LA outdoor dining spots to check out: Dudley Market, Lodge Bread, Spoke Bicycle Cafe, and more

By Evan Kleiman

For perhaps the most profound way the pandemic has changed how we eat, just look to the wide-ranging outdoor options we currently have. It used to be that the police would show up if you dared to put a single chair on the sidewalk in front of your place. But creative ingenuity and desperation came together to turn unlikely bits of sidewalks, streets and parking lots into places one can commune with other humans outdoors while having food and a drink. 

I’m hoping that all the provisional transformations become permanent because sometimes eating in a former parking lot, alleyway or parklet makes things better. This isn’t a list of grand built-out patio spaces, although there are a couple of those, but “eateries” where I would go, even on my own to sate hunger, enjoy the air and have a human bath. You know, be around people. My favorite response to my Instagram request for favored “patios” was “the hood of my car.” I know that I’ve personally turned my truck bed into a table for one multiple times in the past year. 

Lodge Bread - Culver City
-Tiny patio with sidewalk spillover

In Culver City, Lodge Bread features a tiny patio with sidewalk spillover. Photo by Lodge Bread.

Jackson Market and Deli - Culver City
-Residential street bliss

Apple Pan - Westwood
-Parking lot eats

Birdie G’s - Santa Monica
-Front patio dynamo

In Santa Monica, Birdie G’s patio is filled with customers at night. Photo by Jim Sullivan. 

Dudley Market - Venice

Gjelina - Venice
-Hipster discomfort that wins

Gracias Madre - West Melrose
-Prettiness, people watching, cocktails and lots of cashew cheese.

AOC - Beverly Grove
-Famously beautiful patio

Aroma - Studio City
-Former residence with secluded patio and additional sidewalk seating

Kensho - Hollywood Hills
-Intimate getaway on Yamashiro grounds, with views

Phenakite - Hollywood
-Secret garden beauty

Damian/Ditroit - DTLA

Manuela - DTLA

Salazar - Frogtown
-Former gas station

Spoke Bicycle Cafe - Frogtown
-On the LA River path

Bacari - Silver Lake
-Former Cliff’s Edge with one of the most magical patios in the city centered on a fabulous tree. 

Anajak Thai - Sherman Oaks
-Alley eating creates community

Cafe On 27 - Topanga
-Funky natural surroundings