clock menu more-arrow no yes
Barca Pier & Wine Bar breathes new life into the site of a former shipping pier on the Potomac.
Barca Pier & Wine Bar breathes new life into the site of a former shipping pier on the Potomac.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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

Try these favorites as the weather warms up

View as Map
Barca Pier & Wine Bar breathes new life into the site of a former shipping pier on the Potomac.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Streateries, patios, and other outdoor dining spaces have become ubiquitous around the D.C. area during the pandemic. The spring weather and blooming buds continue to entice eaters to dine alfresco among nature, despite the drop of D.C.’s indoor mask mandate for restaurants.

From views of the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria to prime people watching on 14th Street NW, here’s a list of more unique outdoor dining spaces in the area. For other reliable, year-round patios picks, check out this select list.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

1. Bethesda Crab House

Copy Link
4958 Bethesda Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-3382
Visit Website

This longtime community staple offers a real Maryland crab-picking experience, complete with Old Bay seasoning and brown paper-covered tables. Call in advance to make sure it is open and to reserve orders.

2. Barcelona Wine Bar

Copy Link
1622 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-5500
Visit Website

Barcelona Wine Bar has two locations with outdoor seating in D.C., but the space on 14th Street NW is a little more special. Situated in a stone courtyard area out front, industrial-style metal lights and dark wood give off a chic, urban vibe.

A stone-framed patio
Barcelona’s stone-lined patio.
Barcelona

3. Le Diplomate

Copy Link
1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
Visit Website

This is an essential outdoor eating experience for D.C. newcomers, complete with a bustling sidewalk vibe at brunch.

4. Apéro

Copy Link
2622 P St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 525-1682
Visit Website

Behind the bar and down the stairs, there is a small, intimate outdoor patio great for late-night dates in the quieter part of Georgetown. There are also picnic tables out front for more casual seating.

5. Residents Cafe & Bar

Copy Link
1306 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 733-7143
Visit Website

Blushing cherry blossom decor envelops the front patio space of this Mediterranean hotspot. To keep with the spring theme, the restaurant currently offers a sakura cocktail made with pickled sakura blossom petals.

cherry blossom-covered patio
Cherry blossom decor at Residents
Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

6. Iron Gate Restaurant

Copy Link
1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 524-5202
Visit Website

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. Lunch just rejoined the rotation this week.

7. Calico

Copy Link
50 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 791-0134
Visit Website

This Blagden Alley hideaway has maximized its limited space outdoors and transformed it into a space for cool cats. Order adult juice boxes or cocktails along with tater tots and pizza.

8. Zaytinya by José Andrés

Copy Link
701 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-0800
Visit Website

This José Andrés restaurant sits in a prime location near several Metro stops, making it accessible for any local to get to. The patio has a view of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and serves a solid Mediterranean menu. Andrés’s nearby Jaleo and Oyamel are also standbys when it comes to outdoor patios.

9. Dirty Habit

Copy Link
555 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 449-7095
Visit Website

The modern, sleek furniture of the outdoor bar juxtaposes the white brick walls of the hotel surrounding it. Currently fashioned with bursting pink blooms for the spring, this spot is great for after-work drinks and sweet bites, like the donut holes and churros.

10. Northside Social Coffee & Wine

Copy Link
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 465-0145
Visit Website

Buy wine and cheese and take it outside at this casual dining spot in Clarendon. Bask in the glow of nearby Silver Diner and other restaurants and bars around this corner at night.

11. Island Time Bar & Grill

Copy Link
Columbia Island Marina, George Washington Memorial Pkwy
Arlington, VA 22202
(202) 347-0174
Visit Website

Located at a boat marina with views of the Pentagon across the water, this bar is a place to take a break after parking the yacht or walking from the nearby Mount Vernon Trail. There are several tables underneath the large wooden pergola as well as picnic tables on the lawn.

An outdoor patio with stools
Columbia Island Marina’s nautical-themed bar.
Willa Plank/Eater

12. La Famosa

Copy Link
1300 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 921-9882
Visit Website

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

13. Evening Star Cafe

Copy Link
2000 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 549-5051
Visit Website

The eclectic patio decor and greenery of this charming Del Ray cafe gives the impression of being in an artist’s backyard. The menu boasts a long list of wines from its wine shop next door.

