10 Best Rooftop Bars In Santa Monica California

Santa Monica’s coastal setting and picturesque landscapes make its collection of rooftop bars a travelers ideal way to soak in the city’s magic. Few locations rival its beauty along the Pacific coast or thriving restaurant and nightlife scenes. 

With breathtaking ocean vistas and iconic landmarks filling its panoramas, ascending high above offers unparalleled views. Whether seeking lively revelry or peaceful respite with drinks and dining, Santa Monica’s elevated lounges cater to all tastes. 

From beachside charm to cosmopolitan flare, options spread throughout this California gem for enjoying the sunset’s final rays. With diversity ensuring every experience, exploring its rooftops proves an unforgettable end to any visit beneath Santa Monica’s sun and stars.

Top Best Rooftop Bars In Santa Monica California

Here are the following best rooftop bars in Santa Monica California: 

1. The Lobster

1. The Lobster

The Lobster, a renowned seafood eatery located above the Santa Monica Pier, has served the local community since the 1950s when founded by Mateo Castillo. 

After shutting its doors in the 1980s, new investors revitalized the space in 1999, bringing on celebrity chef Govind Armstrong to craft their acclaimed artisanal menu highlighting sustainably sourced ingredients and fine coastal cuisine. 

The upscale restaurant remains a favored dining destination to recharge with flavorful fare while taking in breathtaking ocean vistas.

The Lobster

Address: 1602 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11:30am – 10pm; Mon – Wed: 11:30am – 11pm

2. Élephante

2. Élephante

Nestled atop a corner building on 2nd Street, Élephante surprises patrons with sweeping perspectives stretching to the horizon. Stepping outside under strings of warm lighting, the lively Italian restaurant awakens your senses with rustic plates like truffle pasta and branzino cooked to tender perfection. 

Sink into comfy sofas and sip inventive cocktails against a soundtrack of mingling conversattions. Celebrities often frequent the trendy establishment, giving diners chances for chance encounters.


Address: 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Mon – Wed: 12pm – 12am; Thu – Fri: 12pm – 1am; Sat: 10am – 1am; Sun: 10am – 12am

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3. Onyx Rooftop Bar & Lounge

3. Onyx Rooftop Bar & Lounge

For sleek sophistication along Ocean Avenue, the hotel rooftop Onyx lounges and dining deck entice. Multi-tiered outdoor spaces encircle a glowing pool, providing plush spots to unwind after a day of exploring. 

Sleek staff tantalize taste buds with small bites and bespoke libations like Southwestern-spiced specialty drinks. Fire features and festive lighting transform the high-rise heaven into your own personal oasis after dark.

ONYX Rooftop Bar

Address: 1301 Ocean Ave #1019, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 4pm – 12am; Fri – Sat: 3pm – 2am; Sun: 3pm – 12am

4. High Rooftop Lounge

4. High Rooftop Lounge

Just over the border in Venice Beach, High raises the vibe with a coastal chic atmosphere. Creative libations and small bites flow freely amongst an upbeat yet uncrowded scene. Spread out on umbrellas or cozy booths to watch the seaside promenade below. 

Music and mingling flow as freely as your drinks, transporting you to relax and play beneath the glow of Venice Beach.

Stay tuned for part two where I’ll explore more of Santa Monica’s finest rooftop bars, including The Venice Whaler, The Penthouse, Seaside on the Pier, and The Bungalow. Slide into the comments to share your favorite coastal haunts for soaking in California sunsets!

5. The Venice Whaler

5. The Venice Whaler

Situated directly along Washington Boulevard, The Venice Whaler invites you to experience vintage Venice Beach style since 1944. Open-air ceilings strung with string lights create a breezy, beachside ambiance. 

Guests spread across wooden slats, soaking in live music from talented performers. As waves crash in the background, the laidback crowd indulges in farm-fresh tacos and creative cocktails. Be sure to try the signature Whalers Punch – three rums blended with tropical juices for a nostalgic thirst-quencher. 

Soak up snapshots of musical history penned within these walls once frequented by icons like The Beatles and The Doors. Few bars distill the charming soul of Venice quite like this nautical nook.

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6. Calabra Rooftop at Santa Monica Proper Hotel

6. Calabra Rooftop at Santa Monica Proper Hotel

In the heart of downtown, the Mediterranean-inspired Calabra awakens your senses with seasonal creations. Plates such as baba ganoush, grilled octopus and falafel satisfy hunger pangs beside panoramic scenes. 

Cocktail experts concoct beverages highlighting spices and herbs to complement the ambiance. Low lighting and lounge furniture invite couples and groups alike to linger beneath starry skies.


