Jun 2, 2023 - Food and Drink

D.C. has rooftop bars for every mood: Here's a guide

Lucha Rosa rooftop bar in DC.

Lucha Rosa rooftop channels coastal Mexico. Photo: via Lucha Rosa

It’s rooftop bar season, and there’s a D.C. deck for every whim, price point, and craving.

Classic: Top of the [Water] Gate — like sitting on a slice of history with amazing views.

🍹 New: Whitlow’s re-re-opens June 6 in the old Brixton space along U Street with a refreshed rooftop, crushes, and rum buckets.

Cheffy: Matt Baker’s greenhouse at Gravitas is the city’s only Michelin-starred rooftop for drinks and drinks and à la carte dining.

🍣 Sushi: Adams Morgan classic Perry’s feels fresh with a new chef and menu, same pretty deck.

HH sushi: O-Ku’s sleeper happy hour near Union Market is a steal with half-off rolls and cocktails/wine below $10 (Mon-Thurs, 5pm-7pm).

🍸 HH cocktails: The Imperial’s chic rooftop in AdMo shakes up superior sips like espresso martinis — now 50% off (Thurs, 5pm-10pm). See also: seafood “tower hour” on Wednesdays.

Margaritas: It’s all rosy (and rosé) at Lucha Rosa, a new Mexican-themed spot in Mt. Vernon Triangle.

👀 Views: The Wharf is pretty/pricey rooftop central, but Moonraker at the new Pendry boasts the best river vistas.

Divey: Hit Red Derby in Columbia Heights for $3 beers, tendies, and a strong local vibe.

🌭 Deck-y: Ivy & Coney brings big deck energy to Shaw: sports, hot dogs, and cheap drinks.

Beachy: Dupont Circle's Vagabond sets a scene with umbrellas and coastal eats (plus a new HH).

🥞 Brunch: Channel island sun atop The Wharf’s Tiki TNT with $25 bottomless mimosas and luau pancakes.

Drag brunch: The views and stilettos are sky-high atop Officina at The Wharf for Sunday drag brunch.

💕 First date: Colada Shop 14th Street — part Cuban café, part bar — is a breezy rooftop pick.

Groups: Hi-Lawn atop Union Market is huge, kid-friendly (before 7pm), and crowd-pleasing thanks to boozy juice boxes, free games, and backyard eats.

🍾 Scene: Bottle service and Bravolebrities are all part of the package at Ciel Social Club, Mt. Vernon Triangle’s sleek penthouse lounge.

So D.C. Lady Bird, a pretty Dupont Circle perch with first lady looks and proper hors d’oeuvres.

🎂 Birthdays: At Takoda (Shaw, Navy Yard) semi-private rooftop events are welcome without pricey rental fees or minimums.

Pool: Sip waterside at D.C.’s biggest rooftop pool, Deck 11 on Capitol Hill, whose lounge is open to the public — and pass holders can swim, too.


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