Cozy Restaurants in Washington, D.C. Perfect for Winter

Washington, D.C. in winter
Washington, D.C. in winter | © paul.wasneski / Flickr
Nicole Hampton

For Washingtonians, the temperature falling isn’t an excuse to stay at home. Many people don’t have the luxury of sparking fireplaces and outdoor fire pits, and some bars and restaurants are just cozier than some people’s homes. Walk into any of these places, kick the snow off of your boots, and sit down in a warmly lit place to order food and drinks that are sure to satisfy.

1. Art and Soul

Restaurant, American, Soul Food, Vegetarian, Vegan

Chef Douglas Alexander couldn’t have created a more thoughtful restaurant. The diverse and seasonal Southern cuisine offered here is sure to warm anybody up, along with a local brew. Its location is ideal, being just steps from Union Station and the Capitol Building, whose dome you can see from the windows. You can even bring your furry friend to snuggle with, as they have a menu just for dogs.

2. Room 11

Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, American, Beer

At Room 11, the dishes are innovative, and the cocktails are clever. Plus, it’s right in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, off of renowned 11th Street. Whether you live in this area or not, this will become your “neighborhood” restaurant, complete with an intimate yet hipster vibe, small plates, and a community fire pit that’s open late.

3. The Red Hen

Restaurant, Italian

With rustic-chic décor and a wood-burning stove that you can see farm-to-table meals coming out of, The Red Hen has everyone feeling all warm and fuzzy. They serve New American cuisine that is Italian inspired, so of course, they also have an extensive and impressive wine list.

4. 1789 Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

1789 Restaurant
© AgnosticPreachersKid / WikiCommons

1789 Restaurant, tucked inside a Federal-style house that makes you feel like you’re living in a different century, offers seasonal, fresh three- and five-course meals featuring meats, fish, and vegetables. The beautiful fireplace and cocktail menu add to this old-fashioned American ambiance.

5. Barcelona

Restaurant, Spanish

Although sangria and cheese platters are a summer favorite, that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as delectable in winter, especially when heat lamps, blankets, and an outdoor fireplace are involved. This down-to-earth yet elegant establishment is the place to go when you want to stay in that constant, blissful state of warming up.

6. Kinship

Restaurant, American, Dessert

Kinship is able to maintain a chic yet cozy environment, two atmospheres which don’t always blend but are pulled off flawlessly at the New American restaurant. Come hungry and with friends to experience the choice family-style dishes.

7. Farmers Fishers Bakers

Restaurant, American, Sushi

As the name suggests, this quirky restaurant offers a lot. From fresh sushi to pizza and jambalaya, the American-worldly food is all farm-to-table fare. There’s a fire where you can warm up, and it features views of the Georgetown waterfront. What more could you want?

8. Iron Gate

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan

Iron Gate sits inside a historic building—once home to General Nelson Miles—that holds a romantic tone. Inside, it has a modern fireplace, and outside, there are swanky courtyards, an outdoor fireplace, and fire pits. The delicate small plates of Greek and Italian food are perfect for sharing, if you can bear it.

9. Masseria

Restaurant, Italian

Masseria’s farmhouse-chic setting and four-, five- and six-course tasting menus are not exactly what you thought you’d find between the warehouses and garages near Union Market, which makes the find even more precious. The best place to drink your signature cocktail at this Michelin-starred Italian country restaurant would be near the fire pits on the lovely furnished patio.

10. Ana at District Winery

Restaurant, American, Soul Food, Beer

This new and modern American restaurant is all the rage in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Complete with wines made in-house to pair with the innovative comfort food, riverfront views, a grand patio, and fire pits to warm up by, it’s easy to see why.

11. Blue Duck Tavern

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Your time at this swanky restaurant will not be forgotten anytime soon, especially if you take them up on the seats next to the kitchen, catching bursts of warmth from the open-flame oven. Locally sourced, New American food and themed cocktails are on offer, and they’re sure to blow you away. The best part is that it’s also open for breakfast and brunch.

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