Today is National Eat Outside Day, and Los Angeles is the perfect place to celebrate. Not only is this a city where the weather allows us to eat outside almost any day of the year, L.A. has the art of the picnic mastered. We chow down on food truck fare at the LACMA light sculpture, we barbecue on the beach, bring burritos up into the parks overlooking the city, and wine and dine on outdoor patios lining the bustling streets from downtown to Hollywood. This labor day weekend is a perfect time to extend Eat Outside Day -- so grab your food and head outside, there's sunlit eating to be done.
Dockweiler Beach Barbecues
Manhattan Beach is an L.A. gem -- it's near the heart of the city, you don't have to contend with the 10's notorious traffic, and the beach, once you get there, is a whole lot less crowded than touristy Santa Monica or Venice. Plus, Dockweiler has on-beach grills and fire pits, which makes your beach-y picnic easy. Not in the mood to grill? Pick up burgers from In-n-Out on the way, or grab some fish tacos or a pizza from one of the restaurants lining Manhattan Beach Drive and take it down to the shore.
Lunchtime at LACMA is a thing of wonder -- Wilshire is lined with food trucks along museum row all afternoon, so you can pick and choose your favorite dishes from an ever-changing assortment of on-the-road restaurants. Grab a Blue Moon Mulita from Kogi and stake out a spot on the steps of the Streetlight Sculpture for a tasty and beautiful urban picnic. Want even more culture? Head into the museum to cool off in the AC and take a look at the galleries -- it's free to visit the second Thursday of every month, or after 3 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for L.A. County residents.
The view from The Griffith Observatory in Los Feliz is undoubtedly one of the best in the city. You can see from downtown to Santa Monica, the Hollywood sign is just across the valley, and the hills of the park are absolutely beautiful. One of the best ways to enjoy the Observatory is with a picnic. Pack a bag from home, or stop at local institution Yuca's for cochinita pibil and carne asada tacos. Yuca's regulars know that the time spent waiting for your order to be called is best spent picking up a drink from the liquor store next door, where they have a surprisingly extensive selection of iced teas and glass bottles of coke.
If you'd like to eat outside without sitting on the sand/cement/grass, you're in the right city. Outdoor dining is an L.A. specialty: head to Alcove Cafe for eggs benedict under the trees on their patio, The Little Door for French food and decor, or Cliff's Edge for appetizers and oysters in their twinkly-lit outdoor eating area. If you'd rather drink outside than eat outside this weekend, we've got you covered from east to west.
The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is a surprisingly perfect place for a picnic. Enjoy a concert outside, and BYO-Whole Roast Chicken, quinoa salad, and bottle(s) of wine. Packing for a night at the bowl can become quite the affair, and you're sure to see your fair share of goodies in neighboring seats, from take-out sushi and unique cold beer to homemade spaghetti and tupperware containers full of cocktails.
Of course, eating outside happens wherever you decide to eat outside. Cook up something delicious and take it out into the backyard, or grab some friends and head to your favorite picnic spot. After all, in a city where we can eat outside almost any day of the year, shouldn't we soak up the sun every chance we get?