11 new rooftop bars for outdoor drinks and sunsets around DC

Deck 11, a 24-hour pool bar on Capitol Hill. Photograph courtesy of Bridge 11

Deck 11 Rooftop Pool and Yotel Lounge
415 New Jersey Ave NW
Chill out during the day and party at night at this newly reopened rooftop pool bar on Capitol Hill. Hotel guests and locals alike can cool off in the pool surrounded by terraces and private cabanas. In the evening, it gets carried away between the DJs and the flame tables. The lounge offers full service food and drink, including beach cocktails (cue the piña coladas) in the $8-$13 range, and eats like fries and guac or crabcakes. Deck 11 is open daily and is free for hotel guests, while day passes cost $40 per person.

Photo courtesy of Ciel Social Club.

Sky Social Club
601 K Street NW
Is that Mayor Bowser? And the thumbs up summer house boys? (Yes, but not together). Celebrity spotting is eclectic and views are nearly 360 degrees at this Mount Vernon Triangle cocktail and tapas bar, which has indoor and outdoor space. Take a lounge sofa on the terrace at sunset and settle in.

Golf putt-putt on the massive roof of the Perch. Photo courtesy of The Perch.

Perched putt
1805 Capital One Dr Suite 1150, Tysons
The newest addition to Tysons’ growing scene: a massive 18-hole mini-golf course, opening Thursday, May 26 atop the new Capital One Center. It’s part of the Perch, a truly massive two-and-a-half-acre “park in the sky” with walking paths and a Starr Hill beer garden. The new mini-golf course is joined by three concept restaurants and bars housed in retro-themed vehicles: Grandpa Hank’s Jamaican Kitchen, Los Dos Carlos Street Tacos, and Rum Rhoost, which bills itself as NoVa’s only tiki bar serving rum and frozen cocktails. Discover a preview this weekend of a free event open to the public (registration required): Perchfest Spring Edition: a weekend music festival and perch Putt Insighttaking place on Saturday May 21 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The new favorite Brixton. Photo courtesy of Brixton.

The Brixton
901 U Street NW
One of U Street’s longtime rooftop hangouts is back after a pandemic hiatus and channels BC times (pre-Covid) with frozen cocktails, rosé, weekday drinking hours -end and (coming soon) DJ dance parties on the second floor.

big sky
2436 18th Street, NW
Mellow Mushroom’s replacement at Adams Morgan is still under the radar, which works for us (worst thing about rooftop bars: people on rooftops). The partially shaded third-floor space is open for dinner and weekend brunch, serving a menu of American pub fare and tacos.

Smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors
867 New Jersey Ave, SE
Contrary to the name of this place, unobstructed views of the Capitol are a draw for this all-weather lounge atop Capitol Hill’s new AC Hotel. Smoky cocktails and fire tables add sparkle. A share plate menu is filled with plates like crispy duck wings and crab fondue.

Hank’s Oyster Bar Alexandria
818 N. St. Asaph St, Alexandria
Chef Jamie Leeds’ beloved Old Town seafood haunt has recently moved north and now has an open and covered roof. Head to the bar for oyster happy hour, where $1.50 half-shells are paired with local beers and wines, or grab a table for one of the famous lobster rolls.

Top of the door

Top of the door
2650 Virginia Ave. NW
If you’re really into a view, it’s hard to top Watergate’s newly reopened rooftop bar, with 360-degree views of Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, the mall, and the Potomac River. You’ll pay a lot to hang atop the historic hotel — glasses of wine and cocktails start at $25, and even hummus is nearly $30. But to celebrate a special occasion, there are few places prettier.

Summit at Conrad. Photo courtesy of Conrad

950 New York Avenue, NW
The seasonal rooftop bar atop the Conrad Hotel in CityCenterDC recently reopened for soaking Thursday through Sunday. Like the views, prices are sky-high — this pitcher of sangria will set you back $65 and cocktails hover around $20 — and there’s a deluxe “garden dining experience” with bites accented by the flora and fauna of Chesapeake by Chef James Kerwin paired with Widow Bubbles.

Lady Bird opens atop the Kimpton Banneker Hotel. Photo courtesy of Kimpton

lady bird
1315 16th St., NW
The femme-chic lounge perched atop Dupont Circle’s new Kimpton Banneker Hotel opened its doors last fall and is ready to take flight for rooftop season. The indoor/outdoor bar serves cocktail-inspired dishes (mini lobster rolls, deviled eggs) and retro libations such as martini service, all fit for a socialite like the bar’s first lady.

hip flask
7707 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda
In the rooftop bar desert that is Bethesda, Marriott’s new Hip Flask rises to the top. Sure, the name is a bit what-the-kids-love-these-days (like the whiskey-based “Tiger Vogue” cocktail featured “speakeasy style” in a book) but the views of the floor to -ceiling windows are optional. If you’re not in a moody lounge mood, head to the terrace for drinks and snacks like deviled eggs.

food editor

Anna Spiegel covers the restaurant and bar scene in her native DC. Before joining Washingtonian in 2010, she completed the MFA program at the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in New York and St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.

Joshua B. Speller