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Get a healthy dose of vitamin D with any feast by taking to the outdoors. Whether you’re partial to a high-noon sun or a setting one, here are some of DC’s brightest patios, rooftops and outdoor eateries.
Revel in craft cocktails and dynamite sushi beneath stringed lights, the ultimate ambience enhancer – made even better when you add in a wood paneled bar and a sunset. Catch happy hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with Perry’s choice nibbles every night of the week.
1811 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
Farmers Fishers Bakers
Situated along the Georgetown waterfront, Farmers Fishers Bakers brings the farm-to-table mantra riverside. Sure, the patio is a prime people-watching spot, but it's all about the seasonal eats here, which include dishes like spicy Ahi Tuna Poke and summery lemon-roasted chicken prepared with citrus-griddled onions.
3000 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
A British neighborhood-style pub on U Street, Brixton serves English comfort food from uncovered confines on its top floor. Sample fish 'n' chips or go for more updated classics like green curry mussels, all washed down with English draft ales or a Pimm’s Cup.
901 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
DNV Rooftop Lounge
While circles Dupont and Logan garner lots of attention, Donovan House's rooftop reminds all how gorgeous Thomas Circle is. Overlook the roundabout while munching on sushi rolls from ground-floor restaurant Zentan along with delectable bar bites.
1155 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
It’s the stuff of movies and the foodstuff of the back patio at Chez Billy. The Royale with Cheese, a nod to Pulp Fiction, is the only item you can order from the back patio that isn’t olives, and what more could you need besides a cold drink from DC’s most neighborhood-friendly French restaurant?
3815 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
The city’s obsessive brunch scene is well acquainted with this veteran Viennese cafe whose outdoor digs are tucked just inside of Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley. From yogurt parfaits and delectable pastries to veal schnitzel, Old European eats decorate the menu. End with an espresso and the Apfelstrudel, drizzled in hot vanilla sauce.
3315 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Poste Moderne Brasserie
Perfect for groups or couples, the Poste’s patio, situated within the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco, offers plentiful shade and even a garden. The Poste Roast chef’s table is a culinary tour de force, but for the less ambitious, consider the outdoor happy hour from 4-7 p.m.
555 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20002
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
We might be splitting hairs by calling this an outdoor spot; either way, the open-air garage front of Pearl Dive makes for a one-of-a-kind feel. The bivalve-peddling eatery, found among bustling 14th Street, offers cayenne aioli-kissed shrimp po’ boys and a stable of specialty cocktails.
1612 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20009
Pizza al fresco is now possible at Etto thanks to a new patio at the popular (and petite) Italian eatery specializing in small plates. Set up shop along 14th Street and go for the classic Margherita pie, with mounds of mozzarella and crust made crisp with blistery edges.
1541 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Completely constructed out of shipping containers – bathroom included – this U Street taquería boasts a covered rear patio. Weather a rainstorm or sit in the shade with a michelada in hand in the enclosure, as you await al pastor tacos and the ultimate complement: elotes (Mexican-style corn gussied up with savory spices and cotija cheese).
919 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Nothing has changed about the beloved, fire pit-bedecked brick patio at Bourbon Steak. What has changed, however, is that the eatery has brought on a brand new chef, Joe Palma (formerly of the Westend Bistro). In addition to the restaurant’s namesake offering, consider ultra-fresh options from the sea via dishes like black bass ceviche, hamachi crudo with yellow beets and big-eye tuna.
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Art and Soul
Gourmands with a love of dogs can rejoice in the pooch-friendly patio at this fixture in fine dining. Your canine companion will bark for Bowser Beer and a raw bone, while you can howl at the Capitol views and artisanal, Southern-style fare.
415 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001