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11 Best Rooftop Restaurants in DC

Top of the Gate at the Watergate Hotel
801 Restaurant and Bar
Roofer’s Union
Columbia Room
O-KU Sushi DC
12 Stories
Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar
Kirwan's on the Wharf
The Rooftop DC
Vue Rooftop Bar 
Hotel Hive
Top of the Gate at the Watergate Hotel
801 Restaurant and Bar
Roofer’s Union
Columbia Room
O-KU Sushi DC
12 Stories
Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar
Photo credit: kirwansonthewharf.com
Kirwan's on the Wharf
Photo credit: therooftopdc.com
The Rooftop DC
Hotel Hive

Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, organizing a family get-together, or simply unwinding with friends with sundowners, the views afforded by a rooftop restaurant adds a certain ambient charm to the occasion and helps make it memorable. Washington DC’s best rooftop restaurants are no exception and there is a wide range from which to choose. If you are visiting DC and would like to soak in the vibe of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood or Union Market, or take in the sweeping views along the Potomac River, there is a rooftop restaurant that will cater to your taste and needs. The 11 most popular and highly-rated rooftop restaurants in Washington DC, based on ambiance and quality of fare, are listed below.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Top of the Gate at the Watergate Hotel

2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
(844) 617-1972

The well-known Watergate Hotel, which was made infamous as the unwitting venue of a political scandal in the 1970s,, houses one of the most quintessential DC rooftop watering holes.

Top of the Gate boasts dramatic vistas of the Potomac and the Georgetown skyline. The menu comprises sumptuous artisanal pizzas such as chamomile julep and prosciutto. Creative handcrafted cocktails are accompanied by world-class champagne, wine and beer. The view is 360 degrees and offers up spectacular sunsets over the Key and Arlington Bridges, making this venue a perfect choice for sundowners. A granita cart is an added quirky feature.

If you would like to enjoy the priceless views in the daytime and outside the context of food and drink, you can take advantage of the innovative features of rooftop yoga and circuit training during the daytime hours.

The rich and colorful history of the Watergate Hotel predates its most famous scandal in the 1970s to when it was a glamorous hotspot for celebrities in the 1960s. For drinks and dinner in a historic venue in the nation’s capital with breathtaking views of the monuments, you cannot go wrong with Top of the Gate.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

801 Restaurant and Bar

801 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-0207

801 is a hip and lively bar and restaurant that is located in between the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods. It is a family-owned and run business. It offers views of the neighborhood and has a cool and fresh al fresco vibe. You may either sit at the bar or the long ledge table overlooking the action on Florida Avenue. You can partake of brunch with mimosas and hard lemonade while enjoying the view from the rooftop deck. After dark, the laid back ambiance gives way to a happening hotspot throbbing with energy. Fun and creative touches like the communal Moscow Mule that can be shared simultaneously by several people from a giant copper mug make this rooftop venue a perfect choice for dinner and drinks with a view. Situated adjacent to a historic African American heritage district, it is also close to one of DC’s nightlife hubs.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Roofer’s Union

2446 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-7663

Roofer’s Union is a chic and popular neighborhood hub. It is situated in the northern part of the eclectic Adams Morgan neighborhood, which is known for its cultural diversity and hopping nightlife. The rooftop bar at Roofer’s Union is the best vantage point from which to soak in the buzz of this lively neighborhood. The rooftop offers lovely views of the historic and charming row houses that characterize this area. An uninterrupted view of the famous Madam’s Organ mural is an additional draw.

The delicious small bites include the popular fried chicken thigh sandwich with honey sriracha. Handcrafted cocktails include the gin-based White Walker cocktail containing eclectic ingredients such as fresno chile shrub and Pernod rinse. But the most quirky and fun feature of the bar menu is the selection of punch bowls made from bases of bourbon and rum.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Columbia Room

124 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 316-9396

The rooftop space of the Columbia Room is lush with greenery and illuminated by bare bulbs for a laid back vibe. The ambiance includes views of the Blagden Alley as well as the Washington DC skyline. Helmed by renowned mixologist Derek Brown, this hotspot is heaped with awards and accolades and is an ideal venue for savoring creative award-winning cocktails. Nestled among the historic buildings of Blagden Alley, which is chock-full of coffee shops and street art, it is a perfect spot to kick back with a cocktail after a day of exploring. The rooftop bar is a punch bowl garden, which is an additional charming feature.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

O-KU Sushi DC

1274 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 888-8790

Located in the Union Market area, O-KU has the distinction of being the only eatery with a rooftop deck in the neighborhood, which provides sweeping vistas of famous DC landmarks. Not the usual run-of-the-mill sushi bar, O-KU’s dishes are innovative, with wood-fired robata style dishes adding an eclectic touch to the charm of this exceptional eatery. If you are in the mood for something different, try one of their creative plates like salmon yaki kuro with black rice, asian pear and shiso cream.

