Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar

Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/restaurants/
  • Phone: 2024168555x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open before evening performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Opera House only. We do recommend to book your reservation 1.5 hours to 2 hours prior to the show.



    Dinner: Reservations from 5:00PM to last seating at 6:45PM, Bistro and Lounge section available with no reservations. Hours vary according to the shows.

    Sunday Brunch: Reservations from 11:00am to the last seating at 1:00pm (Hours for Special Events, such as Easter and Mother's Day may differ)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Joe Gurner
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: On performance nights, we can host a wonderful pre-show dining experience for up to 90 people in our Main Dining Room. On non-performance nights the entire dining room can captivate up to 250 for dinner with spectacular skyline views from Georgetown to the Monuments. Smaller parties can enjoy a more personal setting in the Private Dining Room, which can seat 30. We offer three and four-course dinner menus.
  • Entertainment: Our Sunday Jazz Brunch features live Jazz nearly every Sunday from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. Our New Year's Eve dining will feature live Jazz from 5:00PM until after midnight.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Virginia Avenue NW
  • Public Transit: Foggy Bottom Metro on the Orange & Blue Lines. Kennedy Center provides free shuttle to/from Foggy Bottom Metro.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Three levels of garage parking is available under the Kennedy Center. Very limited street parking is available in surrounding area.
A word from Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
Enjoy a fantastic culinary experience and unequalled skyline views through two-story windows high above the Potomac River. The contemporary interior features chrome, glass, suede, and wood with accents of granite. Check out the critically-acclaimed Sunday Kitchen Buffet Brunch. The Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar is located on the Roof Terrace level of the Kennedy Center above the Hall of Nations.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
294 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (187)special occasion (170)fit for foodies (63)great for brunch (63)romantic (57)good for groups (48)kid-friendly (27)notable wine list (25)great for lunch (18)neighborhood gem (15)hot spot (5)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I booked my reservations on the first available date to do so for a very special evening at the Kennedy Center. We were seated next to the kitchen door, with no view. When I asked for a different table, I was just told "no, sorry". This was very disappointing. There were other tables open, that stayed open during our time there. I wasn't expecting fabulous food, based on other reviews, (it was very bland) but was excited to share the experience with my teenage son and his girlfriend. Sadly, we didn't get the "experience" I was hoping for. Obviously, it was very convenient, as we saw Little Dancer after our meal.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FriendVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My first time here. My date had the chicken breast, no taste. I had the branzine fish, requested to be d-boned. still had bones but tasteful.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Convenient
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    You pay for convenience and a great a view. The food is good, but not worth the money.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Place for Before or After
    thfields
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    This is the ideal place for supper before or after a concert or play at the Kennedy Center. Very pricey, but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A little boring
    FoodyVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    If you go to the Kennedy center you eat at the roof top terrace restaurant. For that privilege you expect the prices to be high. They are but the menu is static. It is a little boring because it only changes a few times a year. So it is not the place to be pleasantly surprized. The service is ok but don't ask for anything different than exactly how the kitchen has staged the entrees....again for dinner before a show it's overpriced, a little stuffy,a little boring menu but it's expected.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very elegant, an
    DSWood
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Dinner in the Rooftop Terrace is a great way to start an evening at the Kennedy Center. The best filet I've had in years cooked to my request, perfectly.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DCFanVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The Rooftop is a special place. The food is outstanding and the service terrific. Best of all you are already at the Kennedy Center so you will not be late for a performance....
