Food

It’s Insanely Gorgeous—Where to Eat and Drink Outside Right Now

Our favorite waterfront spots, rooftops, pup-friendly patios, and more.

Officina at the Wharf. Photograph by Scott Suchman

It’s 70-ish, sunny, and freakishly gorgeous weather in DC. And you know it won’t last long. Here’s where to make the most of the outdoors while you sip a delicious drink and/or dig into something tasty this week.

Try one of these picturesque places by the water

Barca, a new Spanish-inspired bar in Old Town. Photograph courtesy of Barca Pier & Wine Bar

We mapped all the waterfront bars and restaurants (that we know of) within a two-and-a-half drive of DC—whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a great riverfront cocktail that’s accessible via Metro.

In the mood for happy hour with a view, a fancy date night dinner, or a new hotspot? Try one of our 25 favorite waterfront spots.

If the weather is still looking balmy for the weekend, it’s a perfect time to fit in a pretty brunch by the water.

Get cracking on some crabs

Photograph by Jay Fleming.
Photograph by Jay Fleming.

April 1 marked the start of Chesapeake crab season. And while crabs may not be as plentiful as they are during the peak summer and fall months, there are still feasts to be found. Here are our favorite Chesapeake crab houses, plus some classic DC-area crab houses within city limits if you don’t want to drive.

Take your best pal to a pup-friendly patio

Dogs and humans both love drinking outdoors at Dacha. Photograph by Scott Suchman

These restaurants, bars, and beer gardens go above and beyond when welcoming pets. Forget bowls of water—we’re talking puppucinos, booze-free dog beers (yes, that’s a thing), and even built-in play areas where they can run off-leash.

Get high (on life) at a rooftop bar

Imperial. Photograph courtesy of Julep PR

In the mood for a lofty view? Try one of these eye-catching rooftop bars and restaurants.

Spend time at a beer garden

Pen Druid brewery’s new location overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photograph by Brian Oh.

There are a bunch of new (and soon-to-open) beer destinations around DC, many with great outdoor space.

Or a winery near DC

Photograph courtesy of RdV Vineyards

Here are six great wineries within an hour’s drive of DC where you can sip in the sun.

*This post has been updated from an earlier version. 

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.