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20 Highly Recommended Patios for Outdoor Dining Around D.C. – Eater DC

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After a very long winter, Washingtonians are ready to enjoy a restaurant meal outside in the sunshine (sans space heaters). D.C. restaurants have always embraced outdoor dining, but COVID-19 made dining in the fresh air even more of a necessity, with parklets popping up all over town. Here are a few picturesque patios for al fresco dining — from scenic spots near the C&O Canal to downtown D.C. to along the Potomac River.
Restaurants on this map may temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, so check with a business before showing up. D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
Dishes like pwason roz (red snapper) and beregèn with bef (beef and eggplant casserole) are on the menu at this Haitian restaurant in Silver Spring, which offers outdoor seating on a patio covered with brightly painted murals.
A post shared by Chef Don Berto (@paphaitiancuisine)
The building that houses Old Angler’s Inn goes back to 1860, and the stone patio outfitted with umbrellas and a fountain is a tranquil spot for post-C&O Canal hike meals. Hearty fare includes options like crab cake sandwiches, seared Amish chicken, and steak frites.
A post shared by @potomacmaryland
The owners of Takoma Park’s Cielo Rojo built a patio parklet hemmed in by flower boxes, a serene setting for the taqueria’s heirloom corn tortillas and vegan flan.
A post shared by Cielo Rojo (@cielorojomex)
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Mintwood Place serves classic French bistro fare, with a dog-friendly, Parisian-inspired patio sidewalk to match.
A post shared by Mintwood Place (@mintwoodplace)
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Adams Morgan’s acclaimed Middle Eastern cocktail bar has its own charming, postage stamp-sized patio overlooking the bustle of 18th Street NW. Try mezze-spiced fries and Saz’iraq cocktails.
A post shared by Alex Kearney (@alexbarkeep)
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Big Bear Cafe’s vine-strewn patio has always been a favorite, but now the coffee shop and casual restaurant is offering wood-oven bagels and pizza in addition to farro bowls and breakfast burritos. Order outside via “touchless” registers with contact-free payment methods. 
A post shared by David Treanor (@a_dc_native)
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Beer towers, donburi bowls, and sushi are on order at Zeppelin’s mural-covered patio in Shaw, and sister ramen restaurant Chaplin’s down the street has its own popular patio.
A post shared by Zeppelin DC (@zeppelindc)
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Explore Latin American market La Cosecha, which sells everything from pupusas to dulce de leche soft-serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, then head outside to eat.
A post shared by Cafe Unido DC (@unidousa)
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The patio at Iron Gate Restaurant feels like a secret garden: according to the Greek-Italian restaurant’s website, the wisteria overhead dates back to the 1800s. Try dishes here like lamb neck osso bucco, focaccia, and caramelized ricotta gnocchi.
A post shared by Iron Gate (@irongatedc)
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Michael Mina’s tony hotel steakhouse in Georgetown helmed by Hazel alum Robert Curtis is a favorite for duck fat fries and lobster pot pie, as well as a stunning courtyard framed by ivy and sculpted gardens. An outdoor extension dubbed “The Ranch” peers into a gallery filled with pop art.
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Near Penn Quarter, Karma Modern Indian outfitted its inviting 35-seat patio with twinkle lights and a soundsystem, featuring dishes like saffron paneer and lamb rogan josh on the menu.
A post shared by Karma Modern Indian (@karmamodernindian)
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H Street’s Kitsuen, a ramen, hookah, and cocktail bar backed by rapper Pusha T, built its own modern patio with fire pit and dangling ferns. 
A post shared by Kitsuen Bar (@kitsuenbar)
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Maketto’s minimalist courtyard feels like a true extension of its dining room (and retail and coffee shop). The three-in-one project from Erik Bruner-Yang connects the interior and exterior spaces via a catwalk, with dishes like crystal shrimp dumplings and Cambodian noodle salad on the menu. 
A post shared by Maketto (@maketto1351)
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CityCenterDC’s high-end, glassy Palmer’s Alley in downtown D.C. is a much-Instagrammed spot (check out the cherry blossom pink art installation), and Centrolina chef/owner Amy Brandwein offers outdoor dining right in the middle of the action. The Italian restaurant is known for its pastas and entrees from a wood-fired oven.
A post shared by dolcezza (@dolcezzagelato)
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Dine outdoors on one of the world’s most famous streets at Central Michel Richard, the long-running French-meets-American restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue right near the National Mall and the Capitol. Standout dishes include cheese puffs, fried chicken, and lobster burgers.
A post shared by Central Michel Richard (@centralmrdc)
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This blue crab destination is tucked away in Arlington’s Fort Meyer neighborhood, with a low-key outdoor patio perfect for messy crab feasts.
A post shared by Quarterdeck VA (@quarterdeckva)
No detail was spared at chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s tri-level culinary playground Officina at The Wharf, and the outdoor dining spaces are stunning, with sleek furniture, firepits, and greenery.
