Summer is here and there’s no better time to check out some of our team’s favorite outdoor bars in DC. Whether you’re looking for a German-style beer garden, tropical retreat, or just some people watching, we have a great spot for you!
The Best Outdoor Bars in DC
Dubbed an “Adult Treehouse” by Washingtonian Magazine, El Techo’s 1100 square foot rooftop deck is a must, especially when you feel like you need a tropical vacation. You’ll enjoy El Techo’s Latin fare (tacos, burritos, bowls, ceviche, and fantastic seasonal cocktails such as the frozen La Chica Tropical, made with vodka, lime, hibiscus, passionfruit, and basil. El Techo also offers a fabulous weekend brunch (12 noon to 4 p.m.) with the option of a $45 bottomless brunch on Sundays.
Allison recommends this beachy rooftop bar in Shaw which offers a weekday happy hour and great appetizers like Lobster Mac & Cheese Balls! 801 is best known for its enormous (and shareable) Moscow Mules. The rooftop bar is enclosed and heated during the winter months.
Summit – The Rooftop at the Conrad Hotel
The Summit is best known for its “eco- and socially-conscious approach to food and beverage” — not to mention spectacular views of downtown DC. Sam pointed out that its current wine list is 100% made by women winemakers! Enjoy one of Summit’s tasty nibbles as well like Surryano ham-wrapped Jalapenos and Chesapeake Hard Clams with chipotle bourbon butter. Summit is open Thursdays from 5 – 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 4- 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2 – 8 p.m.
The Salt Line
Sam is a big fan of this bar in the Navy Yard. Happy Hour Afternoon specials are available between 12-4 p.m. on Fridays. Try the refreshing Caper Codder Gin & Tonic, made with Plymouth gin, house cranberry tonic, lime, or one of the 16 draft beers including beachy favorites like Cisco and Narragansett, The Salt Line is open Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight and Fridays – Sunday, noon to midnight. Sam’s advice – stay away during Nats games!
This causal beer garden serves up German brew and fare like bratwurst and pretzels. The Brig also offers yard games, picnic tables, live music on Saturdays and is pet friendly! It’s open from 3 p.m to midnight on weekdays and 11 a.m. to midnight on the weekends.
You may find Madison at this industrial-meets-tiki bar which serves plenty of rum drinks and Hawaiian fare owned by Todd Thrasher. Tiki TNT Happy Hour is every Monday-Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. and includes specials like $5 house daiquiris, $7 frozen rum and cokes, and $5 happy hour bites like spring rolls and “Tiki Wings.” Be sure to try one of the creative tiki bar cocktails such as the “Wet Money, made with Tequila Blanco, vodka, Blue Curaçao, passionfruit, and salt water. Tiki TNT also offers a weekend brunch from noon to 3 p.m. (plus some holidays).
As an added bonus, you can tour Todd Thrasher’s Rum Distillery next door every Tuesday-Saturday between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This 10th-floor rooftop cocktail lounge atop the Canopy Washington DC offers incredible views of the marina and DC monuments (there’s an indoor lounge as well). Whiskey Charlie offers exceptional cocktails, wines, local craft, and draft beers. Its creative cocktails and shareable small plates (think pimento dip and tuna poke) can’t be missed.
This Adams Morgan favorite has eight outdoor tables with fantastic neighborhood views and people watching. Rooftop Union also has some outdoor seating on the street level. Roofers Union is perhaps best known for its creative, shareable cocktail punches like Fever Pitch ($40 for 4-6 people) and its 22 draft lines that change seasonally.
The Bottom Line
There are so many fabulous outdoor bars in DC to check out this summer. If you find one you love, let us know so we can check it out too!