While many people head to the W Hotel’s POV Roof Terrace for cocktails, this rooftop aerie overlooking the White House and the monuments is also a prime perch for a lazy outdoor lunch. You won’t have to fight the evening crowds for the low, loungey tables and couches. And prices on the short, snack-friendly menu are gentler than you might expect—think tuna burgers with yuzu pickles and fries ($12). 515 15th St., NW; 202-661-2400.
Oozing romance, the Gibson’s back patio is a twinkle with candlelight. Upping the chic factor are bistro-style tables and chairs plus a tree seemingly growing out of concrete. Besides the bar’s regular craft cocktails, the patio offers smart takes on frozen blender drinks such as the Hurricane. 2009 14th St., NW; 202-232-2156.
Eventide’s snug Clarendon rooftop has the clamor of a nightly house party but with a backdrop of the sun sinking into the horizon. The restaurant has an eclectic wine list, and you can go for either nibbles—including fishcake sliders with tomato confit—or a full meal on the roof. 3165 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-276-3165.
Tables on Black Market Bistro’s charming porch are in high demand, but Black Market also does food to go: The antipasto for two is a natural for picnicking. A park across from the restaurant has grassy knolls and benches—a backup plan if there’s no room at the bistro. 4600 Waverly Ave., Garrett Park; 301-933-3000.