8 Great Places in Penn Quarter to Eat and Drink Outside

Centrolina offers a chic place to dine al fresco in the alley outside the Italian market/restaurant. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Bar Deco

717 Sixth St., NW

One of the rare rooftop bars in Penn Quarter is housed atop this gastropub in the historic Bulletin Building. Groups can order pitchers of craft beer—though this place isn’t too fancy for Bud Light—summery cocktails, and the full lunch, dinner, and brunch menus, which boast a number of barbecue-style dishes from the eatery’s smoker.


974 Palmer Alley, NW

Chef Amy Brandwein’s Italian market in CityCenterDC offers a chic place to dine al fresco thanks to tables shaded by white umbrellas, and an alley location tucked away from the busy streets. Lunch and dinner bring beautiful seasonal pastas and wood-grilled meats and seafood, and you can also catch mimosas in the sun for brunch.

Del Campo

777 I St., NW

The spacious courtyard patio of chef Victor Albisu’s South American grill is a pleasant place to linger, thanks to its removed location from the noisy streets. Drop by for weekday lunch specials like a $15 sandwich and beer/wine combo, a robust happy hour menu, or killer asado (grilled steaks and seafood).

Luke’s Lobster

624 E St., NW

Snag one of the few outdoor tables in front of this fast-casual Maine lobster joint, where can order up tasty classics like buttered rolls stuffed lobster, crab, or shrimp. Wash them down with homemade blueberry-lemonade or cold beer.

Momofuku CCDC

1090 I St., NW

Restaurateur David Chang just opened the patio of his CityCenterDC venture this week, and there’s a new menu of shareable, large-format cocktails to celebrate. The sidewalk space is open for lunch, happy hour, drinks, and/or dinner, and is first-come, first-serve. Regardless of when you go, an order of the pork buns is a must.


775 G St., NW

This New American restaurant across from the Portrait Gallery offers dining on its umbrella-shaded patio for weekday lunch and dinner. Chef Haidar Karoum’s creative menu changes frequently, though classics like tuna tartare with crispy nori, spicy meatballs, and a lunchtime shrimp burger are still worth a visit—as is the exceptional wine list.

701 Restaurant

701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

The pretty patio of this finer-dining New American faces the Navy Memorial Plaza and fountains, lending a more atmospheric vibe than your average sidewalk perch. Chef Benjamin Lambert prepares seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner, as well as creative sandwiches and entree salads for the midday meal.


701 Ninth St., NW

The 70-seat patio in front of José Andrés’s sleek Mediterranean eatery is shaded by white awnings, so you can relax over a bounty of mezze—Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish-inspired small plates—for lunch and dinner.  A cold bottle Greek rosé should do the trick in summer, or the zesty Zarabanda Saison, Andrés’ own beer with Deschutes Brewery.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.