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Washington, DC: Summer Spots to Enjoy the Outdoors

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you are soaking up the sun before it gets too swampy in DC to comfortably step outside. Below are some restaurants to check out around the city for any group of friends that is eager to grab a drink on these summer nights...

The Salt Line

79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Starting over in Navy Yard, Salt Line is my favorite spot to grab a drink when a Nat’s game is going on. The outdoor space can fill up, but there is plenty of cushy seating and high top tables to gather around with a group. The Salt Line also happens to be one of my favorite restaurants to grab a bite. If you are hungry for a good burger or seafood, step inside and enjoy some AC.

Mission - Navy Yard

1221 Van St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Also located in Navy Yard, Mission is perfect for some late night shenanigans. Make sure you head upstairs to the second floor, which is basically a huge island bar surrounded by seating and TV’s. The floor-to-ceiling windows open when the weather is nice, and the late night menu is absolutely delicious if you want to rally with some Mexican food.

Bardo Brewing

25 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Bardo is just down the street from Salt Line, located right on the water. This is a perfect place to spend a Saturday if you have a group that wants to relax in the sun with some wood chips and water. Feel free to bring dogs (or if you're like me, a heart full of excitement to meet some great dogs) and games to enjoy this open, outdoor space.

Kirwan’s on the Wharf

749 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Down the river, you’ll find yourself at the Wharf: an all-around great location for grabbing some outdoor drinks. There are a few rooftop bars and covered seating along the water. One fun restaurant to stop by with friends is Kirwan's-- an Irish pub with loud live music and plenty of tables to enjoy some food and drink. Across the Wharf’s walkway from the main restaurant, you’ll find a bar area that lines the water, perfect if you want to grab a pint and relax.


50 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

Calico may be my favorite indoor/outdoor bar to grab drinks with friends or a date. Designed like a cute and personal backyard seating area, the beverages are delicious and the atmosphere is completely relaxed. Expect it to be a little nicer and put together than your average beer garden. Make sure to try to Pina Coladas here; they are my favorite in the city! PS it is located in Blagden Alley, so if you find yourself weaving through an alley on your way there, you’re on the right track!

Dirty Habit

555 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

If you are looking to grab some drinks at a location that is a little more “city” and formal, another suggestion is Dirty Habit. Located inside the Monaco, stroll through the restaurant area into the center outdoor bar. This space has couches, outdoor fireplaces/heaters, and a simple but romantic atmosphere. Grab a nice meal and then head over for some post-dining cocktails.

Wunder Garten

1101 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002

This is a fan favorite for a lot of friends of mine. Wunder Garten basically started out as an open lot that served beers and has slowly gained popularity and therefore more adequate seating. As it’s basically all outdoor except for the tent that holds the bar, expect it to be loud and bustling on a warm summer night. They pay homage to their roots by keeping their decorations low key and homemade, while upping their game with a wide menu of beers and ciders to enjoy at the long picnic tables spread out within the space.

The Midlands Beer Garden

3333 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

Midlands is a great indoor/outdoor space, with an open-air feel and a summery vibe. They have a wide variety of both beer and mixed drinks, which is great if you need some gluten-free options on the menu. This spot is perfect for a group, because of the long picnic tables and fire pits that fill the space.

Plus, my favorite part: it is completely dog friendly!

H Street Country Club

1335 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

If you want to roll up to a janky but fun spot on H Street, H Street Country Club is the perfect place for you. It isn’t trying to be high-end or pretentious like most of the DC area. I love a good interior design, but H Street Country Club knows exactly what it is: a little run down, a little dirty, but full of drinks, an indoor mini putt putt course, a rooftop “pool” area (that doesn’t actually have a pool), and some good bar food. Stop by to practice your swing with some beers and friends.

Rock & Roll Hotel

1353 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Another H Street bar that isn’t quite what you’d expect, Rock & Roll is equally janky but full of fun. Head up to the rooftop for some drinks and a crowd. This ex-funeral parlor turned dance floor and bar is a great spot to show off your moves to a little live music with your gang.

Sauf Haus Bier Hall

1216 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Sauf Haus Bier Hall is a great and open upstairs bar, perfect for the summertime. If you want your selection of beers served with giant delicious pretzels and snacks, this is your spot. With big long tables like you might see at Oktoberfest, grab a group of friends and find your spot amongst the crowds.

Atlas Brew Works

2052 West Virginia Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

One of the best breweries in the city, Atlas has a great open vibe and indoor/outdoor seating for whatever the weather may look like. They have a full menu of beers to enjoy that are made on-location, with flight options and taste testing if you’re feeling adventurous!

Union Market

I grow to love Union Market more and more each time I visit. It’s a great area to bring family and friends if you want to walk around, try different foods at the market, and relax in the city sun. With everything from seafood to fancy grilled cheeses to Indian cuisine, you can easily walk around and taste test different bites to fill your stomach and enjoy your time together.

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Written by Emi Lungmus

Edited by Anna McCarthy

Photos by Emi Lungmus


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