Northern Virginia Outdoor Dining: 25+ Great Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

Here are more than 25 delicious restaurants for Northern Virginia outdoor dining where you can relax, indulge, and celebrate warm weather. These NoVA restaurants all have nice outdoor seating on patios and decks, perfect for everything from casual meals to special date nights. Our list is updated for 2023 and we continue to add new outdoor dining spots.

We love a cozy pub in the chill of winter, but warm weather calls us outside. Fortunately, there are plenty of restaurants with outdoor seating nearby. Whether you want a simple picnic table or a more elegant spot with a waterfront view, you'll find great Northern Virginia outdoor dining choices on our list.

Want to create your own Northern Virginia outdoor dining experience? Check out our round-ups of the best picnic spots in Northern VA plus great urban parks with outdoor seating.

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Restaurants in our Northern Virginia outdoor dining round-up are listed alphabetically by town. Our list includes outdoor restaurants in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Fauquier, Falls Church, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties and towns.  Follow the links for details on hours, price range, and address.

In the winter months, see our guide to Heated Outdoor Dining and Drinking in Northern Virginia.

Southside 815, Alexandria

Southside 815 Alexandria VA photo Chris Militzer
Southside 815 Alexandria VA; photo credit: Chris Militzer

Recommended by Alexandria photographer Chris Militzer, Southside 815 offers great food and a welcoming patio frequented by locals. Chris loves Southside's location off the bustle of King Street, and the relaxed vibe away from the crowds. Plan your visit with our guide to fun things to do in Alexandria VA.

Follow Chris on Instagram for more of his gorgeous landscapes and nature photography.

Barca Pier and Wine Bar, Alexandria

Barca waterfront outdoor dining on a pier in Old Town Alexandria VA
Barca, Alexandria VA

Diners are surrounded by great views at Barca Pier and Wine Bar, on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. As the name suggests, the restaurant sits on a pier extending over the water at the end of Pioneer Way. Diners enjoy tapas, wine, and clever cocktails at this pretty waterfront restaurant.

Daniel O'Connell's, Alexandria

King St restaurants and shops in Old Town Alexandria
King St Restaurants

Old Town Alexandria is a fun neighborhood for outdoor dining, especially since restaurants were allowed to swap seating areas for parking spots. For example, we like the traditional Irish dishes and tasty beer at Daniel O'Connells Pub.

The pub is a lovely place to visit in winter too when Alexandria becomes one of the prettiest Christmas towns in the DC area. The pub's outside seating is decorated with holiday lights and you can tuck into a cozy snug indoors.

Carolina Brothers Pit Barbecue, Ashburn

Carolina Bros BBQ on the W&OD bike trail
Carolina Bros BBQ, W&OD Ashburn VA

You can arrive by car, but we recommend a bike ride on the western W & OD Trail to Carolina Brothers Pit Barbecue in Ashburn. The casual restaurant is located at the intersection of the W&OD and Ashburn Road.

Carolina Brothers has scrumptious BBQ sandwiches for just $7.25; add 2 sides for an extra $4.25. We love the pulled pork, but they also have beef BBQ, pulled chicken, and hot dogs. The blueberry pie and other desserts are a great deal too.

Ford’s Fish Shack, Ashburn (also South Riding)

Fords Fish Shack patio
Fords Fish Shack, Ashburn VA

We return to Ford’s often for fresh, authentic New England seafood (those fried clams are so good!). Ford’s patio is next to the parking lot, but it’s nicely bordered with plants and a railing and there are heat lamps for cooler temps. Read our full review of Ford's Fish Shack now.

Main Street Pub, Clifton

Main Street Pub patio in Clifton Virginia
Main Street Pub, Clifton VA

The charming town of Clifton has lots of great history and adorable stores. When you’re ready to sit down and enjoy a bite, we suggest a BLT on the patio at the Main Street Pub. It’s a quiet shady spot to watch the small town world go by.

Plan a visit with our guide: Clifton Virginia Day Trip: A Charming Small Town Near Washington DC.

Bollywood Bistro, Old Town Fairfax

Patio dining at Bollywood Bistro in Old Town Fairfax VA
Outdoor dining in Old Town Fairfax VA

Bollywood Bistro is located in a group of small restaurants sharing a common patio in Old Town Fairfax. The restaurant, which also has a Great Falls location, offers contemporary and delicious Indian food.

We loved the Phool Gobi—a vegetarian dish of cauliflower, potatoes, and peas—and Chicken Vindaloo with delicious Rosemary Naan, topped off with a Maharaja beer. Read our full review of Bollywood Bistro.

Bartaco, Fairfax (also Ballston, Reston)

bartaco Mosaic District patio in Fairfax Virginia
bartaco Mosaic District, Fairfax VA

In 2018, bartaco opened a second Northern Virginia location in Fairfax's hip Mosaic District. The large patio grows even more spacious when the garage doors are open for a nice indoor/outdoor seating mix. The tacos are delicious, but save room for an order of churros with a mug of dunking chocolate. Read our full review of bartaco restaurants.

True Food Kitchen, Fairfax (also Arlington, Reston)

True Food Kitchen patio, Mosaic District, Fairfax VA
True Food Kitchen patio, Mosaic District, Fairfax VA

We enjoy True Food's curries, pizza, street tacos—with avocado, cotija cheese, tomatillo salsa, and Anasazi bean plus steak or fish—and seasonal specials. Like everything at True Food, the ingredients are fresh and the quality is high.

Dark Horse Irish Pub (formerly Griffin Tavern), Flint Hill, Virginia

Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill
Dark Horse Irish Pub, Flint Hill

In early 2023, Griffin Tavern, one of our favorite country stops for lunch and a pint became the Dark Horse Irish Pub. We love to visit the pub after a day trip to Shenandoah National Park, especially during fall foliage season. The friendly deck borders the bar, and there are a few more tables on the lovely curved front porch.

On past visits to the pub we've enjoyed a burger with our pints and the fish and chips are always a hit. The new owners, who also own two DC restaurants, promise to deliver tasty Irish pub food in a casual setting.

Out of the Blue, Gainesville

Patio dining at Out of the Blue in Gainesville Virginia
Patio dining at Out of the Blue in Gainesville Virginia

Out of the Blue treated McCool Travel to a delicious meal during a live Twitter Chat and we've returned on our own since. Owner Ryan Pell says their “secret ingredient” is excellent relationships with top-notch fishermen, ensuring the freshest local catch.

Everything we have tried—broiled scallops, crab BLT, king crab legs, and more—is delicious. But the whole red snapper steals the show and a big pile of steamed crabs calls us back. There are two outdoor dining patios, two bars, and plenty of indoor seating to choose from.

Old Brogue Irish Pub and Katie's, Great Falls

Old Brogue restaurant patio in Great Falls Virginia
Old Brogue, Great Falls VA

When warm weather arrives we love a pint on the Old Brogue patio. It’s our favorite stop after a hike at Great Falls or Riverbend Park. The Brogue’s fish and chips are delicious, and we’re also fond of the Irish Beef Stew, the Irish Banger Rolls appetizer, and the salmon salad (especially in summer).

In the morning, order a bagel or breakfast sandwich from Katie's, and enjoy it on the same sunny patio. Enjoy pretty country roads on a scenic drive in Great Falls VA. Read our full review of the Old Brogue Irish Pub.

Explore more: 15 Fun Northern Virginia Small Towns to Visit Now.

Bagel Cafe, Herndon

Bagel Cafe in Herndon VA, a great breakfast spot for outdoor dining in Northern Virginia
Bagel Cafe Herndon VA

Another terrific breakfast spot with a cheerful patio is The Bagel Cafe on Elden Street in Herndon. Order omelets, home fries, bacon, and bagels inside, then grab an umbrella-covered table on the casual patio. The fresh-squeezed oj is delicious!

Yes, you have to stand in line to order (a long line on Mother's Day and Father's Day), but the food is delivered to you when ready. Work up an appetite on the Sugarland Run Trail, right across the street.

Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg (also Arlington, Cascades)

Fireworks Pizza porch in Leesburg VA
Fireworks Pizza porch, Leesburg VA

The long, wrap-around porch at Fireworks Pizza is raised above parking level and offers a mix of covered and sunny seating. The pizzas are delicious, and so are the salads and daily specials. If you still have room after your meal, try the indulgent Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae, one of the dishes on our list of Chocolate Shops and Sweet Treats in Northern Virginia.

Making a day of it? You'll find plenty of fun things to do in historic Leesburg. For example, you can tour George C. Marshall's Dodona Manor, sample more tasty Leesburg Restaurants, or head out on a scenic drive to nearby farms, wineries, and breweries. Better yet, plan a longer Leesburg Getaway to Northern Virginia Wine Country.

