Food

DC’s Best Outdoor Winter Bars with Fire Pits, Hot Cocktails, and Luxe Igloos

Raise a toast to staying toasty
Heated domes at Bourbon Steak. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

There’s no need to hibernate this winter. Local bars and restaurants are offering opportunities to grab drinks outdoors, minus the frostbite. Embrace the cold weather with fire pits, blankets, and cozy cocktails at these patios and rooftops.

Officina
1120 Maine Ave., SW
Climb to the rooftop of the Wharf’s Italian “culinary complex” for waterfront views, wool blankets, and a glass of prosecco. Once you build an appetite by one of several fire pits, head indoors for a belly-warming bowl of tagliatelle bolognese.

Little Coco’s
3907 14th St., NW
The rooftop of this neighborhood pizza joint is home to two fun seasonal pop-ups: in the summertime, the tropical Coco Beach, and in the winter, toasty Hot Coco. Sip the namesake drink (spiked with spicy mezcal) or huddle over a mini crock pot of mulled cider by the electric fireplace.

Barcelona
1622 14th St., NW
Temporarily satiate winter wanderlust with jamon serrano and sangria on the front patio, equipped with heat lamps and a real wood-burning fireplace to keep things toasty.

Masseria
1340 4th St., NE
The botanical, semi-enclosed courtyard of this Michelin-starred Italian near Union Market is filled with plants year-round. You might even forget you’re outside in the winter when warmly wrapped in a pashmina, ordering cocktails and snacks at the fire tables.

Warm up with a drink by the fire at the Salt Line. Photograph by Paul Kim.
Warm up with a drink by the fire at the Salt Line. Photograph by Paul Kim.

The Salt Line
79 Potomac Ave., SE
Hygge, the Danish word to describe the feeling of being cozy, embodies this Navy Yard riverfront patio. Equipped with fire pits and snuggly blankets in the winter, patrons can sip thermoses of mulled cider, hot toddies, and Irish coffee for added warmth.

Wunder Garten
1101 First St., NE
Celebrate the season at the beer garden’s Winterfest from November 30 to December 16. Shop while you sip at the weekend pop-up holiday market, which runs Friday through Sunday, or clink glasses with Santa himself at one of several festive events.

Bourbon Steak “On Ice”
2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Reserve one of the heated “igloos” on the patio of this Four Seasons Hotel restaurant, outfitted with twinkling lights and plush fur throws. Couples and groups can order from themed menus like Caviar & Champagne, or seasonal cocktails like the Nutcracker (a bourbon and Irish stout almond milk concoction). Luckily, the igloo isn’t actually ice—the walls won’t melt away if you order a fiery baked Alaska. Prices vary.

Get cozy in a luxury igloo at the Watergate. Photograph courtesy of the Watergate.
Get cozy in a luxury igloo at the Watergate. Photograph courtesy of the Watergate.

Calico
50 Blagden Alley NW
Slipping into this urban backyard in Shaw feels like hanging at a friend’s house. The homebody vibes continue when you slide into a Snuggie, freeing up your hands for a warm mug of soup or hot cocktail.

Garden District
1801 14th St., NW
Kitschy candy cane lights and vintage holiday decor up the nostalgia factor at the Christmas-themed beer garden, which runs through December 23rd. Take inspiration from the minty lights and order the peppermint schnapps hot chocolate.

The Watergate
2650 Virginia Ave., NW
More faux luxury igloos! A reservation in these heated domes includes options like a three-course dessert tasting menu, whiskey flights, or comforting grilled cheese (prices vary). Looking for more active fun? Head to the hotel’s scenic rooftop, outfitted with a synthetic ice rink and a skate-up bar.

Hazel keeps things warm with fire tables, blankets, and plenty of drinks. Photograph courtesy of Hazel

Hazel
808 V St., NW
Nestle into a blanket on the Shaw patio before diving into comforting dishes like gnocchi with pork-kimchi ragout. Fire tables and heat lamps make for a warm-ish al fresco meal.

Iron Gate
1734 I St., NW
Twinkle lights bring a holiday glow to the wisteria-lined patio at Dupont’s romantic restaurant. If the weather allows, sip a warming glass of wine by the outdoor fire tables. The main dining room boasts a fireplace for when the temperatures really drop.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St., NW
The main terrace bar of this whiskey destination features a retractable glass roof and a whole team of heaters. Hot cocktails are $10 but during weekday happy hour the winter drinks go for $8 from 5 PM to 7:30 PM.

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap
401 E. Braddock Rd., Alexandria
Warm up with Neapolitan-style pizzas eaten by the outdoor fires. Plaid blankets add an extra touch of toasty for a cozy night, even with a cold beer.

The Pub & The People
1648 N. Capitol St., NW
Cradle mugs filled with hot, bourbon-spiked cider or Irish coffee at this Bloomingdale bar’s heated tent, open until mid-March. Even four-legged friends can get in the holiday spirit – the twinkling, semi-outdoor space welcomes dogs.

Washington’s highest-elevation ice rink sits on the top of the Watergate hotel. Photograph courtesy of the Watergate.

Don’t Miss a Great New Restaurant Again: Get Our Food Newsletter

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly: