Food

9 Breezy Rooftop Bars and Restaurants to Rise Above the Heat

Dive into a pool, sip cooling cocktails, and take in the views.

Hedy's rooftop and pool bar and restaurant. Photograph courtesy of Hotel Zena

Fan not doing the trick? With temperatures climbing this summer, we all need a place to cool off. Treat yourself to a dip in a luxurious pool, frozen cocktails, and beach-y eats. Did we mention the free views? You’ll never want to hang on sidewalk-level again. 

Coastal Mexican fare and cocktails are on tap at TTT in Clarendon. Photograph by Rey Lopez

TTT
 2900 Wilson Blvd Suite 103, Arlington
The colorful rooftop of this Mexican spot in Clarendon is a great place to sip margaritas and sangrias made with fresh fruit juices. Guests can graze on plates like Maryland crab dip with chorizo and chili-butter ciabatta or fish tacos.

New rooftop pool bar Deck 11 is open to the public. Photograph by Moe Thajib

Deck 11 Rooftop Pool and Lounge at Yotel
415 New Jersey Ave., NW
Relax during the day and party at night at this new rooftop spot overlooking the US Capitol. Guests—hotel and locals alike—can cool off in a pool ringed by private sun decks, cabanas, communal yard games, a DJ booth, and a VIP section. The lounge offers full food and beverage service including beach-y cocktails (cue the piña coladas) and crab cakes. Deck 11 is open daily and is free for hotel guests, while day passes are $40 per person.

El Techo’s tropical rooftop. Photograph courtesy of El Techo

El Techo
606 Florida Ave., NW
Enter this “adult treehouse” and escape to a tropical oasis. The ornately decorated roof deck in Shaw serves tropical cocktails and frozen libations like La Chica Tropical (vodka, lime, hibiscus, passion fruit, and basil) alongside Latin-inspired tapas and entrees. A DJ often spins on weekend nights.

Hedy’s rooftop pool bar and restaurant at Hotel Zena. Photograph courtesy of Hotel Zena

Hedy’s Rooftop at Hotel Zena
1155 14th St.
Watch the day shift to night by the heated pool at Hotel Zena’s upscale rooftop lounge, named after actress Hedy Lamarr. Take in the DC skyline while drinking refreshing cocktails like Golden Ages, a mix of gin, aloe liqueur and juice, lemon, and mint. Coastal eats include fried grouper sandwiches. Private cabanas are available, and DJs perform on certain nights. Note the pool is only available during the daytime for hotel guests. 

An elegant rooftop bar opens at the new Banneker hotel soon. Rendering courtesy of The Banneker.

Lady Bird at The Banneker
1315 16th St., NW
This new Dupont Circle rooftop bar plans to open at the end of July. Named after the former first lady, its perch on top of The Banneker Hotel yields an unobstructed view of the White House. The design of the space is inspired by the wood thrush, the District’s official bird, and the mural behind the bar is designed by local artist Meg Biram.

The lush rooftop at Officina at the Wharf. Photograph courtesy of Officina

Officina’s Terrazza
1120 Maine Ave., SW
Catch stunning views of the Potomac River and colorful sunsets from chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian emporium at the Wharf. Snack on antipasti—or enjoy a full meal—with an Aperol spritz amidst the lush  flowers and greenery, mosaic tiles, and warm wood.

Catch grew views from the rooftop of La Vie. Photograph courtesy of La Vie

Painters Row at La Vie
88 District Square, SW, 4.6th floor
The glitzy Wharf restaurant’s new rooftop setup, Painters Row, is both a dining and visual experience. Book a private cabana (up to 6 guests) or smaller “cabine” (2 to 4 guests), which are surrounded by art inspired by European artists like Van Gough, Degas, Monet and Seurat. The spaces are available for brunch and dinner. Note there’s a food and beverage minimum per guest ($75 to $79) and a $100 booking deposit that’s applied to the overall minimum. Make reservations here.

The new rooftop at Parc de Ville. Photograph by Mykl Wu

Parc de Ville’s Rooftop Lounge
8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA
The recent addition of a rooftop lounge and wine garden at the Mosaic District’s brasserie—a sibling of Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown—gives the space a fresh silhouette. Open to the public Thursday, July 15th, the menu features cocktails like the Apéritif Rosé and savory snacks from chef Brendan L’Etoile like chicken live pâté.

Takoda restaurant and beer garden in Shaw. Photography by Jeff Elkins

Takoda
715 Florida Ave., NW
Head to this retro rooftop beer garden and bar in Shaw, which keeps things cool with an indoor/outdoor layout and frozen cocktails. You can visit the top-floor space on weekends for bottomless brunch ($49 a person) or cap off a workday with happy hour—frozens are among the specials for $9 alongside discounts on beer, wine, and snacks like wings (Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 6 PM).

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Editorial Fellow

Anne Tate, originally from Annapolis, MD, joined Washingtonian in July 2021. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied journalism and psychology.