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Best Outdoor Restaurant Patios in Washington, D.C.


PHOTO: Spring in D.C. (c) Sery Kim

Spring has finally arrived in Washington, D.C. and with it a plethora of outdoor restaurant patio options. Here are a few of my favorites, though hardly a comprehensive list, including two gems buried in this story because I actually do not want you to know about them.

Blue Duck Tavern -- My favorite restaurant in D.C., with a superb menu by Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche as well as beautiful cocktails. There really is no need to explain the genius of this elegant menu but don’t take pictures of all the famous people stopping by.

Bourbon Steak Lounge -- My second favorite place to just lounge and enjoy the weather. A great enclosed outdoor patio with a firepit with my favorite drink in the city the off-the-menu “Mrs. Jefferson.” Don’t ask me what’s in it because I won’t tell you.

Right Proper Brewing Company -- Located in historic Shaw, the best home-brew beer company in D.C. has a popular, though small, patio space. Plus, I love the food especially the Lamb French Dip.

Facebook - I've died and gone to #hotel #heaven @jkcapri - this is the #best pla

PHOTO; A dream outdoor happy hour combination (c) Sery Kim

Brixton -- This British style pub near Nellie’s has a huge top-floor patio. Be prepared to stay for the entire day as time will slip by effortlessly while enjoying the drinks and view. In fact, I had so much fun I can’t say what the food is like.

Dacha Beer Garden -- Since I’m on the beer theme, check out this fun hipster hangout. Not really known for its food (but you can bring your own), if you can’t make it to Munich this will do in a pinch.

Et Voila -- The only place in D.C. to get an authentic beef bourginon, this Palisades restaurant is beautiful. Little known fact is they do have a six-seat patio where you can enjoy Executive Chef/Owner Claudio Pirollo’s classic Belgian French fare. If you haven’t eaten here, don’t tell me you are a “foodie.”

Cantina Marina -- This crazy fun restaurant with the best nachos in D.C., Cantina Marina has a patio space on two levels. Classic beers with no fuss-or-muss. I usually stick with Red Stripe since the mixed drinks are a watery mess. Just be sure to come early because on a nice day it fills up quick!

City Tap House -- Penn Quarter’s fun pub restaurant, a 40-seat outdoor patio allows guests to enjoy this great food. Check out the new spring menu addition the Cajun Ribeye with asparagus, warm potato salad, grilled scallions, roasted red peppers and a red crawfish sauce.

Oval Room -- Acclaimed Executive Chef John Melfi has really turned around the stodgy Oval Room menu. With 40 seats and a brilliantly curated cocktail menu, a great place to enjoy the weather. Too bad there isn’t a good scene except for a bunch of ugly office buildings because it’s damn near perfect otherwise.

The Quill at The Jefferson -- I can’t believe I am revealing my favorite “secret” patio in D.C. Situated behind a row of hedges, this place is where I find myself every week when the weather is nice. Good thing I buried this gem in the middle of the story.

Duke’s Grocery Store -- I feel the same about Duke’s as I do about The Quill. Perennial all-time brunch favorite with the most delicious East London food in D.C., it makes me homesick for my British life. I will wait as long as they want me to for an outdoor seat on the tiny patio with approximately 10 tables.

Masa 14 -- 14th Street haunt with the best “all-you-can-eat” (literally from 1 pm to 4 pm you can eat as much as you want) Sunday brunch, Masa 14 also has a 60 seat upstairs patio deck. Do not miss the Spicy Cucumber Margarita with cucumber-fresno infused blanco, agave and fresh lime. Yum yum!

Arcuri -- Glover Park’s slightly below street level Arcuri serves up Limencello and great pizza. The cozy 16-seat outdoor patio is great for people watching. Seasonal cello flavors include Currant; Artichoke and Lemon; Kiwi and Strawberry; Rhubarb and Lemon; Raspberry and Lemon; Chocolate and Orange; Mango, and Passion Fruit.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace -- A crazy show on 14th, filled with a glut of young professionals, I much prefer the food here than Barcelona. Plus they have a great happy hour and a cocktail called “Fleur 75” which is my kryptonite.

Arsenal at Bluejacket -- This fairly new (2013) southwest waterfront restaurant has a nice brewery menu. On Nationals Gameday the crowd is 90% male so ladies be sure to stop by!

Rustico -- The original, and best, Rustico is located on Slaters Lane away from any demonstrable form of public transportation. Really awesome french fries and a nice Raspberry lambic. The type of dining to induce diabetes with zero regrets.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon -- This newly perennial powerhouse favorite in Adams Morgan has a great top floor bar with awesome southern style cuisine courtesy of rising star Executive Chef Russell Jones and beautiful cocktails from Trevor Frye. An added bonus is the 1,000 plus varietals of whiskies. WHOOH.

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