About Winter Fun
This article is a part of Washingtonian’s feature: Winter Fun Indoors & Out. Our editors and staff pulled together the best things to do this winter, including snowball fights, cozy places to get a drink, ice skating, and more.
Nothing beats relaxing by a fire in winter—except maybe that hot cocktail you’ll be sipping. Here are our favorite indoor hearths (all wood-burning) and winter patio destinations.
Cozy up indoors
Bar à Vin
1035 31st St., NW
This wood-paneled, romantic Georgetown wine bar is one of our favorite places to curl up with a glass of vin rouge by a fire. Sister restaurant Chez Billy Sud next door provides excellent cheese and charcuterie.
9030 Lucia Ln., Alexandria
Thanks to a reader for tipping us off to this gem. Cedar Knoll’s huge wood-burning hearth is the kind you can curl up next to in a tufted leather chair. Sweater weather calls for “Grandpa’s Cardigan,” a Scotch and bourbon cocktail with maple syrup. There’s some fun trivia, too—the land the French/American restaurant sits on overlooking the Potomac River once belonged to George Washington.
1734 N St., NW
One of DC’s most romantic restaurants gets its charm from a fireplace in the dining room, plus fire pits warming the lovely courtyard patio. The Dupont Circle kitchen also benefits from wood fuel in its smoke-kissed dishes.
The Living Room at Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
3100 South St., NW
The 130-foot-tall hearth in this warm-toned lobby lounge makes this the biggest blaze we know of in DC. Order up a martini and you’ll feel like you’re fireside in Aspen.
Murphys Grand Irish Pub
713 King St., Alexandria
Warm up with a Guinness at this Old Town pub, which boasts fireplaces on both floors.
600 T St., NW
With only 25 seats in this cabin-like Shaw cocktail bar, almost everyone is close to the fireplace.
1739 N St., NW
The historic Dupont Circle hotel is one of DC’s classic destinations for fireside drinks. A cold day may call for a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but there’s also a good selection of low- and no-alcohol drinks.
Bundle up on a winter patio (or rooftop)
2 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria
Sip stone-fruit sangria and snack on croquetas at this indoor/outdoor Spanish spot right on the Potomac River. On the well-heated dock, some tables are inlaid with fire pits. Bonus: it’s dog-friendly.
1622 14th St., NW
Watch the 14th Street foot traffic from the Spanish restaurant’s front patio while warming your hands by the large fireplace. Blankets and heat lamps help keep things toasty. Get there early on warmer days—space fills up fast.
1355 H St., NE
One of the few year-round patios is a great place to perch with a group under heat lamps and down large liters of German beer. Snag a spot by the outdoor fireplace or fire pits and get ready to toast s’mores along with your bratwursts.
Lone Oak Farm Brewing Co.
5000 Olney Laytonsville Rd., Olney
This farm and brewery in Olney is a great destination for a group. In addition to glamping tents, heat-seekers can book pits with seating for up to six around the wood-burning blaze (note: there’s a fee of $75 per reservation). Expect seasonal brews and beer-friendly fare like pretzels and pizza.
Lulu’s Wine Garden
1940 11th St., NW
The indoor/outdoor setup at this U Street Corridor wine garden has always been warm thanks to the desert-inspired Southwest touches. Wood-burning chimineas keep things toasty on the front and back patios. There’s also a “warm up” menu—order via contact free QR code service—with hot thermos cocktails, cheesy chicken tortilla soup, and blankets available for purchase.
1309 Fifth St., NE
Union Market’s massive rooftop bar/restaurant got a fun winter makeover with 20 reservable fire pits and serious après ski vibes—think mulled wine, hot booze, shotskis (yes, that’s shots on a ski), and comforting eats like grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s also a huge tent with heaters, outfitted with retro-mountain decor.
Officina at the Wharf
1120 Maine Ave., SW
Not only does the atmospheric rooftop of chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian emporium offer some of the best views at the Wharf—it also keeps patrons toasty with fire-pit lounge tables. Guests can reserve the terrazza fire pits for three hours (with a $100 deposit), snack on meat and cheese boards, and sip an aperitivo.
1201 K St., NW
The atmospheric rooftop of downtown DC’s Eaton hotel is open for outdoor seating through winter. Guests can book fire pits and order “s’mores service”($28 for two to four servings, $48 for six to eight), which comes with roast-your-own marshmallows and all the fixings.
Zinnia Winter Garden
9201 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring
Silver Spring’s new restaurant and garden—which takes over the historic Mr. K’s Toll House space—is ready for winter. Patrons can make fire pit reservations, with seating for up to ten guests around your own personal blaze. In addition to warming eats like crab dip and braised short rib sliders, the kitchen offers roast-your-own s’mores packages.