SideBar, Leesburg

Outdoor dining on the patio at SideBar in Leesburg Virginia
SideBar Leesburg patio

In the heart of downtown Leesburg, SideBar is a combination restaurant and coffee shop sharing a connected back patio. Enjoy excellent sandwiches (try the crab cakes!), salads, and entrees on the full-service restaurant patio. The view of an adjacent parking lot is not scenic, but the patio is comfortable and the food is good.

Explore Beautiful Loudoun County Unpaved Roads Near Leesburg Virginia.

Brickmakers Cafe, Occoquan Regional Park, Lorton

Brickmakers Cafe patio at Occoquan Regional Park
Brickmakers Cafe, Occoquan Regional Park

Enjoy a lovely view of the Occoquan River from the patio at Brickmakers Cafe. The cafe in Occoquan Regional Park serves a casual menu and a nice selection of bottled craft beers and wine.

The excellent Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is right across the street and the Workhouse Arts Center is nearby. You can also work up your appetite with a short hike in the park and a visit to the historic beehive kiln. Or head across the river to shop and explore the lovely town of Occoquan.

2 Silos Brewing, Manassas

Outdoor dining at 2 Silos Brewing Manassas Virginia
Outdoor dining at 2 Silos Brewing Manassas Virginia

2 Silos Brewing offers one of the greatest collections of Northern Virginia outdoor dining spaces. The sprawling campus includes multiple dining, drink, and music spaces, and 2 Silos Brewing was the first to open.

Grab a seat by the outdoor fireplace, a table in the sunshine, or an Adirondack chair by a firepit. In cold months you can even rent a cozy igloo. Wherever you sit you'll enjoy tasty sandwiches, salads, handmade pizzas, and a range of great craft beer. Get the full scoop on 2 Silos Brewing.

Sweet Leaf Community Cafe, McLean (also Arlington, Reston, Vienna)

Patio at Sweet Leaf Community Cafe in McLean VA
Sweet Leaf Community Cafe in McLean VA

Sweet Leaf turns out custom, delicious sandwiches all year long. But it’s especially nice when the spacious patio adds extra seating to the popular McLean lunch spot. Even better, warm weather is the perfect excuse to make an extra stop at the ice cream counter.

The Secret Garden, Occoquan

Secret Garden restaurant patio in Occoquan Virginia
The Secret Garden, Occoquan Virginia

This lovely Northern Virginia outdoor dining spot in historic Occoquan really is a secret. The Secret Garden restaurant is tucked behind an unassuming building and up a few steps. The BLT and other sandwiches are reliably good, and the quiet garden takes you away from the bustle of the street.

In 2021, the owners opened a sister restaurant—Battle Street Bistro—with a rooftop restaurant and bar in Old Town Manassas.

Plan your visit: 15+ Fantastic Things to Do in Historic Occoquan Virginia.

Monk’s BBQ, Purcellville

Monks BBQ patio, Purcelville VA
Monks BBQ, Purcellville VA

The patio at Monk’s is bare-bones (though it is covered now), but you don’t come to Monk’s to be fancy. You come for the amazingly good barbecue. The ribs, pulled pork, and brisket are all fall-off-the-bone delicious, and they have a nice selection of craft beers to cool you down. They also have a massive collection of whiskeys on offer.

When you visit, allow time to explore Purcellville VA which has fun shops, ice cream, a distillery, and nice parks.

Cafesano, Reston (also Dulles)

Cafesano patio, Reston VA
Cafesano patio, Reston VA

Tucked in a corner of the South Lakes Shopping Center, Cafesano’s small deck benefits from plenty of plants and a peek of Lake Thoreau. The pizza, panini, and other Mediterranean dishes are all great, but start off with the Dip Sampler with housemade red pepper hummus and tzatziki. Read our full Cafesano review.

You could also get your meal to go and eat at one of the nice outdoor picnic spots with a view of the lake.

Clyde's, Reston

Update: Clyde's will close their Reston location in May 2022 and we're waiting for a new restaurant to open in this location.

Clydes patio Reston Town Center VA
Clydes patio, Reston Town Center VA

Several Clyde's locations offer Northern Virginia outdoor dining, but our favorite for people watching and a tasty meal is the Reston Town Center location. The large outdoor seating area is right next to the pavilion and across from the fountain, so there is always something to see. Unfortunately, paid parking has cut back the weekday lunchtime fun, but you can still park free after 5:00 pm and on weekends.