The sushi is crafted from fresh ingredients that are of the highest quality and are supplied by trustworthy purveyors. Premium brands of sake and rare Japanese whiskeys jostle with creative handcrafted cocktails on their bar menu.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

12 Stories

75 District Square SW 12th floor, Washington, DC 20024
(202) 894-9700

For wide-open views of the Washington Channel, head to the Intercontinental DC – The Wharf’s rooftop bar and restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views even if you are seated indoors, but if you would, prefer to enjoy an al fresco dining experience, the outdoor deck is the perfect spot.

This bar and restaurant oozes luxury. A sleek and contemporary design is the setting for an experience of creative cocktails. You can accompany your drink and the views with high-end fare such as oysters. A requirement of smart business casual attire completes the upscale ambiance.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar

1265 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
(202) 800-1000

For an elevated sports bar experience, head to the top of the Hampton Inn and Suites Washington DC – Navy Yard. Have you ever hung out at a sports bar while watching the game live Instead of on a screen? This unique location overlooks the Nationals Park. You can catch a game while enjoying beer and delicacies with a ballpark theme. Examples are the “first base tenders and tots” and “taco timeout.” It is open during baseball season and provides fans with the unparalleled experience of partying or catching up with friends while watching a live game from a superb vantage point.

 

Photo credit: kirwansonthewharf.com
Photo credit: kirwansonthewharf.com

Kirwan’s on the Wharf

749 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-3818

This adorable, quaint Irish pub is in such a great location and the ambiance is hard to beat. There is outside patio dining, plenty of comfortable seating inside, and a rooftop overlooking the Washington Channel and beautiful Pearl Street. Aside from the relaxing and inviting atmosphere, they have some delicious food and drink options as well. 

Their menu combines some of the classic Irish dishes that you know and love, along with some unique, modern touches on food inspired by the area. To start off, go for the mini Maryland lump crab cake, spinach and artichoke dip, or the southern rolls. Southern rolls are eggs rolls filled with chicken, black beans, and cheese served with their classic boom boom sauce. For the main course, go for one of the Irish pub classics like shepherd’s pie, crispy fish and chips, or the bangers and mash. Not in the mood for one of those? Try one of their entrees from seared salmon with quinoa and mussels to chicken curry and duroc pork chop. 

 

Photo credit: therooftopdc.com
Photo credit: therooftopdc.com

The Rooftop DC

476 K St, NW Rooftop Level, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 909-5600

This rooftop is so vibey and is the perfect place to get drinks before hitting the town, or stopping by for some post downtown apps and drinks since they stay open late. The rooftop is heated so even when it’s cold out, The Rooftop is still the place to be. They have plenty of TV’s to watch the game, fun lighting, and a retractable roof so the party never stops. They have an extensive liquor selection and great bartenders to serve whatever you’re in the mood for. Their food menu includes bites like buffalo chicken wings, pork belly tacos, shrimp cocktail. Check out The Rooftop DC for beautiful views of the city and the unbeatable ambiance.

 

Photo credit: thehotelwashington.com
Photo credit: thehotelwashington.com

Vue Rooftop Bar 

515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
(202) 661-2433

This rooftop bar is called Vue for a reason. It has some of the best views in the city! If you live in DC and have friends in town, this is one of the places to take them. You can see the Washington Monument perfectly from here. You can even see The White House along with the rest of beautiful DC. Vue is located on top of Hotel Washington, but anyone is welcome to join for some bites and cocktails. 

If you stop in for dinner, they have plenty of delicious appetizers, salads, burgers, and surf and turf options to pick from. On the weekends they’re also serving brunch with menu items like the eggs benedict trio, filet and eggs, lobster grilled cheese and many other mouth watering items to choose from. As for the drinks, they have pages and pages or specialty cocktails, wine, beer, anything you, just name it. Prices here are on the higher end, but for such quality from the views to vibes, it doesn’t get much better than this!

 

Photo Credit: Hotel Hive

Hotel Hive

2224 F St NW, Washington, DC 20037

(202) 849-8499

Hotel Hive might be the coolest place to grab a drink in Foggy Bottom. It’s located in DC’s first ever micro-hotel (one with smaller rooms), which is situated in a historic building. It’s a highly esteemed institution, even being named a Top 10 Hotel in the United States by Tripadvisor. While it’s a shoe-in for an unforgettable stay, you don’t need to be traveling to bask in its hottest feature: a rooftop bar. 

Come for the breathtaking views, stay for the tasty stuff! They have a deep roster of beers and wines, as well as a few frozen cocktails. Our personal favorite is the Hive G&T, made with gin, house rosemary tonic, and lemon. The rosemary elevates the flavors to stunning levels and balances out the gin beautifully. If you’re coming hungry, they have several tasty pizzas that pair perfectly with their drinks, and even better with a gorgeous sunset.

 

So whether you are exploring a historic district or taking in views of the Potomac, soaking in the ambiance of The Wharf, or admiring the monuments dotting the DC skyline, Washington DC’s best rooftop restaurants with delicious bites and creatively crafted cocktails will enhance your experience of the various facets of the nation’s capital.

 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 26, 2021 and last updated on April 13, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.