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The DC Summer 25

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The DC Summer 25

There are two types of DC summer people: those who run between air conditioned locations and those who soak up humidity like it fuels their superpowers. Whether it’s dinner plans after jazz in the sculpture garden or the perfect half-smoke—these 25 situations have a little bit of both for a peak DC summer.

There are two types of DC summer people: those who run between air conditioned locations and those who soak up humidity like it fuels their superpowers. Whether it’s dinner plans after jazz in the sculpture garden or the perfect half-smoke—these 25 situations have a little bit of both for a peak DC summer.

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Romance, but make it low-key (and hidden). Kick the tires at this vegan spot on H St. without worrying that your outing with (maybe) new bae will end up all over TikTok. The restaurant and cafe is intimate, and you’ll be able to split a boozy milkshake in peace. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

photo credit: Rey Lopez

You’ve had your fill of your mom’s aunt, plus you and your friends will be swag surfin’ at the Howard Theater tonight. Drop auntie off at José Andrés’ newest restaurant, which has some of his best food. The Waldorf Astoria spot serves a single $24 taco that’s topped with caviar and gold flakes. There are cherry blossom trees in full-bloom, indoors. It’s dramatic and fantastical and the perfect place to keep your out-of-town guests occupied. - Tristiaña Hinton

7.8
The Place To Ditch Your Weekend Visitors So You Can Hang Out With Your Real Friends image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

You’re not up for boozing around town tonight—or at all. Cue Mozzeria’s When Life Gives You Lemons mocktail, made with lemonade and thyme. Served in a martini glass, it has the sophistication of a James Bond moment and the ABV of Kool-Aid. Start out classily cheersing with your friends, but by number three, feel empowered to clumsily, and loudly, walk down H St. on your way to the bar (where you will also not be drinking). - Tristiaña Hinton

The Mocktail That Still Lets You Act Tipsy image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

The restaurant is always crawling with Hill folk, because it’s damn near on the Capitol grounds, so take advantage of Congress’ summer sessions at home and enjoy the steaks without the side of lobbyists. - Tristiaña Hinton

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Your only friend with a yard is out of town, but you’re jonesing for a juicy, grilled wing. The smoked wings at this Bloomingdale barbecue joint will hold you over. There might even be a split second where you contemplate if it was the friend you were missing or their food. - Tristiaña Hinton

photo credit: SV Images

Nobody’s making the trek to Ward 9 today. Swing by Bee J’s instead, a cookie spot at Union Market that serves snickerdoodles almost as good. The real winner here, though, is their sea salt caramel cookie that has little pretzel pieces on top and is A1. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Iverson Mall Is Too Far Cookie image

photo credit: Hi-Lawn

Picnics sound like a great idea until you’re covered in pollen, fighting off bees and ants, and dragging around a basket. Head to Hi-Lawn, instead, where you can get rooftop views of the city while sitting on astroturf, eating food from Union Market, and avoiding bugs. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Rooftop Picnic  image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Sure, you could’ve packed a cute little picnic and had it during the concert, but why do that when you can drop $88 on a tasting menu that’s only a five-minute walk away? Besides, groceries are basically as expensive as eating out now, and at least at Rasika you can get great Indian food while you talk about the business people who stayed in town over the weekend to “work.” - Tristiaña Hinton

The Post-Jazz In The Sculpture Garden Dinner image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Throw Social takes you back to those summer days running around outside playing games with your friends, only now there’s nobody to yell at you for letting their air out. Go in and out as much as you want, alternating between giant Connect 4, shuffleboard, and cornhole. There’s also a DJ, so you can have an epic dance battle while you’re at it. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Place To Be A Kid Again image

photo credit: Omnia Saed

At Metrobar, the old, unmoving 5000-series train is a sign of a good time. The outdoor bar has games, patio furniture and, of course, the train to entertain you, and a rotation of food trucks that come through in case you get hungry. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Only Broken Down Metro Car You’ll Want To Sit In image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

You have $16.97 in your bank account but your friends are ready to hit the street for Thirsty Thursday. No worries. This Chinatown spot has $5 beer, wine, and rail drinks from 4-8pm and you can bring your own food, so you can save a couple dollars to play pool and arcade games. - Tristiaña Hinton

