By Marlissa Hernandez
The change in weather brings the longing to sit in the sunshine and take in serious amounts of fresh air. Finding a relaxing place that offers a warm environment, good food and drinks is not hard to find on the grid. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite spots:
For the hip and casual, head on over to FatFace Cafe (1815 19th street, inside Bows and Arrows). Whether you are looking for a lunch spot or a night out, this place will not disappoint. The back patio is shabby chic vintage, with a fountain and an abundance of potted plants. They have a great selection of beer, wine and great seasonal menu (be sure and try their homemade popsicles). While here you can also shop, listen to live music and check out their local artists!
Golden Bear (2326 K Street) also offers a seasonal/unique menu, crafted beer, wine, cocktails and live music. Although they were featured in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, this is no dive. It is a simple on-street and covered patio. It’s a great place to relax and catch up with friends. Try their banh mi or pizza.
Headhunters (20th and K Street) is the place to go for a fun time! The patio is large and has a cabana feel to it. The Fire pit and palm trees add to the feeling of being on a get-a-way! If you are lucky, Jeffrey will be bar tending – he makes the best drinks! It’s also a great option for breakfast – enjoy a bloody mary with your biscuits and gravy.
Mix Downtown (16th and L Street) offers a chic and posh rooftop patio with an all-night happy hour on Thursdays! The patio has firepits, umbrellas and lounge seating. They offer handcrafted drinks, wine and beer. Although, they are known for their rooftop lounge, the food is also downright superb. They offer a variety of small plate dining that’s perfect for ordering for a group. Try their ahi tuna poke, flatbread, mac & cheese or tempura shrimp cocktail. Bonus: Music and dancing start after 9 p.m.
Ambrosia Café (1030 K Street) has the best lunch-time-people-watching patio in town. They also have one of the best BLT’s in town! Or try their eggplant sandwich, quiche or breakfast burrito. All (and the beer/wine list) will keep you coming back.
Mulvaney’s (1215 19th Street) offers a super romantic patio. Enclosed with the original firehouse brick walls, you get a feeling of being in some quaint European town. At night the twinkle from the lights adds even more to the ambiance. The food and drinks are some of the best, if not the best, in town!
Lounge ON20 (1050 20th Street) patio is situated on one of the coolest corners in town. Its lounge styling is perfect for a large group, an intimate date or impressing an out of town guests. They also have a fantastic happy hour that offers niman ranch mini burgers and porchetta stackers for $3 and $5. Be sure and try the cucumber giblet, which is the perfect cure for those hot summer nights!
Paragary’s Bar and Oven (1408 28th Street) has an inviting patio with a stone fireplace, waterfall and olive trees. If romance and privacy is what you are looking for, this is the place! It’s perfect for a private party or a date night. Their mushroom salad and grilled chicken will keep you coming back for more!
Lucca (1615 J Street) also offers a great patio for private parties. The beamed ceiling and brick walls give the larger patio an intimate feel. I just wish they would offer their fantastic HH on the patio. When I’m not ordering from the happy hour menu, I like the spaghetti and meatballs. They also have great cocktails and a nice variety of wine and beer.
Red Rabbit (2718 J Street) has two patios. The street patio is great for people watching. The back patio is a great place for private parties or date night. The stone fireplace, portable heaters, patio bar and charasmatic bartenders (so far all of them) make this a very inviting place. Their back patio, is only opened on weekends for now, but, as weather permits, they are hoping to have it open every night. They offer a seasonal menu and the drinks here are fantastic, try “for whom the bell tolls.” Some of my favorite menu items include the roasted beet carpaccio, the B.L.B and the moco loco.