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The outdoor patio at Officina
The outdoor patio at the Wharf’s Officina
Officina [official photo]

20 Highly Recommended Patios for Outdoor Dining Around D.C.

Try these favorites as the weather warms up

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The outdoor patio at the Wharf’s Officina
| Officina [official photo]

After a very long winter, Washingtonians are ready to enjoy a restaurant meal outside in the sunshine (sans space heaters). D.C. restaurants have always embraced outdoor dining, but COVID-19 made dining in the fresh air even more of a necessity, with parklets popping up all over town. Here are a few picturesque patios for al fresco dining — from scenic spots near the C&O Canal to downtown D.C. to along the Potomac River.

Restaurants on this map may temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, so check with a business before showing up. D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Port-au-Prince Haitian Cuisine

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7912 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-2006
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Dishes like pwason roz (red snapper) and beregèn with bef (beef and eggplant casserole) are on the menu at this Haitian restaurant in Silver Spring, which offers outdoor seating on a patio covered with brightly painted murals.

2. Old Anglers Inn

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10801 Macarthur Blvd
Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 365-2425
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The building that houses Old Angler’s Inn goes back to 1860, and the stone patio outfitted with umbrellas and a fountain is a tranquil spot for post-C&O Canal hike meals. Hearty fare includes options like crab cake sandwiches, seared Amish chicken, and steak frites.

3. Cielo Rojo Restaurant

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7056 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 755-0833
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The owners of Takoma Park’s Cielo Rojo built a patio parklet hemmed in by flower boxes, a serene setting for the taqueria’s heirloom corn tortillas and vegan flan.

4. Mintwood Place

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1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20009
(202) 234-6732
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Mintwood Place serves classic French bistro fare, with a dog-friendly, Parisian-inspired patio sidewalk to match.

5. The Green Zone

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2226 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Adams Morgan’s acclaimed Middle Eastern cocktail bar has its own charming, postage stamp-sized patio overlooking the bustle of 18th Street NW. Try mezze-spiced fries and Saz’iraq cocktails.

6. Big Bear Cafe

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1700 1st St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 643-9222
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Big Bear Cafe’s vine-strewn patio has always been a favorite, but now the coffee shop and casual restaurant is offering wood-oven bagels and pizza in addition to farro bowls and breakfast burritos. Order outside via “touchless” registers with contact-free payment methods. 

7. Zeppelin

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1544 9th St NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001
(202) 506-1068
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Beer towers, donburi bowls, and sushi are on order at Zeppelin’s mural-covered patio in Shaw, and sister ramen restaurant Chaplin’s down the street has its own popular patio.

8. La Cosecha

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1280 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Explore Latin American market La Cosecha, which sells everything from pupusas to dulce de leche soft-serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, then head outside to eat.

9. Iron Gate Restaurant

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1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 524-5202
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The patio at Iron Gate Restaurant feels like a secret garden: according to the Greek-Italian restaurant’s website, the wisteria overhead dates back to the 1800s. Try dishes here like lamb neck osso bucco, focaccia, and caramelized ricotta gnocchi.

10. Bourbon Steak

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2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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Michael Mina’s tony hotel steakhouse in Georgetown helmed by Hazel alum Robert Curtis is a favorite for duck fat fries and lobster pot pie, as well as a stunning courtyard framed by ivy and sculpted gardens. An outdoor extension dubbed “The Ranch” peers into a gallery filled with pop art.

Bourbon Steak/official photo

11. Karma Modern Indian

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611 I St NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001
(202) 898-0393
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Near Penn Quarter, Karma Modern Indian outfitted its inviting 35-seat patio with twinkle lights and a soundsystem, featuring dishes like saffron paneer and lamb rogan josh on the menu.

12. Kitsuen

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1362 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 914-2465
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H Street’s Kitsuen, a ramen, hookah, and cocktail bar backed by rapper Pusha T, built its own modern patio with fire pit and dangling ferns. 

13. Maketto

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1351 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 838-9972
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Maketto’s minimalist courtyard feels like a true extension of its dining room (and retail and coffee shop). The three-in-one project from Erik Bruner-Yang connects the interior and exterior spaces via a catwalk, with dishes like crystal shrimp dumplings and Cambodian noodle salad on the menu. 

14. Centrolina

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974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 898-2426
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CityCenterDC’s high-end, glassy Palmer’s Alley in downtown D.C. is a much-Instagrammed spot (check out the cherry blossom pink art installation), and Centrolina chef/owner Amy Brandwein offers outdoor dining right in the middle of the action. The Italian restaurant is known for its pastas and entrees from a wood-fired oven.

15. Central Michel Richard

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1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20004
(202) 626-0015
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Dine outdoors on one of the world’s most famous streets at Central Michel Richard, the long-running French-meets-American restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue right near the National Mall and the Capitol. Standout dishes include cheese puffs, fried chicken, and lobster burgers.

16. Quarterdeck

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1200 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 528-2722
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This blue crab destination is tucked away in Arlington’s Fort Meyer neighborhood, with a low-key outdoor patio perfect for messy crab feasts.

17. Officina

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1120 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 747-5222
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No detail was spared at chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s tri-level culinary playground Officina at The Wharf, and the outdoor dining spaces are stunning, with sleek furniture, firepits, and greenery.

18. La Famosa

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1300 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 921-9882
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Navy Yard’s colorful new Puerto Rican restaurant La Famosa serves whole crispy snapper and sandwiches stuffed with roasted pork, ham, and sliced ribeye on its breezy patio.

