Outdoor dining in D.C. is the perfect combination of sunshine and scrumptious. Myriad diverse cultural stops are popping up alongside classic coffee joints and steakhouses, meaning every meal in our nation’s capital can be a new adventure.
The arrival of the novel coronavirus has made eating out a bit more precarious than normal, however. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the pace and look of our day-to-day lives, and how we work, socialize, and even open doors has transformed to limit its spread. As we all work to keep each other safe, there’s still one luxury you don’t have to give up: delicious food.
Outdoor seating is a great choice if you want to skip out on the germs without missing the flavors. If you’re still comfortable dining out and supporting local businesses, we’ve got some recommendations. Here’s everything you need to know about how restaurants are keeping customers safe, as well as our top picks for outdoor dining in D.C.
COVID-19 and the D.C. Restaurant Scene
Like the rest of the world, restaurants have seen big changes as a result of COVID-19. Small and local businesses have been faced with one pressing question: How can we keep doors open while shutting illness out?
The solution, for many, has been prioritizing outdoor seating and take-out options. The great outdoors allows for increased distancing and fresh air. Plus, the view from a D.C. patio, balcony, or rooftop isn’t half bad.
It is wise and courteous to wear your mask when interacting with restaurant staff, but you won’t be the only one doing your part! You can anticipate additional cleanliness precautions when dining out. Look for:
- The use of masks and gloves by staff
- Frequent wiping down of tables and chairs
- Limited table-top items (like salt/pepper shakers or ketchup)
- Infrequent use of physical menus
The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has even taken on a new role in aiding with guideline enforcement. If we all do our part, enjoying your favorite D.C. restaurants can be delicious and safe.
Best Outdoor Dining in D.C.
Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or have always called D.C. home, there is an ever-growing list of new options for outdoor dining. Adjustments for the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t changed that, just sparked creativity and re-imaginings of classic dining experiences. That means it’s time to mask up so you don’t miss out!
Woodley Park Neighborhood Outdoor Dining Options
Open City – 2331 Calvert St NW
Located just south of The Parkwest, Open City is in the Woodley Park area of D.C. and provides outdoor seating in a scenic neighborhood. From an all-day brunch to specialty coffee drinks, this restaurant is the perfect place for some comfort food. It is also providing all the measures needed to ensure their guests are safe.
Lebanese Taverna – 2641 Connecticut Ave NW
With more than 1,000 Google reviews, Lebanese Taverna is a local favorite for those who are in the mood for middle eastern cuisine. Its covered outdoor seating means you can comfortably enjoy your meal in nearly any weather, and you won’t have to worry about social distancing because the tables are already appropriately spaced.
Cleveland Park Neighborhood Outdoor Dining Options
Medium Rare – 3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Rated one of the best steakhouses in the Cleveland Park area, Medium Rare is a great place to enjoy a steak while sitting outdoors with no worries about social distancing. Its fries are a favorite to accompany many menu options, and its brunch options of steak and eggs, french toast, sausage, and bottomless drinks are also popular. Medium Rare has taken many safety precautions to help keep customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, too, including adopting contactless payments, having all staff wear gloves and masks, providing hand sanitizer, and limiting capacity as needed.
Tino’s Pizzeria – 3420 Connecticut Ave NW
Located just north of our The Parkway apartment community, Tino’s Pizzeria has been a local takeout pizza staple for years. It features outdoor tables in front of the restaurant that are perfect for enjoying a meal with family or friends, and its most popular offering — its Neapolitan-style pizza — pairs well with one of the local D.C. beers or sweet Mexican sodas on its menu. The restaurant’s fresh and fast casual approach to service for take out or at its outdoor seating means you can’t go wrong with pizza from Tino’s.
Laredo – 3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Laredo is located in the Cleveland Park area of D.C. directly between our The Parkway and The Rodman properties. It offers outdoor sitting on its colorful and comfortable patio, and its mission, vision and values are focused on choosing to support local and organic farms. This makes dining at Laredo a great option to both sit outside while social distancing and also support our local businesses in D.C.
Cleveland Park Bar & Grill – 3421 Connecticut Ave NW
It’s football season and there’s no better way to spend a Sunday than on a sports bar rooftop enjoying some food and beer! Cleveland Park Bar & Grill’s staff is all following safety protocols and seating guests on a first come, first served basis. You are required to wear a mask while moving about the restaurant, but are allowed to take them off when seated with your party at your table.
Dupont Circle NW Neighborhood Outdoor Dining Options
Lauriol Plaza — 18th Street
Lauriol Plaza wasted no time in preparing for the pandemic. The restaurant’s dedication to maintaining a classy dining experience — complete with multiple patios and a transformed parking lot — means no one will have to miss out on its Tex-Mex flavors. There are plenty of diverse options to choose from, from tacos to quesadillas to fajitas to fish, but one thing stays the same: Every customer can rest assured that staff is working hard to keep them safe.
Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights Neighborhood Outdoor Dining Options
RedRocks Firebrick Pizzeria – 1036 Park Rd NW
Located in close proximity from The Vintage apartment building is RedRocks Firebrick Pizzeria and its outdoor seating. The restaurant offers Neapolitan-style pizza and a full beer and cocktail menu with a relaxed atmosphere, and is a great place to get a classic pizza and a great drink with friends.
Are you moving to the D.C. area or looking for a new neighborhood to call home? DARO Apartments is ready to accommodate you! With an unbeatable location, luxurious amenities, and pet-friendly options, there’s never been better motivation to make the move. We have locations spread throughout D.C. and Maryland, and every apartment comes with classic style and modern convenience. Looking for your perfect match? Contact us today to speak with an expert. We can’t wait to welcome you home.