One of the nicest things about attending a performance at The Hollywood Bowl is that it is more than just the show.  It is the ultimate dinner and a show.  The location makes a great place to picnic before the concert begins.  There are many choices for dinner.  Below are a few of my favorites.

Bring Your Own Dinner

Hollywood Bowl box table with food

This is the one I enjoy the most.  I get up early and head to the market to start planning the meal.  We start out with appetizers, followed by the meal.  We also have a dessert but often wait until intermission for that.  I always look around at other diners to get ideas for the next visit.  I am always amazed at how much fun people have with their meals.  To keep things cold we freeze water bottles and use them as ice.  By the end of the night they melt and provide a refreshing drink before heading home. Remember for most subscription performances alcohol is allowed.  Most of the leased events alcohol is prohibited.  Always check with the box office to be sure.

Pre-made Picnic

Many of the upscale markets like Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Trader Joe’s offer complete pre-made dinners.  Order a few days before and stop by the day of your concert to pick up the finished product.  Not as much fun (IMHO) however a great time saver.

Opening wine at the Hollywood BowlDinner at a Hollywood Bowl Box


Box Service

You can get dinner delivered right to your box.  The Patina Group offers either a box dinner (which will be waiting for you when you arrive) or a full three-course meal served by a wait staff.  Either way you need you need to order a few days before and provide a credit card. I can vouch for the lobster roll!

Hollywood Bowl box diningGreat dinner spread at the Hollywood Bowl

On-site Restaurants

The last option for dinner is to eat at one of the eateries at the Bowl.  The experience is made up of sit down, grab and go and refreshment stands.  The food is solid just a bit pricey.

34 Responses to Dining

  1. Rachel Gold says:

    We have purchased our first box seats for 4. So I would like to know since we are entertaining, how big of a table cloth do I need and do I bring forks, knives, etc. Is it one table for 4 or 2 tables. size of the table would be helpful.

    • admin says:

      Rachel the tables in the boxes are meant for 2 people each. This year I purchased a large table cloth and had the local tailor make smaller ones. 24 inches x 36 inches worked well with a nice overhang. If you purchase box food service you get everything you need. We bring our own dinner which means you have to bring plates, utensils, etc. You can also bring a few small vases with flowers to decorate your table. Have fun!

  2. Sam says:

    We are heading to opening night on the 22nd. Our seats are in a terrace box, looks like for 4. We have 2 seats. Do we have to bring our own table? I just don’t see any tables in any of the pictures I’ve seen for the terrace boxes, but I saw you can have tables.
    Do I call ahead of time to have a table for the 2 of us, or do we need to bring one?
    Thank you so much.

    • admin says:

      Sam the tables are included. The reason you don’t see them in the photos is because they collapse when not in use. When you get to your box look for an usher and they wiil be more than happy to set the table up and make sure it is level. I usually tip them a few bucks. Bring an oversized cloth napkin for a tablecloth. Some folks bring a candle and flowers. When the performance starts the ushers will take down the table so you can both face the main stage. Have a great time.

  3. David says:

    We’re seeing Hillsong on June 7th. We’re in POOL B, Row 1, Seats 11-12. What type of seats are those and are they conducive to having dinner (do they have a table, etc)? I assume not if they’re folding chairs?


    • admin says:

      David Hillsong is a lease event at the Hollywood Bowl. The boxes in the Pool Circle are replaced with metal folding chairs. Great great view but not the easiest to dine at. Might want to think about eating at one of the picnic spots or at one of the restaurants.

  4. Julian Fuller says:

    Hi, I have 2 seats in a Terrace box, 1733, seats 1 & 2, for July 4th, and wonder if there is enough leg room, when configured facing the stage, and can we place a table for picnic between our seats?

    • admin says:

      Julian seats 1 & 2 in a box are next too each other and closest to the stage. This makes it great for watching a concert but less convenient for dining. Seats 1 & 3 are across from each other and the table goes in between. That being said I often see folks who share the box dine in one set of seats and then switch after dinner so they can watch the performance side-by-side. When the performance starts the tables are taken out so all can face the stage. Legroom is so-so when all the seats are facing the stage. It will make a difference whether the box is loaded from the front or back. If it loads from the front then one person can cheat a little and have their legs stick out the box entrance. Here is the view from Box 1733.

      Hollywood Bowl Box 1733

  5. Patti says:

    I’m going to the Keith Urban concert in Sept. ’13. I’ve lived in LA, OC for 47 years, and this is my fist time going to the Bowl. I’m so excited! Our seats are in Sec. E, Row 1, Seats 21 & 23. I’m hoping we will be able to see ok? What do yo think? Also, is there Handicapped parking available? If we want to picnic beforehan, can this be done at our seats, or do we need to come much earlier so we can picnic on the lawn? Is there food available to purchase, if we don’t bring our own?
    Than you!

    • admin says:

      Patti I really like Section E. If you are clear of the obstruction (which these seats are) they are as close to the stage as the Terrace Boxes and very close to the concessions and bathrooms. As far as eating at the Hollywood Bowl you can bring food inside. You can eat at your seats or if you want picnic at one of the many spots. If you eat at your seats just remember it is bench seating so plan accordingly (more hand holding type of food). You can also purchase food from one of the shops/restaurants around the Bowl. The food is very good at the Bowl but a bit pricey. Keep in mind that this is a Lease Event and there are special policies with the most important being glass (including drinking glasses) and aluminum cans, regardless of content. You can not bring your own alcohol inside the Bowl regardless of container. Here is the office Hollywood Bowl page.

      There is handicap parking. It would be best to call the Hollywood Bowl Box Office. They do a great job making sure everyone can enjoy the performance. If you get there early for $0.50 you can rent a seat cushion. Makes sitting on the wooden benches more comfortable. Here is the view and enjoy the Bowl!

      Hollywood Bowl section E row 1 seat 23

  6. luthrena watkins says:

    This is my first time going to the playboy jazz festivle i have m3 row 14 seat 22 and 24; are we allowed to bring our own food and drinks. Wht should i bring for this area.

    • admin says:

      Luthrena I go the the Playboy Jazz festival every year and it is so much fun. I go as early as I can to make an entire day of it. Food is always allowed however most lease events at the Hollywood Bowl do not allow you to bring your own alcohol but there is one exception … the Playboy Jazz festival. You can bring drinks and food. These are bench seats so make sure the coolers are not that large. I would suggest either renting a seat cushion or bring your own. Sitting on the wooden benches for that long of a time can be tough. Have a great time!

  7. lindawarren says:

    We have shuttle tickets for 6PM. Can we leave earlier? We are leaving from Wilson Park, Torrance,CA. I heard we cannot take umbrellas. What else should we know?

    • admin says:

      Linda my experience has been first come first serve to the buses. The earliest bus leaves Wilson Park at 5:40PM. No umbrellas is correct. Maybe a towel to wipe the bench before you sit. Also this is a lease event so no alcohol and no glass or aluminum containers regardless of contents. I hope the rain holds off for you.

  8. Michelle says:

    How should I dress for the Barbara Streisand concert. Do people dress casual? I know it is supposed to rain and I know that they do not allow umbrellas? I’m thinking I may have to wear a sweatshirt with a hood. Any suggestions???

  9. Karen says:

    Loving this site! I’ve never been to the Hollywood Bowl and I’ve found a lot of useful information.
    I’m driving up from San Diego to see Barbra Streisand this Sunday, what is the situation with parking? from what I’ve read, I’m just confused.
    I’m not familiar with the area at all, so I’m thinking it would be easier to leave the car in valet instead of figuring out parking lots, shuttles, etc., is valet parking available to all or only vips, special donors, etc?
    There’s 2 of us and we have a Garden box, what is the box etiquette if we choose to bring a picnic basket and strangers are seated in the front row of the box? Can we still use a table?