A post shared by Officina DC (@officinadc)
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Navy Yard’s colorful new Puerto Rican restaurant La Famosa serves whole crispy snapper and sandwiches stuffed with roasted pork, ham, and sliced ribeye on its breezy patio.
A post shared by La Famosa (@eatlafamosa)
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Fake a beach vacation at The Salt Line’s patio, which serves up buttered lobster rolls with a waterfront view. 
A post shared by The Salt Line (@thesaltline)
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Stroll down historic King Street in Old Town to the water and snag a seat overlooking the Potomac River at Vola’s patio, where diners can order platters of oysters and crab hush puppies. (Check out its very new waterfront sister establishments Ada’s On The River and Barca Pier & Wine Bar, constructed out of freight containers.)
A post shared by Vola’s Dockside Grill (@volasdockside)
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Dishes like pwason roz (red snapper) and beregèn with bef (beef and eggplant casserole) are on the menu at this Haitian restaurant in Silver Spring, which offers outdoor seating on a patio covered with brightly painted murals.
The building that houses Old Angler’s Inn goes back to 1860, and the stone patio outfitted with umbrellas and a fountain is a tranquil spot for post-C&O Canal hike meals. Hearty fare includes options like crab cake sandwiches, seared Amish chicken, and steak frites.
The owners of Takoma Park’s Cielo Rojo built a patio parklet hemmed in by flower boxes, a serene setting for the taqueria’s heirloom corn tortillas and vegan flan.
Mintwood Place serves classic French bistro fare, with a dog-friendly, Parisian-inspired patio sidewalk to match.
Adams Morgan’s acclaimed Middle Eastern cocktail bar has its own charming, postage stamp-sized patio overlooking the bustle of 18th Street NW. Try mezze-spiced fries and Saz’iraq cocktails.
Big Bear Cafe’s vine-strewn patio has always been a favorite, but now the coffee shop and casual restaurant is offering wood-oven bagels and pizza in addition to farro bowls and breakfast burritos. Order outside via “touchless” registers with contact-free payment methods. 
Beer towers, donburi bowls, and sushi are on order at Zeppelin’s mural-covered patio in Shaw, and sister ramen restaurant Chaplin’s down the street has its own popular patio.
Explore Latin American market La Cosecha, which sells everything from pupusas to dulce de leche soft-serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, then head outside to eat.
The patio at Iron Gate Restaurant feels like a secret garden: according to the Greek-Italian restaurant’s website, the wisteria overhead dates back to the 1800s. Try dishes here like lamb neck osso bucco, focaccia, and caramelized ricotta gnocchi.
Michael Mina’s tony hotel steakhouse in Georgetown helmed by Hazel alum Robert Curtis is a favorite for duck fat fries and lobster pot pie, as well as a stunning courtyard framed by ivy and sculpted gardens. An outdoor extension dubbed “The Ranch” peers into a gallery filled with pop art.
Near Penn Quarter, Karma Modern Indian outfitted its inviting 35-seat patio with twinkle lights and a soundsystem, featuring dishes like saffron paneer and lamb rogan josh on the menu.
H Street’s Kitsuen, a ramen, hookah, and cocktail bar backed by rapper Pusha T, built its own modern patio with fire pit and dangling ferns. 
Maketto’s minimalist courtyard feels like a true extension of its dining room (and retail and coffee shop). The three-in-one project from Erik Bruner-Yang connects the interior and exterior spaces via a catwalk, with dishes like crystal shrimp dumplings and Cambodian noodle salad on the menu. 
CityCenterDC’s high-end, glassy Palmer’s Alley in downtown D.C. is a much-Instagrammed spot (check out the cherry blossom pink art installation), and Centrolina chef/owner Amy Brandwein offers outdoor dining right in the middle of the action. The Italian restaurant is known for its pastas and entrees from a wood-fired oven.
Dine outdoors on one of the world’s most famous streets at Central Michel Richard, the long-running French-meets-American restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue right near the National Mall and the Capitol. Standout dishes include cheese puffs, fried chicken, and lobster burgers.
This blue crab destination is tucked away in Arlington’s Fort Meyer neighborhood, with a low-key outdoor patio perfect for messy crab feasts.
No detail was spared at chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s tri-level culinary playground Officina at The Wharf, and the outdoor dining spaces are stunning, with sleek furniture, firepits, and greenery.
Navy Yard’s colorful new Puerto Rican restaurant La Famosa serves whole crispy snapper and sandwiches stuffed with roasted pork, ham, and sliced ribeye on its breezy patio.
Fake a beach vacation at The Salt Line’s patio, which serves up buttered lobster rolls with a waterfront view. 
Stroll down historic King Street in Old Town to the water and snag a seat overlooking the Potomac River at Vola’s patio, where diners can order platters of oysters and crab hush puppies. (Check out its very new waterfront sister establishments Ada’s On The River and Barca Pier & Wine Bar, constructed out of freight containers.)

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