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All words by Elsie Yang

As the weather cools and the summer comes to an end, the time is ripe for spending time in the great out-of-doors. For the more active among us, that may take the form of a hike in one of the many nearby trails and parks, or a trip along the water via kayak or party boat. But if you prefer to get your dose of vitamin D while enjoying a bit more TLC (nothing wrong with that), you could always head to one of DC’s many restaurants and bars with not just outdoor seating, but outdoor seating on the roof. To appreciate not only the improving weather in the city, but also the beautiful skyline of the nation’s capitol, here are five of our favorite places to get a fabulous meal (or drink) with a view. 

Officina Terrazza 

For a fabulous view of the DC Wharf, perch yourself above the crowds at Officina’s rooftop terrace, named the Terrazza. Inspired by the eateries of Rome, the well-positioned year-round outdoor dining space at Officina is keeping things safe by seating no more than six guests at a dining table, and keeping parties plenty of feet apart. Thanks to the relatively spacious layout of the Terrazza, there’s more than enough room for folks to safely enjoy a view of the Potomac, while enjoying Chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s take on modern and seasonal Italian cuisine. 

Roofers Union

Above the delightful wine bar that is Jug and Table, you’ll find the third floor rooftop of Roofers Union, which offers a birds eye view of Adams Morgan. While the roof is open air, a covering allows diners to enjoy the space rain or shine (though during the colder months, the space is unavailable). Sit-down dinner service is now available, which means that you can enjoy Roofers Union’s famous punch bowls while taking in the sights of one of DC’s most beloved neighborhoods. 

Colada Shop

Colada Shop now has two locations, but it’s the original T street Cuban eatery that offers a delightful rooftop garden that serves as a perfect backdrop to your mojitos and empanadas. While the view of the surrounding area may not be much to write home about, the Colada Shop rooftop itself is certainly a treat for the eyes (and the stomach). Brightly colored chairs and colorful walls evoke the design ethos of the Caribbean nation, and now that the restaurant is offering happy hour (both at the Wharf and at T street) you can eat, drink, and enjoy the view for cheap. 

Rooftop at Riggs

Some of the best views of DC come from the city center, and the new rooftop bar at the Riggs Hotel in Penn Quarter certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to both sights and snacks. You could take quite the panoramic photo of DC from the aptly named Rooftop at Riggs, and enjoy the Mediterranean menu of appetizers and aperitifs. The terrace is a whopping 1,500 square feet, so you’ll certainly be able to practice social distancing while enjoying the views. 

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Tonight’s view. Photo by @jenniferhughesphoto

A post shared by Rooftop at Riggs (@rooftopatriggs) on

La Vie 

Tucked away in an unassuming side street on the busy wharf is La Vie, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that is now offering brunch. The restaurant offers a pretty phenomenal view of both the water and the wharf below, and thanks to its new brunch offering (yes, there’s a bottomless option), you can take in the sights during the daytime for full effect. Be sure to find yourself a spot near the window or out on the terrace for an open-air dining experience. 


Featured thumbnail via Roofers Union on Instagram