Nothing can be better than enjoying the rooftops in the city. DC has great views that need to be discovered. You can definitely do that at the many bars and restaurants in the city while you enjoy a glass of wine, a drink, a beer or a meal.
Looking for a rooftop bar in the DC area? The Rock The RoofDC guys have a great list of all the rooftop bars and restaurants, with descriptions and calendar of events.
We have covered, reviewed and enjoyed many of our local ones. But then again here is a list for you to find them all together at once while you are enjoying this Summer.
- 1905 Bistro, 1905 9th Street NW. This new roof deck is exactly what the restaurant’s name implies; it’s garden-themed. The space makes use of reclaimed wood and old metal sheets, while sporting views of the neighborhood and monuments.
- Above DC @ Donovan House Hotel, 1155 14th Street NW. Because nothing is better than a rooftop pool and bar. This one is located right in Thomas Circle and comes with great views. Pack your suit!
- Brixton, 901 U Street NW. This brand new British pub-style bar boasts more than just bangers and mash. Check out the expansive rooftop terrace for terrific views of the Washington Monument.
- DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Perfect place to enjoy the music as you sip on that refreshing drink.
- El Centro DF, 1819 14th Street NW. While it technically opened last summer, the modern taqueria’s rooftop bar is still somewhat new to local residents. A cool breeze up top and an agave cocktail are sure to subdue the heat of the salsas.
- Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street NW. If you thought nothing could top barbeque and bourbon, then you were wrong, literally.
- Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th Street NW. This 18th and T spot has a large shaded rooftop dining area (great for hot sunny days when you need some shade). You’re right on the cusp of the Dupont, U Street and Adams Morgan hoods.
- Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. Although it may be too hot to even think about being outside, Local 16 has you covered. The roof deck has water spritzers and fans going constantly to make sure you and your beverage stay at the perfect temperature.
- Lost Society, 2001 14th Street NW. The chandeliers and décor make it hard to believe that you are outside. Thankfully, the cool breeze, neighborhood views and U Street noise remind you that you are sipping cocktails on a DC roof, and not in a palace!
- Marvin, 2007 14th Street NW. This is also a great roof spot, perfect for enjoying one of the many beers on tap and some of the best chicken and waffles in town.
- Masa 14, 1825 14th Street NW. The neighborhood hotspot expanded its space to include a roof deck. Mojitos taste better when sipped in the open, summer air.
- Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U Street NW. Great and breezy rooftop. It has an ample bar covered with a tent and also a nice corner area for smokers. You can always enjoy their popular buckets of beers.
- Tabaq Bistro, 1336 U Street. Snag one of the best views of the city while getting your workout in! Yes, you will have to climb up several flights of stairs, but the views on a clear night will quickly make you forget your burning thighs.
- Zabb, 1836 18th Street NW. Modern Asian inspired food and a generous terrace to enjoy the night.
From Alejandra Owens. You can find Owens at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Owens also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
With the weather seeming to cool faster than last fall, and November fast approaching, you’ve hopefully still got time to eat, drink and party outdoors in the Borderstan area. We should get some more nice days in the 70-degree range in the next few weeks and there is probably still time to enjoy the neighborhood’s outdoor restaurants, cafes and rooftop establishments.
Your Outdoor Dining and Drinking Guide
- An Elevated Summer: The Area’s Best Rooftop Bars
- Al Fresco Dining in Borderstan (and People Watching, Too)
- Party on Top: Rooftop Bars For the Summer
- A Look at MOVA Lounge’s New Rooftop Deck
- Preview: Rooftop Deck Opens Wednesday at Masa 14
- New Rooftop Alert: 1905 Rooftop Opens With Scenic City View
- And coming soon: Matchbox will soon open with an outdoor seating area that includes a fire pit
It doesn’t matter how hot it gets this season, drinking on a rooftop still remains one of the coolest things to do during the summer months in DC.
Thankfully, area restaurants and bars have taken note, and we have proof!
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite local rooftop bars for the next time you and your friends are looking to take your happy hour to the next level, literally.
New to the Mix
Nothing says, “Come scope out our bar” quite like a rooftop terrace. And while not all of these restaurants and bars are new to the neighborhood, their new additions landed them on this list!
The Brixton – 901 U Street NW. This brand new British pub-style bar boasts more than just bangers and mash. Check out the expansive rooftop terrace for terrific views of the Washington Monument.
