With warmer weather becoming more and more persistent each day, what better way to celebrate than to eat your favorite meals outdoors? Northern Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful foliage, lakes, and city landscapes, making it the perfect place for outdoor dining. Here are our favorite NoVA restaurants for dining outside in lovely weather.
Old Town Alexandria is your best bet for finding outdoor dining, but Barca Pier & Wine Bar takes achieving that task to another level. Barca, which is Spanish for boat, is a modern version of traditional Spanish beach bars. Their pier was built on a commercial shipping pier and allows you to immerse yourself in the ultimate coastal vibe. Apart from the fantastic view of the Potomac River, the menu highlights Mediterranean–influenced tapas, which are only accentuated by the pier’s white and blue tones that make it seem like you’re in Mykonos. 2 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria
In 2012, Keith and Cheryl Early opened the Bungalow Lakehouse. Ten years later, it’s still the quintessential place to enjoy a summer view with your family. The light-yellow bungalow is situated next to a tiny lake surrounded by beautiful greenery, allowing for a wholesome summer dining experience. While large groups can make it difficult to find outdoor restaurants with enough room, The Bungalow Lake House is an outlier. They have space for the whole family to join, and with their diversified menu that includes anything from tacos to pizza, this is a great spot for your large gatherings. 46116 Lake Center Plz., Sterling
Grabbing drinks and food with friends is an idyllic way to celebrate summer, and Augie’s Mussel House proves to be the perfect environment for that. Described as “your neighborhood meeting spot,” Augie’s combines popular seafood and an extensive ale selection to create the perfect summer meal. They are Alexandria’s only open-air beer garden complete with communal tables and TVs for sport lovers. With casual dining and a friendly outdoor ambience, there’s no better place to go for an evening with friends. 1106 King St., Alexandria
Nothing says summer like eating by the beach. While that might not be possible in Northern Virginia, you can experience the feeling of warm sand, a nautical bar, and tropical trees at MacDowell’s. This “beach bar” offers a welcoming atmosphere and various sized outdoor tables right in the heart of Downtown Leesburg. There is a host of summer-themed cocktails and entrees to match the outdoor setting. Plus their outdoor bar is made out of an old boat. If you want to sip a frozen drink while feeling like you’re on a beach vacation, MacDowell’s, or the “Key West” of Leesburg, as the owners say, will be your perfect place. 202-B Harrison St. SE, Leesburg
This family-owned restaurant is known for their simple Greek food, accompanied by a close-up view of Lake Anne. The tavern has the most square footage along the lake, allowing for its large scenic lakefront dining. While named a sports tavern, perhaps what makes Kalypso’s noteworthy is their live patio music every Friday through Sunday. Overall, the versatility of the location and music allows for a family-friendly weekend meal, a light lunch while watching a sports game, or the perfect setting for a romantic summer dinner. 1617 Washington Plz. N., Reston
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