With summer winding down, we don’t blame you for wanting to spend every possible minute soaking up the sunshine – even during meals. And where better to do so than at one of Northern Virginia’s serene waterfront restaurants? At these six eateries, you can enjoy a meal while basking in the stunning views of the area’s rivers and lakes.
This Old Town Alexandria restaurant offers fine dining Modern American cuisine with breathtaking waterfront views. The steaks are the stars of the menu, with options for wagyu, 75-day aged New York strip, and filet mignon. The interior is covered in windows so that even indoor diners can experience the romantic atmosphere that the Potomac River views bring. 3 Pioneer Mill Wy., Alexandria
Tapas and small plates create a social setting at this riverfront restaurant. It sits on a commercial shipping pier and uses a renovated freight container as its bar. You will find Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines represented in the menu, plus an expansive list of wine and beer to pair with your meal. 2 Pioneer Mill Wy., Alexandria
Brickmaker’s Café is a casual outdoor eatery, located within Occoquan Regional Park, with views of the Occoquan River. Enjoy a meal of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, or fried seafood offerings after a walk around the park. 9751 Ox Rd., Lorton
This Reston staple is a multi-year Best of NoVA winner. It offers Greek classics like gyros and kabobs from a patio overlooking Lake Anne. An expansive list of wine, beer, and cocktails is available. For some entertainment on the water, Kalypso’s hosts live music on the patio every Friday night in August, plus Latin dance nights on Tuesdays. 1617 Washington Plz. N., Reston
The back patio of this New American restaurant offers you an opportunity to gaze across Lake Thoreau while enjoying fresh seafood and other specialties. Start off with raw bar oysters or an appetizer of mussels with white wine garlic sauce before diving into one of the entrees — crab cakes, fried chicken sandwiches, and steak frites are just a few of the mouthwatering options. The back patio is first-come-first-served, and seating is limited to 1 hour, 30 minutes. 11150 S. Lakes Dr., Reston
The patio at this restaurant offers stunning views of the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria. It’s a casual establishment with a seafood-centric menu. There are five types of oysters available from the raw bar, including a rotating selection and oysters from the James River and Chincoteague Island. Lean into the waterfront lifestyle with a lobster roll or go with Creole shrimp and grits for a more Southern style. Don’t overlook the drinks. Specialty cocktails include several frozen variations perfect for hot days. 101 N. Union St., Alexandria
Feature image of Barca Pier and Wine Bar by Rey Lopez
For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s Food newsletter.