Outdoor Dining: The Best Al Fresco Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

by Jane Reynolds on May 30, 2013

Summer fever is in full swing and we’ll do just about anything to enjoy a little sun during our lunch break or a boozy weekend brunch. Over the past couple of weeks, we shared our top al fresco hotel restaurant picks in New York City and Los Angeles, and this week we’re spilling our inside scoop on the best outdoor dining spots in the nation’s capital. So come with some SPF and an empty stomach — these D.C. restaurants in the sun are sure to satisfy!

Cafe Du Parc at The Willard Intercontinental

Cafe Du Parc at The Willard Intercontinental

Cafe Du Parc, located just a short walk from the White House, is popular among tourists, locals, and business people in town with clients. Serving three meals a day, as well as cocktails and light bites in between, the restaurant offers French-inspired dishes such as French onion soup and wild mushroom tarts.

 

Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Washington D.C.

Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Washington D.C.

Celebrity chef Michael Mina’s carnivore-friendly restaurant has a great location in the elegant Four Seasons in Georgetown. Diners can opt for entrees complete with well-suited sides, or choose from an extensive offering of a la carte meats, such as New York strip, aged Porterhouse, or filet mignon. During the summertime, the restaurant’s quiet courtyard opens up with comfy patio furniture.

 

Poste Moderne Brasserie at Hotel Monaco Washington D.C.

Poste at Hotel Monaco Washington D.C.

Not only can you sit outside at Poste Moderne, but while sitting outside at the large communal table,  you can probably see some of what you’ll be eating; the restaurant grows many ingredients, such as kale, kiwi, and cantaloupe, in its own garden. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Poste Moderne includes a rotation of specials for every weekday — we recommend the bouillabaisse on Tuesdays.

 

Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Washington

Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Washington

Though dining indoors at this restaurant — complete with an open kitchen — is an experience, dining al fresco on the terrace is just as nice. A Washington D.C. staple for several years, Blue Duck Tavern features an upscale American menu with offerings such as braised beef rib with housemade steak sauce, buttermilk poached chicken breast, and wood oven roasted confit of duck leg (naturally). The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list.

 

 Cafe Dupont at The Dupont Circle Hotel

Cafe Dupont at The Dupont Circle Hotel

Adjacent to the hotel’s popular Bar Dupont, which also offers outdoor seating, Cafe Dupont is a tasty French restaurant with a focus on organic produce. Items such as cheese and charcuterie plates, steak frites, and mussels can be ordered at the restaurant or from guests’ rooms. The restaurant does not serve lunch, but offers brunch over the weekend.

 

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