Top 19 Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in the Greater Washington, DC Area

by McEnearney on June 13, 2019

Happy friends at a rooftop party backlit by sunlight
While 2018 was officially the wettest year on record in Washington, D.C. and 2019 has some very wet storms under its belt already—we’re not letting that rain on our rooftop parade. Check out these top picks for rooftops great for casual meetups, local spots with great food, and classy and chic destinations. You can’t go wrong with any of our picks for rooftop bars and restaurants in the greater Washington, DC area. Plus, if you’re looking for something else to do outdoors this summer, check up our comprehensive roundup of outdoor movie and concert series in the region. 

 

Casual

 

Crimson View at the Pod DC Hotel (Chinatown – NW DC)
Hours: M-Th 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; F 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.; S 2 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Su 2 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Head up the diner-side elevator in this stylish hotel lobby to this penthouse rooftop gem, where you’ll find a variety of craft beers, wines, and cocktails, featuring mainly modern takes on the old fashioned. There are also light snacks. The sunset views and open-air vibes with the retractable window walls are unmatched in Chinatown.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx8YnFYhCkT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Takoda (U Street – NW DC)
Hours: T-W 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Th 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; F 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; S 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram
Visit this prime perching spot along a busy corridor that bills itself as “All-American Restaurant, Rooftop Beer Garden, and Whiskey Bar”—which says it all. The circular bar and standing room in the outside part can get a bit crowded during peak happy hour and Friday/Saturday nights, so come early to claim the best spot.

 

City Winery (Ivy City – NE DC)
Hours: M-F 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; S 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Su 2 p.m. – 12 a.m.
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This relatively new casual spot brings a wine country experience to the middle of the big city. They are “a unique facility, combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food & wine classes, private events in a variety of configurations, and fine dining.” If you like wine or just a great all-around spot, check this out for your next evening out.

 

Whitlow’s on Wilson (Clarendon – Arlington, VA)
Hours: M-F 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; S-Su 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Rooftop Tiki Bar: M-Th 5 p.m.; F 4 p.m.; S-Su 12 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
If you’re not deterred by crowds, this one is a go-to outside perching spot in Clarendon. There is a sizeable rooftop bar serving standard drinks and a moderate beer selection, plus plenty of seating and perching room.

 

Kaldi’s Social House (Silver Spring, MD)
Hours: W-Th 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. and F-S 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram
Kaldi’s began on the lower level as an Ethiopian coffee house, and expanded in 2016 to offer a rooftop area. On nights that the rooftop is open for events, this one gives off more of a lounge feel, with options for Latin dancing, Afro-Caribbean Thursdays, and more.

 

Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar (Old Town – Alexandria, VA)
Hours: M-Th 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; F 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.; S 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.; Su 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Rooftop patio hours: Currently 11 a.m. – close Th-S
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
With cozy decor, friendly Irish staff, and an ancient, Irish feel (there are all kinds of antiques!), you’ll find an air of familiarity in this old-made-modern bar. The rooftop is a great casual perching spot in Old Town.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByGLV4rBlwf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Earls Kitchen + Bar (Tysons Corner – McLean, VA)
Hours: M-T 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.; W-Th 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.; F 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; S 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
While Tyson’s Corner is rich with indoor dining and bar options – sometimes you still want a nice outdoor go-to spot. This elevated terrace overlooking a courtyard is a great place to warm up after work or in between shopping.

 


 

With Great Food Options

 

Cocina on Market (Leesburg, VA)
Hours: T-Th 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.; F 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.; S 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Su 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram
With a colorful but casual rooftop dining area – somewhat rare in Leesburg – you can’t go wrong with good eats, bright rays of sunshine and friends or loved ones. We love the brisket tacos, Mexican street corn and any of the empanadas.

 

Ivy City Smokehouse (Ivy City – NE DC)
Hours: M 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; T-Th 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; F-S 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Su 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
This place has one thing you can always count on: an abundance of great and hearty food choices. From wings to sandwiches and burgers, to shareables like this generous fish platter, we love washing everything down on the chill rooftop with a cold drink.

