Sick of staying inside during the cold winter nights, but don’t want to freeze to while having fun? Heated winter patios are the solution (s’mores optional).
For the decor: A BAR + Kitchen at 2500 Pennsylvania Ave.
Nearest Metro stop: Foggy Bottom
Can you say chic?
There is a definite threat of pretentiousness that comes along with A BAR’s sleek decor and rather pricey drinks menu. (Enjoy a Manhattan or a Moscow Mule for $12 a piece). A BAR + Kitchen manages to feel more homey than high-end with touches like fire pits, lamps and throw pillows. Ivy covering the walls creates the illusion of a secluded garden.
To go with its fire pits, A BAR also offers s’mores kits, blankets and space heaters when the outdoor patio is open. Drinks-wise, anyone who comes to A BAR is obligated to try one of their signature cryo-freeze cocktails, which is essentially a normal drink flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen to make an alcoholic Dippin’ Dots. If you come during happy hour, you can also get $2 off their cocktails and wines, as well as $22 pitchers of punch.
To pair with your drink, try one of A BAR’s bites, like the savory sliders or the cheesy tacos. If you’re a bit hungrier, try Asian chicken lettuce wraps or braised beef flatbread. Just be prepared to dish out a minimum of $10 for anything you order.
Unfortunately, A BAR + Kitchen only opens its outdoor seating area during warmer winter nights, so if it’s under 20 degrees, it might be a better idea to stay home.
For the food: Pinstripes at 1064 Wisconsin Ave.
Nearest Metro stop: Foggy Bottom
A preppy Georgetown favorite, this bistro-bowling-bocce-bar rewards those willing to brave the weather with blankets and a fire pit.
Pinstripes’ chicken and avocado flatbread is delicious, with a perfect crust that’s just between chewy and crunchy. Once you’re done with dinner, their Frangelico chocolate cake is delectably rich. As for the booze, they have a classic array of cocktails available, but their wine and beer selections are far more extensive. Come for their great happy hour deals: $4 for a glass of wine or tap beer and half-price cocktails.
But Pinstripes isn’t the ideal cold weather hangout. Since the outdoor seating area is completely exposed to the elements, Pinstripes only turns on the heat when the weather is more than about 40 degrees.
For the view: Roofers Union at 2446 18th St.
Nearest Metro stop: Adams Morgan/Woodley Park
For a reliable outdoor patio, head to Roofers Union in Adams Morgan every Friday and Saturday for a piping Hot Toddy on their – you guessed it – roof.
The rooftop with its outdoor patio offers a bird’s eye view of Adams Morgan so you can sip a strong glass of punch – we recommend the bourbon and rum “Lei Me Down” – while staying cozy under its tarp. Jug & Table, Roofers’ very own wine and cocktail joint, occupies the first floor while the second floor features signature beers and Top Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s delicious bites. Try one of their hearty bratwursts on a chewy pretzel roll with a side of fries or lightly dressed green salad.
Although the Hot Toddy is made especially to warm you up on cold nights – this week’s special is the apple cider – Roofers Union has some unique drinks that you can’t find anywhere else. Try a “Here Comes the Sun” or “Lavender Blues” – which tastes strongly of lavender – or, if you’re more into the beer scene, take the “Passionfruit Prussia,” “Saison de Brett” or “Mystic: Water” out for a spin.
Roofers Union also offers a lot of seating space (15 tables to be exact) so you can head there with the whole crew.