Looking for the perfect spot to soak up some vitamin D while relaxing with friends over a mouthwatering meal? Just minutes from Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, is chock-full of restaurants where al fresco dining and top-notch fare go hand in hand. Whether you’re craving waterfront views, King Street people watching or tucked-away verandas, keep reading to discover our must-try restaurants for unwinding outside this summer.
1. Waterfront Wow Factor
Vola’s Dockside Grill
Let the Potomac River breeze ease you into the weekend at Vola’s Dockside Grill, where you can pair the bustling marina atmosphere with lobster rolls and coconut shrimp for the table. In the summer of 2019, Vola’s will launch Riverside Taco Company, serving up grab-and-go tacos, drinks, rice bowls and more from an Airstream trailer steps away from Vola’s iconic red umbrellas.
If you’re looking for more nautical views, Chart House also offers sweeping vistas of the Potomac River alongside classic seafood plates.
2. Riverside Lounge with Refreshing Libations
At Blackwall Hitch, kick back on an outdoor sofa and toast those summer evenings with an aperitif, from cocktails like the blackberry smash to Port City brews to rosé. Or, circle back to sample their dessert menu, including six riffs on chocolate truffles, while the waterfront’s good vibes wash over you.
3. Mediterranean Secret Garden
Taverna Cretekou’s lush, hidden garden casts a spell with its tranquil environs and exquisite Greek plates. The menu highlights Cretan specialties while offering favorites like moussaka, dolmades and spanakopita, enhanced by the sumptuous setting.
4. Laid-Back Patio by the Park
Virtue Feed & Grain
When the days get longer and the nights get warmer, Virtue Feed & Grain’s brick patio buzzes with friends and families indulging in elevated tavern fare. The former 19th-century feed house welcomes diners to dawdle for hours as the sun sets over adjacent Waterfront Park.
5. Chilled Slushies, Chill Vibes
The Front Porch
With its twinkling string lights, vibrant lawn chairs and buzzing neighborhood locale, it’s all smiles at Del Ray’s Front Porch. Evening Star Café’s outdoor patio borrows from Chef Jonathan Till’s inventive menu, boasting foraged ingredients and rooftop garden produce, best enjoyed with a Bourbon slush or frosé.
Wander farther along Mount Vernon Avenue for dozens of other al fresco options and soak in the neighborhood’s convivial vibes.
6. King Street People Watching
Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro
King Street is lined with endless restaurants offering a curbside culinary experience for those who like to be surrounded by Old Town’s charm. On upper King Street, take a seat under a vine-entwined canopy and enjoy Greek and Italian eats at Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro. Watch the world go by as you dive into decadent pastas like the scampi marinara or linguine laced with clams.
7. Upstairs Patio Hideaway
Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Bar
Almost hidden from passersby, Daniel O’Connell’s second floor patio is the perfect perch for an evening out in Old Town. The sounds of bustling King Street will float up to your open-air alcove as you savor comforting fare like fish and chips, lamb burgers and hearty Scotch eggs, with or without a Guinness.
8. Quiet Courtyard with French Flair
BRABO Tasting Room
For another tucked-away experience, head to BRABO Tasting Room’s sunny and serene patio, the ideal spot for a weekend brunch or after-work gathering. The continental menu tempts diners to linger over a charcuterie board and warm baguette before sampling a savory brick-oven tart, creamy panna cotta and sparkling Prosecco.
Another outdoor dining experience is coming soon to King Street. In the summer of 2019, Augie’s Mussel House on the Patio will join Alexandria’s growing beer garden trend. Expect a creative Belgian menu from Chef Eric Reid and some of the best beers from around the world.
Still scoping out the perfect spot? Explore dozens of other outdoor dining options across Alexandria.
Header Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria