Food

Washingtonian Recommends: the Best Outdoor Bars in Shaw

Our favorite places to sip in the sunshine.
El Techo rooftop bar/restaurant in Shaw. Photography by Evy Mages
Washingtonian Recommends

Our Washingtonian Recommends lists bring you the best places to eat, drink, and be entertained—all selected by Washingtonian editors.

Calico
50 Blagden Alley, NW
This Blagden Alley bar and restaurant from the Tiger Fork team is designed to feel like an (awesome) house, with big backyard and grill, indoor/outdoor bar, herb garden, and plenty of string lights. The menu channels the same vibe, with easy-drinking cocktails and easy-eating tomato pies.

Ivy & Coney
1537 Seventh St., NW
We’re hesitant to call out the back deck at this no-frills bar, because it still feels hidden compared to the other packed lots on the block (ahem, Dacha). But go, have fun, bring cash (it’s all they take), and don’t leave without getting a chili dog.

Maxwell Park
1336 Ninth St., NW
The small patio fills up early at this popular wine bar, where sommelier Brent Kroll and his team pour a lengthy selection of interesting wines. If you’ve never tried a sparkling orange wine from Greece, this is the place.

Best outdoor bars Shaw Calico Blagden Alley drink outside.
Calcio channels the feel of a backyard barbecue. Photograph by Evy Mages.

Columbia Room Punch Garden
124 Blagden Alley, NW
Lounge on the second-floor deck of Derek Brown’s stellar cocktail bar. While the indoor tasting room is a splurge ($75 for three boozy courses), the cozy punch garden serves a la carte cocktails around $14. We’d like a Bubble Bath (literally and figuratively) with gin, fino, lemon, lavender, cane sugar, bitter orange, and bubbles.

Cortez
1905 Ninth St., NW
The former 1905 space and roof deck is now a beach-y Mexican spot from the owners of Takoda. Expect fish tacos, frozen margs, and plenty of space to lounge in the sunshine. 

The best bars in Shaw for drinking outside the Columbia Room punch garden.
The Columbia Room punch garden pours pretty cocktails like this riff on a mint julep. Photograph via Columbia Room.

El Techo
606 Florida Ave., NW
Shaw’s “adult treehouse” is back for another season of childlike revelry, complete with new grown-up treats like boozy passion fruit basil snow cones, guava-coconut mojitos, and lobster tacos.

Dacha
1600 Seventh St., NW
Shaw’s uber-popular beer garden is the place to be for brew-hounds and their dogs. Catch some sun during happy hour, where beer-filled boots go for $10, among other deals. In addition to beer garden classics like currywürst and giant pretzels, look for chef Sasha Felikson’s creative plates like beer-braised goat poutine.

Hazel
808 V St., NW
Cool off with a boozy spritz while hanging out at Hazel’s pretty patio. 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.

Best bars drink outside patio Hazel Shaw.
Order drinks from a roving spritz cart at Hazel. Photograph courtesy of Hazel.

Takoda
715 Florida Ave., NW
The covered rooftop and terrace of this American bar and restaurant just got a garden-like revamp, with more plants and flower murals. The bar pours American drafts and frosé, while we’re partial to the pb&j wings on the food menu.

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Anna Spiegel
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.