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9 Great Arlington Rooftop Bars

Here’s a guide to some of Arlington’s elevated watering holes. Catch a sunset, dine on pub grub and breathe in the atmosphere.

Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors at one of Arlington’s many rooftop dining destinations this summer. Arlington locals love to take advantage of the warm weather to sip their favorite drinks with the stars and city lights twinkling beyond.  

Whether you want a carefully crafted cocktail or tasty pub grub to enjoy while watching a sports game, Arlington’s elevated watering holes offer an idyllic experience you won’t want to miss.

Dining in Clarendon

The lively Clarendon neighborhood is packed with restaurants and bars and has its fair share of rooftop spots for a craft cocktail or a cold brew.

1. Buena Vida Gastrolounge

The rooftop bar and lounge atop the newly opened Mexican restaurant Buena Vida Gastrolounge is the perfect gathering spot for al fresco dining and happy hour.  Munch on freshly made guacamole, mussels a la diabla, enchiladas, lamb birria, seafood, and other authentic eats as you sip on margaritas and other tropical house-made cocktails.

2. Don Tito

This Mexican restaurant and bar is known for its tacos, tequila, and beer, and features a DJ booth on the rooftop. Tuesday nights mean half-price tacos, hookah, and bottle service. Fair warning, the rooftop tables are first-come, first-served.

3. Clarendon Pop-Up Bar

In the space formerly occupied by the iconic Clarendon Ballroom, the Clarendon Pop-Up Bar opened in January 2021 as a multi-level rotating pop-up club and event venue, currently decked out in Miami Vice-themed décor. The expansive outdoor rooftop space features a large bar, plenty of outdoor seating, and themed drink specials. Rooftop seating is first come, first served, with reservations available for indoor seating. 

4. Wilson Hardware Kitchen & Bar

You don't have to wait for warm weather to enjoy the rooftop at Wilson Hardware Kitchen & Bar in the heart of Clarendon. This rooftop is also heated in the winter. Head over weekdays for happy hour specials on foods like dips and calamari, drinks like draft and slushy cocktails, and wine.

Eating Around Arlington

5. Amuse

If you want to kick outdoor dining up a notch, try the terrace at the Amuse restaurant at Le Méridien Hotel in the Rosslyn neighborhood. Enjoy views of Georgetown, Washington, D.C.’s oldest neighborhood, and the Potomac River while you dine on Mediterranean cuisine and drink wine.

6. Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill

Located in the Courthouse neighborhood, this upscale-casual bar offers a large rooftop deck, a curated selection of wine and beer, and classic American eats. Catch their weekday happy hour with discounts on wine, beer, cocktails, and food.

7. Dudley's Sport & Ale

Billed as the largest rooftop bar in Arlington, Dudley's offers a sprawling deck with picnic tables, sunshades, and an aerial view of Shirlington. This sports bar serves up pizza, tacos, stadium "dawgs" and other bar bites along with a sizable beer list and boozy milkshakes.

Outdoor Patios

8. Highline RxR

Located in Crystal City (part of the National Landing area that's home to Amazon's second headquarters), Highline RxR features more than 30 beers, a creative bar menu, and daily specials. This gathering spot features weekly trivia, happy hour, and a wall of board games. The upstairs indoor space opens out onto a semi-open rooftop.

9. matchbox

At Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, diners sit outdoors on matchbox restaurant’s elevated terrace enjoying wood-fired pizzas, salads, sliders with onion frizzles, and other American eats. Grab a craft cocktail or a draft beer.

Author: Kirby Clark