It finally feels like spring, with a weekend forecast of sun and temps in the 60s and 70s. Even if the weather is a little erratic, you’ll want to post up on the nearest patio while the mild temperatures last. Whether you’re looking to catch some rays or huddle under heat lamps in the chilly evenings, there are plenty of al fresco spots to get an early start on outdoor partying.
The expansive beer garden of this H Street spot is open year-round— it’s partially covered and lined with heat lamps—but sunny days are the best time to grab a seat at one of the long, communal tables and drink a few supersize German beers.
Specials: Monday through Friday from 4 to 7, you’ll find brews—including Paulaner Pils—plus select glasses of wine and currywurst sausages, all discounted to $5.
One of DC’s best open-air roof decks is open and ready for outdoor drinkers. Order a shandy and catch a few rays before the crowds descend this summer.
Specials: Monday through Friday from 5 to 7, three varieties of drafts are $5 and rail drinks and house red and white wines are $6. Sunday brings a late-night happy hour and a shot-and-beer combo for $8.
The weather finally feels right for sitting by the water with a margarita at this Southwest Waterfront spot, even though the deck has been open since early March. You can also catch a great view of the cherry blossom fireworks on Saturday, April 6.
Specials: Daily deals include $4.50 Blue Moons on Friday and $5 Yuengling pints on Saturday.
Patios at both the Del Ray and Shirlington locations of Jill Erber’s cheese shop/restaurant are open, so you can sip wine and nibble fromage al fresco.
Specials: Find $2 off wines and beers and $4 off cheese boards weekdays from 3 to 6.
This neighborhood Petworth bar already boasts a huge outdoor patio armed with picnic tables and bar seating, and construction is now complete on the new al fresco service bar.
Specials: You can get two-for-one anything (yes, anything) from behind the bar on Monday through Saturday from 5 to 9 PM. Test your capacity for mimosas and bloody Marys during the bottomless brunch on weekends.
The newest addition to the Clarendon scene boasts communal tables on a small outdoor patio, perfect for taking down steins of German and Belgian beer alongside brats and mussels.
Specials: Happy hour starts next week with specials like 17-ounce Erdinger beers and pints of Ommegang for $5.
Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont
Make like a New Englander and slurp oysters in your sweater on the front patio of Hank’s Dupont location, which is equipped with heat lamps. (Note: The restaurant requires guests to order food along with their drinks when sitting outside, but the menu has lots of snacky items for casual consumers.)
Specials: Sorry, sun worshipers, you’ll have to go inside for discounts like $1 oysters.
Sure, Madam’s can get crazy on weekend nights. All the more reason to take advantage of the semi-covered rooftop deck, where the atmosphere is relaxed early and on weekdays. Grab a no-frills beer and enjoy the views.
Specials: Redheads get half off Rolling Rock at all times. For everyone else, beer, wine, and rails are half price from 5 to 8 PM on weekdays.
Weekends, it’s common to see a line out the door at this buzzy U Street corridor spot, so we’re fans of hitting the spacious deck on weekdays and early evenings, when things are lively but there’s rarely a wait. A full bar lets you order everything from 30-plus Belgian beers to martinis.
Specials: Sadly, none to speak of.
Masa 14 and El Centro D.F.
Sister Richard Sandoval restaurants each sport their own spacious patios. Hit them early on balmy weekend nights, or be prepared to wait in line.
Specials: At Masa you’ll find weekday deals from 5 to 7 PM such as $4 mojitos and small plates; El Centro offers $4 margaritas at the same time, plus $6 tacos from 5 to 9 PM.
It’s hard to resist a nice roofdeck when the temperatures climb, and 1905’s is equipped with a full bar and plenty of room.
Specials: Deals from 5:30 to 7:30 PM include $4 beers and rail drinks.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Hang outside Jeff and Barbara Black’s oyster bar and watch the 14th Street crowd pass at this standing-room-only sidewalk patio. You’ll find handy window access to the bar for ordering drinks and eats, and the ledge acts as a good perch for platters of oysters.
Specials: A 4-to-7 weekday happy hour features discounts that include $5 wine, half-price drafts, and two-for-one local oysters.
One of the best rooftops in the city isn’t quite at its summer peak, but you can still grab drinks and dinner at the partially covered rooftop bar, or sit out on the twinkly terrace under a heat lamp.
Specials: Asian-inspired drinks are discounted every day at the bar. Think $4 Kirin Light and $5 lemon shochu-tinis.
The full expanse of this Penn Quarter hotel bar’s enclosed outdoor space isn’t yet open, but you can head out to the lower patio for cocktail service.
Specials: An “all-local” happy hour with discounts on a variety of area beers, spirits, and snacks runs from 11 to 7 weekdays and 4 to 7 on weekends.
Rock & Roll Hotel
The H Street concert venue and bar boasts a spacious open-air roof deck lit with string lights, plus heaters for the cooler evenings. Come May, you’ll find a “full metal brunch” with chicken and waffles.
Specials: Happy hour happens every night from 6 to 8 and offers deals like $3 PBRs, half-price wings, and a buck off most everything else.
The full-fledged patio seating allows this little gem of a bar to double its size, but you’ll have to wait for warmer weather. In the meantime, hardy cocktailers can perch at a few outdoor tables warmed by heaters and a fire pit.
Specials: No happy hour, but they serve breakfast! Think tasty egg-and-sausage biscuits—pretty special for a bar.
It may not be the ideal weather for downing cold beers, pulled pork, and sausages in a 14th Street beer garden, but the heat lamps and near-guaranteed crowds will keep you plenty warm.
Specials: You won’t find discounted drinks, but that’s a blessing in disguise given it’s already tough to snag a seat at the communal tables.
Trusty’s Full-Serve Bar
The upper deck at this Capitol Hill truck-stop-themed bar—which boasts about 30 seats—is ready to go, so grab a Mason jar full of cold brew and let the shenanigans begin.
Specials: Get a dollar off beers and rail drinks on Monday through Friday from 4 to 7. Weekends, pay $14 for bottomless Bloodys or screwdrivers.
You can pick from two outdoor spots at this U Street wine bar: a front patio or a backyard enclosed area complete with a bocce court, bar, and outdoor grill.
Specials: Happy hour every day includes $5 wines and Peroni at the bar from 5 to 7 PM, plus $5 house-made hot dogs and $7 burgers from the outdoor grill.
Westover Beer Garden
Locals love this funky beer garden attached to an Arlington grocery store. You can order a craft draft, set your Adirondack chair next to a fire pit, and get cozy with a date in the tree-lined space.
Specials: Daily specials include wine deals for ladies on Thursdays and half off burgers on Mondays.
Whitlow’s on Wilson
The roof deck at this magnet for drinky young Clarendonians is all set up and ready to go. Head on over while the weather’s nice.
Specials: In addition to daily deals, look for $3 domestic cans and $4 Corona and Corona Light cans from 5 to 7 PM, Monday through Friday.
The backyard beer garden at this Columbia Heights dive is a neighborhood favorite, and it should be nice and toasty on sunny weekend afternoons.
Specials: Every day is happy hour at Wonderland, with $2 off drafts and rail drinks from 4 to 8 PM.