Drinking with a view is the epitome of luxury, so sip your way through the best rooftop bars in Washington, D.C. with our guide on where to go, when to arrive and what to drink. Then sit back and pretend you’re the political elite as you sip martinis with The Washington Monument
as a backdrop.
This casual pizzeria’s rooftop is a summertime favorite. Devour specialty pizzas and guzzle draft beers while soaking in the sunshine; there’s also sweeping views of the colorful Adams Morgan corridor. The rooftop décor is completed with outdoor heat lamps for winter time, so you can comfortably drink and dine even as the chilly temperatures arrive. Head there during weekday happy hour from 3 – 7 p.m to enjoy $4 rail drinks and $2 off draft beers.
Mellow Mushroom, 2436 18th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 290 2778
Young urban professionals, known unflatteringly as yuppies, flock to Bar Deco. The floors are narrow and there’s lots of shoving, but head to the industrial rooftop to sip on specialty cocktails and dine with a view of Chinatown. Mingle with your fellow young professionals and maybe even network. Happy hour includes $6 SKYY cocktails in flavors like Blood Orange and Honeycrisp Apple.
Bar Deco, 717 6th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 774 5867
H Street Country Club
Bar, Mexican, $$$
H Street Country Club
If you get tired of the arcade games and full mini-golf course inside, or if you just hate fun, head to the rooftop. The third level will be a non-stop party, as it is until close every night. Don’t let the stuffy name fool you; H Street Country Club is less of a club, and more of a big adventurous arcade with margaritas.
H Street Country Club, 1335 H St NE, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 399 4722
H Street Country Club is less of a club, and more of a big adventurous arcade with margaritas © Courtesy of H Street Country Club
Beacon Sky Bar
Come for the sunset, stay for the cocktails. This luxury rooftop lounge sits atop a hotel, but is open to the public. Simply enter the hotel and climb 20 floors in an elevator to reach your deluxe destination. Sip vodka lemonades while bumping to some tunes – there’s usually a live DJ.
Beacon Sky Bar, 1615 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 872 1126
Dedicated to Marvin Gaye, this bar/restaurant is a hotspot for social justice and political activism, giving homage to U Street’s rich black history. The stylish interior and rooftop bar make Marvin the go-to drinks spot in the corridor. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 5 – 7:30 p.m., which includes $5 rails, $4 draft Stellas, and $6 house wines.
Marvin, 2007 14th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 797 7171
The rooftop gets overly crowded during happy hour from 5 – 9 every day, but that’s because everyone knows Local 16 has one of the chillest rooftop bars in the DMV area – and one of the largest. Enjoy bottomless brunch on the roof with a variety of Afghan dishes, or just drink. The happy hour includes $5 cocktails like Maple Moscow Mules and Poinsettias. The rustic décor, unfinished wood floors, and colorful graffiti create an old-school ambiance.
The retractable roof allows this rooftop bar to transform into the perfect option for any weather. Soak in the rays on a sunny day, or drink in a storm while staying dry with a closed roof; the feature also allows you to enjoy semi al fresco dining during the winter’s freezing temperatures. Hawthorne offers a wide variety of craft beers – there’s always a craft beer of the day for $5.
By Kate McMahon