Outdoor Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to guaranteed heat and humidity each summer, Washington, D.C., has no shortage of outdoor dining restaurants (all the better for people- and wonk-watching). With so many options, it would almost be a shame to eat in! From busy sidewalk cafes to waterside tables and serene hidden gardens, there's an outdoor dining spot in the district for every occasion. Here, our picks for where to dine al fresco. (Pictured: The patio at La Tomate)

Updated: June 15, 2010

Where to Dine Outside in Washingtion, D.C.


La Tomate

1701 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

La Tomate's outdoor patio on the corner of Connecticut and R streets is one of the best people-watching locations in town. It can get busy, so make reservations. The fresh basket of focaccia bread is worth it alone, but add a glass of wine and you'll be set.


The Heights

3115 14th St Nw, Washington, DC 20010

This neighborhood favorite in Columbia Heights boasts an 80-seat patio, so it's a good bet for dining al fresco, particularly for brunch, which is served until 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Bring the dog, too; all-organic app-PAW-tizers are available for $2.


Meze Restaurant

2437 18TH St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Revel in the excitement of Adams Morgan from the safety of Meze's sidewalk patio. Go for happy hour between 5pm and 7pm Monday through Friday to take advantage of the famous flavored mojitos at half price, then order some Turkish small plates to share.


Cleveland Park Bar & Grill

3421 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Can't miss the big game but don't want to be stuck inside a bar on a nice night? Head to the roof deck at this Cleveland Park sports bar, which is outfitted with flat screen televisions. Try a create-your-own wood-fired pizza, or look for weekday food specials.


Levante's

1320 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

The spacious sidewalk cafe at this Dupont Mediterranean spot is as big a draw as its fresh, thick pita bread and smooth, tangy hummus. Grilled kebabs and pizza-like pides are choice selections to accompany a cool libation and balmy night.


Tony & Joe's

3000 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

There is no better spot to dine outside in D.C. than the Georgetown waterfront. The giant, beautiful fountain and view of the Potomac make this seafood eatery an idyllic locale for crab cakes and yacht-watching. The lively crowd makes it a fun spot for after dinner, too


Iron Gate

1734 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Tucked discreetly off a quiet Dupont street, the Iron Gate's tranquil patio--canopied by a vine-covered trellis and tasteful string lights--almost makes you forget you're in a city. The Middle Eastern restaurant is a great date spot or business lunch escape.