor vibe California is known for and can go from polished to party with one click of the retractable roof. The Rooftop by STK regularly hosts DJs and other live musical acts, so visitors can get their food with a side of flow.

Location: Downtown San Diego

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California

PB Shore Club

Views of: the waves at Pacific Beach

Credit: Huy Hoang

It’s rare to find a stomping ground that is mere steps from the sand, but PB Shore Club has managed to make a home on the shores of Pacific Beach in San Diego. Their casual California-inspired menu features favorites like fish and chips, nachos, bowls and protein plates. It wouldn’t be SoCal without poke making an appearance too. Shore Club is the dive bar you love meets the house on the beach you covet. With fun drinks like the mamitas and slushies, it’s a great place to post up with a priceless view.

Location: Pacific Beach




The Tower Bar

Views of: West Hollywood

Credit: Joliet & Pixel Lab

The Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel is the place to see and be seen. It’s quite possibly the No. 1 celebrity sighting spot in all of Los Angeles, and it offers some of the best people-watching in the city of showbiz. Snack on zucchini chips to start while slowly sipping a Southside Fizz, and get ready to be enveloped in the old Hollywood feels of this living room-turned-restaurant. It’s no wonder everyone and their famous mother loves this place. It’s all so approachable yet oddly upscale with its dark, walnut-paneled walls and sweeping views of the city.

Location: West Hollywood

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California


Views of: The Hollywood skyline

With arguably one of the best views in Los Angeles, Yamashiro is an iconic eatery that’s famous in its own right. Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, diners can enjoy panoramic views of La La Land while being surrounded by greenery and good food. Their bountiful menu boasts four pages of food and two additional pages dedicated to delicious drinks. From sushi and sashimi to soups, salads and specialty rolls, Yamashiro has something for everyone but—let’s be honest—you’re really just there for the 180-degree view…and maybe a Spirit Walker or two at the Pagoda Bar.

Location: Hollywood Heights

Bar Lis

Views of: Downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills

Credit: Michael Mundy

Who doesn’t love a rooftop lounge? Not us, that’s for sure; we’re suckers for sky-high sipping. Bar Lis at Thompson Hollywood transports patrons to the French Riviera and will have you saying “ouito all of their specialty drinks like the Strawberry Fields and Petit Paloma. With a small but mighty menu of canapes (a fancy word for apps), diners are encouraged to share French favorites like croquettes or frites. The burger is also a big hit, and the bananas Foster dessert doesn’t disappoint. A foray to this photo-friendly spot is sure to leave you feeling très bien.

Location: Hollywood

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California


4 Saints

Views of: Palm Springs and the rugged San Jacinto Mountains

Credit: Laure Joliet

Touted as the only restaurant in Palm Springs with skyline views of the magnificent San Jacinto Mountains, 4 Saints at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs is an ultra-trendy alternative to the usual desert destinations. With an observation deck overlooking the city as well as a bar program that rivals any fancy-schmancy LA watering hole, this super-cool spot offers contemporary Southern cuisine and carefully curated artisan cocktails. Snack on the Marsh Hen Mill cornbread while you peruse the menu—we recommend getting a bunch of small plates to share!

Location: Palm Springs


Views of: The Classic Club golf course

Credit:  Visit Greater Palm Springs  @visitgreaterps /

The food at Bellatrix is simple yet sexy with a more casual lunch menu and beef’d up dinner offerings that’ll satisfy your inner culinary connoisseur. Chef Gerard Brunett takes fan favorites and elevates them, which is the case with the Bellatrix Burger—made with an 8-ounce Wagyu patty. Sweeping views of the golf course will make any club-loving husband feel right at home, and a glass of wine will make his tee talk more tolerable. This place is a real diamond in the rough for foodies looking for a hole in one.

Location: Palm Desert

Rooftop Restaurants Southern California

The Edge Steakhouse

Views of: Rancho Mirage and the entire Coachella Valley

Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Not checking out this desert oasis would definitely be a missed-steak. Sitting 650 feet above sea level, The Edge Steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage is a cut above the rest—quite literally! Known for its dry-aged proteins, this turf-forward spot manages to work in some surf as well, serving up delica-seas like scallops, charred octopus and lobster. Plus, they have a bar program that’ll make you say bottoms up to fancy cocktails featuring beefed-up booze like their bourbon, which is oak cask-aged in-house. We recommend pairing your view of the Coachella Valley with a mouthwatering filet and calling it a day!

Location: Rancho Mirage

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.
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