Head to a rooftop bar for a totally different perspective on Washington's beautiful monuments and neighborhoods. Here are 15 options in areas around the city where you can spend a relaxing summer evening in the city, taking in the sights and hopefully, a breeze. These are all open seasonally and weather permitting.
Right next to the DC neighborhood of Chinatown, there's the new Pod DC hotel and its rooftop located on the penthouse level with sweeping downtown views. Crimson View's large indoor/outdoor porch serves craft cocktails, beer, and wine along with light bites like housemade dips and dates stuffed with goat cheese and ham.
DC restaurateur and one-time Top Chef contestant Bart Vandaele named this rooftop spot after his favorite chicken from his backyard coop. It's meant to be a hidden oasis in Capitol Hill, tucked away in a back alley behind his restaurant Belga. Follow the chicken feet graffiti on the sidewalk to Betsy's craft gin cocktails and shareable BBQ-inspired small plates.
The stylish rooftop bar at Kimpton's Mason & Rook hotel in the Logan Circle neighborhood is designed as an urban oasis, with gorgeous views and a refreshing pool complete with lounge chairs to relax. Delicious bites and sips are offered by Radiator’s Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden and Lead Bartender Patrick Barrett.
Dine at The Rooftop at Dupont Circle and you'll get access to the neighborhood's only rooftop pool and bar. The huge space includes a swimming pool, grill, bar, daybeds, and a shaded lounge. Cocktails and small bites are from the hotel’s restaurant, Station Kitchen & Cocktails.
This multi-level sushi restaurant is a classic in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, and it's perhaps best known for its rooftop dining and a bar with magnificent views of the city. Sit under twinkly lights in the rooftop bar and terrace (seating is first-come, first-served) and order dishes like pork dumplings, mushroom fried rice, or sushi and sashimi platters.
Colada Shop just opened a new rooftop garden and patio for the 2018 spring and summer season. It's all very Instagrammable, with a pastel color scheme, cute planters, and sparkling sangrias and churros on the menu. If you can time your visit to a Thursday, take an advantage of an all-night "Havana Nights"-themed happy hour offering $6 cocktails and $2 empanadas starting at 4 p.m.
Appreciate D.C.'s brand-new waterfront development The Wharf from a whole new angle at Whiskey Charlie, a cocktail lounge that just opened on the 10th floor of the Canopy hotel. The deck is situated right near the marina for stunning river views. Besides beer and wine, Whiskey Charlie serves up $14 cocktails like dirty martinis and "Mermaid Margaritas" along with bar snacks. If you're here with a group, consider ordering large format cocktail to share.
The Columbia Room is the recipient of national acclaim—including 2017's title of “Best American Cocktail Bar" at the Spirited Awards. In good weather, cocktail fans flock to the bar's rooftop Punch Garden. The outdoor space looks like a jungle and features a menu with creative punches and drinks plus small bites.
During the summer months, this Kimpton hotel's rooftop is pool party central. Head here for gorgeous views from the Donovan Hotel's perch overlooking Thomas Circle, as well as craft cocktails, and Asian street food-inspired fare from the hotel's first-floor Japanese restaurant Zentan. Just know that DNV Rooftop is reserved exclusively for guests of Kimpton Donovan Hotel during daytime hours.
Head upstairs at Rito Loco for El Techo, a 1100-square-foot roof deck featuring cool graffiti murals, DJ nights, and a rooftop herb garden. The theme for the space is "adult treehouse." That idea translates to eats like fried avocado tacos or seafood paella, and a drinks menu with mojitos and spicy mezcal margaritas.
The historic neighborhood of Georgetown looks even more charming from above, when you're enjoying a drink at luxury hotel The Graham Georgetown's 3,000-square-foot rooftop. The lounge offers sweeping views of the Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, and the skyline of Rosslyn, Virginia. It gets crowded, so book in advance if you can, and remember the "Georgetown Chic" dress code.
This neighborhood restaurant, named after D.C.'s own Marvin Gaye, offers an extensive selection of Belgian ales and blondes at its very popular rustic outdoor rooftop deck. Appetizers and burgers are available from the bar menu on the roof deck too, and the space often features DJs and musicians.
U Street gay bar Nellie's is a landmark in the neighborhood, and it's a great place to watch a game or take in the breeze and the view from the expansive rooftop deck. The bar is known for fun events too, like drag brunches, DJ nights, trivia contests, and ping pong tournaments.
The view of the White House from The W Washington’s rooftop bar and terrace is spectacular, which is why this is a hugely popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Since P.O.V. is part of the W Hotel, the scene-y roofdeck's interiors are equally glamorous, and the menu includes everything from cocktails to burgers to drunken pancakes for brunch.
People watch in DC’s lively Adams Morgan neighborhood from high above 18th Street at Roofers Union's third-floor covered open air rooftop. The restaurant is known for its huge craft beer selection, so take a seat at the 15-seat horseshoe bar and grab a brew or try a "Hop-Tail." The casual menu focuses on housemade sausages and sandwiches (don't miss the fried chicken thigh sandwich).