Fake Summer Is Here—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 freakishly gorgeous and sunny in DC today. And you know it won’t last long. Here’s where to make the most of the outdoors while sipping a delicious drink and/or digging into something tasty.

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 hour drive of DC—whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a great riverfront cocktail that’s accessible via Metro. You may want to call ahead, though—it’s February, after all.

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.

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 newish rooftop bars and restaurants.

Enjoy a leisurely patio lunch

Eat under the wisteria on Iron Gate’s patio. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Skip the sad desk lunch and treat yourself to a midday meal al fresco at one of these 12 great restaurant patios.

Spend time at a beer garden

Aslin has new location on 14th Street. Photograph by Zachary Warmbrodt.

There are a bunch of new beer destinations around DC, many with great outdoor space.

Or a winery near DC

Photograph courtesy of RdV Vineyards

Skip out from work—or “work remotely”—and head to a winery. Here are 31 of the best in the region, though make sure to check hours as some only have tastings on weekends.

Grab a Scoop

Happy Ice Cream gets creative with cheffy ice cream flavors. Photograph courtesy Happy Gyro.

Indulge in some ice cream. Here are 10 of our favorite local flavors.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.