There’s no shortage of reasons to love Griffith Park, from pony rides and kid-friendly hiking trails to merry-go-rounds and Travel Town. But now you can add beer garden to the list — a much-welcomed addition during the beautiful (yet scorching) LA summers. The Roosevelt Café is reinventing itself every Sat. from now through Oct. into a family-friendly beer garden that will serve up brats and beers, as well as other kid-friendly favorites. All you need to do is show up, kick back, and chow down with your crew.
You Know What: Now When, Where & How
From Los Feliz Blvd., take Vermont up towards the Greek Theater. Signs will point you in the right direction. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike down from the Griffith Observatory to the Café or from the bottom of the hill up to the Café, the latter of which is better suited for those with smaller tots because it’s stroller friendly.
The beer garden is open every Sat. from noon-8 p.m., with a DJ spinning from 4:30 p.m. to closing. The crowd gets a little more adult after 6, so it’s preferable to come before then. (Unless it’s date night at the Greek! More on that below…)
photo: Benny G. via Yelp
The Low Down
Grab a table on the shady patio if you can, but bring the sunblock in case you have to wait a bit for a coveted spot. If you come closer to opening, that shouldn’t be a problem. Strollers are welcome and there are plenty of high chairs. Kids are welcome to play in the grass in front of the cafe, but should stay off the back area; it’s actually a putting green where golfers are practicing their swings. But quiet little duffers can watch the grown-ups putt putt.
Look around and you’ll find a mixed crowd of golfers from the attached municipal golf course, young hipsters looking for a chill place to relax and families out for a day of fun. And don’t forget about Fido. This place is seriously pet-friendly.
If you need to “go,” be prepared. The bathrooms are unisex and there’s only one. The other option is a small row of porta potties in the parking lot.
photo: Erica A. via Yelp
What to Eat
A cool $20 will get you a beer flight and brat. The menu of beers and brats changes each weekend, so there’s always something new. For example, one weekend it might be Louisiana hotlinks and Polish sausages with all the trimmings. An Andrew Jackson seems like a steep price for that meal, but know that the pours are generous and the brats are huge, so it’s really all you’ll need to order all afternoon.
The whole Roosevelt Café menu is still available with an extensive list of kid favorites including PB & J, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, fries, shakes and ice cream sundaes. Picky eaters will have a hard time finding something they don’t like. And if they end up eating stale gold fish from the bottom of your purse there are no hard feelings, as long as someone from your party orders something from the menu.
Wait, There’s More!
Take a five-minute post lunch hike to the Greek. Doing so around the 2 o’clock hour might afford you a chance to hear a band’s sound check. (Our contributor and her family were lucky enough to hear Bryan Adam’s croon it up before his evening show.) Or if you score tickets to the evening show for a date night, this is a relaxing spot to hit before hand. If you’ve got a sporty family, the cafe is right at the start of hiking trails that lead to gorgeous views. It’s also in the middle of a beautiful (and not too spendy) 9 hole Roosevelt Golf Course, and just down the road from the Vermont Canyon Tennis Courts.
Sure, But What About Parking?
Call it an LA miracle, but there’s a free parking lot adjacent to the Café and landing a spot should be no problem even on a beautiful Saturday. If that’s filled, there’s always street parking. Obviously, things will be a bit more crowded if there’s a show happening at the Greek that night, so check before arriving because you might want to get there on the early side.
The Roosevelt Café/Griffith Park Beer Garden is now open Sat. through Oct. from noon-8 p.m.
Roosevelt Café/Griffith Park Beer Garden
2650 North Vermont Ave.
Have you been to the Griffith Park Beer Garden? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.
—Christina Montoya Fiedler