Where to Warm Your Toes by the Fire Pit in DC

By Rina Rapuano  |  November 10, 2015

Fall is in full swing and there's a definite chill in the air, but we’re not ready to hibernate just yet. We’ve gathered a list of more than a dozen places that stretch the season with glowing fire pits — and where the outdoor fun doesn’t end when summer does.

  • Credit: Morgan Lynn Photography

    Art & Soul

    Art & Soul’s lounge out front not only allows guests to enjoy drinks and nibbles by the fire, but there is perhaps no other fire pit in town with that magnificent view of the Capitol. The cold-weather drinks menu, which features mulled wine and hot chocolate, can be enjoyed under provided blankets along with a newly released roster of winter cocktails.

    415 New Jersey Ave. NW; 202-393-7777

  • Blackwall Hitch

    This Old Town patio has four fire pits that can be enjoyed any time the restaurant is open along with its stunning view of the Potomac. (Although you’ll get an equally nice view inside.) Warm up with spiced cider spiked with Captain Morgan’s spiced rum and a cinnamon-sugar rim and fill your belly with the mushroom-truffle flatbread.

    5 Cameron St., Alexandria; 703-739-6090

  • Bourbon Steak

    The full menu is available on the patio of this Michael Mina restaurant. (May we suggest you try one of the best burgers in town?) In addition, the Four Seasons Georgetown restaurant offers a cigar menu and such cocktails as the Buttered Rum and the spicy, tequila-spiked Baja hot chocolate. Fire pit seats can be reserved by calling ahead.

    2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-944-2026

  • City Perch

    The Pike & Rose restaurant lights fire pits daily starting at 5 PM, when diners can order a bread board bearing cayenne-Parmesan popovers, Chinese butter buns and honey-dipped cornbread with goat cheese, among other carby delights. Wash it down with a Dark + Stoutly cocktail made with rum, ginger and Flying Dog’s Pearl Necklace stout or an Irish coffee.

    11830 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda; 301-231-2310

  • Empress Lounge at Mandarin Oriental

    The terrace here underwent a full renovation this year, bringing additional seating, fire pits and menu items exclusively offered outdoors from 2 PM–12 AM daily. The obvious outdoor choice is the s’mores and bubbles pairing, or you can warm up with flights of gin, tequila, scotch, rye or cognac.

    1330 Maryland Ave. SW; 202-787-6140

  • Credit: Marissa Bialecki

    Iron Gate Restaurant

    This Dupont spot’s unique space is mostly outdoors, so heaters, fire pits and blankets are brought into the mix as soon as the weather turns wintry. The nightly fire pits here are not just for diners in the courtyard; they also warm anyone who wants to hang out on the couches for an autumnal cocktail, like the Maletto #3—a blend of Calvados, Cardamaro, cinnamon syrup and lemon.

    1734 N St. NW; 202-524-5202

  • Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap

    This very new pizzeria warms guests on its 68-seat patio with heaters and a fire pit table that seats eight. Try the Korean BBQ pizza topped with short ribs, gochujang, scallions, mozzarella and pickled vegetables; the New England clam pizza (pictured); or the butternut squash–ricotta gnocchi to warm you from the inside—along with one of the 16 beers on draft.

    401 E. Braddock Rd., Alexandria; 703-683-5330

  • Masseria

    A good portion of the gorgeous newcomer near Union Market sits outside, so it makes sense to keep the patio comfortable for as much of the year as possible. Those seated on the grey sectionals are warmed by low fire tables, heaters and blankets, and diners can nibble on crispy prawn heads in XO sauce while sipping the Count Camillo cocktail made with gin, vermouth, beets and Campari. Cigars are also available.

    1340 Fourth St. NE; 202-608-1330

  • Matchbox

    The local pizza chain’s 14th Street location has a fire pit on its 60-seat patio, where diners can order the Bourbon Crisp cocktail made with cider, lemon, cinnamon syrup and orange bitters to go with their mini burgers and pizza. Matchbox Rockville also boasts a fire pit built into a table (pictured) that seats 11 comfortably on its patio.

    1901 14th St. NW, 202-328-0369; 1699 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-816-0369

  • Pinstripes

    Build in time before or after a game of bowling or bocce to hang out on this year-round patio overlooking Georgetown’s historic C&O Canal. The patio also offers a fire pit, heaters and blankets for those who like to snuggle up. The fall fireside cocktail special is the Nutty Cider, a combo of hot apple cider, Frangelico and a cinnamon stick.

    1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-625-6500

  • Poste Moderne Brasserie

    This Hotel Monaco courtyard patio features two outdoor fire pits in addition to heaters and blankets in its cozy winter lounge. Complimentary make-your-own s’mores help take the chill off, as do bites from the bar menu like French onion soup and truffle fries and the four toddies on offer. It’s open when the weather is above 40 degrees Thursdays through Saturdays from 7–9 PM.

    555 Eighth St. NW; 202-783-6060

  • Room 11

    The Columbia Heights favorite smartly employs a fire pit to augment its tiny indoor space during cooler months. Try the glögg — a Scandinavian mulled wine; one of the fall-inspired cocktails, like the 13th & Clifton made with rye, kirschwasser, Fernet and hot water with a lemon twist; or a coffee from the talented baristas at the restaurant’s coffee shop next door.

    3234 11th St. NW; 202-332-3234

  • Vinoteca

    One of DC’s most beloved patios now has two wood-burning fire pits that will help stretch bocce season well beyond summer. The pits will be fired up on chilly weekends, and patio-lovers can also keep warm with heaters, cups of mulled wine with brandy, ginger syrup and spices as well as chef Lonnie Zoeller’s new addition of split pea soup with ham.

    1940 11th St. NW; 202-332-9463