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pre-theater dining
    DJDining
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    In the Kennedy Center complex, so you are close to the action. Good selection, enticing visual presentation. Staff was attentive. Did not rush us. Get there early. Enjoy a leisurely meal. See a great show.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not worth the money
    Attention2detail
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Night started well. 5pm is not a time when the restaurant is busy and we were lucky to make an early reservation because service was a bit better. Bread is served on aliquots of one bun at a time. Sometimes one bun is all you'll get! Ordered the cheese plate and no explanation was offered about the cheeses (Names, origin, etc) and no plates for the cheeses so we had to use our bread plates which were removed as soon as we finished the cheeses. No explanations about the wines and little knowledge about the preparation of the food. Food quality is just ok. As the night progressed, noise level increased and service significantly declined. A couple sitting RIGHT NEXT to us left, upset of waiting 45 min for a soup and for a manager that was MIA.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Wonderful brunch before a spectacular performance of Evita. Excellent service
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Brunch but not what used to be
    BrunchBunch
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The KC restaurant Sunday brunch is still a pleasant and special meal, but not what it used to be. The variety of food to choose from has shrunk by maybe 25%, including desserts, which have moved out of a side room and into the dining area. The dessert selection has been scaled back considerably. The restaurant chef should reanalyze the brunch and develop a new buffet that's cleverer and reenergized. It's a wonderful spot for a special brunch.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Roof Top Gem
    twofordinner
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We visited the Roof Terrace Restaurant for a dinner before an evening show at the Center. The reservation desk was flexible, as DC traffic caused a small delay in our arrival. The dining room is well-lighted, and was vibrant. there was more noise than comfortable for an intimate dinner, but conversation was easy and there were no issues carrying a conversation at a table for two. The food was terrific and not overly priced, all things considered. The view looking directly out the window was fair, we could see the spacious balcony and little of what we thought would be a terrific sunset. I would come back without hesitation, but I'm not sure bringing the kids would be a good idea.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • worth the convenience
    barnVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    on a price basis there are many fine restaurants in the area, but as a theatre goes, you can't beat the convenience. Service is set up top make sure you make the curtain, and the food is very good, but not exceptional for the price. Nevertheless, this is where we eat when we go to the Kennedy Center. Now if they could just drop the price of parking!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not the best value for the price
    Mamadou
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    We chose this restaurant because w had theater tickets, so it was very convenient. However, you pay for that convenience. The food and service were fine, but nowhere near worth the $200 dollar bill. I'd you plan to go to the Kennedy center, add extra time before your seating and go somewhere else.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dining convenient to Kennedy Center
    BobSVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    The Roof Terrace has always been a fairly good, but overpriced restaurant. Since it's so convenient when seeing a show at the Kennedy Center, it's always busy. In the past couple of years the food has improved almost to where it was around 15 years ago. The Tenderloin with frites is excellent, as is the rainbow trout. We love the spicy tuna tartare appetizer. The rolls are not as good as the nut rolls of years past, but they are excellent. Service is attentive, but I resent having the waiters pushing the entrees that management has told them to push. We overheard several waiters recommending the same entrees.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Everyone was friendly, we were seated immediatly. No problem with our reservation. Waiter was attentive. My wife had a caeser salad and I had the gazpacho, we both had the grilled Branzino (fish) for the main course. Food/wine was good. I thought the prices were comparatively high based on the overall experience. However, I don't get to DC much so this may be normal. If I were to compare this to Emerial's New Orleans I would not rate it high. Still OK but not the same based on overall experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Music Lover
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    The best place to eat before a theater event at the Kennedy Center. Park, relax and be sure to get to the show on time without last minute traffic hassles. The menu is varied enough to suit almost anyone. They could change it more often however. This is my third or fourth time to eat there and I think the menu has only changed once. The table for four was on the small side and somewhat crowded. I have enjoyed the table for five which is much more spacious. The drinks were good as was the food and the service. I plan to return.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Sunday Brunch
    Amkl
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We went for brunch before a performance and it was perfect. Great food and we had time to sroll before the event.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Value
    WillimVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    $39.95 per person for buffet Sunday Brunch, with tax/tip call it $50 each. This is a great value for all you can eat: oysters on the half shell; boiled & spiced shrimp; king crab legs; mussels; clams; smoked salmon and other fish with all the condiments; Eggs Benedict; sausage & bacon; waffles; pancakes; potatoes; salads galore; prime rib; assorted pastries and rolls; omelets made to order; gorgeous dessert bar with lots of choices; and more. The price includes one Mimosa or glass of Champagne. Table service for coffee and drinks. Best time to go is early when they open, so as to avoid crowds which can build as you get closer to curtain times. The Potomac River cannot be seen from the Roof Terrace Restaurant, but you can walk outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A good choice before the show
    JackVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Nice menu options, well-prepared and presented and an elegant setting. Overall, a good (and very convenient) dining option for Kennedy Center events. Our server was very warm and friendly and we really enjoyed our "French Connection" sampler dessert.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lc01
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Easiest way to dine before a Kennedy Center performance. No parking hassle or worry about making it on time to the performance.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    the food was acceptible but not that interesing given the price and location. Could do more to make it a special occasion
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pre-theater dining
    gw77
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Ahi tuna appetizer was amazing, and the service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Dining Experience
    WNT1
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We chose the Roof Terrace Restaurant because we were going to a 7:30 performance at the Kennedy Center. We enjoyed a leisurely dining experience. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. We can recommend the beef tenderloin, the grilled asparagus, and the leche quemada for dessert. We missed the variety of breads we enjoyed on a previous visit, but the bread we had was very good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    gudfud
