Dining in Restaurants in DC During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Restaurants in DC are some of the most popular places for local nightlife. But the recent COVID-19 pandemic required many of those venues to close.

As restaurants in DC start to offer dine-in service again, you may wonder if it’s safe to eat out. Luckily, restaurants have to take certain precautions to keep customers safe.

Keep reading to learn about some excellent restaurants in DC offering safe dine-in service.

DC Restaurant Operations

As Phase Two begins, restaurants in DC have to follow strict guidelines to keep customers and employees safe. Restaurants can continue to serve food outdoors, and they can open up the indoor dining space.

However, indoor dining areas cannot have more than 50 percent capacity. Tables need to be at least six feet apart, and bars with bartenders cannot be used for patrons.

If a restaurant chooses not to use a bar for bartending, they can seat patrons following the standard guidelines for indoor seating. Reservations can help restaurants prepare, and they should keep dining records for at least 30 days.

Because of this, be prepared to give your name and contact information. Then, the restaurant can contact you if you happen to visit at the same time as someone with the virus.

All tables should have no more than six people at a given time, and ideally, everyone at the table would be in the same household. Everyone should attempt to maintain six feet of distance from others.

Employees should wear face covers and wash their hands often. When handling food, they should use gloves. Patrons should wear face coverings when they aren’t eating or drinking.

Anyone who feels sick or has been exposed to COVID-19 should avoid restaurants. Restaurants can also post signs to remind people of this guidance. As long as you maintain your distance, you can dine in at many restaurants in DC.

Agua 301

If you want to enjoy some Mexican food, you can go to Agua 301. The patio is open for dinner service during the week, with service from 3 to 9 PM.

On weekends, they’re also open for lunch, and the hours are 11:30 AM to 9 PM. No matter when you go, you’ll need a reservation to ensure they’ll have space.

The restaurant is limiting the patio service to no more than 10 tables or 40 guests. While there, you can enjoy the view of the Anacostia River, and you can choose from a selection of Mexican food and cocktails.

The menu is large enough to cater to any appetite, and there are different selections for dinner and lunch. You can reserve your table online, and you can show up without worrying about a long wait.

Bourbon Steak

If you want to visit the Four Seasons hotel, you can have dinner at Bourbon Steak. The restaurant has reopened with more patio space, so you can eat in the front or the back.

Bourbon Steak is currently open from 5 to 10 PM during the week, and weekend hours are 3 to 10 PM. You can reserve a table online, and you won’t have to worry about eating too close to other people.

The menu includes classics like filet mignon and lobster pot pie. However, you can also try some new options, including Australian wagyu filet.

Whether you want to have a staycation at the Four Seasons or you want a fancy night out, Bourbon Steak is a great place to visit during COVID-19.

Equinox Restaurant

If you’re looking for a restaurant in downtown DC, you should check out Equinox Restaurant. They have a new outdoor patio with a climate-controlled atrium.

The restaurant separates tables with trellis planter boxes. Not only with the planters keep you safe, but it can provide a great atmosphere for dining.

You can stop in for lunch from 11:30 AM to 2 PM from Tuesday to Friday. Dinner available Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9 PM. And if you want to have brunch, you can stop in on Sundays from 10:30 am to 1:30 PM.

Each week, there is a new menu, but they offer classic dishes and vegetarian options. You can make a reservation online to ensure an open table for when you want to go.

Kith and Kin

One of the open restaurants in SW DC worth visiting is Kith and Kin. They feature Afro-Caribbean cuisine, and they’re open for both indoor and outdoor dining.

You can enjoy foods like coconut rice bowls, and you can customize them with your choice of protein. While the menu isn’t as big as it was before COVID hit, you can still enjoy an authentic experience.

On Thursdays, you can visit from 5 to 9:30 PM, with the last seating at 8:30. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hours are 12 to 2:30 PM for lunch and 4 to 9:30 PM. As with Thursdays, the last seating is an hour before closing time.

The restaurant has an excellent view of the Washington Channel, and you can access it via Interstate 395.

Lulu’s Wine Garden

If you want to try one of the new restaurants in DC, check out Lulu’s Wine Garden. It is just northeast of downtown, and it offers a wide selection of food and drinks.

While they initially opened just before the closures, they have reopened with two outdoor seating areas. You can enjoy the Southwest-inspired food, and you can pair it with the drink of your choice. They have frozen cocktails, shelters, and over 40 bottles of vino.

You can visit on Wednesday or Thursday from 5 to 10 PM. On Fridays, they’re open from 5 PM to midnight, and Saturdays are noon to midnight. Sunday hours are noon to 8 PM. 

Tables are limited to no more than six guests, and you will be able to order and pay without any contact. You can also reserve your table online before you go.

Visiting Restaurants in DC

The COVID pandemic has changed the way businesses operate in the city. As restrictions are lifted, restaurants in DC can start serving patrons again.

Whether you want to try something new or visit an old favorite, you can check out some popular restaurants in SW DC and other neighborhoods.

Do you want more recommendations for DC activities? Check out our blog for tips and info about living in the DC area.



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