Definitive Patio Bar List

It’s a beautiful day here in DC and tomorrow will be the same, but this weekend will be cold and wet. What does that mean? You better get your patio happy hour time in now.

Here at DC Metroblogging, we’re tired of the same spots. There are only so many times we can slam cheap vodka tonics at Fox and Hounds or pay $5 for a Yingling Yuengling at Local 16. We need your help, all of DC needs your help!

We need the Definitive Patio Bar List!

Just in time for a solid spring and before summer sends us to the beach, we need to find new outdoor drink spots and just so there is no confusion, a patio bar is defined as:

  • more than 10 outdoor tables
  • 50% or more local patrons
  • 33% or less college/frat kids
  • good happy hour drink specials
  • sharable tasty appetizers

Honorable mention will go for smaller or semi-outside places, like Big Hunt’s back deck or Tom Tom’s open front doors. So get your mind in gear about what really matters this workday – patio happy hour plans, and let us know where you inebriate outside.

Comments are open & waiting!

Fox and Hounds in the Spring

22 Comments so far

  1. DCeiver (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:08 am


  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    I like “hidden” patios…

    One of the best is at Poste. I just heard that they’ve redone it – it used to be just patio tables but now apparently features sofas… it’s in a quiet courtyard of the Hotel Monaco. Though it gets a far amount of hotel patrons, there are a good deal of locals at happy hour, and it’s too swank for frats.

    There’s also a small outside tiki bar at Big Hunt, up the back stairs. It’s like a treehouse with beer. Nice.

    And Alero on U Street has a large patio in the front, with umbrellas in the spring and heaters in the fall. Enclosed by tall gates which you could either interpret as gently “hiding” it, or separating it from the street in paranoia…

  3. information leafblower (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:20 am

    My comment is you need to learn how to spell Yuengling before you complain about how much it costs.

  4. Jenn L (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:21 am

    Ooops – you already mentioned Big Hunt. Drat.

  5. wayan (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:51 am

    Dceiver & Leafblower – thanks for the catch. Now mind thinking up a patio bar or two?

  6. Mik (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 11:51 am

    For those of us who work (and live) in Georgetown, there’s always Third Edition with their tiki bar and Mr. Smith’s with their “patio”. Anywhere down in the harbour area can be half decent.

  7. chris (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

    I recently went to Mackey’s, the patio wasn’t overly special, but they do have some great beers on tap – Smithwicks and Boddingtons. The jalapeno poppers were pretty damn good too.

  8. Stop_smell_the_Potomac (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

    I agree with Jenn L – hidden patios are cool. Here’s my (not quite definitive) list:

    1)Poste at the Hotel Monaco – lots of area for standing, not too many tables, specials: no for drinks, yes for appetizers

    2)18th St Lounge Back Deck – some standing area, less than 10 tables = get there early, no air movement (so very hot in summer), no specials, cool tunes

    3)Bottom Line (Street level) – little standing area, 6 tables max. = get there early, $2 beer (Miller Lite variety) and food discounted at happy hour, be prepared for the occasional soccer, kickball, et al teams that show for the after-game refueling *NOTE: they also remove tables at 10PM – so if you there still at that time, be ready to chug your beer or move downstairs

    4)Lucky Bar – no standing area, 10+/- tables = get there early, food and drink specials – good for scoping out da clubgoers

    5)Whitlows on Wilson’s “SandBar” – lots of room and tables, beer specials *NOTE: sometimes it is closed for private parties, call ahead

    The above are the ones I remember but there are others more notable, usual suspects…

    Tony & Joe’s, Sequoia, Riverside on the Potomac
    51st State in G’town
    The Reef’s Rooftop in Adams Morgan
    Ireland’s Four Courts at Courthouse in Arlington
    Clarendon Ballroom Rooftop
    Patio at Carpool in Ballston
    Murphy’s Irish Bar at Woodley Park Metro Stn

    Anyone else want to add to the list?

  9. Stop_smell_the_Potomac (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    I forgot – Sine Irish Pub at Pentagon Row – good place for beer and it is metro accessible!

  10. Mik (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    I’ll pass on Sine, and give you Four P’s, not sure about the downtown location, but the one in Arlington is pretty decent.

  11. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    I’ll second the Bottom Line on K, that place is perfect for a PM drink.

    I’ll also add a few of the places that have fake patios, meaning the window/doors open to reveal fresh air, and that would add a bunch of places in Georgetown, Dakota Cowgirl, and a few of the F St areas downtown…but that’s your call.

  12. Mik (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

    How could I forget J. Paul’s? I was just there for lunch.

  13. maia (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    Alero, Yanni and Four P’s in Cleveland Park!

  14. Bin_round (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

    There must be more! How about Capitol Hill or Columbia Heights? Anyone know of good places there? Other than G’town and GWU, any places near the schools in the area? I guess places on P St near Dupont. Any recommendations?

  15. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    In Arlington: Whitlow’s on Wilson, La Tasca, Boulevard Woodgrill, that salvadoran place on the corner of Wilson and Highland. Aegean Taverna

  16. chris (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

    Off the top of my head…

    L’Enfant at 18th and U.

    Helix on Rhode Island

    15 Ria on Rhode Island

    St. Ex on 14th

    Dakota Cowgirl on 14th

    Gazuza on Conn.

  17. M (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

    I don’t live in DC anymore so I can give up my favorite place:

    The patio at the Tabard Inn near dupont.

  18. BAV (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

    Wonderland has all those big picnic tables…

  19. Bin_round (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 10:20 am

    Tom, that Salvadoran place at Wilson/Highland is Mexicali Blues – and there’s Faccia Luna down the street.

    I think some of the places that are being added to the list above are usually better known as eating places – how about just for drinking and lounging?

    I think it is hard to fill the criteria in Wayan’s original post so it must be really rare to find a place in DC like that. Can you make money in DC just having an outdoor watering hole?

  20. DC Smoker (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 2:11 pm

    This is a great list, I’ll need to start frequenting these places come 1/1/2007, or the day all patios officially become smoking lounges.

    I can’t wait to inconsiderately smoke solely to give the reply “Well, if it bothers you, it’s smoke free *inside*”

    grin ;->

  21. narni (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

    galaxy hut in arlington — the outdoor seating is through a door on the right-hand side of the bar. it’s basically some hidden space between buildings, but just enough for a few tables on each side. if you have a larger group, stake out the back and huddle up ;)

  22. Reddudette (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

    O’Connells Irish Pub In Old Town Alexandria replaced Bullfeathers and has a rooftop patio area. I haven’t been up there yet due to overcrowding.

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