Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Seating in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia

Have fun on the patio at True Food Kitchen. Photo by @classicchickenspicymomma
Have fun on the patio at True Food Kitchen. Photo by @classicchickenspicymomma

When the weather warms up in the DC area, families go on the hunt for restaurants with outdoor seating. That's because not only is dining al fresco a great way to enjoy the pleasant temps, it's also so much less stressful with younger kids, who have more room to stretch their little legs.

Here are 15 great restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia with outdoor patios, gardens, or rooftops where kids can soak up the fresh air and even (at some of them) run around. A few of these restaurants with outdoor seating also offer extras like lawn games, fire pits, and dog menus.

For more yummy DC-area restaurants for kids and families, including restaurants where kids can play and great breakfast restaurants for kids and families, check out our Kid-Friendly DC Restaurants Guide.


Enjoy pizza outdoors on the riverfront. Photo courtesy of All-Purpose Pizzeria

Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Seating in DC

1. All-Purpose Pizzeria

Sit on the large patio of All-Purpose Pizzeria's Capitol Riverfront location and enjoy a variety of deck-oven pizzas and small bites like garlic knots and fried mozzarella. Adults can enjoy an extensive drink menu featuring beer, wine, cocktails, and boozy Italian water ices. With its location across the street from Nationals Park, it's the perfect place to grab a bite before or after a Nats game. All-Purpose also as a restaurant in DC's Shaw neighborhood that does not have outdoor seating.

2. Founding armers Fishers & Bakers

This popular restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront has a great patio where families can enjoy a meal al fresco and then take a stroll along the water. Though there's no kids' menu, children will find plenty to love on the extensive lunch and dinner menus, including burgers, pizza, chicken tenders, and more. Farmers Fishers & Bakers also serves breakfast, but its claim to fame is its huge brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-2pm.

3. Boardwalk Bar & Arcade

Inspired by coastal boardwalks, the Wharf's Boardwalk Bar & Arcade offers beachy bites such as corn dogs and carnival-style pretzels, creative takes on classic cocktails for grown-ups, shuffleboard, and a wide range of arcade games. The kids' menu includes burgers, tacos, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and—you've been warned—ice cream sandwiches and cotton candy. Boardwalk Bar also serves a bottomless brunch. The covered patio is open all year long.

RELATED: 15 Family-Friendly Beer Gardens and Breweries Near Washington, DC

Immigrant Food offers a fun twist on grilled cheese.

4. Immigrant Food

This fast-casual restaurant near the White House has a menu that blends various cuisines from around the globe, all of which can be enjoyed on a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. There are a variety of bowls, salads, and sandwiches to choose from; grilled cheese and Belgian fries are the most kid-friendly options. Immigrant Food is also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am-3pm. There are two other locations at the Planet Word museum and at Union Market District.

5. Hi-Lawn

Located atop Union Market, Hi-Lawn is one of DC's largest, most expansive rooftops for outdoor dining. Guests can enjoy a variety of Lawn Dogs made from beef or chicken as well as hot pretzels, curly fries, and other small bites on a large artificial-turf area with plenty of picnic tables and lounge seating. Kids can enjoy chicken tenders or grilled cheese from the kids' menu, then play lawn games while the grown-ups sip fun drinks like adult juice boxes, wine cans, and more.

RELATED: 10 Restaurants near DC Where Kids Can Play

Dogs are welcome—and even have their own menu—at Lia's Restaurant.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Seating in Maryland

6. Lia's Restaurant — Chevy Chase

This neighborhood gem has a large outdoor patio where families can enjoy house-made pasta, steak, seafood, salad, and pizza. There's a kids' menu, too, and even a dog menu with Scooby Snacks (pumpkin, peanut butter, milk, and oats); a Doggy Bowl with turkey, rice, and veggies; and more for pups to enjoy on the patio. Lia's is open for lunch and dinner all week long and brunch on the weekends.

