It’s been over a month since D.C. has lifted its capacity restrictions on restaurants, and the phrase “new normal” has started to become the “new reality.” People are venturing out as the weather permits, and no one is more excited than the town’s loyal food connoisseurs looking for a great outdoor restaurant or rooftop bar.

Now, dedicated food enthusiasts are gathering at their favorite retreats again, and we’re for it.  

Here is a list of some of the best-kept secret outdoor restaurants and rooftop bars to visit when you’re ready to get outside:

At The Wharf

12 Stories
If you want to observe the sights, check out 12 Stories at The Wharf, as it may have the most picturesque city skyline view from its bar on top of The InterContinental Hotel. Overlooking the Potomac, 12 Stories curated menus that offer new takes on classic cocktails.
75 District Sq. SW, Washington, DC 20024 | Website

Whiskey Charlie
The Potomac River and its majesty are on full display at this nautically themed rooftop deck. The adjacent indoor lounge, “The Cabin,” is a space to have an appetizer or a house-made cocktail to sip while overlooking the uninterrupted water views.
975 7th St. SW, Washington, DC 20024 | Website

Mi Vida

The Wharf’s new restaurant, Mi Vida, is D.C.’s new authority on traditional Mexican cuisine, which takes its inspiration from street food. Mi Vida is also the perfect place to observe the breathtaking views of the Potomac River. The 11,000 square foot waterfront restaurant boasts panoramic views and features a patio with fire pits and more for year-round entertainment.
98 District Sq. SW, Washington, DC 20024 | Website


Navy Yard

Top Of The Yard
Nothing pairs together quite like summer and baseball. This rooftop bar is located at the top of the Hampton Inn and sits within bird’s eye view of Nationals Park. Open April through October, the Navy Yard game hot spot is open to the public and is a perfect spot to view the city on game day or just a night out with friends.
1265 First St. SE, Washington, DC 20003 | Website

The Salt Line
The Salt Line is perfect even on those chilly summer nights. Every table on the outdoor patio offers heaters and blankets. Overlooking the Anacostia River, this restaurant offers classic New English recipes caught fresh dock to dish with 24 hours.
79 Potomac Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003 | Website

At a Beer Garden

The Midlands Beer Garden
If you still want some social distancing on your next day or night out, consider visiting the Midlands Beer Garden. The vast 6,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space offers plenty of room to spread out along serves your favorite selections of craft beers. This beer garden is also pet-friendly, so there’s room for your furry friends too.
3333 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010 | Website

Wunder Garten
Inspired by the beer gardens of Germany, activities such as cornhole, board games, DJs, and other live entertainment is always taking place at this year-round gathering space. The selective list of German craft beers helps cultivate the true spirit of a Biergarten.
1101 First St. NW, Washington, DC 20002 | Website

Neighborhood Favorites

Opaline Bar and Brasserie
Dining on the patio stationed just outside the Sofitel Washington in Lafayette Square conveys an evening filled with French luxury and decadence. The Art Deco building and lush garden ambiance transport you along with your tastebuds as the Opaline menu is constantly a standout for food lovers seeking classic French cuisine.
806 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Website

The Ranch at Bourbon Steak
Perched on top of the Four Seasons in Georgetown is the most extensive patio bar in the city. This rooftop lounge serves brunch on the weekends from 11 AM-2 PM, including samples of bottomless rosé wine.
2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007 | Website

Perry’s Restaurant
For over 30 years, food seekers have been delighted by this sushi bar and dining room. Located in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, the rooftop terrace is available year-round.
1811 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20009 | Website

A Unique Space

Featuring “Adult Juice Boxes,” Calico is an intimate gathering space for a close group of friends to enjoy a night out. Draft cocktails and kitchen selection elevate the neighborhood cookout atmosphere.
50 Blagden Aly. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 | Website


El Techo
If you are looking for a tropical getaway without leaving D.C., then visit the sensational experience of El Techo. The 1,100 square foot heated deck is enclosed or open-air, depending on the weather. Hoping to inspire a vacation vibe, El Techo serves handcrafted cocktails and tapas.
606 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001 | Website


Featured photo courtesy of Whiskey Charlies