The Best Rooftops in DC guide image


The Best Rooftops in DC

Our favorite spots for dinner with a view.

Aside from the Washington Monument, DC’s not well-known for its tall buildings. But we still have quite the selection of rooftop patios and bars. And lucky for us, they have pretty spectacular views. For days you want to settle in with a glass of bourbon while you admire the Potomac while the music drowns out all forms of critical thinking, here are the best rooftops in DC.



Hi-Lawn is the summertime hangout spot for adults that want to play outside all day. The Union Market rooftop, which is covered in astroturf, has lawn games like cornhole and wooden picnic tables where you can relax (just reserve a table beforehand if you want an umbrella). They also host trivia nights and live music events. Get juice boxes full of your favorite spirits at the bar, but skip the small bar food menu and grab something from one of the stalls downstairs. And if you bring your own blankets, you can enjoy it true picnic style.

Without overstating the obvious, you come to Vue for the view. Formerly known as POV Rooftop, the downtown restaurant and bar at the Hotel Washington has some of the best aerial looks of the city. Stare at your date—or the monuments, we’re not judging—while eating citrusy cuts of tuna crudo and a buttery roasted branzino. Be sure to make reservations beforehand (a few days before on weekends, day-of on weekdays) to snag seats by the window overlooking the city.

This rooftop spot located at the Pendry Hotel looks like something from the set of a James Bond film. While you won’t find 007 swirling a martini under the pendant chandeliers raining down from the ceiling, you will find well-dressed hotel guests (no tuxes) looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the stunning view of the Wharf. Grab a sunset sour (the bar’s take on a whisky sour made with Japanese whisky) before heading over to the patio fire pits for the kind of romantic evening only Ian Flemming could write.

On weekdays, Whiskey Charlie feels like feral ground for congressional interns and recent grads entering the workforce. The snug rooftop overlooking the Wharf is located on the penthouse floor of the Canopy Hotel. Be prepared to stand around avoiding eye contact and rubbing shoulders with the strangers as you wait for your $20 cocktail. If you're balling on a budget (interns whose parents cover their rent don’t count), you'll want to stick with beers and seltzers, which are $7 and $6 respectively.

Lucha Rosa has everything you need to unwind on a Friday evening. A DJ pumps a mix of reggaeton and R&B at the Moxy Hotel rooftop bar as a crowd of 20 and 30-somethings lounge on bubblegum pink velvet couches tossing back drinks so smooth, they couldn’t possibly be strong (they are). Which is why you may find yourself feeling a little twirly after three glasses of something called a Bed of Roses, a cocktail made with lots of tequila and rosé.

You've had a long week, so why not unwind with watered-down cocktails and a little adult attention on the penthouse floor of the AC Hotel? Swap your office attire for your favorite designer outfit before heading to Ciel Social Club where folks are grinding to Doja Cat's latest single rather than enjoy the rooftop views (it's just downtown). It's the kind of place you're bound to meet new people—even if it's just a Meta policy specialist you're never gonna speak to again.

This is one of the most relaxing rooftops in DC. From the top of the Watergate Hotel in Foggy Bottom, you can see almost every major landmark in the city, from the Potomac River running alongside the hotel to the National Cathedral up the hill. There’s a small food menu (don’t get anything other than the $17 truffle fries), but most folks are here for the views. Sip a $25 cocktail while you catch up with friends around a firepit or swing by with a date before dinner.

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photo credit: Atlas Restaurant Group

The Best Rooftops in DC guide image