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  • Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar

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Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
  • Address:
    The John F. Kennedy Center
    Washington, DC 20566
    Neighborhood:
    Foggy Bottom
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $50 and over

Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/restaurants/
  • Phone: (202) 416-8555
  • 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "The restaurant is in major need of a facelift. The menu is hasn't changed in a least 2 years. It is not a destination restaurant. If your at the Kennedy center it manages."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Lovely view, mediocre food, outrageous prices. Our server was delightful, personable, and attentive."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We went with our 3 1/2-year-old daughter before a performance of "The Lion King." While the Roof Terrace is not known for being incredibly kid-friendly, they did have a special kids' menu that was tied to the show. My daughter enjoyed her pasta/marinara sauce and chocolate brownie/cake/cookie dessert (which was actually pretty amazing). My wife had the beef tenderloin/frites (very tender and flavorful) and I had the rainbow trout with fingerling potatoes and chorizo, and an amazing sauce vierge. The fish's skin was nice and crispy, and the potatoes and chorizo formed an upscale hash that gave the dish a homey feel. My wife had a generous creme brulee for dessert, and I had the Cote D'Ivoire, a chocolate lover's dream come true."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "I always loved coming here before a show but it seems to get worse everytime. The food was still good and quite elegant. The service was horrible, I felt like I was bothering my waiter, who was slow when we weren't being ignored. The new furnishings belong in a hotel breakfast room, not this beautiful building. Such a shame, I would recommend going somewhere else before the show :("
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We were seeing the wonderful show, The Lion King! Everything was fine except they have an upcharge of $3.00 if you change the veggie or starch that comes with your meal. I spoke to the manager and his explanation did not make sense to me. Otherwise the food was very good, the view nice and the service was good."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "First, the restaurant is beautiful and the service was great and extremely fast. The food on the other hand... Overpriced and boring! We arrived immediately after they opened at 5 PM so there were very few people. We ordered some wine, appetizers (ridiculously priced salads, tasted good, not $13 good), and our entrees (lamb chop and lobster dish). The salads arrived in a few minutes and were followed a few minutes later by the entrees. I quickly realized why it was so quick. The food was mediocre and tasted as if it had been precooked and sitting around waiting to be served. The dessert was delicious (chocolate mousse) and the Starbucks coffee was spot on. I'd return for dessert and coffee ONLY! Save your money and go else where."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Good place to eat brunch before show at the Kennedy Center. However, service tended to be slow and wait staff were not particularly attentive."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Our family of six (including two preteens) had brunch at the Roof Terrace prior to seeing an afternoon presentation of The Lion King. It was indeed the very best brunch we have had in years! Oysters on the half shell, steamed shrimp, crab legs, prime rib, omelet station, pancakes, grilled vegetables, dessert station, etc., and a complementary mimosa. Not inexpensive, but quality food and service!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Great for a first time Kennedy Center experience but too pricy for the quality of food"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Every time we come to the Kennedy Centre for a performance we have dinner at the Roof Terrace Restaurant, this past Saturday was no different. The food is always very good and the service is second to none. LOVE this place !!!!! I had the Lobster and pea risotto, my husband had the Crab Cakes and our two other diners had the Filet (which is my favorite and is usually what I always order). They were so impressed that they are planning on dining there the next time they come to the Kennedy Centre. Great restaurant, great location, great food and great service, what more could you want???"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Our service was not at all delayed; we had a relaxed and delicious dinner, and arrived in our seats in plenty of time. Thanks, Rooftop!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "This was my third visit to the Rooftop Terrace and I can truly say that it has been consistently superior in service, food, and of course you can't beat the scenery! I will return again when the opportunity presents itself - this a special occasion favorite!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We went to the Roof Terrace as part of our 45th wedding anniversary celebration. The food was superb and extremely well done. We had a window table with a delighful view of the DC skyline. Our waiter was terrific -- at hand when we needed something, recommendations for food choices were on the mark, but not overly present and interrupting our time together. this is one of our farite spots for a special evening out!