10 Rooftop Bars You Must Visit In DC, 2023 Edition

When the weather is nice in Washington, D.C. and you want to get together with friends for a drink or a bite, head to one of city's rooftop bars. There are several great spots around the city that feature rooftop venues, each with its own unique feel -– and all of them provide great views and fresh air.

From upscale rooftop venues where you can enjoy a quiet meal, to fully-charged bars with DJs pumping out music, Washington, D.C. has a spot to suit every vibe. And with views of the skyline, Potomac River, the Capital One Arena, and more, there's always an amazing view to take in as you sip on your cocktail.

To help you find the best spot to enjoy the weather while having a drink in Washington, D.C., we've compiled a list of 10 of the best rooftop bars in the city. Whether you want to enjoy the warmth of the sun or spend an evening under the stars, these are some of the best places where you can do so.

1. Wild Days

Located in Northwest D.C., Wild Days is on the rooftop of the Eaton Hotel and within walking distance of several major clubs. The bar has become a popular nightlife destination in the city and one that features many interesting events for young professionals looking to mingle. For example, the bar features live music throughout the month and themed nights. 

Inside Wild Days is a large dance floor where the elevated DJ pumps in the latest hip-hop tracks. The dance floor is surrounded by tables for dining, which are converted into VIP sections later in the evening. The outdoor patio has multiple seated sections that are available regardless of season. The fire pits keep patrons warm during the fall and winter, while the retractable roof offers shade during the hottest days of the year.

The food menu is small, featuring tacos and a few other Tex-Mex-inspired options. The drink list is rather long, however, with plenty of liquors for mixed drinks, as well as original cocktails unique to Wild Days.

2. La Vie

If you aren't in the mood for a packed party, then La Vie may be more your style. This luxury restaurant and lounge is located on the Wharf in the Southwest portion of Washington D.C. It is an interesting venue and a beautiful rooftop site with amazing views of the Potomac River.

La Vie features a restaurant, lounge, and dancefloor all in one location. The restaurant boasts a large dining area that features menus for brunch, happy hour, and dinner. When the kitchen closes later in the evening, that area transitions into the main bar of the venue. If you're looking to stay indoors or the weather isn't agreeable, this is a big area where you will have plenty of space to enjoy drinks with your friends. 

The rooftop lounge and dancefloor are a few levels above. This is where you can hang out on the outdoor deck that overlooks the river, or stay inside to dance as the DJ plays top hits. This part of La Vie also has a bar, but it's much smaller than the main area previously mentioned. 

La Vie's bar features the staples that most drink lovers want, but also a unique list of drinks such as the Purple Blossom, Rose Sangria, and the LA Vie AF. The dress code is upscale and strictly enforced. If you're looking for a laid-back location where you can talk under the night sky, La Vie is a good option.

3. El Techo

El Techo is a beautiful rooftop bar that captures all the flare of Mexico City. Located on Florida Avenue in Northwest D.C., this bar is frequently packed, especially when the weather is nice. But if the weather isn't so nice, El Techo is still a great spot because it has a covered roof to keep both rain and snow at bay. This bar stands out on this list because of its visual aesthetic. The entire rooftop is covered with plants and lighting that makes you feel like you are eating dinner on a South American island covered in wildlife. 

The menu features all the staples of a Tex-Mex restaurant, including a variety of tacos, burritos, and more. And yes, the margarita list is long with many assorted flavors such as peach, strawberry, and a spicy option if you're looking for something with more of a kick.

What El Techno lacks compared to other spots on this list is that it does not have a dance floor. It's more of a spot to get together for drinks and bites and just chill for a while. Still, it is a must-visit location if you're looking for a rooftop to enjoy in Washington, D.C.

4. VUE Rooftop

You may remember Hotel Washington under its previous name as a part of the W Hotel chain. The popular D.C. hotel completed a rebrand in 2023 but still features the rooftop attraction that drew in its biggest fans. The rooftop bar, called VUE, is an upscale spot with a strict, business casual dress code. It is also an excellent location to enjoy an evening of food and drinks while taking in some of the most important sights in the city. VUE features a strong list of specialty drinks, some taking light-hearted jabs at Washington D.C., such as the Bi-Partisan Blend, Power to the Peaches and the PC Punch.

From VUE, patrons can see both the Washington Monument and the White House, creating the perfect pictures for social media. There's plenty of space for dining tables and chairs in the restaurant area, and there's a dance floor if you're looking to get your moves on before or after eating.

5. Bar Deco

Bar Deco's rooftop bar is perfect for sports fans as it overlooks the Capital One Arena where the Washington Wizards and Capitals play their home games. The bar area also features multiple televisions where you can watch all the big games. If that's not enough for you, just one level below is another area with even more televisions all tuned into sports.