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Best crab cake ever! Excellent service and delicious food!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Relaxing pre-show but won't be back
    type2dine
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We were going to a show at 7:30 pm at the Kennedy Center, and thought the occasion deserved a special dinner. We didn't want to rush or be concerned with directions and parking, so we settled on the Roof Terrace for both convenience and the caliber of the restaurant. We don't often splurge on special dinners; we won't come here again when we do. The seating is a bit cramped, close in to neighboring guests. Order the bottle of wine if you go; the glass is really only 1/2 a glass and you will want more. The crab cake was excellent, but did not come with a side at $38. The steak and fries were also excellent. We skipped the uninspired desserts. Overall I am happy we went, but they have not lured us back with their food or ambiance.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Juan-Giovanni
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Overall an enjoyable experience, with fantastic service, and, finally, proper wine glasses! The view is spectacular and the perfect place for dinner if attending a show at Kennedy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Must for Pre Show
    SMCIrish
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    This was our second Pre-theatre dining experience and I plan to do it again for our next show. Even though this is a popular venue, we were treated as if we were the only diners. The staff is professional and friendly. Food was excellent and the prices, for D.C., were good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food missed the mark
    SuzieVIP
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Service was excellent. However, the food missed the mark. The crab cakes were all filling and the desert was awful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious branzino
    foodieforeverVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    After having been to the Kennedy Center numerous times for performances, we decided to dine for the first time at the Roof Terrace. We were prepared for the high prices and the scenic, but not spectacular, view. We were fortunate to be seated by the window, and our server was polite and efficient. We both ordered the whole grilled branzino with fingerling potatoes and fennel which was perfectly prepared and delicious (even though the small bones were annoying). We thought that the apps, desserts and wine were even more overpriced than the entrees and therefore limited ourselves to just entrees and a glass of wine. Overall it was a pleasant experience.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just Okay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    though this location can't be beat and the wait staff are truly curteous and attentive, the food was simply average. my meal was overdone and unappealing and for the price - that was very disappointing.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NonamereviewerVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This is certainly convenient for attending a show at the Kennedy Center and the food is pretty good, but the service can be very slow. Although they always get you to the show on time, sometimes it makes you a little nervous because there are long gaps between your waiter's appearance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I know it's supposed to be expensive but... My main gripe is the menu was heavy on seafood leaving only chicken or steak as an alternative with no specials. The chicken was nothing special and was rather dry at that. It would be nice to have a choice of veggies as well. The bread was fine but had to ask for butter. The butter salad was interesting but the lump of cheese was pretty salty. I'm not a big fennel fan either. The cote d'ivoire finish was very good/rich.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Wedding Anniversary Night
    AndyMD
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Everything went perfectly. The server was attentive without being obtrusive and immediately asked for our Showtime. The salads were well prepared, fresh and chilled. Entrees were well portioned leaving just enough room to share a terrific Creme brûlée. Can't imagine a better forerunner to Evita!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as it used to be
    theaterlover
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    For years we dined with the Roof Terrace before going to the theater. It has always been a treat and we could expect great service and great food. The service remains excellent. The food is highly mediocre. For two people our bill was $270 including dinner, drinks and tip. This is not an inexpensive evening. The selection is limited from the appetizers to the desserts. The menu is too avant garde and does not lend to a family experience. For years I brought my children for fine dining experience. I would not consider taking my grandchildren. The drinks were the highlight of the evening. Perfectly made - kudos to the bartender. This is the second time I have come to this restaurant and was disappointed. We will not come back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Convenience to the theater and excellent service are the restaurant's highlights. The beet salad is indeed well presented and very tasty. The scallops were perfectly cooked.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good pre-theater dining
    cfullerVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    We've been here many times prior to shows at the Kennedy Center. This is not the greatest restaurant in town. The prices are high, especially the wine, but you just can't beat the convenience of leisurely dining and then taking the elevator down to the show. This time, 3 of us shared the mussels as an appetizer, but I was disappointed that 5-6 of them hadn't opened and there was no accommodation for this poor showing except regret by thew waitress who was very good. The lobster and risotto was excellent, the Branzino good, and the gnoccis ok but bland. The chocolate mousse was excellent. Usually, 5:45 is fine for a 7:30 show, but this Wednesday the restaurant was packed and we had to push a bit to get down in time.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Goodfoodandambiance
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I was looking for a dining experience with a view while visiting my son in DC. I stumbled upon the Roof top Terrace on the web. We four. (Mom, dad, son 28, daughter 27,) were all happy to be at this overlooked gem! The food was bountiful and delicious! The servers were pleasant and attentive. We coupled this meal with the free tour of the Kennedy Center which concluded with the 360 degree rooftop views of DC. The only downside for me was the brunch buffet delivery. (I can get turned off by the germ factor involved in sharing a serving spoon with all who have gone before me). Perhaps they could have station servers. There were certainly enough employees around.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • charmcityred
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Convenient if you have tickets for the Kennedy Center, but the food seems to be going downhill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kennedy center dining
    MicheleVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    My husband is recovering from foot surgery and is in a wheel chair. Had tickets for the opera. So, not going far and for the first time went to the restaurant at the Kennedy Center. I had never gone since I figured the food was terrible - but the food was very well done. Small menu, good selections. I had a salad and the grilled branzino. Fish was perfectly cooked. The waiter was excellent and got us in and out in plenty of time for the performance without us feeling rushed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate