In fine weather the city’s sidewalks sprout outdoor tables and umbrellas, and restaurants turn their patios into small oases of greenery and candlelight. Dining outdoors is a summertime treat, and even in Washington, where the humidity sends visitors into air-conditioned spaces during the day, they clamor at night for an outside table. The best outdoor dining spaces in DC:
The people-watching is tops at Johnny’s Half Shell  on Capitol Hill, and the menu isn’t too shabby either. Johnny’s is where Hill staffers and capitol VIPs go to blow off steam after work, enjoying camaraderie Capitol Hill-style on the patio. Dining on Citronelle ’s haute cuisine under the stars on its patio adds another dimension to a memorable evening.
You know you are in Washington when you sit under one of Café du Parc ’s bright blue umbrellas, with the historic Willard Hotel at your back and the White House  grounds across the street. Crowds of visitors, businessmen, and locals stroll past, heading to the White House, the Mall, or a nearby museum.
At Sequoia , it’s really all about the view and not the food or even the drink. With a three-tiered patio on the Potomac River, guests overlook the stunning river, the Kennedy Center , and in warm weather, the fleet of yachts and powerboats that tie up in the river, their owners enjoying old fashioned summertime fun like swimming, sunbathing, and knocking back a few beers.
You don’t have to have deep pockets to enjoy outdoor dining in DC. The delightful outdoor patio at Hank’s Oyster Bar  in Georgetown is scheduled to double in capacity in 2011, a welcome change for those dreaming of an evening with friends, drinking beer and eating oysters outside. The patio at Cashion’s Eat Place  has more seating than many Adams Morgan restaurants. It still manages to fill quickly, but it is worth the wait for the inventive cuisine and friendly patrons.