15 Pretty Patios and Rooftops for DC Summer Restaurant Week

The best of al fresco dining with deals.

The rooftop at Gypsy Kitchen on 14th Street. Photograph by Scott Suchman

There are tons of restaurants offering outdoor dining for RAMW Summer Restaurant Week (August 15-21) and Alexandria Summer Restaurant Week (August 19-28). But! Some patios are prettier than others—not to mention breezy rooftops and waterfront perches in Old Town, Navy Yard, and beyond. Here are some of our favorite places to dine al fresco with deals on lunch, brunch, and/or dinner.

All Purpose Capitol Riverfront
79 Potomac Ave., SE
The Navy Yard pizzeria’s riverfront patio and roof terrace channel an Italian escape with red-and-white awnings and umbrellas. An added Restaurant Week bonus: 15 percent-off select bottles of wine. Our food critic recommends the honey-drizzled deck-oven pepperoni pie, garlic knots, and rainbow cake. Dinner only ($40)

Ada’s on the River
3 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria
True to name, riverfront views—indoors and out—are a draw at this Old Town destination, which is participating in Alexandria Restaurant Week. On tap: steaks, seafood, and brasserie fare. If you’re going for drinks before or after, sister tapas/wine bar Barca, which is right on the pier, has even better views.  Dinner only ($45)

Photograph of All-Purpose Capitol Riverfront by Maggie Dougherty.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
It feels very DC to post up on the brasserie’s Pennsylvania Avenue patio with views of the Capitol—even more so when a Michel Richard classic hits the table, such as the goat cheese Caesar or fried chicken with chicken-dijon jus. Dinner only ($40)

1100 15th St., NW
The atmospheric New Orleans-inspired dining room is matched with an equally pretty patio adjoining its outdoor bar (there’s also another outdoor area that’s not as fetching). Brunch seems like a steal at $25 with crispy fish and grits and beignets; dinner has fun options, too, such as dressed oysters and roast suckling pig. Brunch ($25) and dinner ($55)

Dovetail’s courtyard patio. Photograph courtesy of Dovetail

1430 Rhode Island Ave., NW
This chic, indoor/outdoor Logan Circle spot—one of several new restaurants participating in RW—has a covered dining terrace and a patio lit with fire pits. Chef James Gee’s menu channels summer with lots of tomatoes, burrata, stone fruit, and more. Dinner only ($40 and $55 menus available) with optional cocktail/wine pairing.

Evening Star Cafe
2000 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
The charming backyard of this longtime Del Ray restaurant is set with Adirondack chairs, string lights, and shaded picnic tables. It’s participating in both the RAMW and Alexandria restaurant weeks, and features summery menu options like panzanella, grilled swordfish, and pasta alla norma with confit eggplant. Dinner only ($40-$45).

Backyard vibes at Evening Star Cafe. Photograph courtesy of Evening Star Cafe

Gypsy Kitchen
1825 14th St., NW
Head up to the rooftop of this globetrotting restaurant on 14th Street—it’s lit with lanterns and strewn with pillows for a transportive vibe. Patrons can pick five tapas-style plates from the menu—think tuna tartare, beef kefta kebabs, and jumbo shrimp with tomatoes and ouzo. Dinner only ($40)

220 S. Union St, Alexandria 
The pretty waterfront patio is the best place to explore chef Cathal Armstrong’s seafood-centric menus. Diners may find Chesapeake blue crab, Dublin Bay prawns, and warm-weather-friendly plates like ratatouille or citrus-marinated chicken. Dinner only ($45)

Find a respite from the workday on Iron Gate's patio, open for lunch. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Iron Gate’s lovely courtyard patio. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Iron Gate
1734 N St., NW
The wisteria-canopied garden of this Mediterranean spot in Dupont Circle is one of the best places to dine outdoors in DC. Chef Anthony Chittum’s wood-fired Greek menu is also a big draw. Restaurant Week starts with a bounty of mezze like smoked deviled eggs, sweet corn arancini, salads, and homemade focaccia before moving onto such options as oak-grilled lamb kebabs or swordfish. Dinner only ($55)

Moon Rabbit
801 Wharf St., SW
Not only is Kevin Tien’s French-Vietnamese dining room at the Wharf one of the most enticing Restaurant Week picks—the waterfront patio is great too. On the menu: shrimp toast on brioche, a riff on shaky beef, and brown-butter cake with miso buttercream. Dinner only ($55)

Osteria Morini
301 Water St., SE
Tucked away from the Navy Yard bustle, this waterfront Italian restaurant boasts a roomy wraparound patio shaded by umbrellas. Wood-fired dishes and homemade pastas—such as grilled bread with whipped ricotta and charred peaches, or casarecce with sugo all’amatriciana and pork belly—are the way to go here. Dinner only ($40).

Rooftop sushi and Japanese fare in Adams Morgan. Photograph courtesy of Perry’s

1811 Columbia Rd., NW
One of the prettiest rooftop destinations in DC can be found atop this Japanese spot in Adams Morgan (just don’t have too much sake before braving the stairs!). The Restaurant Week menu mixes cooked and raw plates, such as Japanese fried chicken, shrimp-stuffed shishito peppers, and sushi or sashimi platters. Dinner only ($40).

The Point
2100 Second St., SW
It’s water, water everywhere at this seafood restaurant perched on the intersection of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers at Buzzard Point. A wraparound patio boasts its own bar and fire pits. We’d splurge on the $55 lobster dinner that comes with a steamed 1.5-pound Maine lobster, Caesar salad, and dessert. Dinner only ($40 and $55).

Best restaurants bars patios around Nationals Park DC Navy Yard.

The Salt Line Navy Yard
79 Potomac Ave., SE
Sandwiched between Nationals Park and the Anacostia River, the popular New England-inspired spot draws a regular crowd at its wraparound patio and outdoor bar. We’d go for gazpacho and a New England smashburger for lunch, and a fried seafood platter or lobster roll come dinner. Lunch ($25) and dinner ($55)

701 Ninth St., NW
Shade-giving trees and breezy white awnings help transport diners away from Penn Quarter at Jose Andres’s stalwart Mediterranean restaurant. Zaytinya’s been in the Restaurant Week game a long time, and there are plenty of options for lunch (a choice of three mezze and dessert) and dinner (a choice of four small plates and dessert)—plus discounted glasses of $9 wine, $7 beer, and $12 cocktails. Lunch ($25) and dinner ($55).

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.