From the White House, monuments on the National Mall, and all the scenic waterfronts, Washington DC is a city with plenty to see. Washington, DC is also home to some of the best rooftop restaurant bars in the country. Whether you’re looking for a cocktail or a bite to eat, there’s a rooftop bar in DC waiting for you.
Besides having great drinks and quality bites, some of D.C.’s best bars also boast ample rooftop space that will offer you an epic vantage point of D.C.’s most iconic sights. From dive bars with great rooftops to swanky cocktail bars perched high above the city, we have rounded up the best rooftop bars in D.C. to enjoy warm weather, sunsets, and incredible views of our nation’s capital. Check out our list of the best rooftop restaurants in Washington, DC and start planning your next night out!
The Watergate Hotel
This luxurious Watergate Hotel is a centerpiece of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Go to the sophisticated Top of the Gate and take 360-degree rooftop views of the nation’s capital as you sip specialty cocktails and eat artisanal pizzas.
The VUE Rooftop is an elegant rooftop restaurant found in downtown D.C. This restaurant offers prime views over the city skyline, featuring the Washington Monument and the White House as the main attractions. This rooftop kitchen serves juicy burgers, and its rooftop bar offers unique and tasty cocktails inspired by political history and presidential quotes. This restaurant pairs the effervescent energy of D.C.’s lively urban oasis, elegant plates, and a stylish ambiance like no other.
TAKODA – Rooftop Restaurant & Beer Garden
At the top of this towering Shaw staple, you will encounter a breezy, 360-degree bar overlooking the nightlife neighborhood below. The bar features an executive chef- Julio Estrada- who serves top-selling tots, burgers, chicken wings, and sliders to accompany cocktails, mules, and domestic whiskey pours. Make sure to visit their new sophomore Takoda location in Navy Yard, which is nearly twice as large as the original.
Smoke & Mirrors
Resting on top of the A.C. Hotel Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard, Smoke & Mirrors overlooks the U.S. Capitol Building and gives you a stylish, sleek and comfortable escape in D.C.’s most powerful neighborhood. When you arrive here, you are served an extensive list of ingenious craft cocktails and shareable dishes like fried duck wings, diver scallops, baked crab fondue, and roasted wild mushrooms. The bar operates from 4 p.m. until midnight, Tuesday through Saturday.
The Wharf is the District’s warm-weather place. Ensure you stop by InterContinental Washington, DC – The Wharf rooftop for your next must-visit drinks spot. The 12 Stories is the first D.C. venture from the minds behind New York City mainstay, Mr. Purple, with a sleek finish, modern design and panoramas of the Washington Channel and beyond. Go to 12 Stories for creative cocktails like the Hennessy, grand Marnier, Cointreau, pineapple, lemon + lime), including high-end bites like oysters and rib-eye skewers.
It’s only at La Vie that D.C.’s rivers do their best French Riviera impression, a stunning and sleek restaurant at The Wharf that features views of the Washington Channel from the rooftop terrace. Mediterranean vibes abound as you choose from the cocktail list, which is divided into “Dip Your Toes,” “Dive In,” or “Off the Deep End” options and take in the waterfront scenes. The Golden hour at La Vie means happy hour prices, with bar bites and sunset drinks on weekdays from 4-7 p.m.
The Rooftop at the Graham Georgetown
This modern, open-air D.C. rooftop bar and lounge rest on top of the Graham Hotel in the heart of Georgetown. The Rooftop offers a great view of the Washington Monument, the Kennedy Center and the city’s skyline, topped with a beautiful sunset. This bar allows you to indulge in crafted specialty cocktails, bubbles by the glass, bottle service, and a selection of contemporary bar bites. The bar is a great spot for relaxing sunset cocktails, lounge beats, and a more vibrant atmosphere on weekend nights.
The nautical vibes and top-notch cocktails are the game’s name at Whiskey Charlie, the rooftop bar that rests on top of the Canopy by Hilton hotel at The Wharf. At Whiskey Charlie, you can catch the perfect sunset while enjoying a range of delightful drinks. Whiskey Charlie is a big fan of the Gentlemen’s Pirate- Redemption bourbon, Grand Marnier, orange & walnut bitters and Clouds Over Provence- vodka, blue velvet tea, blackberries & citrus.
Get maximum excitement bout sushi-with-a-view at O-Ku, one of the only restaurants near Union Market with a rooftop. As much as traditional sushi and sashimi are on the menu, you will also be delighted by creative plates like the salmon yaki Kuro with black rice, arugula, shiso cream and Asian pear. Accentuate the food with a drink from O-Ku’s extensive sake, whiskey and cocktail offerings.
The bar is set on top of the Rosewood Washington, D.C., along the scenic C&O Canal in Georgetown. CUT Above is a stylish modern rooftop bar and lounge that offers fantastic views over the D.C. skyline and the Potomac River. The rooftop is open to all during the warmer months, serving crafted cocktails, a nice selection of wines, and elevated bar fare in a sophisticated vibe.
This throwback dance club allows You to feel Miami and Ibiza vibes. Visit Decades and dance the night away surrounded by palm trees, lounge furniture and vibrant lighting in a 2,500-square-foot space. Creative cocktails like coconut-and-mango jalapeño margaritas and strawberry basil lemonade are also available to share with friends for a memorable evening!
Final Take Away
Recently, the U.S. capital has seen a boom in new rooftop bars, with many becoming renowned for their style, deco, meals and music. Use this guide to find and visit the best rooftop restaurant bars that Washington D.C. has to offer.