Food

Grab Outdoor Happy Hour at These Great DC Bars and Beer Gardens

Where to find specials in the sunshine.

Colada Shop. Photograph by Rey Lopez.
Washingtonian Recommends

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

Archipelago
1201 U St., NW
One of our favorite tiki bars feels tropical on the inside and extra beach-y on the small outdoor patio. Go for $8 piña coladas during happy hour plus snacks like $4 sliders and $5 spicy potatoes (Tuesdays through Friday from 5 to 7PM).

Bar Charley
1825 18th St., NW
For those looking for a good daily happy hour, Bar Charley has you covered—and the back tented patio often feels like a hidden gem. Deals are served from when the doors open until 6:30 PM and all night Mondays. Look for a whole bunch of $6.50 cocktails, from tikis to Manhattans, as well as eats ranging from $13 house burger to $7 Korean wings.

Biergarten Haus
1355 H St., NE
H Street’s German spot is open year-round for all of your beer, sausage, and schnitzel cravings. Don’t miss out on their happy hour to save a couple of bucks (Monday to Thursday, 4 to 7 PM) with specials like $10 German liters and $6 wines. Bavarian appetizers are half-off.

The Brig
1007 8th St., SE
Beer aficionados can head to this Navy Yard beer garden for 23 different brews on tap and 28 additional cans and bottles. Select pints go for $6 or grab a $5 white Sangria during happy hour (Monday through Friday, from 3 to 7 PM). Grab one of the picnic-style tables for bar fare like Chicago dogs and grilled cheese.

Best bars with outdoor happy hour DC
Indoor/outdoor Calico in Shaw’s Blagden Alley. Photograph by Evy Mages

The Brixton
901 U St., NW
U Street’s massive pub boasts a large rooftop to soak up the sun. For the day drinkers, catch the weekend happy hour from 1 to 5 PM with $2 off all draft beers and wines by the glass. Choose from five different kinds of loaded hot dogs for $7.

Cafe St. Ex
1847 14th St NW
This long-running bar on 14th Street is a laid back spot for happy hour with a wraparound patio and big open doors letting the outside in. Deals (Monday through Friday, 5 to 7:30 PM) include $5 wines like vinho verde, $5 select cocktails, $2 beers, and a whole bunch of snacks.

Calico
50 Blagden Alley, NW
Shaw’s backyard bar offers $2 off select wines and drafts like Coney Island Pils, and $3 slices of Jersey-style tomato pies. Grab a picnic-style table with friends or hang out in the greenhouse to take advantage of the deals from 4:30 to 7 PM.

Colada Shop
1405 T St., NW
This Cuban cafe’s lovely 55-seat rooftop garden off 14th Street serves all-night happy hour every Thursday with $6 cocktails and $2 empanadas from 4 PM to close (also available at the Sterling location). Specials run Friday and through the weekend including $10 “pouched” cocktails, $35 pitchers of sparkling pineapple sangria or mojitos, and snacks like pastilitos and croquetas from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Best bars with outdoor happy hour DC
The rooftop at Cortez. Photograph by Evy Mages

Cortez
1905 9th St., NW
If free* Pacifico beer is calling your name head to the sunny rooftop bar of this Mexican spot in Shaw where you’ll get a gratis Pacifico with any taco order (*proof nothing in life is free). The deal is offered all day Sunday as well as Wednesday through Friday, 5 to 7 PM, alongside $5 brews and $8 frozen drinks. Be on the lookout for late-night happy hour deals as well.

DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
One of the most generous happy hours in DC can be found at this chill Petworth bar, which offers buy-one-get-one-free drinks (yes, all drinks) from 5 PM to 9 PM, Monday through Saturday. A big patio is icing on the booze cake.

Garden District
1801 14th St., NW
The 14th Street Corridor’s barbecue beer garden serves up a great happy hour with six different draft beers by the liter for $10.  You’ll need to be quick though, because happy hour is just that: one hour from 5 to 6 PM. Make sure to grab a tasty burger and fried pickles too.

Gaslight Tavern
2012 Ninth St., NW
This lovely tavern near U Street boasts a rear garden that feels far removed from the city sidewalks (and wood-burning fireplaces in winter). Happy hour deals include $6 rose and $7 calvados—classy!—offered from 5 to 7 PM, Monday through Friday.

Best bars with outdoor happy hour DC
Head to Gaslight’s pretty garden patio. Photograph courtesy of Gaslight Tavern

Jack Rose
2007 18th St., NW
While the whiskey library holds 2,000-odd bottles those looking for something lighter can head to the semi-enclosed terrace (and tiki bar come spring/summer). Deals include half-off appetizers like crispy chicken skins or sliders, plus $2 off beers draft beers (Monday to Friday, 5 to 7 PM).

Little Coco’s
3907 14th St., NW
Petworth is home to a new all-you-can-eat-and-drink happy hour spot thanks to this Italian joint. Go all-in on wines, cocktails, beers, and appetizers for $23 (Monday through Thursday, 5 to 7 PM). Note that service can be slow—the deal is offered throughout the entire restaurant and patio—so you might want to order generously when you grab someone’s attention.

Pearl Dive
1612 14th St., NW
Get to the sidewalk patio early to claim your perch (or more likely standing room) at this popular 14th Street oyster bar. Happy hour (Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 PM) includes $7 vodka martinis—dirty to dry—plus $6 wines, $5 beers, and half-priced oysters.

Best bars with outdoor happy hour DC
Wild Days, the rooftop bar at downtown DC’s Eaton Hotel. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Vinoteca
1940 11th St., NW
Vinoteca’s happy hour could easily double as a dinner—and there’s plenty of space between the front patio and rear garden patio (the latter has bocce). Load up on discounted plates with items like chili-miso wings and fries with truffle aioli, 15 different wines for $5 glass, and $6 sangria.

Wunder Garten
1101 First St., NE
The huge lot in Noma is scattered with picnic tables and large umbrellas for shade. Catch their happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6PM with specials like $5 drafts (yep, even the premium ones).

Wild Days
1201 K St., NW
The Eaton hotel boasts a K Street address, but the botanical-chic rooftop feels more Miami (especially on DJ nights). The window-walled interior is filled with lounge furniture and plants, bringing the outdoors in, while an al fresco terrace boasts fire pits with “s’mores service.” Happy hour isn’t anything crazy with $4 beers and $7 wines on weeknights from 4 to 7 PM, but the ambiance makes up for it. 

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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.