Kalypso's Sports Tavern, Lake Anne Plaza, Reston

Dining tables with a lake view at Kalypsos one of the popular local Reston restaurants at Lake Anne.
Kalypso's Restaurant, Lake Anne Reston

Lake Anne Plaza, the first neighborhood center of Reston, really comes alive in the warmer months. Kalypso's offers lunch or dinner near the fountain with a relaxing view of the lake. In 2020, the restaurant celebrated 10 years of serving authentic Greek and Italian dishes from this family-owned favorite.

Explore more with our Local’s Guide to Top 10 Things to Do in Reston Virginia.

Lake Anne Coffee House, Lake Anne Plaza, Reston

Lake Anne Plaza in Reston VA
Lake Anne Plaza in Reston VA

A bit further from the lake, under a nice shade tree, the Lake Anne Coffeehouse adds another outdoor dining spot to Lake Anne Plaza. Visit on a Saturday for brunch and shopping at the extensive Farmer's Market. Stop by the Lake Anne Brew House for a craft brew on their lakeside deck.

Take a short walk to the beautiful Van Gogh Bridge, especially during cherry blossom season.

Red's Table, Reston

Reds Table patio Reston VA
Red's Table Patio, Reston VA

It can be hard to find restaurants on the water in Northern Virginia. Happily, the pretty patio at Red's Table overlooks Lake Thoreau in Reston's South Lakes Plaza. Stop by in the early afternoon for a Happy Hour drink by the lake, or visit for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. Locally sourced, fresh ingredients make for very tasty dishes all day long. Take a closer look at Red's Table.

Work up an appetite on the Lake Thoreau Loop Trail in Reston Virginia.

Hunter’s Head Tavern, Upperville

Hunters Head Tavern Outdoor Dining in Upperville Virginia
Hunters Head Tavern Patio

One of our favorite pubs in Northern Virginia, the lovely patio at Hunter’s Head Tavern is a great stop on a scenic drive in Virginia's Hunt Country or after a visit to Sky Meadows State Park. The pub’s menu is sourced with organic local farm meats and produce harvested from neighboring Ayrshire Farm (which shares the same owner). 

We love their fish and chips, fresh salads, and veggies. Check the specials list too. A recent summer visit featured a delicious BLT and a Lobster Salad. The courtyard patio is a relaxing spot on a warm day.

Bear Branch Tavern, Vienna

Crabcake and Grilled Fish Sandwiches on the Patio at Vienna's Bear Branch Tavern, a Good Choice for Outdoor Dining in Northern VA
Bear Branch Tavern Vienna VA

The comfortable patio at Bear Branch Tavern is tucked at the back of an unassuming office building on Maple Avenue in Vienna. The location is a little confusing from the front, so head to the back of the parking lot. The back patio has plenty of seating and umbrellas to cool you off on a hot day.

Casual but elevated dishes fill the menu augmented by daily specials. Burgers seemed very popular during our visit, but we were focused on seafood. The crab cake sandwich was large and not too heavy on the filling. The daily special—a grilled fish sandwich—was even better.

Caboose Brewing Company, Vienna and Fairfax

Caboose Commons patio in the Mosaic District
Caboose Commons patio in the Mosaic District

In the Mosaic District, Caboose Commons serves a delicious combination of craft beer and food. The barn-like indoor space is paired with a huge outdoor patio. Try the tasty fries, deviled eggs, pork belly, and popular hamburgers.

We also love to hike or bike to the original Caboose Brewing Company location, right next to the W&OD bike trail in Vienna. You get the same combination of wonderful craft beer and delicious, locally-sourced food. The location next to the bike trail in downtown Vienna draws a steady crowd on two wheels, by car, and on foot. Read more about Caboose Brewing Company.

Taco Bamba, Vienna and Other Locations

Tasty tacos and drinks at Taco Bamba in Vienna VA
Taco Bamba, Vienna VA

Taco Bamba has been a favorite for authentic and tasty tacos ever since Chef/Owner Victor Albisu opened his Falls Church location. The Vienna location adds more seating and a full bar to that same great menu.

Everything we have eaten here is delicious, including the drinks. The small patio borders the parking area but your focus will be on the food. Read our full review of  Taco Bamba in Falls Church.

Find more: Favorite Places to Eat Tasty Tacos in Northern Virginia

There you have it, more than 25 of our favorite Northern Virginia outdoor dining options for enjoying a meal in the fresh air.

Plan a local getaway! Find beautiful and unique places to stay in and near Northern Virginia with our guides:

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Northern Virginia Outdoor Dining

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