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.
This intimate rooftop bar at Mason & Rook Hotel in the Logan Circle neighborhood is designed as an urban oasis featuring gorgeous views and a refreshing pool. Soak in the capital skyline while you taste our small bites menu along with a creative cocktail program, making this rooftop the perfect place to unwind.
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.
In 2018 Colada Shop opened a new rooftop garden and patio. 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, The Donovan Hotel Rooftop Lounge is an insider’s secret cherished by DC locals. Head here for gorgeous views overlooking Thomas Circle, craft cocktails, and a small bites menu featuring an eclectic collection of seasonal fare.
Head upstairs at Rito Loco for El Techo, a 1,100-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 Graham Georgetown Rooftop Lounge
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.
POV at W Washington DC is the District's favorite place to see and be seen. After unveiling a $50 million floor-to-rooftop renovation in July 2019, the hotel is back and better than ever before with a stunning new roof for those looking to imbibe in style. POV offers world-class cocktails with tongue-in-cheek references to presidents/political history, along with over-the-top, Instagram-worthy tipples. As for the food, a recent renovation introduced an all-day "ocean-to-table" menu, featuring fresh seafood and hearty burgers, with lighter fare like hummus and crudite or shrimp cocktail as well. You can find a full list of food and cocktails on their site.
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).