Masa 14 – 1825 14th Street NW. The neighborhood hotspot expanded its space this summer to include a new roof deck. In my opinion, mojitos taste better when sipped in the open, summer air.
El Centro D.F. – 1819 14th Street NW. While it technically opened last summer, the modern taqueria’s rooftop bar is still somewhat new to local residents. A cool breeze up top and an agave cocktail are sure to subdue the heat of the salsas.
MOVA – 2204 14th Street NW. The Miami-inspired bar’s newly added rooftop definitely makes walking the two extra blocks past U Street totally worth it.
1905 Garden – 1905 9th Street NW. This new roof deck is exactly what the restaurant’s name implies; it’s garden-themed. The space makes use of reclaimed wood and old metal sheets, while sporting views of the neighborhood and monuments.
Oldies, But Goodies
While not new to the Borderstan scene, these rooftop bars keep us coming back for more. Can’t find your favorite on this list? Check out last year’s list of favorites compiled by Borderstan’s grub gurus, Alejandra Owens and Laura Herman.
Tabaq – 1336 U Street. Snag one of the best views of the city while getting your workout in! Yes, you will have to climb up several flights of stairs, but the views on a clear night will quickly make you forget your burning thighs.
Lost Society – 2001 14th Street NW. The chandeliers and décor make it hard to believe that you are outside. Thankfully, the cool breeze, neighborhood views and U Street noise remind you that you are sipping cocktails on a DC roof, and not in a palace!
Nellie’s Sports Bar – 900 U Street NW. Great and breezy rooftop. It has an ample bar covered with a tent and also a nice corner area for smokers. You can always enjoy their popular buckets of beers.
Marvin – 2007 14th Street NW. Another U Street favorite, Marvin’s large rooftop makes it easy for you to enjoy a beer with hundreds of your local friends. Great food menu, too!
Local 16 – 1602 U Street NW. Although it may be too hot to even think about being outside, Local 16 has you covered. The roof deck has water spritzers and fans going constantly to make sure you and your beverage stay at the perfect temperature.
Jack Rose – 2007 18th Street NW. If you thought nothing could top barbeque and bourbon, then you were wrong, literally.
Lauriol Plaza – 1835 18th Street NW. A neighborhood classic, the patio and upper deck areas provide the perfect setting to share a margarita pitcher.
Donovan House – 1155 14th Street NW. Because nothing is better than a rooftop pool and bar. This one is located right in Thomas Circle and comes with great views. Pack your suit!
From Alejandra Owens.
You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.
Spring and summer practically beg for a rooftop high enough to enjoy a whisp of a breeze that can cool you down. A view of something other than the black top of another rooftop is a bonus, not necessary but a bonus!
I’m an unabashed fan of 1905 – especially the lamb sandwich – and their rooftop has only enhanced my love for the place. To the south you see the Washington monument. To the north you see dappled skies and the outline of apartment buildings. It’s up high enough for that breeze I mentioned earlier, and with a bar to service just the higher up crowd you won’t be lacking for a cocktail or glass of wine to go with it.
If I had to tell you one thing, it would be go, go now! And consider it your premier 4th of July spot because with views like this you won’t be missing a thing! Like the name says, the restaurant is at 1905 9th Street NW.
Work on the rooftop deck at Masa 14 is progressing. A spokesperson for the 14th Street restaurant said, “We hope to open by the end of April. We will be offering a roof top menu and hope to be able to serve brunch shortly thereafter.” Hours for the rooftop deck have not yet been set.
Borderstan will have news and photos about another rooftop deck opening soon over on 9th Street NW. BTW… check out the Borderstan team’s list of favorite rooftop decks and brunch spots, links below.
Following are the top food and drink stories each month on Borderstan in 2011. The top story each month was the one that was read by the most readers. The writer’s name is next to each story.
Top food story for the year in terms of reader views? The run-away winner was Saturday Night Sips: Fighting Hunger In DC from Alejandra Owens.
- January: Saturday Night Sips: Fighting Hunger In DC (Alejandra Owens)
- February: Meat Week: A Visit to American Ice Co. (Laura Herman)
- March: The Oven is Hot: Pizza No. 17 Open for Business (Matty Rhoades)
- April: Korean Food? Bibimbap? Try Mandu on 18th Street NW (Alejandra Owens)
- May: Peregrine Espresso to Open This Week (Luis Gomez)
- June: Restaurant Profile: El Centro DF on 14th (Alejandra Owens)
- July: Charcuterie in the Basement: Local 16 Thinks Meat, New Menu (Ashley Lusk); and Standard BBQ Delivers on Promise of Good, Cheap Eats (Alejandra Owens) There was essentially a two-way tie between these two posts.
