5 Great Beer Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Photographs: Brian Oh



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Permit me to begin with the disclaimer that I am going to be fairly generous with my definition of what constitutes a 'beer garden' in Washington, D.C. Save for Biergarten Haus, which I will get to in a moment, there are hardly any truly authentic German biergartens. Feel free to call this list "5 Great Places to Drink Beer Outdoors in Washington, D.C." I'll be out drinking a beer while you worry about the distinction between the two.

Cafe Berlin's Bierstiefel

The half-boot at Cafe Berlin. Those with minimal upper body strength may have trouble handling the full two-liter boot.

As summer sets in and temperatures rise, there are few things more enjoyable than sitting outdoors in the shade with a beer. Whether you're looking for the real deal with traditional German wheat beers and brats or just somewhere to enjoy the warmth of a summer evening with little concern for the nationality of your brew, there's no shortage of open-air venues in the Capital.

Biergarten Haus

Pretzel rolls at Biergarten Haus.

After many rigorous hours of relaxing in the sun and drinking, I've narrowed down the options based on a few criteria. A great beer garden should have an outdoor space with shade and communal seating; second, serve a variety of beers (bonus points for pilsners, hefeweizens, bocks, and dunkels); and third, serve full meals, not just bar snacks. (We especially appreciate authentic German offerings.) Check out the slideshow for our top picks for beer gardens in D.C., and let us know in the comments where you prefer to drink outside in the District.

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The List

Biergarten Haus »
Cafe Berlin »
Tabard Inn »
Standard DC »
American Ice Co. »