Address: 700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 11pm; Fri – Sat: 11am – 12am

7. The Penthouse

7. The Penthouse

Overlooking the Santa Monica Pier from its perch high above Huntley Hotel, The Penthouse aims to please patrons’ palates. Start your visit with award-winning dishes like truffled egg florentine or banana rum french toast for breakfast. 

At dinner, savory selections like grilled shrimp risotto or halibut meunière captivate with fresh, seasonal flavors. A globally-inspired drinks menu quenches all cravings with craft sodas, specialty cocktails and boutique wines. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows frame mesmerizing sunsets stretching across the horizon as pulsating beats or smooth jazz sets the mood. The rooftop hotspot whisks you to dining delight amongst unparalleled panoramas.

The Penthouse

Address: 1111 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403, United States

Opening hours: Mon – Wed: 7am – 11pm; Thu: 7am – 12am; Fri – Sat: 7am – 2am

8. The Bungalow

8. The Bungalow

Nestled above hip Santa Monica hotel The Fairmont Miramar, The Bungalow lures a sophisticated scene two levels up. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the sky-high lounge frame panoramic perspectives taking in dazzling city lights dancing with crashing waves along dimly lit coffee tables and plush sofas. The craft cocktail menu inspires with inventive libations like The Cardinal Sin blending bourbon, vermouth and bitters. 

Small plates complement artfully prepared drinks while a DJ spins just for two for an intimate night under the stars with that special someone. Few rooftops rival the romance and refined revelry of The Bungalow.

Overall, Santa Monica’s coastal perches captivate with diversity in vibes, views, and victuals. Whether craving lively mingling or peaceful solitude, these al fresco enclaves refresh and recharge with California’s finest sunsets. I hope you’ll join me exploring more of their oceanfront magic soon!

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9. Seaside on the Pier

9. Seaside on the Pier

For a bird’s eye view of the lively Santa Monica Pier action below, ascend to Seaside on the Pier. Casual yet charming, the open-air deck dazzles with intricate string lights as colorful carnival rides glow in the distance. 

Relax into daybeds or bar stools and nibble on snacks like calamari, flatbreads or Cobb salad while taking in the magic of the seaside scenery. 

An approachable menu and oceanfront perch make Seaside the ideal location for day drinking in the sun or nights lit by a gleaming ferris wheel beyond the surf. Soak up playful pier vibes at this casual but captivating rooftop.

Seaside on the Pier

Address: 250 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 7pm; Sat – Sun: 11am – 8:30pm

10. Cast Restaurant & Lounge

10. Cast Restaurant & Lounge

Nestled within The Viceroy Santa Monica lies Cast Restaurant & Lounge, a polished eatery and bar renowned for its Californiainspired fare. Guests indulge surrounded by gleaming interiors featuring luxe sliding walls, plush lounges, and a poolside dining area boasting stunning coastal views. 

Standout dishes like Lamb Kefta Meatballs and Chili Fried Chicken entice tastebuds with decadent modern fusion flavors, cementing Cast as the premier destination for luxury dining alfresco alongside Santa Monica’s shores.

Cast Restaurant & Lounge

Address: 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Opening hours: Sun – Mon: 7am – 11pm; Tue – Thu: 7am – 11:30pm; Fri – Sat: 7am – 1:30am

What is the highest rooftop bar in the world?

Towering above Hong Kong stands OZONE Rooftop Bar, holding the prestigious title of the world’s highest perched watering hole. Nestled 1608 feet in the sky on the 118th floor of the ICC Tower, with unparalleled panoramas, OZONE invites guests to drink in sweeping cityscape views encompassing the metropolis’ most iconic landmarks. 

At this dizzying altitude nearly a mile into the clouds, bartenders mix libations against a soaring backdrop of the bustling metropolis spread far below.

Which city has the most rooftop bars?

When it comes to rooftop drinking destinations, no city can surpass Los Angeles, which boasts a staggering 50 more rooftop lounges than standard bars – the most substantial gap of any metropolis. 

Further supporting its status as the premier location for al fresco wining and dining with panoramic cityscapes, Las Vegas places second with 23 additional rooftop venues compared to bars, closely followed by the rooftop revelries flourishing nineteen above Miami Beach, Florida.

Final Thoughts: Best Rooftop Bars in Santa Monica

The rooftop bars of Santa Monica capture the city’s essence with panoramic views. Perched along bluffs overlooking crashing waves, each outdoor lounge cultivates a unique atmosphere while united through scenic backdrops and coastal cuisine and libations.  Whether lively or serene, their diversity ensures options for all occasions from celebrity haunts to beachside gems, intimate or exuberant. 

Ultimately, through world-class fare, impeccable service and commitment to community, ascents to these elevated enclaves leave visitors with lasting memories of Los Angeles’ premier seaside escapes experienced under sun and stars along the vibrant Pacific coast.

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