    • admin says:

      Karen the special donor valet parking is only really for LA-Phil sponsored Hollywood Bowl events. Many leased events do not even offer valet parking. Most parking lot at the Hollywood Bowl is stacked parking. If you arrive early enough you can be in the front of the line. The other option is to park outside in one of the satellite parking lots and take the Hollywood Bowl Shuttle in. Take a look at this page and select the your concert at the top so it shows all of the available options. The buses are easy in and easy out.

      Folks in boxes seem to be pretty accommodating. The seats are numbered 1,2,3 and 4. What I usually see is folks eating across from each other. When the concert starts the change side-by-side. Really depends on how friendly the box-mates are. Hope all of this helps.

      • Karen says:

        Thanks for the quick response.
        One more thing, do you have a picture of the view from box 263?

        • admin says:

          Karen here is the view from Garden Box 162. Your box will be right behind this box (and one to the left). Fantastic view!

          Hollywood Bowl Garden Box 162

  10. mark says:

    Admin- You are a wealth of knowledge! I too am seeing Barbara and am slated to sit in the Garden Section. Do all the garden boxes have tables (we would like to picnic at our seat if possible)? Also, I’m staying in a nearby hotel (Hollywood & Vine), don’t want to drive and can’t walk far cause my date wears REALLY, REALLY high heals. Is going by taxi a poor choice? Thanks

    • admin says:

      Mark all Garden Boxes have tables. If it is a 4-person box then you get two folding tables that attach to the sides of the box. If it is a 6-person box you can get an additional standing table for the middle. One of the Bowl folks will be more than happy to set the tables up for you. Taxi works for getting to the Bowl especially if you go early. After the show it can bit a bit difficult to get a taxi because of all the people exiting at once. There is a Hollywood Bowl Shuttle that picks up and drops off at Hollywood and Highland. Wonder if that might help. The Bowl Shuttles offer fast-in and fast-out. Here is the official Hollywood Bowl Shuttle page.

      Hope this helps.

  11. Monica says:

    We are planning on taking the shuttle from Lakewood Mall to see Barbara Streisand on Nov. 9th. Do you know if the buses arrive in time to picnic before, or should we eat before boarding the bus. Also, if we can picnic at the bowl, what do they allow us to take. I know alcohol is not permitted:(

    • admin says:

      Monica The Lakewood Mall buses leave at 5:40, 6:00 & 6:30 pm. Arrive at the pick-up at least 20 minutes before departure. The concert starts at 8pm so you should have plenty of time to picnic at the Bowl. There are special theater policies for lease events. You are right about no alcohol. You can purchase it there. They will uncork for you and place in a large solo cup and place a lid on it. No Glass (including drinking glasses) and aluminum cans, regardless of content is allowed. Here is a link to the lease event policies page on the Hollywood Bowl site. Have a great time!

  12. Veronica says:

    Are tables provided in the ramp sections? thank you for such an informative website!

  13. ellen says:

    We would like to picnic before the Barbra Streisand concert on Nov. 9. Since it will be getting dark earlier, are the picnic areas around the bowl well lit? Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Ellen the picnic areas are under lights. That and the fact that today we push back the clocks should make dining perfect. Enjoy the show.

  14. Annie says:

    I plan on buying a ticket to see Barbara on Nov 9, UI,row 18, how many feet from the stage?

    • admin says:

      Annie I am not sure how far from the stage your seat might be but here is a photo of the view from Section U1 Row 18 Seat 22 (which is in the middle of the row). Hope this helps.

      Hollywood Bowl Section U1 Row 18 seat 22

  15. LS says:

    How do people typically dress for a LA Phil concert, such as the upcoming Dudamel & Domingo? I am assuming casual, but how casual? Are jeans acceptable? Thanks for all the great tips!

    • admin says:

      LS super casual. You will find folks dressed in sports coats to jeans to shorts. Just be sure to bring a jacket or sweater because even the warmest days bring a chill when the sun goes down. Enjoy!

  16. Elana says:

    Are tables provided in the box seats or do you bring your own?

    • admin says:

      Tables are provided. The ushers will even set them up for you. Bring a tablecloth for a nice touch. The tables can be a bit dirty.

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