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "As a family, we were seeing Lion king at 7:30. Dinner reservation at 5:30. We were seated at 5:15. We all found something we enjoyed on the menu including the children's menu. We chose not to have dessert and it allowed us time to enjoy the outside terrace and take pictures before the show. The service was excellent as was the food."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Excellent (but rather pricey) choice for a pre-performance dinner. The menu offers standard choices but also several unusual items. We particularly enjoyed the appetizers of sliced raw scallops and veal sweetbread. For entrees we chose the Maryland crabcakes and the bronzini (special); both were excellently prepared and nicely served. The wine list has good selections, domestic as well as imported. The service was friendly and unhurried. Our dinner reservation was for 7 o'clock, we had ample time (we did not go to a performance) and noticed that by 8 o'clock we had the restaurant pretty much to ourselves. The restaurant is on the top floor but views are limited; $23 for parking, no discount for diners."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "the view is better than the food. it is expensive the orders are small"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Overall we were satisfied with our dining experience . We had 6pmreservations.The place was not crowded. The hostess took us to a tablef to the side. We asked for something better. She pointed to one near a door to where servers were coming and going. We pointed to one near a window, but really no view. She left and went to check. We did get the table. We were a party of 4 and I thought considering the time we would have been offered better. Our waiter, Gerald, was very professional and took good care of us. The food, especially the beet salad, was very good. We had trout, beef tenderloin & lamb chops everyone was pleased. Considering the prices, I though it was rather petty to have to pay $3 extra to substitute Whipped potatoes for fries!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We went to the Kennedy Centre to see "The Lion King" so we chose this restaurant so that we could park in the garage underneath ($23) and take the elevator to the restaurant. They were not packed but every window table was "reserved" even though we were in the last seating. We finally got them to give us one near a window (the view is very nice). We both ordered a glass of wine which was okay, but the pour was meager. We ordered Bronzino, but did not realize it was a whole fish. I can filet fish, but my wife sent it back to be fileted. It took an inordinate amount of time for her fish to return, meanwhile, since mine was getting cold, I started it. They did send over compemenatary wine, but I ate mine before her's came. It's a shame"
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Going to the Kennedy Center to see a production has been on my bucket list. The evening was made even more special with our meal at the Roof Terrace Restaurant. My salmon was cooked just right, the portions were quite adequate and the service was impeccable. I highly recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "An ideal spot for dining before a performance at any of the Kennedy Center venues."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "I applaud the attention the staff gave to my reservation. The food is mediocre at best. The filet mignon was dry. I consider skinny french fries to be fast food. A baked potato would have been a much more appropriate side. My first choice of trout had to be returned as it smelled and tasted very fishy. That is a sure sign that the fish is not fresh. The purveyor should be scolded. The waiters were great. They were attentive and professional. The new decor is cold and uninteresting. I expect some degree of elegance when paying such hefty prices for food. There was none."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "The Roof Terrace Restaurant is the best way to experience a lovely meal, and ensure that you've got enough time to make your curtain. The manu was interesting, the food was well prepared and the service was outstanding. Started the night off perfectly."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Went here prior to seeing Lion King for anniversary celebration. Nothing was bad but nothing was great. Convenient location for a good meal in Kennedy Center if you're seeing a show but doesn't seem the kind of place you'd go to for dinner if you weren't seeing a show. The highlight is actually the scenery taking a walk around the terrace."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "If only for the convenience of a leisurely meal before a Kennedy Center performance, this would be a go-to spot. The quality of the food has improved dramatically over the past year or two but the service continues to be irregular. This time w had Maria who was attentive and charming. The time before our experience was not so positive."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Had dinner with three friends before seeing a show at Kennedy Center. Excellent food, attentive service, and good drinks made for a wonderful pre theatre experience. I highly recommend the restaurant."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "My husband and I tried this restaurant prior to a show a the Kennedy Center. The food was excellent but expensive. This would be a special occasion spot only. The staff was excellent and I love how the tables a spaced so you have room and no one is trying to squeeze past you. Definitely worth trying."