Grab your sweater and maybe even a lap blanket and head to these DC eateries plus one worth-the-drive destination for outdoor dining on a heated patio. These cozy establishments have heated tents, fire tables, fire pits and more all designed to keep you and your littles toasty and warm. From pizza to pastelitos, below are some of the best places to warm up while dining outdoors.

photo: Courtesy of Little Coco’s

Little Coco’s
Cozy up on the sidewalk patio at this pizza joint where you can enjoy buy one, get one half-off pizzas on Mon. Or stop by on a Sat. or Sun. for brunch where little ones can fill up on chocolate chip pancakes and donuts fried to order. Yum!  Mom and dad will like the spiked hot chocolate and the house-mulled wines (you can also get these to go!) The (not so) secret rooftop bar features a pop-up alpine lodge in winter months with an electric fireplace. You can rent the space for small, winter gatherings

Insider tip: Space is limited, so nab a reservation before you go. Tables have a 2 hr. time limit.

3907 14th St NW

photo: Wendy S. via Yelp 

Iron Gate
This Dupont Circle restaurant is the perfect spot for an overdue date night or a special occasion with the fam. The dinner menu may be a bit sophisticated for small palates, but brunch is sure to please all ages. Cozy up to one of the outdoor fire tables with a warm glass of mulled wine and enjoy a meal al fresco. Still feeling the chill? You can warm up your toes and hands indoors at the restaurant’s fireplace.

1734 N St NW
Between N Saint Mathews Ct. & N. 17th St.
Dupont Circle

photo: Lauranne B. via Yelp

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap
Don’t bother with pizza delivery. These wood-fired pizzas are a crowd pleaser and you can enjoy them fresh from the over! Sit around a large, family-style table that features a fire pit in the middle.  If you’re eating with small children, you can skip the fire table and  huddle near one of the many heat lamps on the patio and if you’re still cold, they’ve got stacks of warm, fuzzy blankets to beat the chill.

401 E Braddock Rd
Alexandria, VA

photo: Judson W. via Yelp

Vola’s Dockside Grill
Located on the Waterfront in Old Town (just steps away from the Torpedo Factory Art Center), Vola’s offers seating next to the marina slips. Little ones will enjoy watching the boats come and go and seeing the airplanes make their decent into Reagan National. The menu features seafood, but you’ll also find simple, kid-friendly fare like chicken and burgers.

101 N Union St.
Alexandria, VA

photo: Juan Manuel Giraldo Grisales via Unsplash

Los Tios Grill
Looking for a reasonably priced night out that will please everyone’s palate? You can’t go wrong with Tex-Mex, and this Del Ray establishment has some of the best around (and the margaritas are pretty good, too!). Warm up with a plate of gooey nachos while you enjoy this heated sidewalk patio.

2615 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA

photo: Sang Y. via Yelp


Shoe’s Cups & Cork
The “Secret Garden,” tucked behind this Leesburg cafe and coffee house, is the perfect hideaway on a cool, crisp autumn day. There is a turf bocce court in the back and two heated tents. Warm up with a hot chocolate flight both kids and adults will love.

17 North King St.
Leesburg, VA

—Meghan Yudes Meyers


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