14. Fontaine Caffe & Creperie

Copy Link
119 S Royal St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-8151
Visit Website

Sitting on the sidewalk patio of this long-running Old Town cafe, diners can eat crepes in the middle of a quaint strip of row houses.

15. BARCA Pier & Wine Bar

Copy Link
2 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 638-1100
Visit Website

Barca serves tapas, wines, and cocktails along the Potomac River in Alexandria. The gray, white, and blue aesthetic of the dining area along the riverfront gives it a stylish, beachy vibe.

1. Bethesda Crab House

4958 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

This longtime community staple offers a real Maryland crab-picking experience, complete with Old Bay seasoning and brown paper-covered tables. Call in advance to make sure it is open and to reserve orders.

4958 Bethesda Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

2. Barcelona Wine Bar

1622 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
A stone-framed patio
Barcelona’s stone-lined patio.
Barcelona

Barcelona Wine Bar has two locations with outdoor seating in D.C., but the space on 14th Street NW is a little more special. Situated in a stone courtyard area out front, industrial-style metal lights and dark wood give off a chic, urban vibe.

1622 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This is an essential outdoor eating experience for D.C. newcomers, complete with a bustling sidewalk vibe at brunch.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Apéro

2622 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Behind the bar and down the stairs, there is a small, intimate outdoor patio great for late-night dates in the quieter part of Georgetown. There are also picnic tables out front for more casual seating.

2622 P St NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. Residents Cafe & Bar

1306 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
cherry blossom-covered patio
Cherry blossom decor at Residents
Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

Blushing cherry blossom decor envelops the front patio space of this Mediterranean hotspot. To keep with the spring theme, the restaurant currently offers a sakura cocktail made with pickled sakura blossom petals.

1306 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. 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. Lunch just rejoined the rotation this week.

1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Calico

50 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

This Blagden Alley hideaway has maximized its limited space outdoors and transformed it into a space for cool cats. Order adult juice boxes or cocktails along with tater tots and pizza.

50 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

8. Zaytinya by José Andrés

701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

This José Andrés restaurant sits in a prime location near several Metro stops, making it accessible for any local to get to. The patio has a view of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and serves a solid Mediterranean menu. Andrés’s nearby Jaleo and Oyamel are also standbys when it comes to outdoor patios.

701 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Dirty Habit

555 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

The modern, sleek furniture of the outdoor bar juxtaposes the white brick walls of the hotel surrounding it. Currently fashioned with bursting pink blooms for the spring, this spot is great for after-work drinks and sweet bites, like the donut holes and churros.

555 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

10. Northside Social Coffee & Wine

3211 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Buy wine and cheese and take it outside at this casual dining spot in Clarendon. Bask in the glow of nearby Silver Diner and other restaurants and bars around this corner at night.

3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

11. Island Time Bar & Grill

Columbia Island Marina, George Washington Memorial Pkwy, Arlington, VA 22202
An outdoor patio with stools
Columbia Island Marina’s nautical-themed bar.
Willa Plank/Eater

Located at a boat marina with views of the Pentagon across the water, this bar is a place to take a break after parking the yacht or walking from the nearby Mount Vernon Trail. There are several tables underneath the large wooden pergola as well as picnic tables on the lawn.

Columbia Island Marina, George Washington Memorial Pkwy
Arlington, VA 22202

12. La Famosa

1300 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Navy Yard’s colorful 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

13. Evening Star Cafe

2000 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

The eclectic patio decor and greenery of this charming Del Ray cafe gives the impression of being in an artist’s backyard. The menu boasts a long list of wines from its wine shop next door.

2000 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301

14. Fontaine Caffe & Creperie

119 S Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Sitting on the sidewalk patio of this long-running Old Town cafe, diners can eat crepes in the middle of a quaint strip of row houses.

119 S Royal St
Alexandria, VA 22314

15. BARCA Pier & Wine Bar

2 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria, VA 22314

Barca serves tapas, wines, and cocktails along the Potomac River in Alexandria. The gray, white, and blue aesthetic of the dining area along the riverfront gives it a stylish, beachy vibe.

2 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314

Related Maps