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. Top of the Gate will be reopening on April 2, 2021. Check out their website for more information and how to make a reservation.
So you already know that The Wharf is the District’s warm-weather place to be, right? Well, be sure to stop by the InterContinental Washington, DC - The Wharf rooftop as 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 parties of up to six people for indoor seating and for parties of up to four 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. Reservations are required. You can find out more about La Vie's reservation process through the restaurant's website.
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 Gentlemen's Pirate (Redemption bourbon, Grand Marnier, orange & walnut bitters) and Clouds Over Provence (vodka, blue velvet tea, blackberries & citrus). The rooftop is open on weekdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Whiskey Charlie is 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, one of the only restaurants 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 and by phone at (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 plans to reopen in mid-April.
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. El Techo's rooftop is now open and taking reservations. To learn more about the restaurant's safety protocols, visit its website.
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.
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. Decades is currently only open for private events which need to be booked in advance by texting (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. 801 offers socially distanced rooftop seating and use 50% of its indoor capacity. Please make a reservation 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 taking reservations online to limit capacity on sit-down dinner service and on its rooftop.
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. If you're making the reservation the day of, call (202) 291-5000 after 4 p.m. Please make sure to give your first name, last name, phone number, how many people will be in your group and your preferred time slot. Visit the restaurant's Instagram for the most up-to-date information.
You can find this rooftop and green space atop Union Market. With many vendors in the market below and snacks and cocktails offered at this posh spot, a good time is assured. Guests can lounge on the turf or relax at a picnic table to admire in the 360-degree city views. Whether you reserve a spot or walk in, please follow safety regulations.
The W Hotel’s swank rooftop bar and lounge, POV, overlooks the White House and is favored by DC’s see-and-be-seen set. The view of the Washington Monument isn’t too shabby either. Bottle service is available at this hot spot and you’ll want to dress to impress if you head there for cocktails. Reservations are recommended.
Get a bird’s eye view of historic Georgetown and Washington, DC at the top of The Graham Hotel. The sleek rooftop bar features craft cocktails, flavorful bites (hello, Thai tiger shrimp flatbread), and bottle service. The business casual setting is rounded out by chic sofas and high-top tables. Reservations are not required but seating is first-come, first-served.
This spacious rooftop beer garden features a horseshoe-shaped bar, hanging plants and lights, a selection of 70 whiskeys and bourbons and craft beer and cocktails on tap. What more could you ask for? Enjoy happy hour on select weekdays or indulge in bottomless brunch on the weekends. Reservations are available through Resy.
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