The atmosphere can get quite chilly in Washington, D.C., and not just from the political bickering. Temperatures in the winter months often dip well below freezing.
While going to a venue that has a bar outside might sound like the last place you would want to go, just wait until you check out some of these outdoor venues. Many feature fire places, heaters and fire pits that will keep you warm and toasty, as you talk with friends and/or enjoy the libations offered.
Chestnuts really do roast by an open fire at Poste in Washington, D.C. — Photo courtesy of Poste
Poste Moderne Brasserie
Stop in at Poste Moderne Brasserie's winter lounge on 8th Street NW to enjoy warm cocktails, including The Appleton of My Eye, Holey Moley and Maple Burbon Toddy. Snack on several different skewers, including mushroom and scallion, spicy chicken, bulgogi beef and shrimp.
Don't fill up too much, though, because they offer complimentary s'mores from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The lounge is only open if the temperature is above 42 degrees and then on Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to close.
The Biergarten Haus
The Biergarten Haus on H Street in D.C. sells authentic German beer and food. Check out their menu of draft beer, including Gaffel Kolsch, Franziskaner Hefe and Warsteiner Oktoberfest. Be sure to try the beer sampler of 13 draft beers for $45.
For those who prefer cocktails, the venue also offers a full liquor bar.
Westover Beer Garden & Haus
Arlington's Westover Beer Garden & Haus features 10 draft lines in the house and six in the garden, along with a selection of wines. If you feel like having a meal while you drink, the menu utilizes local produce, cheeses and freshly baked bread.
The venue is worth a return trip in the warmer months, too, when they host live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garten
Dupont Circle's Sauf Haus Bier Hall and Garten opened earlier this year, offering 16 kinds of German beer to sample while you nosh on pretzels that can weigh up to two pounds.
Sip on a liter or half liter of Paulaner, Warsteiner Dunkel or others at the indoor bar, or go to the rooftop space, which has been covered for the winter months. Heaters have been added to take away the cold. Long tables and decor will remind patrons of Oktoberfest celebrations.
So even though the weather outside may be frightful in D.C., the fires at these venues are delightful. Be sure to arrive early to grab the prime spots by the fires and curl up with a delicious drink.