Get ready to soak in summer with these DC eateries for outdoor dining that features something for everyone. From a rooftop restaurant with one of the best views of the city’s sunsets to waterfront dining with a neighboring splash pad, below are some of the best places to enjoy a warm, summer evening while dining al fresco.
Top of the Gate
Technically a rooftop bar, this Watergate Hotel eatery has views of the Potomac, Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument and the Key and Arlington Bridges. It also tops our list of best places to see a DC sunset. They open daily at 4:30 p.m.; get here early and you can skip the bar scene and enjoy a gourmet pizza with views. Tapas are also available.
2650 Virginia Ave. NW
The Salt Line
This New England-style seafood restaurant is a great pit stop before or after a National's game, but it's worth a visit even when the team isn't in town. Perched along the Potomac, this waterfront restaurant features tiny finger favorites, like cheeseburgers, fish sticks and hot dogs beyond its seafood fare (and on-tap for the small pints: Maine Root sodas). After your meal, let the littles cool off in the spray pad next door.
79 Potomac Ave. SE
Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard
Farmers Fishers & Bakers
Located in Georgetown along the Washington Harbour, this sister restaurant to Founding Farmers is surely to keep the little ones minds occupied with a view of the Potomac and the bustle of boats and people out on a stroll to enjoy the summer sun.
3000 K Street NW
Victura Park at The REACH
Located at the River Pavilion on The REACH campus, this family-friendly wine & beer garden is a great place to kick back with a cold glass while your kids watch canoes and kayaks pass on the Potomac River. You can also see Georgetown, Arlington and the famous Watergate Hotel from this vantage point. The new outdoor grilling station features small bites and occasionally guest chefs. The REACH did make our list for best places to picnic, but please note you can not bring outside foods or beverages to the Park area.
2700 F St. NW
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! The (not so) secret rooftop bar is also now open and serving walk ins!
3907 14th St NW
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. To offer calm in a year (plus) of chaos, Lena's has created the Oasis, a dynamic, outdoor eating destination that will transport you to the tropics.
401 E Braddock Rd
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.
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!).
2615 Mount Vernon Ave.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers
featured photo: iStock