It’s cold. Snow is on the horizon. You can’t leave your house without putting on a jacket, a scarf, a hat of some sort and possibly some other accessories. It might not be winter quite yet, but isn’t it winter in our hearts? Haven’t our minds frozen over? Don’t our souls have frostbite?
Anyway, just because the wind is picking up and the temperatures are dropping, doesn’t mean you have to stop getting rowdy outdoors. D.C.’s outdoor drinking culture runs deep, and while we spend most of the summer getting drunk on patios and rooftops and porches, the fun doesn’t have to end. Restaurants and bars all over D.C. are breaking out fire pits, heating lamps and communal blankets, making it easy for you to spend the winter sloshed and cozy while enjoying the great outdoors. Other people might snowboard or ski, we drink outside.
We’ll be updating this guide all winter long, so let us know about the bars we missed!
Slip through the slight streets of Blagden Alley and you’ll find yourself in a little slice of outdoor drinking heaven. All summer long, Calico’s backyard bar is jam packed with people soaking up the sun and drinking alcoholic juice boxes. For the winter, you can expect a much cozier ste up including outdoor heaters, fleece blankets and hot cocktails. Go for a Mezcal Toddy if you want something with a little bite, or indulge your sweet tooth with a rum spiked hot chocolate. Either way, you won’t feel a thing.
When you walk through the front door of Dos Mamis, we recommend you keep walking. Past the bar, past the kitchen and straight to their snug back patio, which is staying open this winter with the help of a killer fire pit! To keep you in the winter-y mood, Dos Mamis is serving up some Christmas in Miami vibes all December long. Cuddle up next to that fire pit and enjoy Christmas themed cocktails and snacks.
D.C.’s favorite tree house bar has made its annual transformation from a sun filled rooftop paradise into a moody jungle greenhouse. With the help of their winterized roof (and a few heaters), El Techo will keep pouring mezcal and serving up nachos no matter the temperature. To celebrate the season, they’re serving up new brisket tacos and boozy (or non-boozy) nutella hot chocolate. Get the breakfast nachos. Don’t think about it.
Your favorite whiskey bar is breaking out the heavy duty heater and putting that retractable glass roof to use. If drinking copious amounts of brown liquor isn’t enough to keep you feeling warm, Jack Rose is slinging all of the hot cocktails and hearty foods (like chili!) you could ever need. But we still recommend the whiskey. Nothing warms us up like straight whiskey.
Need a beer? Need five beers? NoMa’s entirely outdoors, but impeccably tented, beer garden has your back. While this might be the perfect place to get a base tan and play bar games during the summer, the copious heaters and long list of brews will keep you nice and toasty. Not to mention, they’ll be upping your usual dose of holiday cheer with their third annual WINTERFEST pop up.