This Echo Park cafe is tucked deep in the neighborhood, a quaint reprieve from the city's hustle and bustle. The restaurant serves up delectable treats in a beautiful patio garden setting.
This funky, outdoor café hits the spot with organic sweet and savory breakfast items, bowls, sandwiches, salads, juices, and local coffee and beer. The Frogtown cafe is right alongside the LA River bike path and is a perfect pitstop as part of a biking outing (or rollerblading, scooting, or taking baby out in the stroller).
Saddle up to a table where the restaurant offers entertaining people-watching and fabulous kid food on outdoor patios. Kids should save up their sugar allotment because they will definitely want both the Red Bear to drink (lemonade, soda, juices, and gummy bears) and the Cotton Candy Tower or Roast Your Own S’Mores Platter for dessert. The mechanical bull was stabled during the pandemic but is now back at both locations (Sunset Strip and Orange).
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Here's where you can have the best pillowy pita and creamy hummus ever. Photo courtesy of Momed
Gorgeous Outdoor Restaurant Patios
While dinner is delicious, we love brunch on the massive patio at The Rose in Venice when enjoying outdoor dining with kids. The pastries are out of this world, and it’s a perfect time to sit in the sunshine and share some of the most tempting options here with a never-ending cup of coffee.
With perhaps the best kids’ menu in town (kid-pleasers do so well that parents find themselves picking off the plates), the backyard patio at this Eagle Rock staple feels as comfortable as eating in your backyard—but much cuter (and tastier!).
7. Momed — Atwater Village
If you haven’t discovered this Middle-Eastern patio in Atwater Village, you’re in for a treat. Choose from tables or couches where the family can relax outside and devour homemade pillowy pita and to-die-for burgers (lamb or beef).
Hello, gorgeous. This spectacular spot is lovely for a daytime meal, but it really sparkles at night. Kids love the food, and parents adore the margaritas.
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Parents can watch kids play in the best frog catching creek while finishing their meal at Inn of the Seventh Ray.
You'll want to request one of the tables as far from the center of the restaurant as possible at this gorgeous farm-to-table spot in Topanga. That’s because those creekside tables mean kids can play (and catch frogs) in between bites of organic delicacies. Private gazeboes are available to rent as well.
This Pasadena favorite has expanded its already huge patio, where kids can order from the incredibly reasonably priced kids’ offerings while watching the trains go by. Parents can indulge in California classics (and fabulous cocktails). Service is stellar, and dessert is worth saving room for.
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Bob's Big Boy has sidewalk seating and a giant parking lot patio. Photo by KarenBorterPhotography/CC 2.0
Specific Cravings and Iconic LA Restaurants with Outdoor Seating
Ordering carhop style is our preferred service style at Bob’s in Burbank, but the classic diner has also set up extra outdoor seating on the patio.
12. Din Tai Fung — Multiple locations
No matter how much you love dumplings, they’re never as good when you reheat them at home. The Glendale outpost has outdoor dining, and while the Los Angeles location in Westfield Century City technically does not have outdoor seating per se, you could get your food to-go and take it to one of the many outdoor tables in the mall.
The Pasadena location of this LA tea room serves afternoon tea outside, which makes a lovely weekend outing or birthday celebration. Reservations recommended.
Order at the counter, then find a seat on the outdoor patio while you wait for the best-roasted chicken and sides you’ve ever had. The fire pit helps stave off the chill from the ocean breezes.
Believe the hype—the meals at this family-owned restaurant specializing in Southeast Mexican foods are a *chef’s kiss*. This one is not about the atmosphere, it’s all about the food, but there is an outdoor patio which makes it worth the drive to dine outside!
16. Porto's — Multiple Locations
This pastry-forward favorite is an ideal spot for families. It's quick and affordable, and spacious outdoor patios can be found at the Northridge and Glendale locations. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the delicious Cuban sandwiches, potato balls, and Besito cookies.
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There's a ping pong table to occupy kids at Pitfire Pizza. Photo courtesy of Pitfire Pizza/NoHo
Outdoor Restaurants with the Best Pizza and Pasta
17. Pitfire Pizza — North Hollywood, Pasadena
Pitfire Pizzas have been beloved by families in LA since the first one opened nearly 20 years ago. The largest location in North Hollywood has a massive outdoor dining space where the whole family can enjoy wood-fired pizzas (and parents can enjoy a beer to go with it). The recently-opened Pasadena outpost also offers outdoor seating.
Eat outside on the adorable and kid-friendly outdoor patio at this Italian restaurant straight out of Naples (literally, not figuratively). From Naples, Italy, to the Naples Canals, look out for their outpost in Long Beach.
This Santa Monica pizza spot from the Rustic Canyon Family has outdoor dining in the evenings. Not only is the pizza amazing, but you can order house-made dipping sauces on the side for the crust. Brilliant.
This Culver City (by way of Brooklyn) restaurant offers outdoor dining in the middle of Platform Culver City. There are other offerings on the brunch and dinner menus, but kids tend to gravitate to the Margherita Pizza, and parents should try the Bee Sting (the famous pizza with a drizzle of hot honey). Though they have another counter service location in Studio City, the Culver City outpost is full-service.
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The table-adjacent sand box keeps kids busy. Photo courtesy of Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden
Relax at Restaurants with Outdoor Dining and Grab a Beer
Enjoy a German beer while your kids play in a sandbox on the patio at this Long Beach staple. After you enjoy a leisurely meal outside, stroll over to the Aquarium of the Pacific.
This Hollywood fave has spaetzle, an entire menu section devoted to schnitzel, and a long list of German import beers. The outdoor patio is kid and dog-friendly.