- August: Florida Avenue Grill Serves Up Breakfast Right (Alejandra Owens)
- September: Borderstan Brunch Guide: We Polled the Team for Favorites (Laura Herman)
- October: Attention Oenophiles! DC Wine Week Events in Borderstan (Ashley Lusk)
- November: Smucker Farms of Lancaster Co. Opens Shop at 14th & W NW (Maggie Barron)
- December: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is the Real Deal (Ashley Lusk); and Two Best Things I Ate Last Week: 1905 Edition (Alejandra Owens) There was essentially a two-way tie between these two posts.
There are some weekends when perfect weather sets the stage for non-stop catching up with friends and long evenings in loud bars. My original plan last Sunday was to enjoy my team’s game on U street – the game wasn’t available on regular cable. However, upon waking up Sunday morning around 11:30, that seemed like an impossible feat.
Luckily, I had a back-up plan in my pocket the whole time. A friend of mine, whom I met through a close college friend, has a very nice and well furbished Dupont apartment, including a full subscription to NFL Countdown (the service that lets you watch any football game, whenever). So, instead of the ambiance of U Street, this week’s bar review is more domestic. Though my friend’s apartment didn’t lend itself to normal bar things – kegs, random people – his place hits the spot.
My Swiss Friend’s Apartment in North Dupont, Willard St
General Description: Heart of Borderstan – with an amazing roof deck and spacious kitchen. Pretty much the ideal place for a handful of middle-20s intelligent, gainfully employed/grad school gentlemen.
Why I Went There: The thought of drinking (more) in a crowded public space didn’t appeal to me. Why go to a crowded bar when I can kick my shoes off in a large living room den? This seemed like a no brainer.
Atmosphere: Six guys checking their smart phones and/or laptops intermittently for their fantasy scores with the game(s) on in the background. On one TV, my football team streamed through a Playstation3. A second TV showed the local Redskins game (because this scene was inevitable) and a third TV ran NFL Redzone (the 21st century response to shortened attention spans). What a scene – does it get any better?
There was plenty of space and couches for everyone to kick back and yell obscenities. And with an incredible roof deck, we got some halftime rays. Access to the roof deck made the guilt of spending the better part of Sunday afternoon a little bit better.
Food and Beverage: If I was too tired to make it to a bar, clearly I was too tired to really make a good breakfast/brunch, so I did the next best thing and picked up some comfort lunch food at THE BEST deli in the neighborhood, So’s Your Mom at 1831 Columbia Road NW. Little beats the timeless tradition of lox, cream cheese, tomato, onions and scallions on an everything bagel. Throw in a “revive” Vitamin Water and a bag of chips, this lunch brought me back.
Actual Game Viewing: Anytime I can watch a football game and feel like I am sitting in my childhood home, I feel good. The luxury of my friend’s apartment has this too. And between the hours of 1 and 5 pm, I didn’t miss a single exciting play from my game or any others in the league.
Overall: We all need friends like this, who save us from our weekend hangovers and provide safe havens to enjoy our football teams. Big thanks to Stephan, Eric, and John.
Total Pigskins: The lazy in me says 5, but the practical says 2, so lets go with 3.5
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
This post was co-authored by Alejandra Owens and Laura Herman. You can follow them on Twitter at @frijolita [email protected], respectively. Also check out One Bite At A Time, Alejandra’s personal food and cooking blog.
Despite some truly schizophrenic weather lately, it’s that time again. It’s time for flip flops and dog walks and wine drinking on patios or boozy spring nights on a rooftop overlooking the city. Our food writers have put together a list of all the rooftops and patios in Borderstan — this is the first installment of a two-part series and we’re starting with rooftops.
While the list isn’t as long as the patios list, our rooftop views in Borderstan are nothing to scoff at. Sweeping city views and the twinkling lights of our great city are excellent backdrops to sipping on a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer night.
Where are you guys excited to be drinking and dining this spring and summer? We have put together our list of great rooftop spots in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area, 11 total. Which places would you add?