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14 Places to Get Cozy in Washington, DC
When the temperatures dip, these DC bars and restaurants heat up
If you’re not fortunate enough to have a fireplace at your home, or space for a bonfire in the backyard, no worries – the District has you covered. Numerous restaurants and bars have areas fit for kicking back, relaxing and shaking off the brr of fall and winter with fireplaces and heaters to go with dishes and drinks sure to satisfy the appetite and keep the body warm.
Sophisticated, New American fare like oven-roasted pork chops and jumbo lump crab cakes with a bourbon corn succotash make any experience at the Blue Duck Tavern memorable. But ask to be seated next to the open kitchen, outfitted with an open-flame oven, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the food artisans at work. Sit back in the handcrafted furniture and also enjoy seasonally themed cocktails like the Untitled #1, which pairs locally made gin with chocolate and rosemary. Bonus: this farm-to-fork eatery is the District’s only Michelin-starred restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (not to mention a top-notch brunch menu).
Don’t let anyone fool you – sangria is a pleasant sipper even in chilly weather. That is, as long as you have blankets, heat lamps and a fireplace close by. Thankfully, this Spanish wine bar and restaurant on 14th Street does. Go light with cava and Spanish cheeses or heavy with a Rioja and paella, either way you’re in for the royal heat treatment.
This Michelin star recipient inside The Jefferson Hotel lures diners in to the main dining room with a roaring fireplace, snug nooks perfect for a romantic evening and an elegant menu inspired by the harvest from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello with a wine list featuring more than 1,300 offerings. Plume also offers patrons private alcoves to enjoy the prix fixe menu outside of the main dining room.
This Bloomingdale neighborhood restaurant delights visitors with an in-view wood-burning stove, decor reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse and an Italian-influenced menu featuring delectable pastas, like the ricotta cavatelli with spicy lamb sausage. In true neighborhood fashion, Red Hen accepts walk-ins, but we also recommend cozying up to the open bar and sipping from the exceptional wine list of this Bib Gourmand honoree.
This upscale Georgetown restaurant set in a Federalist home exudes cozy elegance. Request a table in the John Carroll Room, which comes equipped with a roaring fireplace and an all-American ambiance that's perfectly suited for an important date or dinner. Revel in seasonal fare like gnocchi made with Burgundy truffles and keep the cocktail menu close at hand for creations like the apple brandy-infused Autumn Sidecar.
This timeless restaurant’s hissing fireplace sizzles three feet off the ground, as you enjoy delicately cooked Mediterranean fare from its tasting menu. The historic confines were once the home of General Nelson Miles, a former Secretary of the Army. The restaurant’s decadent courtyard, which is a la carte-friendly, features an awning that allows for nearly year-round dining, giving the eatery another comfortable lounge area.
Savor the atmosphere of a French country inn in the heart of Georgetown. A central stone fireplace La Chaumière a must-visit for those who enjoy a rustic and romantic setting. The menu is filled with French specialties and a variety of red and white wines. It all adds up to refined coziness in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods.
Located inside the iconic Watergate Hotel, The Next Whisky Bar will be your last whiskey bar. Cuddle up to a nice “Kentucky hug” (yes, they serve Pappy Van Winkle) amidst the glow of the bottle-lined walls and garnet-hued chairs. Feel like Don Draper? That’s probably because Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant designed the staff uniforms.
Pull a chair around the fire, order some s'mores and tell a story on the patio of Bourbon Steak. The roaring fireplaces, the crowd circled around the pit, and meticulously perfected cocktails mean you’ve finally found an enchanting outdoor retreat. Executive Chef Joe Palma brings a southern twist to the classic American Steakhouse cuisine while the bar offers the freshest assortment of both classic and modern cocktails in a plethora of styles.
A standout among Dupont Circle’s reliable dining scene, Urbana brings the flavors of Italy to the nation’s capital with the service you can expect from a Kimpton hotel. The decor takes you back to New York in the early twentieth century while the Mediterranean-inspired dishes will brighten you up on even the coldest winter day. Saunter up to a table and warm up with the Bolognese tagliatelle or the smoked prosciutto pizza.
A bar, café and restaurant all in one, Room 11 has made a name for itself with inventive dishes and clever craft cocktails in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. It beckons patrons to gather ‘round the first-come, first-served fire pit on blustery days with a burnt sugar old fashioned and something to eat, like its famous grilled cheese infused with spicy marinara.
Situated in the heart of Capitol Hill, the comfortable Art and Soul is ideal for a cozy group gathering. As you lounge beside a roaring fire pit, spy the U.S. Capitol dome while sipping on a gin cocktail or a beer from local purveyors like Devil’s Backbone and 3 Stars Brewing Company. Snag your beverage of choice inside before setting up a fireside chat, as outdoor service wanes in winter.
Cozy up to the exposed brick fireplace at this whiskey bar inside the Marriott Marquis for a celebratory drink or an evening of intimate conversation. The extensive cocktail list includes libations inspired by former presidents’ favorite spirits, including a heady homage to FDR, the mint julep.
Fireplace aficionados can bask in the warmth of the bar area’s flames at Eric Ziebold’s Kinship, one of the stars of the Shaw neighborhood (not to mention a Michelin star recipient). The aptly named restaurant’s intentions are to inspire camaraderie and a connection amongst guests with a focus on family-style dishes, like whole roast chicken or rack of lamb. It’s a special place that gives diners the warm and fuzzies.
Still need warming up? Dig in to one of the hottest restaurant scenes in the nation.