We’re not going to pretend that sitting on a pretty patio, sipping something frozen and delicious, makes up for lost time at the beach—but it does help. Here are some new and newly reopened spots to check out.
The Oasis at Hook Hall
3400 Georgia Ave., NW
In addition to leading a major hospitality-industry relief effort during the pandemic, this Park View venue has reinvented its backyard as a leafy oasis. Beach-y cabanas with fans are available to rent for up to six guests ($100 for 2.5 hours) and include a complimentary bottle of Champagne and contact-free table service. There are also picnic tables for two-or-four starting at $10. Chef Ryan Gordon’s coastal menu includes crab cakes, tacos, and plenty of frozen, boozy delights.
540 Penn St., NE
Chef Adam Greenberg just reopened his Hawaiian restaurant near Union Market for beach-themed dinners on the colorful patio. The $55 set menus will vary by night and change over the season. To start, there’s a New England-style clam bake complete with stuffies, chowder, and steamed lobster on Wednesdays and Fridays, and a luau cookout on Thursdays and Saturdays. Service is no-contact (you order and pay in advance), and you scan a QR code at the table for a la carte drinks like pina coladas and frose.
301 Water St., SE
Navy Yard’s new Caribbean restaurant from ex-Maydan chefs Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison just doubled their outdoor real estate on the waterfront. Sip a rum-filled painkiller or strawberry daiquiri with your conch fritters, jerk chicken, whole fish, and signature “bammy” (a crispy cassava flatbread). Patio tables can be reserved.
922 Blagden Alley., NW
Blagden Alley’s modern Chinese restaurant takes its Hong Kong night market theme outdoors starting Friday, July 10. Look for new summery items like local chili crab or a gingery mezcal-shishito cocktail alongside classics like cold dan dan noodles and bubble waffles. Reservations are required for no-contact service on the 48-seat patio.
3462 14th St., NW
Get ready to sip a lychee-mint-vodka cocktail with fiery laab salads and heaping plates of noodles at chef Seng Luangrath’s smash hit Laotian restaurant, which just reopened their patio. Plants and string lights give a tropical feel to the Columbia Heights space. Note that reservations are required with a $20 per person deposit.
Colada Shop at the Wharf
10 Pearl St., SW
The brand new location of DC’s all-day Cuban cafe boasts a roomy patio on the Wharf. A larger menu means more breakfast bites like eggs with chorizo and chickpeas, lunch/dinner fare such as ropa vieja, and a more expansive bar with tropical mixers (thankfully the mojitos remain the same).
1201 U St., NW
The popular tiki bar is back with limited seating on the outdoor patio (plus tikis to-go). Our ideal night involves a few mai tais—or a flaming pineapple—and a bunch of tasty Chinese snacks like chili wontons and crab rangoon dip.
Cotton & Reed
1330 5th St., NE
Astroturf and bright patio furniture set the tropical vibe outside this Union Market-adjacent rum distillery. Delicious rum slushies drive the feeling home. Spaces can be reserved in advance online.