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The food and service was excellent. We were celebrating a birthday and the choice of the Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar could not have been better. Our initial impression was even boosted as we were greeted by a very engaging young woman who seated our party of 4. Our server had been employed at the Kennedy center for. 41 years and was both delightful and efficient. Food selection was varied and abundant. We would definitely return when we visit again."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Sunday 'Kitchen Brunch' was a crowded and expensive at $50/head including tax & tip. Long, tedious queue to get to the food laid-out buffet style in the kitchen. Prime rib looked gorgeous, but was tasteless. Eggs Benedict were good, but the Canadian bacon was sliced so thin as to be almost non-existent. Various salads and cold seafood buffet were quite nice, although the shrimp had been over-cooked to the point of being hard, dry and chewy. Dessert buffet in the main dining room was nice with many tasty choices. The Mimosa was of such poor quality as to be almost undrinkable. Noise level was okay despite mobs of people constantly coming and going in various states of dress best left to their own backyards. This is NOT fine dining."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "It was our wedding anniversary. I thought they might do something a little special to make our day more memorable. It was great nonetheless."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "For a lovely dinner, do dine at the Roof Terrace Restaurant. Why feel stressed about eating near by and then using the shuttle, taking a taxi, or walking. Reasonable prices and share appetizers and desserts."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Went to the Roof Terrace before a show at the Kennedy Center. The food was good and the service even better. The waitress my mom and I had was amazing and sweet as could be. She kept telling us we had plenty of time before our show so to relax and not rush. It was great, we took our time between courses and did not feel rushed ever. She also had great recommendations from wine, to appetizers to dessert. Prices were high, but expected because of the convenience for people going to the Kennedy Center. I would definitely recommend it for special occasions!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Staff very considerate of time of our performance at the Center; courses served promptly but not rushed."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Outstanding food and service. Terrific views. Only place to eat when going to the theater."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "The appetizer was scallops, and they were tasteless. The entree was one crab cake for $38 and no side items. Our drinks ran dry. The desert was the least favorite of the meal. The staff brought us the wrong bill and the wrong food. For one appetizer, one crab cake, one salmon and 2 deserts of 4 bite size pieces of french deserts, along with one splash of wine the total was $132. We left disappointed. The view from inside the restaurant was not anything special."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Good service. Great view and atmosphere. Very courteous, very kid friendly, food was just okay considering the high cost."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "With one of the best views in DC and excellent service, it is really a shame that the Roof Terrace restaurant atop the Kennedy Center has had such difficulty with inconsistence in the quality of their food. Different dishes during our recent meal ranged from delicious (white asparagus and truffle soup) to not even good (scallops with a terrible green pea sauce). I had eaten at this restaurant a couple of years ago and had the same experience with some dishes deserving of only mediocre while others were quite tasty. Wish they could identify and rectify the culinary problems that produce this inconsistency."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "I absolutely enjoyed my experience at this restaurant. The food was fabulous. The waitress was attentive but not hovering. The atmosphere was pleasant. A true gem of a fine. Will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Looking to catch a bite to eat prior to watching Lion King we thought we would give Rooftop Terrace a try. Really wish we hadn't. The food was sub-par and not of the quality you would expect from the Kennedy Center. The food reminded me of something you would get from a cafeteria. Not to mention that for two adults and two children our bill was almost $200. Save your money and give yourself extra time to have dinner in Georgetown."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Great place to take visitors. However, I've been here twice and the service has been slow."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "I took my good friend and her daughter to brunch on Sunday as a precursor to seeing the Lion King at the Kennedy Center, we arrived earlier than our 11:30 am reservation, got seated immediately and were brought Mimosas right away, she was very impressed with the whole experience, we got a seat by the window overlooking DC. The buffet had both breakfast and light lunch fare so she was able to find a lot to eat. Her daughter is 7 and was able to eat the shrimp and fruit. The buffet is all you can eat so you do get your money's worth. We did not have to eat anything else the rest of the day. It put us in a great mood to see the Lion King!"
    Dined on 7/6/2014