7. Zinnia — Silver Spring

This tavern/cafe/restaurant has charming gardens with over 150 first-come, first-served seats spread across them, while the stone patio is reservations-only. The menu changes seasonally and includes a variety of shareable plates and fresh, light garden fare. The kids' menu serves up favorites like ham-and-cheese sandwiches and pasta. Grown-ups can indulge in specialty cocktails, craft beers, and a wide wine selection while the kids explore the small pond, gazebo, and bridge.

8. MoCo's Founding Farmers — Potomac

Founding Farmers is a family-friendly restaurant with a similar menu to its sister restaurant, DC's Farmers Fishers & Bakers (see above), but its daily breakfast/brunch is served a la carte and not buffet-style. Its beautiful outdoor patio with umbrellas and propane heaters is perfect for families looking to dine al fresco. Founding Farmers also has two Northern Virginia locations (Tysons and Reston Station) and one DC location in Georgetown, all of which offer outdoor seating.

9. Guapo's — Bethesda and Gaithersburg

This Tex-Mex restaurant has a huge menu of items that will please any palate, from tacos, burritos, and quesadillas to seafood and steak platters. The brunch menu features Mexican favorites like huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos. The large patios at both locations are the perfect place for grown-ups to enjoy a margarita and for kids to cool off with some fried ice cream. Guapo's also has several locations in DC and Northern Virginia. 

10. Old Angler's Inn — Potomac

This elegant and historic restaurant across from the C&O Canal has a beautiful outdoor patio with reserved seating available, as well as a large beer garden offering a more casual, drop-in experience. The contemporary American menu offers everything from sandwiches and bowls to seafood, steak, and chicken entrees. The beer garden is your best bet when dining with kids, who will love the brick-oven pizzas, hot dogs, quesadillas, and burgers.

RELATED: Family-Friendly Washington, DC Vegan Restaurants

Blackwall Hitch
Stroll the Old Town Alexandria waterfront after your meal at Blackwall Hitch.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Seating in Virginia

11. Blackwall Hitch — Alexandria

This coastal-inspired restaurant on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront serves up seafood, meats, house-made pastas, sandwiches, and more, as well as a kids' menu with classic kid fare such as cheeseburgers and chicken quesadillas. On Sundays, enjoy an all-you-can eat brunch from 10am-3pm. The restaurant's fabulous patio offers breathtaking views of the Potomac River from every seat, with a mix of tables and lounge dining that includes fire-pit coffee tables.

12. True Food Kitchen — Arlington, Fairfax, and Reston

This popular restaurant chain offers a healthy menu that can accommodate many special diets, including vegan, gluten-free, keto, and paleo options. Its extensive menu runs the gamut from burgers (both meat and vegan) and pizza to salads and seafood. There's also a kids' menu with pizza, mac and cheese, a chicken teriyaki bowl, and more, and the restaurant serves brunch on weekends. All three locations in Virginia, as well as the three Maryland spots in Annapolis, Bethesda, and Gaithersburg, have large outdoor patios.

13. Shoe's Cup & Cork — Leesburg

Shoe's Cup & Cork is all about using sustainable, local ingredients and serving Virginia craft wine and beer. It offers extensive dinner and all-day brunch menus, as well as a kids' menu with items like grilled cheese, steak frites, and mac and cheese, but kids will find plenty to love on the regular menus as well. The outdoor patio is gorgeous and can be enjoyed all year long, as it's heated in the winter.

14. Trattoria Villagio — Clifton

This Italian restaurant in Old Town Clifton—known for its extensive wine selection and hand-crafted pasta dishes—has a gorgeous outdoor patio with heaters and fire pits in the winter and plenty of umbrellas providing shade in the warmer months. Its kids' menu offers child-sized portions of grilled salmon and filet mignon along with more traditional choices like spaghetti and chicken tenders. The whole family will also love the large selection of New York-style pizzas. Weekend brunch is served 11:30am-3pm.

15. Vola's Dockside Grill — Alexandria

This Old Town Alexandria restaurant has a huge patio right on the waterfront, where families can watch boats pass by while enjoying seafood, burgers, salads, and more. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, and there is a kids' menu. Grown-ups can order a fruity drink and pretend they're on a tropical vacation.

All photos courtesy of the restaurants unless otherwise noted

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