 

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Wilson Hardware (Clarendon – Arlington, VA)
Hours: M-W 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Th-F 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; S 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Voted Best Rooftop Bar by Northern Virginia Magazine, this space is a bit more upscale and sophisticated than others in the Clarendon area. Particularly on busy nights, snagging a spot at the bar or a table to eat might not be easy – but if you can, we love the food selection. Try shareables like the brussels, calamari or panzerotti and wash them down with a cool slushie. You can also brunch up there!
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

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Wild Days atop the Eaton Hotel (Downtown – NW, DC)
Hours: M-Th 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.; F 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; S 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Menu | Instagram
We love the local beer selection, variety of wines and craft cocktails, and the view: but mostly, if we’re hankering for a snack, we love the tacos and the “not tacos” bar bites.

 

Nooshi (Barracks Row – SE DC)
Hours: M-Th 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; F-S 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Su 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
This is a quiet and great perching spot Including a rare weekend happy hour. Drinks are half priced from 3-7 PM Monday – Saturday and 1 – 8 pm on Sundays. The view is quaint Barrack’s Row, and the bites are delectable sushi – enough said!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrqTfM9lDrQ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

El Chucho (Columbia Heights – NW DC)
Hours: M-Th 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; F 4 p.m. – 3 a.m.; S 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.; Su 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
This is one of our favorite low-key (dare we say almost hipster) spots for creative drinks with a Latin twist (think Pomegranate or Ginger Strawberry margaritas) with unbeatable and food. Don’t miss the tacos and ceviche. The open-air upstairs has a cute snacks ambiance, but don’t expect a street view from most of the tables.  

 

 

O Ku (Union Market – NE DC)
Hours: Su-Th 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; F-S 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram
This new sushi hotspot has stellar views of the iconic and much-instagrammed Union Market building and sign.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwK4LgOBu7a/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 


 

 

Classy Chic

Columbia Room (Shaw – NW DC)
Hours: T-Th 5 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.; F-S 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
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We can’t tell whether this qualifies more as a second-floor terrace or a rooftop, but where the distinction is gray – the quality of the drinks is not. This is hands-down the top place downtown for a handcrafted cocktail, and the dream outdoor space makes for an intimate sipping setting. It has numerous accolades, including The Washington Post’s Best Bar in D.C. in 2016 and 2017.

 

 

POV Rooftop at the W Hotel (Downtown – NW DC)
Hours: M-Th 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; F 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.; S 2 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Su 2 p.m. – 12 a.m.
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One of the most classic views in town. The sunset panorama is stunning over the White House Ellipse and the National Mall. The cocktail menu is inspired by “political history, famous rumors, and presidential quotes” like the “Make America Grape Again” – you’ll find a bit of wit with your view.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BybCqAZl4Uq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

 

The Observatory Deck (Rosslyn – Arlington, VA)
Hours: M-Th 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; F 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; S-Su 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Have you seen D.C. from 31 floors up? Part crazy viewing deck and virtual experience, part museum (you’ll learn bits about D.C. and surrounding area history), and part drink spot, this is worth checking out if you have the time to experience the most of the museum. There is an indoor bar, as well as a champagne bar, and you can take your drinks around the museum and outside to the open air terrace. Plus, there are Friday admission specials.

 

 

The Graham Georgetown Rooftop (Georgetown – NW DC)
Hours: M-Th 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; F 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; S 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
With a comfortable lounge vibe, this is a place to go if you’re looking to see great views in a chic manner. There are Vines with a View and Live Jazz events on Wednesdays and Thursdays on the Rocks with drink specials.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwkgu6rBJJL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

 

La Vie (The Wharf – SW DC)
Hours: M-Th 4 p.m. – 11 a.m.; F-S 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 4 p.m. – 12 p.m. | Brunch: S-Su 11a.m. – 3 p.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram
D.C.’s newest rooftop scene is at The Wharf. From 12 Stories’ New York-esque lounge feel to Whiskey Charlie’s corner appeal and nautical vibes, the best rooftop at The Wharf is when La Vie opens their penthouse with stellar views in every direction. If you’re there when the penthouse isn’t open, the terrace on the restaurant’s main floor about 5 stories up still has unbeatable sunset views.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw2Ucn5hCrM/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

 

Top of the Gate (Foggy Bottom – NW DC)
Hours: M-W 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Th 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; S 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Su 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Menu | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Not too far from the Georgetown Waterfront, you can get the best view of this neck of the Potomac from Top of the Gate at the Watergate. With the wine selection, cocktails, and shared plates all being upscale, this a great place for a special night out.

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Night views. #GateGoer: @acdc.photography

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This entry was posted under Neighborhood Guides.
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