19. The Salt Line

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79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 506-2368
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Fake a beach vacation at The Salt Line’s patio, which serves up buttered lobster rolls with a waterfront view. 

20. Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge

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101 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 935-8890
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Stroll down historic King Street in Old Town to the water and snag a seat overlooking the Potomac River at Vola’s patio, where diners can order platters of oysters and crab hush puppies. (Check out its very new waterfront sister establishments Ada’s On The River and Barca Pier & Wine Bar, constructed out of freight containers.)

1. Port-au-Prince Haitian Cuisine

7912 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Dishes like pwason roz (red snapper) and beregèn with bef (beef and eggplant casserole) are on the menu at this Haitian restaurant in Silver Spring, which offers outdoor seating on a patio covered with brightly painted murals.

7912 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Old Anglers Inn

10801 Macarthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854

The building that houses Old Angler’s Inn goes back to 1860, and the stone patio outfitted with umbrellas and a fountain is a tranquil spot for post-C&O Canal hike meals. Hearty fare includes options like crab cake sandwiches, seared Amish chicken, and steak frites.

10801 Macarthur Blvd
Potomac, MD 20854

3. Cielo Rojo Restaurant

7056 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

The owners of Takoma Park’s Cielo Rojo built a patio parklet hemmed in by flower boxes, a serene setting for the taqueria’s heirloom corn tortillas and vegan flan.

7056 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

4. Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20009

Mintwood Place serves classic French bistro fare, with a dog-friendly, Parisian-inspired patio sidewalk to match.

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20009

5. The Green Zone

2226 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Adams Morgan’s acclaimed Middle Eastern cocktail bar has its own charming, postage stamp-sized patio overlooking the bustle of 18th Street NW. Try mezze-spiced fries and Saz’iraq cocktails.

2226 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Big Bear Cafe

1700 1st St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Big Bear Cafe’s vine-strewn patio has always been a favorite, but now the coffee shop and casual restaurant is offering wood-oven bagels and pizza in addition to farro bowls and breakfast burritos. Order outside via “touchless” registers with contact-free payment methods. 

1700 1st St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Zeppelin

1544 9th St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20001

Beer towers, donburi bowls, and sushi are on order at Zeppelin’s mural-covered patio in Shaw, and sister ramen restaurant Chaplin’s down the street has its own popular patio.

1544 9th St NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001

8. La Cosecha

1280 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Explore Latin American market La Cosecha, which sells everything from pupusas to dulce de leche soft-serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, then head outside to eat.

1280 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. Iron Gate Restaurant

1734 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

The patio at Iron Gate Restaurant feels like a secret garden: according to the Greek-Italian restaurant’s website, the wisteria overhead dates back to the 1800s. Try dishes here like lamb neck osso bucco, focaccia, and caramelized ricotta gnocchi.

1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036

10. Bourbon Steak

2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Bourbon Steak/official photo

Michael Mina’s tony hotel steakhouse in Georgetown helmed by Hazel alum Robert Curtis is a favorite for duck fat fries and lobster pot pie, as well as a stunning courtyard framed by ivy and sculpted gardens. An outdoor extension dubbed “The Ranch” peers into a gallery filled with pop art.

2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007

11. Karma Modern Indian

611 I St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20001

Near Penn Quarter, Karma Modern Indian outfitted its inviting 35-seat patio with twinkle lights and a soundsystem, featuring dishes like saffron paneer and lamb rogan josh on the menu.

611 I St NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001

12. Kitsuen

1362 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

H Street’s Kitsuen, a ramen, hookah, and cocktail bar backed by rapper Pusha T, built its own modern patio with fire pit and dangling ferns. 

1362 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

13. Maketto

1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Maketto’s minimalist courtyard feels like a true extension of its dining room (and retail and coffee shop). The three-in-one project from Erik Bruner-Yang connects the interior and exterior spaces via a catwalk, with dishes like crystal shrimp dumplings and Cambodian noodle salad on the menu. 

1351 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

14. Centrolina

974 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

CityCenterDC’s high-end, glassy Palmer’s Alley in downtown D.C. is a much-Instagrammed spot (check out the cherry blossom pink art installation), and Centrolina chef/owner Amy Brandwein offers outdoor dining right in the middle of the action. The Italian restaurant is known for its pastas and entrees from a wood-fired oven.

974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

15. Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20004

Dine outdoors on one of the world’s most famous streets at Central Michel Richard, the long-running French-meets-American restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue right near the National Mall and the Capitol. Standout dishes include cheese puffs, fried chicken, and lobster burgers.

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20004

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16. Quarterdeck

1200 Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209

This blue crab destination is tucked away in Arlington’s Fort Meyer neighborhood, with a low-key outdoor patio perfect for messy crab feasts.

1200 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA 22209

17. Officina

1120 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

No detail was spared at chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s tri-level culinary playground Officina at The Wharf, and the outdoor dining spaces are stunning, with sleek furniture, firepits, and greenery.

1120 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

18. La Famosa

1300 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Navy Yard’s colorful new Puerto Rican restaurant La Famosa serves whole crispy snapper and sandwiches stuffed with roasted pork, ham, and sliced ribeye on its breezy patio.

1300 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

19. The Salt Line

79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Fake a beach vacation at The Salt Line’s patio, which serves up buttered lobster rolls with a waterfront view. 

79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

20. Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge

101 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Stroll down historic King Street in Old Town to the water and snag a seat overlooking the Potomac River at Vola’s patio, where diners can order platters of oysters and crab hush puppies. (Check out its very new waterfront sister establishments Ada’s On The River and Barca Pier & Wine Bar, constructed out of freight containers.)

101 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314

Related Maps