Rooftops for Dining and Drinks
There are days when you’re just tired of getting dragged down into the nitty gritty of life. It’s at those times when you might want to rise above it all, and if you can do it in the company of something nice to drink and/or delicious to eat, so much the better. Here’s some locations around Long Beach that offer an elevated experience of dining alfresco: rooftop patios.
If you’re looking for a brew with a view, there are few places better suited than the sizable, elevated deck at Ballast Point (110 N. Marina Dr.). The energy that permeates from the area is a constant, in part because it serves a beverage line–ranging from “Crisp and Bright” to “Rich and Malty”--that helped launch the boutique beer era. It also serves a classic bar menu featuring fish and chips, wings, burgers, flatbreads and salads. Sitting high above Alamitos Bay, the outdoor space, sitting at Long Beach’s southernmost tip, gives you a one-of-a-kind view not only of the bay but Seal Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
BO-BEAU KITCHEN + ROOFTAP
Located downtown, BO-beau kitchen + rooftap’s (144 Pine Ave.) second story deck is equal parts vibey taproom and ultra-cool urban hangout, with a design that is both stunning and welcoming. A place as likely as to draw your attention up to the surrounding skyline, as down to the street scene below, this stylish space–in keeping with the equally spectacularly appointed restaurant below serving a California-French comfort menu–Beef Tartare meets Vegan Mushroom scallops–draws energy from the city while providing a sophisticated respite from it.
MICHAEL’S ON NAPLES
A signature spot in Naples, Michael’s (5620 Second St.) rooftop dining area sacrifices nothing in the way of refinement while patrons eat and/or drink. Renowned for serving some of the consistently best dishes in the city, all of it made from scratch–pasta, sauces, mozzarella, gelato. The roof has been renovated from its original configuration to now include additional lounge seating as well as a dedicated bar. And, if you’re there while the sun is still out–ah, summer–there are canopies–stylish, of course, that which can be employed to block the rays.
While noted for its friendliness, cleanliness and freshness of its pub menu, the first thing anyone notices about Murphy’s (4918 Second St.) is it’s up there. As in right above Second Street, Belmont Shore’s bustling retail and entertainment strip. It’s not uncommon for those walking by underneath to gaze up and think, “Well, they seem to be having a good ‘ol time.” While those sitting on Murphy’s patio, enjoying one of its 70 beers, a glass of wine, handmade sandwich, pickled egg gaze at the scene below and think, “Yep, a good ‘ol time!”
OLA MEXICAN KITCHEN AND THE BUNGALOW KITCHEN
These two exceptional, though distinct restaurants sit next door to each other and share one of the more gorgeous views of the Alamitos Bay Marina. The fact that the two share space on the second floor of the 2nd & PCH retail center, says a lot about the city; it’s not very common for shopping centers to have jaw-dropping water views. The Bungalow melds a traditional California bungalow aesthetic with a punk-rock edge, serving the likes of oysters, dry-rubbed burger and Short Rib “Pop-Tart.” Ola’s Latin elegance is seen in its classic/progressive Mexican menu and in some of the best margaritas in town with which to toast the sunset.
SAINT & SECOND
As soon as Saint & Second (4828 E. 2nd St.) opened, it became one of the hottest places to be on Belmont Shore’s Second Street. This owed something to a sophisticated vibe, a menu featuring locally sourced, New-American Cuisine, an inventive cocktail program and exceptional wine locker that customers can store their bottles, but it also had to do with its stylish rooftop lounge that gives you an opening onto one of this fashionable stretch. It’s a great place to see what’s going down, as you sit above it all. Perhaps a cocktail in your hand. That can be a very nice place to be.
This place is as if your very hip friend constructed a very hip backyard space–complete with cafe lights, palm trees, comfortable couches–except that it’s on a rooftop and has one of the city’s best bar programs. Located amidst the downtown hub-bub, Mezcalero (525 E. Broadway) is a cocktail lounge featuring an extensive selection of agave spirits and craft beers. There’s also DJ nights and, well, is there a better pairing than Taco Tuesdays, an expertly mixed cocktail and an exceptional view of the Long Beach skyline?