Plan for sunny days ahead and hit up one of our favorite outdoor dining spots in Los Angeles
With the apocalyptic rain LA has experienced lately, who wants to be cooped up inside on days where you can sit outdoors and enjoy the lovely weather our city is usually famous for. We’ve rounded up some of the best family-friendly spots in town for al fresco dining where kids can run around a bit, and you can kick back and relax.
The Best Outdoor Dining in Los Angeles with Kids
1. Back on the Beach Cafe
Nothing beats breathtaking views of the ocean, pier, and Catalina Island—that’s why Back on the Beach Café is one of our go-tos when looking for family-friendly, outdoor dining. With tables set right on the beach, littles can wiggle their toes in the sand while enjoying a kids’ menu filled with favorites like burgers, hot dogs, veggie dogs, penne pasta, and chicken tenders. Parents will especially love the fish tacos, chicken apple salad, and chicken salad sandwich, but everything here is delicious.
Reservations are accepted at least one day in advance via telephone or in person and same-day reservations are not allowed. You can request to wait for an outdoor table upon your arrival, but know that a spot in the sand is prime real estate so you should expect a wait on weekends, summer days, and holidays.
Insider Tip: Check the seasonal pool schedule for historic Annenberg Community Beach House before you go. Located just steps away from Back on the Beach, the pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Don’t feel like swimming? The splash pad and beach playground are fun as well and are open to the public year round.
445 Pacific Coast Hwy.
2. The Proud Bird Food Bazaar
If you have pint-sized plane fanatics at home, The Proud Bird Food Bazaar should be top of your list. Located alongside the airport runway, this space originally opened in 1967 as a salute to aviation but has since become a unique food hall that features six culinary kitchens. Open for lunch and dinner, you can order food at the station of your choice, then grab a seat indoors or head outside to the large patio for some prime plane peeping as they approach LAX for a landing. There’s also a great playground on site as well as a lovely firepit to sit beside in the evenings. Food options include everything from BBQ and burgers to Asian food and chicken and waffles. Littles have plenty of space to run around and work off some energy, while you watch from the patio and take a much-needed break—roger that.
11022 Aviation Blvd.
3. The Draycott
When you fancy a bit fancier meal, but still want something family friendly, The Draycott at Palisades Village is just the ticket. Absolutely stunning in its décor, the covered patio of this California-inspired brasserie with a British twist makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into an enchanted forest with rows of beautiful flowers draped from the ceiling. The restaurant features brunch, lunch, dinner and a fantastic kids’ menu. And the bonus is that the patio practically sits on top of the park so antsy kids can run around and play while you wait for your meal to arrive. Reservations are highly recommended.
15255 Palisades Village Ln.
4. Tail O' The Pup
WeHo really knows how to revive classic dining spots that are beloved by the LA community—one of which is Tail O’ The Pup. This historic hot dog stand (originally founded in 1946) features the iconic hot dog shaped stand in front with two brightly colored patios behind it. But the real star of the show is the delicious dog itself—whether you’re craving a Chili Pup, Chicago Pup, Baseball Pup or Cheezie Pup, there’s no wrong decision. The stand also features fantastic corn dogs, veggie dogs, hamburgers, fries, and shakes.
8512 Santa Monica Blvd.
5. Irv's Burgers
We told you WeHo is a pro at retro restaurant revivals. Irv’s Burgers is case and point. The iconic burger joint originally opened 76 years ago and has endured many openings and closings over the years, but it was recently brought back to life in WeHo. Much to the delight of Angelenos, Irv’s is still serving up incredible burgers and amazing service from co-owner Sonia Hong who is known for her friendly smile and her doodles on customer’s plates and takeout bags. The Weho location features a small space for indoor seating and lots of sidewalk tables outside—perfect for people watching. Also, Irv’s just opened a second location in Miracle Mile at the beginning of March and is set to open a third outpost in Malibu this summer.
WeHo & Miracle Mile
6. John's Garden
With a prime location (and free parking) at Malibu Country Mart, John’s Garden is the lovely spot to bring kiddos for lunch. It’s steps away from the shopping area’s amazing playground and features outdoor seating at picnic tables. But you really wanna know about the food, right? It’s both delicious and healthy with a fantastic variety of salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers, bowls, juices, smoothies and freshly made ice cream shakes. Afterwards, you can do a little shopping or hit up the nearby beach for a day of sun and fun.
3835 Cross Creek Rd.
7. Ray's & Stark Bar
Located just behind the Urban Light installation on Wilshire, Ray’s & Stark Bar features a giant outdoor patio with ample seating and serves delectable seasonal fare, including homemade pastas, salads, small shareable plates and a great kids’ menu. While the proximity to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the La Brea Tarpits, and LACMA are a huge benefit, it’s actually the gigantic lawn on the museum grounds that may be the real draw for parents. Kids with energy to burn will love the open space to run and play.
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
8. Spoke Bicycle Cafe
Spoke Bicycle Café is the first business of its kind to set up a permanent location along the LA River Bike Path in Frogtown. This mostly outdoor spot is perfect for large groups and families who’d like to take advantage of some swell biking before or after their meal. The café features a variety of toasts, breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, bowls, coffee drinks and a kids’ menu. There is also a full-service bike shop on site so if your bicycle needs a little tune-up while you eat, you’ve come to the right place. Bicycle rentals are also available on a walk-in basis.
3050 North Coolidge Ave.
9. Golden Road Brewing Company
Home to LA’s largest brewery, Golden Road Brewing Company’s Atwater Village Brewpub is a festive place to spend an afternoon. With a family-friendly environment and a large patio in front filled with yard games and occasional live music, it’s a great way to unwind with kids in tow. In addition to some of the tastiest brews in town, the food menu can also hold its own. With a focus on fresh ingredients sourced from local LA farmers, guests can enjoy shareable appetizers like Sunday Sauce Meatballs and Birria Fries, as well as a wonderful slate of salads, sandwiches, and sweets.
5410 San Fernando Rd.
10. Cafe on 27
Okay, so it's not exactly in the "heart of LA,” but if you happen to be in Topanga Canyon, this spot is a definite must with the kiddos for lunch. Café on 27 makes you feel as though you’re dining in the dreamiest treehouse ever perched above the hills. With a multi-level patio built into the hillside and fab food to boot, this is an experience to remember. From breakfast dishes and salads to burgers and a kids’ menu, there’s something to make everyone in your fam bam happy. Reservations are recommended.
1861 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.