Deck 11 Rooftop Pool and Lounge at Yotel 415 New Jersey Ave., NW Relax 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 ringed by private sun decks and cabanas. In the evenings, things get fired up between the DJs and flame tables. The lounge offers full food and beverage service including beachy cocktails (cue the piña coladas) in the $8 to $13 range, and eats like chips and guac’ or crabcakes. Deck 11 is open daily and is free for hotel guests, while day passes are $40 per person.
Ciel Social Club 601 K St., NW Is that Mayor Bowser? And the Bravo Summer House boys? (Yes, but not together). Celeb spotting is eclectic and the views are nearly 360-degrees at this scene-y cocktail and tapas lounge in Mount Vernon Triangle, which has indoor and outdoor space. Grab a lounge sofa on the terrace at sunset and settle in.
Perch Putt 1805 Capital One Dr Suite 1150, Tysons The newest addition to Tysons growing scene: a huge, 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 trails and Starr Hill beer garden. The new mini-golf course is joined by three restaurant and bar concepts 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. Get a sneak peek this weekend at a free event that’s open to the public (registration required): Perchfest Spring Edition: a Weekend Music Festival & Perch Putt Preview, taking place on Saturday, May 21 from noon to 11 PM, and Sunday from noon to 5 PM.
The Brixton 901 U St., NW One of U Street’s longtime favorite rooftop hangouts is back after a pandemic hiatus, and is channeling B.C. (Before Covid) times with frozen cocktails, rosé, weekend day-drinking hours, and (coming soon) second floor DJ dance parties.
Big Sky 2436 18th St., NW Mellow Mushroom’s replacement in Adams Morgan is still soaring under the radar, which works for us (the worst thing about rooftop bars: rooftop people). The partially shaded third-story space is open for dinner and weekend brunch, serving a menu of American pub fare and tacos.
Smoke & Mirrors 867 New Jersey Ave., SE Contrary to this place’s name, clear views of the Capitol are a draw at this all-weather lounge atop Capitol Hill’s new AC Hotel. Smoke-kissed cocktails and fire tables provide the glow. 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’s beloved Old Town seafood haunt recently moved north—and now boasts a covered, open-sided rooftop. Hit the bar for oyster happy hour, where $1.50 half-shells are matched with local beers and wines, or grab a table for one of the famous lobster rolls.
Top of the Gate 2650 Virginia Ave., NW If you’re really in it for the views, it’s hard to do better than the Watergate’s newly reopened rooftop bar, with 360-degree views of Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, the Mall, and the Potomac River. You’ll pay dearly for hanging atop the historic hotel—glasses of wine and cocktails start at $25, and even the hummus is near $30. But for celebrating a special occasion, there are few prettier places.
Summit 950 New York Ave., NW The seasonal rooftop bar atop the Conrad Hotel in CityCenterDC recently reopened for Thursday-through-Sunday imbibing. Like the views, prices are sky-high—that pitcher of sangria will set you back $65 and cocktails hover around $20—and there’s a luxe “garden gastronomy experience” with Chesapeake flora and fauna-accented bites by chef James Kerwin paired with Veuve bubbles.
Lady Bird 1315 16th St., NW The femme-chic lounge perched atop Dupont Circle’s new Kimpton Banneker hotel opened last fall, and is ready to fly into prime rooftop season. The indoor/outdoor bar serves cocktail party-inspired fare (mini lobster rolls, deviled eggs) and retro libations such as martini service—all fit for a socialite like the bar’s namesake First Lady.
Hip Flask 7707 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda In the rooftop-bar desert that is Bethesda, the new Marriott’s Hip Flask rises to the top. Sure, the name is a little this-is-what-the-kids-like-these-days (cue the whiskey-based “Tiger Vogue” cocktail presented “speakeasy-style” in a book) but the views from floor-to-ceiling windows are choice. If you’re not in a moody lounge mood, head out to the terrace for drinks and snacks like deviled eggs.
Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.