The “I Don’t Get Paid Till Friday” Happy Hour image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Obviously the all-beef glizzy is the correct cookout move, but when you’re in the market for a half-smoke, get the Briggs & Co. It’s thick and juicy and topped with mustard slaw, chili, bacon, and onion crisps—meaning it has vegetables, protein, and carbs, so it’s basically a balanced meal all on its own. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Half-Smoke image

photo credit: Josh Weilepp/NMAAHC

You’ve decided to hit six museums today and while it’s way too hot to grab a hot dog from a cart and sit outside, museum food can be sketch. Stick the National Museum of African American History and Culture right in the middle of your day where you’ll find fried chicken and banana pudding at the Sweet Home Café. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

The Smithsonian Restaurant That Actually Has Good Food image

photo credit: Zaytinya

That tall, abstract sculpture surrounded by random tables that someone is always sitting at just across from the MLK Library? It’s Zaytinya, home to the most notable patio in the city. Make this the summer you sit there and look down at people. Literally. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Patio image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

We get it, it’s entirely too muggy to shoot your flicks outside in August. Head to Nara-Ya’s bright pink photo room, complete with flowers, some seats, and best of all, no one who is going to stick up their middle finger in the background. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

The TikTok Spot image

photo credit: Jai Williams

Some nights, El Rey feels like a makeshift moshpit. But you are the summertime version of Elsa and are unbothered by the moisture hanging in the air and dripping off of the people around you in the shipping container bar. If you eventually get too hot as you’re dancing around with a mango margarita, stand in front of one of the giant fans. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

The Humidity Never Bothered Me Anyway Spot image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

You didn’t play hooky from work to end the day at 3:30pm on a Nats L. Drag yourself out of Main Gate, across the street, and up the stairs to Silver Social’s patio that has tiny air conditioners under the booths. Cool down and enjoy the half-smoke sliders before you head to the train station. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Post-Nats Afternoon Game Cool-Off Spot image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

You found a parking spot on K St. after driving around for 30 minutes and now you’re pouting as you watch the party of six pull up along the Washington Harbour in their deck boat and slide right into their seats next to you at the Italian restaurant where the food looks as glamorous as the guests. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

There’s no time for the overcrowded hookah patios on H St. Head to Zeba Bar in Columbia Heights instead. The tiny patio is like a concrete-covered garden that guards you from the sun, the rain, and (almost) any other element you can think of. Spark up a blueberry and mint, lean back against the ivy, and listen to the dulcet sounds of 14th St. traffic. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Shaded Hookah Patio image

photo credit: Tristiaña Hinton

It’s cramped, there’s nowhere to sit (unless you buy a table), and the music bounces off the glass ceiling, piercing your eardrums. A.k.a everything that reminds you why you hate day parties—and other people. But as the saying goes, we outsideee. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Day Party To Remind You Why You Stay Inside image

photo credit: Kimberly Kong

The open-air Shaw rooftop is decorated in vines, plants, and flowers (think Rainforest Cafe, except less tacky), and they’re serving up bottomless margaritas, frozen cocktails, and Tecates in addition to mimosas and Bloody Marys. Plus, the $50 price tag also includes your brunch entree. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Outdoor Boozy Brunch image

photo credit: Chris Prosser

The humidity is up, your tolerance for people is down. Grab a table at the Tabard Inn, where there are old-school clothing dividers between the tables in the main dining room, and where people give you dirty looks if you try to peek your head around them—everyone’s feeling as antisocial as you. Come with a friend, or just bring your book and escape the heat. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Don’t-Talk-To-Me-It’s-Too-F*cking-Hot Spot image

photo credit: Tristiaña Hinton

Boomerang’s Open Air Rooftop boat takes you up and down the river for unobstructed looks at Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Monument, all while you’re running downstairs to take advantage of the open bar. Breathe in that musty DC water while tossing back your sixth cocktail and posting your 10th story on Instagram. - Tristiaña Hinton

The Potomac River Cruise Where You Can Actually See The DC Waterfront image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

Your cabinets are empty tonight because buying groceries requires an Apple store budget. Take a 2am stroll to grab chicken and waffles at H & Chicken (open daily until at least 3am). Because, unlike many other bamas in this city, they serve it with mumbo sauce. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

photo credit: Omnia Saed

Despite drunk you’s best efforts with the Advil and Gatorade before bed, it feels like a jackhammer is doing construction in your brain. Throw on your sunglasses, hop in an Uber (because walking even a block would be too much right now), and head to Jimmy T’s Place. It doesn’t get too busy, and if you need fresh air, there’s also a patio. Just make sure you have cash. - Tristiaña Hinton and Omnia Saed

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