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8 Recently Reopened Patios To Try Around D.C.

Fresh places to sip and snack while socially distancing

A new setup outside Ivy City distiller Don Ciccio & Figli pairs amaro cocktails with bites from Stellina Pizzeria.
Don Ciccio & Figli/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

As diners continue to crave more outdoor patio options during the COVID-19 crisis, restaurants are getting increasingly creative with new configurations under the sun or stars. Under D.C.’s Phase 2 COVID-19 reopening protocols, guests must wear masks at the table, except when they’re actively eating and drinking. Tables are limited to six people, and at least one food item must be ordered per table. Many restaurants and bars encourage or require reservations.

Here’s a list of the newest patios to try right now:

The Royal’s leafy new patio features outdoor fans and umbrellas with built-in USB charging ports.
The Royal/official photo

The Royal: The Bib Gourmand-designated corner cafe in LeDroit Park just grew its outdoor real estate exponentially, spilling out into the street with 28 new seats to augment its existing 4-person patio. The day-to-night destination, open daily at 10 a.m., serves summer bites like chorizo and fried egg-stuffed arepas and a grilled skirt steak with orange chile salsa from chef Cable Smith. Seasonal elixirs include spiked sodas and a frozen “The One With The Chiles” (mezcal, sweet coconut, espresso, ancho chiles, spices, and angostura). Walk-ins are available (or book with Resy). Takeout (GoTab) and delivery (Caviar) is also available. 501 Florida Avenue NW

Oyamel: José Andrés’s Mexican mainstay in Penn Quarter reopened this week after a months-long hiatus. The revival includes a newly expanded patio serving dinner only. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Takeout and indoor dining are also options. 401 Seventh Street NW

Oyamel just rebooted service across an expanded patio.
Oyamel/official photo

Don Ciccio & Figli: Ivy City’s respected amaro maker gets a whimsical outdoor setup along the distillery’s cerulean-hued facade. The airy hangout, dubbed Bellavista, debuts on Saturday, August 8. Negronis and other cocktails made with its Italian herbal liqueur will be served with Italian snacks from Stellina, the acclaimed Union Market district eatery that’s well stocked with Don Ciccio (the Italian owners are also all friends). Snag a seat via Resy, and walk-ins are available for tastings in the lounge. 1907 Fairview Avenue NE; 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays to start

Don Ciccio’s new to-go bottled cocktail lineup, called La Perla, includes includes 750-ml. bottles and four-packs.
Don Ciccio/official photo

Top of the Gate: The Watergate Hotel’s iconic perch overlooking the Potomac reopens on Saturday, August 8. For its late summer comeback, there’s a new menu filled out by cocktails, beer, wine, pizzas and small plates. No reservations are required, and parties will be spread out across the spacious lounge. Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 2650 Virginia Avenue NW

New cocktails at Top of the Gate.
Top of the Gate/official photo

Pesce: The 20-year-old seafood staple in Dupont Circle just planted a cheery patio out front, fashioned with turquoise chairs, flower beds, and slick orange railings. Chef Andrew LaPorta serves dover sole and grilled octopus for dinner, which runs Monday to Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Takeout and delivery is also available. 2002 P Street NW

CR Noma: Israeli-born Oded Weizmann, the chef behind Mt. Vernon Triangle’s beloved cured meats place Carving Room, just added a patio to his year-old NoMa outpost. Sit under an umbrella to dine on Middle Eastern meatballs, bright veggie dips, and oven-baked flatbreads. 140 M Street NE

Nero Wine Bar: Dupont Circle’s date night destination for wines and Indian-Italian fusion food recently made a comeback to the corridor with a newly added patio. The group’s newly revamped version of Sign of the Whale remains closed. 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW

Cuba Libre: The Cuban eatery in D.C. just transformed its 9th Street NW parking lane into an 80-seat outdoor oasis lined with umbrellas and leafy palms. Patrons can sit and stay to order a dizzying variety of mojitos, rum flights, empanadas, and paella. Open for dinner and weekend brunch from noon to 4 p.m. Attention to sanitary details are aplenty, like free disposable bags to house customers’ masks on the table. 801 9th Street NW

A member of Cuba Libre’s clean team.
Cuba Libre/official photo