6 Fun New Patio Menus to Try Around DC

Outdoor spots for barbecue, crabs, and drinks from a spritz cart.

Order drinks from a roving spritz cart at Hazel. Photograph courtesy of Hazel.

Sweaters and boots are gone for good, and that means it’s time for eating and drinking outside. Check out these new patio menus, whether you’re in the mood for a French-inspired happy hour, crab feast, or spring spritz.

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
Stephen Starr’s buzzy French brasserie just launched a pre-dinner l’apero menu available on the patio and bar, with aperitifs and snacks between 4 and 5 PM (Monday through Friday only). Take part in the French version of happy hour with sparkling wine cocktails, frosè, and snacks like foie gras macarons and truffled gougères. Good news: no reservations or wait times necessary.

1090 I St., NW
People watch at CityCenter on Momofuku’s patio, where you’ll find revamped lunch and dinner menus from new chef Tae Strain. Dishes include warm bing breads with roasted Chesapeake oyster dip, or steak ssam with beef fat-mushroom rice. Al fresco happy hour runs from 5 to 6:30 PM, and while you’re out there, you might as well order one of their group-sized punchbowl cocktails or the “bottomless glass of wine” ($15) with five-ounce pours from 5 to 7 PM.

808 V St., NW
Cool off with a boozy spritz while hanging out at Hazel’s pretty patio in Shaw. The best part? You don’t even have to get up to order drinks. The roving spritz cart will pull up as you order effervescent cocktails (all $11) like a classic Aperol and prosecco spritz or a version with lime-coconut cello.

Fish Patio
101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill
José Andrés’ seafood spot at the MGM National Harbor will finally open its patio on Friday, May 11, which is more like an outdoor seafood shack adjoining the dining room. The place is an ideal spot for cracking crabs, slurping oysters, and downing cold drinks all summer long.

Big Bear Cafe
1700 1st St., NW
Bloomingdale neighborhood darling Big Bear kicks off its BBQ Sundays this weekend. Every Sunday, join the crew on the patio from 5 to 8:30 PM for pulled pork, chicken, grilled veggies, tons of sides, and drink specials. You can also score a family-style meal for just $30.

Iron Gate
1734 N St., NW
Take in the blossoming wisteria at Iron Gate’s “Wisteria Hysteria” event, which runs through this Sunday. As a celebration of all things spring and blooms, you can sit outside and sip cocktails with names like “Spring Fling.” Appropriately-seasonal dishes include crispy zucchini blossoms and spring pea bruschetta.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.