8630 Fenton St., Silver Spring
Order a lobster roll and a dark n’ stormy on the 24-seat patio of this nautical New England spot. Outdoor diners can also take advantage of weekend happy hour—think $1 oysters, $6 wines—which runs from 3 to 6:30 on Saturday, and all day Sunday.
2609 24th St., NW
Chef Liam LaCivita’s Woodley Park Italian is tucked away off busy Connecticut Avenue, as is the 40-seat patio shaded by umbrellas. Order an herbaceous gin-cucumber martini and graze on house-made charcuterie and cheeses, or try the restaurant’s inaugural al fresco brunch on Sunday.
12023 Town Square St., Reston
The patio of Barcelona 14th Street is typically hopping around the clock, and the Reston offshoot is promising to be no different. The spacious, wood-lined patio is a pleasant place to sip sangria and snack on tapas. More in the mood for Mexican? Sister eatery Bar Taco next door also has outdoor real estate.
2985 District Ave., Fairfax
Rappahannock River Oyster Co. co-owner Travis Croxton just debuted his Mosaic District eatery this week, which seats 70 guests on a wraparound patio. We can imagine a pretty pleasant weekend spent outdoors over raw bar fare and a pint of local beer. The restaurant is currently open for dinner, and all-day Saturday and Sunday starting at 11.
1351 H St., NE
Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s new Southeast Asian spot has plenty of outdoor spaces to choose from. Grab a coffee and Cambodian sandwich during the day and hang on the upper balcony, or snag a seat around a big communal table in the courtyard at any hour. A rooftop area doesn’t have seating, but guests can mingle with cocktails.
212 Ellington Blvd., Gaithersburg
This Chicago import in the Downtown Crown development goes big all around, offering 90-plus beers on tap and a roomy patio for 92 drinkers. Order a cold Optimal Wit from Alexandria’s Port City and a plate of mini Chicago dogs for a local-meets-midwest experience.
3050 K St., NW
Few things say summer in DC like posting up on the Georgetown waterfront. Settle on the 48-seat patio of this nautical newcomer for a large selection of rums, orange crushes, and beach-y eats like crab fritters, tuna tacos, and shrimp-lobster rolls. Weekend crowds in the neighborhood are a sure bet, so it’s worth checking out a Monday summertime deal that includes $1 oysters and $5 glasses of bubbly ($25 for a bottle) from 7 to 10.
2100 14th St., NW
Groups are encouraged on the 61-seat sidewalk patio. Order one of the bar’s many shareable cocktails, such as a refreshing vodka-grapefruit-mint concoction served in a French press. The kitchen follows suit with a variety of communal small plates and platters, such as chili-braised short ribs or a whole suckling pig leg.
1110 N. Glebe Rd., Ballston
A bright patio with yellow chairs and flower boxes greets diners, fitting for the menu of Spanish drinks and dishes. Order sparkling sangria—available by the glass or one-liter bottle—and try a variety of paellas, tapas, and items from the Mediterranean-style seafood bar. A lengthy Saturday or Sunday brunch is the time to catch rays; service runs from 11:30 to 4. We like the idea of bloody Maria and a fried egg-jamon Serrano sandwich.
1634 14th St., NW
A 45-seat sidewalk patio is a prime spot for 14th Street people-watching at this new sibling to the original Sette Osteria in Dupont. A large menu hits all the Italian classics, from thin-crust pies to carpaccio, pastas and grilled fish.
7940 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda
Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s new Asian/Filipino spot boasts two outdoor options: a 40 seat dining patio off the first floor, and a slightly larger roof deck above for sipping tropical cocktails like sake-spiked punch. More into live tunes? Sister music-centric bar/restaurant Villain & Saint also has outdoor space, equipped with speakers so guests don’t have to miss the show.