The menu features all the standard bar foods including burgers, nachos, wings, and more. Beer is at the forefront of the drink menu, with several standard and local drinks on tap. Wine and margarita drinkers can also have their taste buds fulfilled as there are plenty of options for their enjoyment as well.

Bar Deco's rooftop is a great bar for sports fans to be close to action — without having to buy what can be expensive tickets to games. And in the moments when the Washington teams win major sports championships, it's a great spot to take in the celebration as the team rolls through on a parade.

6. Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors is located atop the AC Hotel in Southeast D.C. and features views of many important attractions downtown, including the Capitol Building. Like La Vie, this is another upscale location on the list that involves full meals with multiple courses. The brunch and dinner menus include many of the standard items at bars, as well as truffle fries, mumbo sauce chicken wings, and pork belly deviled eggs. The drink menu features a variety of libations based on rum, vodka, gin, and bourbon, plus specialty drinks like the Jungle Bird, Sprinter to Quebec, and more. 

If you are looking for a place to party the night away, Smoke & Mirrors is not the spot for you. It is more catered to those looking for a quiet evening at a bar where they can hear their conversations without talking loudly. Smoke & Mirrors does not feature a DJ, nor is music played at the bar like others on this list. 

The covered rooftop features ample seating that is available during all seasons. Some of the sections are around fire pits to keep customers warm during the colder months. The view allows you to see many attractions in Southwest DC, such as the Capitol Building. 

7. Jack Rose

Jack Rose is one of those places that you've been to, or at least heard of. It is in Adams Morgan, which is one of the busiest party areas in Washington D.C. Jack Rose is a spot where you can bring a date for a nice outing of dinner and drinks, or you can meet with friends on the rooftop for a more unbuttoned affair. Adams Morgan is one of the more popular party areas in D.C. and Jack Rose is a featured spot in the strip, providing a great look at all the action happening below. This bar has an expansive whiskey list and when customers walk in they immediately see hundreds of bottles of whiskey on the walls.

In the Dining Saloon, a full dinner menu is available, featuring seafood, pasta, burgers, and salads. Upstairs, the rooftop has a more casual atmosphere. The full dinner menu is not available here, instead, the bar offers smaller items like roasted olives, deviled eggs, and wings. The drink list features cocktails like Ocean Ave, Trailblazer, and Sunday Afternoon. Plus, you can also bring drinks from downstairs if you're looking for something off of the larger drink menu. 

8. Deck 11 Pool & Rooftop

Deck 11 is the only location on this list that mixes the best of two big summer attractions: pools and rooftops. Deck 11 is the rooftop pool bar that sits atop the Liaison Hotel, now called Yotel, in Southeast D.C. It's the most expensive bar on this list because you either have to stay overnight at the hotel to enjoy it or pay for a day pass, which can range from $50 to $100.

This spot can get a bit rowdy but never gets out of hand. Kids are allowed at the pool, but once 6 p.m. rolls around, Deck 11 becomes adults only. The pool area features multiple chairs that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, along with cabana beds that are available via reservation.

The bar features a variety of unique beach-themed drinks and a small menu of finger foods. Customers can buy beef skewers, crab cake sandwiches, and even grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids. You can order your favorite drinks from the bar, or get specialty items such as the Summertime Fine, Capitol Smash, and NW Negroni. 


TAKODA is another rooftop bar in Northwest D.C. that will lure you in with drink and food, and keep you there the whole night with a lively rooftop. This is a popular location in the city and has recently spurred the opening of a new location in Navy Yard near the Washington Nationals Stadium. The Navy Yard TAKODA has more seating space on its patio, but the area isn't as congested as that in Northwest D.C. The patio overlooks the green spaces that are around the stadium.  

The first level of TAKODA's Northwest location is a basic sports bar. Multiple televisions showcase the latest in sports news or the biggest games. The menu features standard bar dishes, such as sliders, french fries, wings, and more. The drink list includes options like the TAKODA Mule, Bloom City, and Autumn Sangria. 

Upstairs is a rooftop area that is partially inside with some available seating on the outside patio. The bar is indoors, with barstools, tables, and room to stand. The patio area has a few seats above the busy U Street below, offering great views of the bustling city life.

10. 12 Stories

12 Stories takes us back to the wharf in Southwest D.C. This rooftop bar is located directly across La Vie, in fact, they face each other and overlook the Potomac River. Unlike La Vie, which features more of a low-key vibe, 12 Stories can quickly become a full-on party packed with people.

The menu doesn't include as many big dinner options as others on this list. Instead, 12 Stories offers smaller items like sliders, truffle fries, and chicken tenders. Customers can eat indoors or grab a seat outside to enjoy the fresh air. The rooftop bar not only offers 360-degree views of the D.C. skyline but also of the Potomac River.

When the party gets started later in the evening, the inside section turns into a VIP area where bottles are served. The menu features standard cocktails and wines, along with some unique drinks like the 12 Stories 75, which contains Dusee, lemon, and veuve clicquot.