Pair Instagram-worthy views with a cool drink and delicious bites at the best Washington, DC rooftop bars and restaurants.
It's always the right time to head out on the town, find the nearest rooftop bar and order up your favorite cocktail or draft beer. During happy hour or any hour, feel the breeze and ease back at these District locales that have set up shop up top for your warm-weather pleasure.
Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel
The luxurious Watergate Hotel is a centerpiece of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Head to the sophisticated Top of the Gate and take in 360-degree rooftop views of the nation’s capital while sipping specialty cocktails and noshing on artisanal pizzas.
The Watergate Hotel and Top of the Gate will be opening August 21, 2020. You can book reservations on their site.
So you already know that The Wharf is the District’s warm-weather place to be, right? But now the InterContinental Washington, DC - The Wharf has a brand new rooftop that’s your next must-visit drinks spot. 12 Stories is the first DC venture from the minds behind New York City mainstay Mr. Purple, complete with a sleek, modern design and panoramas of the Washington Channel and beyond. Head there for creative cocktails like the 'Aren't You a Fineapple' (hennessy, grand marnier, cointreau, pineapple, lemon + lime), high-end bites (think oysters and rib-eye skewers) and, of course, the #views.
You can now book a reservation for up to parties of 6 people for indoor seating and up to parties of 4 people for the outdoor terrace.
DC’s rivers do their best French Riviera impression at La Vie, a stunning and sleek restaurant at The Wharf featuring views of the Washington Channel from its rooftop terrace. Sophisticated Mediterranean vibes abound as you choose from a cocktail list divided into “Dip Your Toes,” “Dive In” or ”Off the Deep End” options and take in the waterfront scenes. Golden hour at La Vie also means happy hour prices, with bar bites and sunset drinks on weekdays from 4-7 p.m.
Nautical vibes and top-notch cocktails are the name of the game at Whiskey Charlie, the rooftop bar perched atop the Canopy by Hilton hotel at The Wharf. Catch the perfectly Instagrammable sunset while enjoying a range of delightful drinks – we’re big fans of the Calico Jack (Vida mezcal, Velvet falernum, Mi Campo Blanco, Aperol, fresh lime) and Blackbeard (Cotton & Reed Canopy spiced rum, J.D. Velvet falernum, blackberry & rosemary, fresh lemon.
The rooftop is open daily from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and they are taking reservations online through OpenTable.
Friends at the O-Ku sushi restaurant rooftop near Union Market - The best rooftop bars and restaurants in Washington, DC
Get excited about sushi-with-a-view at O-Ku, the only restaurant near Union Market with a rooftop. While traditional sushi and sashimi reside on the menu, you’ll also be delighted by creative plates such as the salmon yaki kuro with black rice, asian pear, arugula and shiso cream. Accentuate the meal with a drink from O-Ku’s extensive sake, whiskey and cocktail offerings.
O-Ku is now taking reservations for their rooftop bar through OpenTable or by calling 202-888-8790.
Top of the Yard
There’s perhaps no bar in DC that has more Natitude than Top of the Yard, which can be found on top of the Hampton Inn & Suites Washington DC - Navy Yard. You can catch a Washington Nationals game all spring and summer while noshing on ballpark-themed bites and brews at this rooftop abode that overlooks the gorgeous Nationals Park.
Top of the Yard is open seasonally from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Please make a reservation before going to the rooftop bar.
Billed as an “adult treehouse,” the turf-adorned El Techo brings the heat in Shaw with spicy margaritas and the creative Mexican street food you’ve come to expect from the downstairs Rito Loco shop. El Techo also offers Spanish-inspired tapas and a number of cervezas for the perfect warm-weather happy hour.
An adventure in Adams Morgan is not complete without a visit to Perry’s, a neighborhood staple that opened its doors more than 30 years ago. Enjoy the delicious Japanese fare and an extensive beverage list that includes wine, Japanese whiskey and sake while you relax at the year-round bar or on the seasonal rooftop terrace.
Perry's is now taking rooftop reservations.
Take in the sights around Chinatown from the rooftop bar, Crimson View, located in the Pod Hotel. Before or after an event at Capital One Arena, head to the diner for all-day breakfast, or enjoy the whiskey bar for a little Southern hospitality in the middle of the city.
The Crimson View is only open for bottle service as of July 1, 2020. You can view their updated menu here.
This throwback dance club has dropped its loudest beat yet – a rooftop that tips its cap to raves of yore. You’ll feel Miami and Ibiza vibes as you dance the night away surrounded by palm trees, lounge furniture and vibrant lighting in a 2,500-square foot space. Creative cocktails like coconut-and-mango jalapeño margaritas and strawberry basil lemonade are available.
They are taking reservations from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. by calling 202-650-7326.
If you’re on the hunt for a Michelin-starred chef’s tribute to Italian cuisine, look no further than Nicholas Stefanelli’s Officina at The Wharf. This three-story market-restaurant-bar is also home to Terrazza, an alfresco rooftop bar inspired by terraces in the Eternal City. Take in gorgeous riverfront views all year (winter means cozying up by the outdoor fire pits) and imbibe with seasonal cocktails and a selection of bubbly. Terrazza can be enjoyed daily from 5-10 p.m.
Enjoy the terrace by making a reservation today.
Columbia Room Punch Garden
Columbia Room, named the best American cocktail bar at the 2017 Spirited Awards, has a little-known secret: its a la carte rooftop punch garden. Creative cocktails from the mind of Derek Brown – a twist on a vodka punch stars sake, cucumber and pistachio, for example – can be sipped at this Blagden Alley locale ornamented with hanging greenery and Edison bulbs.
Make a reservation to visit the Columbia Room today.
801 Restaurant & Bar
"Good vibes only" isn't just the motto at 801 Restaurant & Bar, it's also the first thing patrons see (illuminated in white lights) when reaching the top of the stairs at this rooftop bar straddling the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods. If you're with a thirsty group, try the signature 801 Mega Mule – a multi-person Moscow Mule served in a massive copper mug.
They offer socially-distanced rooftop seating with 50% indoor capacity now available. Please make reservations online.
Given its namesake, you’d expect this Adams Morgan eatery to feature an open air option, and it does not disappoint. The third floor hub boasts spectacular views of the buzzing neighborhood, while also offering craft cocktails and a popular punch bowl. Try the hearty menu (sriracha honey-glazed chicken wings!) while living the good life at the horseshoe bar.
Roofers Union is now taking reservations online to limit capacity on sit-down dinner service and on the rooftop (via RESY).
Get your dive bar fix at Red Derby in Columbia Heights, sporting a beer list heavy on cans to go with thoughtful beer-shot specials – who wouldn’t want to try Pabst Blue Ribbon with Fireball? The rooftop deck bumps, providing a comfortable, hanging-out-at-your-friend’s-place atmosphere. The menu helps too: bar food like mac and cheese wedges and tacos sound perfect paired with a can of Natty Boh.
Red Derby is taking reservations by email, or if you're making the reservation the day of please call 202-291-5000 after 4 p.m. Please make sure to give your first name, last name, phone number, how many people in your group and your preferred time slot. Visit their Instagram for the most up-to-date information.
This 9th Street club plays host to all kinds of buzzworthy indie rock acts. However, a walk up to its top floor reveals a rooftop haven primed for a soiree. Choose from an inventive menu – we recommend the South By burger or the pimento-infused grilled cheese – and sip an ice cold brew either before or after a show.
They are now taking reservations to gain access to their rooftop deck.