This new spot in the historic Firestone Building has an outdoor patio, beer made on-site, and tacos available from Chicas Tacos.
Truly the apex of the California beer garden, this Glendale pub has it all—from tasty microbrews crafted just feet away (Wolfpup is a yummy, sunny-day beer) to a delicious food menu packed with vegan options (deep-fried avocado tacos for starters), all on a spacious outdoor patio.
This brewery has a 15,000-square-foot outdoor area at its tasting room and "happily" welcomes kids. A $10 food purchase is required, per person, to sit outside and consume the beers on-site. There are food trucks (the schedule is on the website) from Thursday to Sunday, and you can reserve an outdoor table online.
While this little tasting room once offered a minuscule outdoor space, one good result of the pandemic was its ability to expand the area threefold. Now there is plenty of space for kids to play while you order a beer and enjoy pizza and bacon-topped deviled eggs from The Luggage Room across the plaza.
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The food is as gorgeous as the setting at Gracias Madre. Photo courtesy of Gracias Madre/Facebook
Healthy Restaurants with Outdoor Seating
Come for the incredible plant-based food, and stay for the gorgeous patio in the heart of West Hollywood. Oh, also stay for the tequila and mezcal-based cocktails. And the nachos. The new Newport Beach location also has a beautiful patio.
This True Food location features a gorgeous patio with a view into the giant open kitchen, which is now open. The food is so spectacular that kids won’t care that it’s healthy. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available. A welcoming fire takes the chill out of the night air.
This vegan paradise with raw food options has a beautiful outdoor space serving brunch on the weekends and dinner nightly (except Sunday). We usually wouldn’t call this the most kid-friendly food on the planet, but bring the kids for brunch, and they will go wild. You won’t believe it’s all vegan.
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They can run and play for miles. Literally. Photo courtesy of Back on the Beach Cafe
Restaurants with Outdoor Dining By the Beach
This is where you want to eat seafood—right across from the beach! Scan the hand-written chalkboard menu for your favorite seafood dish; the selection is large, so you're sure to find it. Beer and wine are available, too. The patio is dog-friendly, and shoes are optional after your walk on the beach.
Talk about shoes optional this restaurant adjacent to the Annenberg Beach House is right on the sand. The playground allows kids to play while they wait for food. Or after they eat, while you relax in the sun. Reservations are available by phone or in person.
Grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your toes in the sand on this private Malibu beach. Remember that you must order $30 worth of food to cover four hours of parking here for the reduced rate of $10-$15; order less or stay longer, and you’re on the hook for the $45 (weekday) and $65 (weekend) parking fee. Still, watch the clock, and you can enjoy the same stretch of beach as the local billionaires. Portions are massive, and the kid menu is a treat.
Both the restaurant and the cafe have outdoor dining, and while we love each, my kids pick the cafe every time. Here you can sit upstairs at a railing that hangs over the ocean. While the kids eat amazing quesadillas and orzo pasta, parents can nibble the best burrata fruit salad (it’s addictive enough that I bought the cookbook to learn the secret to the sweet crunch on top) and sip a rosé sangria that makes you feel like all is right in the world.
Lobster rolls on the pier? Done. There are corn dog bites or chicken tenders served with French fries and corn on the cob for the kiddos.
This classic spot on the Redondo Beach Pier now serves food on its outside patio. There’s even live music! Kids will love the spaghetti, and chocolate mousse, while parents can enjoy the old-school seafood, live music, solicitous servers, and the feeling of enjoying a quasi-date night.
Restaurants with Outdoor Dining at Theme Parks
Disney fans can get their fill (literally) by eating at Downtown Disney. Restaurants with outdoor seating, such as Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Naples Ristorante e Bar, Ballast Point Brewing Company, and more, give kids and parents a chance to watch the world walk by on the streets of Downtown Disney.
Tourist favorites like Buca di Beppo, Antojitos, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. have giant patios with plenty of fabulous people watching.
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Marmalade Cafe is just one of the options with plenty of outdoor seating at the Grove. Photo courtesy Marmalade Cafe
Malls with Loads of Restaurants with Outdoor Seating
Not only can guests at the Grove eat at any of the restaurants at the Original Farmers Market, which all have outdoor seating, but many restaurants at the Grove also have giant outdoor dining areas. The Cheesecake Factory is particularly beloved by kids, and has a front row seat to the happenings at the Grove, including the dancing fountains and the trolley.
Whatever food you’re in the mood for, you can almost certainly find al fresco at the Americana. There are dumplings at Din Tai Fung, Mexican at Frida, steak and burgers at Bourbon Steak, or Italian at Trattoria Amici. All that, and so many dessert options to bring home for later.
Whether you want a Wagyu burger and warm cookie at Hank’s, sushi at Blue Ribbon, salad at Edo Bites, or pasta at Porta Via, there’s something for everyone at the upscale outdoor eateries in the Palisades. Just don’t forget to leave room for dessert at Sweet Laurel’s Bakery, which makes one of our favorite birthday cakes in town.
Hold onto your hat (or tummy?) because there’s a lot to choose from at this giant outdoor mall, where you can also get tech support at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, visit the best VR game in town, and bring home goodies to eat all week long from Eataly. But while you’re here, you can dine outdoors at the Crack Shack, Shake Shack, and a whole bunch of places not named shack.
It's technically part of the Del Amo Fashion Center, but Mitsuwa Marketplace is a gem, especially if you have kids who love Japanese food. There's a food court where you can choose from udon, sushi, matcha, and mochi, and a spacious outdoor seating area where you can indulge in all your Japanese treats.