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: (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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
273 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (162)special occasion (151)great for brunch (60)fit for foodies (58)good for groups (41)romantic (40)notable wine list (18)great for lunch (14)neighborhood gem (14)kid-friendly (12)hot spot (7)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (3)great for outdoor dining (3)Show More
  • Disappointing...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    I think this restaurant survives strictly from a captive Kennedy Center audience. While it has a good view from the windows surrounding the restaurant, it is too dark to see out of when the restaurant is open, at least for half of the year. The other half of the year, you can't get a seat at them. I have tried this restaurant more than once, to be fair, but we have been disappointed in the food vs. the price, the small quantities given and the need to ask for the most basic things for dining (as in butter for bread). Further, we make reservations as recommended and then we asked to sit slightly earlier than we reserved (honestly, no more than 15 minutes). We were refused both times, which would be understandable if the restaurant was crowded. In fact, more than half of the tables were empty and never became occupied! They do route you into their bar while you are waiting, another small area with extremely pricey offerings. All in all, a disappointment each time- they are at least consistent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect place for pre-performance @ Kennedy Center
    Nava
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Ideal restaurant if you want to have dinner before a performance at Kennedy Center. They are catered to attending to the need to be out on time. Arriving earlier for dinner also solves the problem of getting into parking with other patrons.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely time
    2DCfoodies
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Our brunch experience exceeded all expectations. A beautiful spot with fabulous food and service. We will be sure to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Roof Terrace has returned to its former glory!
    BobSVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The restaurant appeared to be fully booked Saturday night! For a long time people stayed away because of high prices for mediocre food. That has changed with the new chef and new menu. New to the menu was an appetizer of steak tartare; beautifully presented with slivers of gherkin, quail egg, baby squash slices, white anchovy, and a few other goodies I couldn't identify, it was nicely textured and delicious. My wife chose the mushroom risotto for her entree, and enjoyed it immensely. I had the beef tenderloin with frites; the beef was fork tender and cooked perfectly; the frites seasoned well and crispy. Excellent dinner. The rolls were warm, and, offered three times, and unfortunately, we accepted the refill offer. The only place they fail is with mixed drinks. Disappointed in the past with their Manhattans, we ordered old fashioneds. They too disappointed. We will return twice this coming week, as we scheduled two back to back performances; I have my eye on the spicy tuna tartare (have tried it several times) and the beef short rib. Stay tuned for my next reviews.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Kennedy Center Roof Terrace Restaurant
    army2mom
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Great choice for dinner after watching performances on the Millennium Stage and/or one of the performance halls afterwards. Recently, five of us were able to listen to the group performing on the Millenium Stage followed by Open Table reservations for dinner before we went to the concert hall to listen to the main concert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent choice for dinner before KC event
    James
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Don't book less than an hour before your event though. This is to be savored. If you can't book that far ahead try the cafeteria.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely experience
    MAGS
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Great place to eat if you are seeing a show at the Kennedy Center. Service was great and we didn't feel rushed which was wonderful. Overall a lovely experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely dinner before opera.
    Alliekt
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The short ribs were delicious! Wait staff very attentive. I would go back again!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Note worthy restaurant
    charminlady
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Excellent location, great service, beautiful view and good food.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If You've Got a Show at The Kennedy Center...
    JohnGaltVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Then you might consider dining there for the convenience of parking and being able to move directly to the theater after dinner. If you recognize it for what it is - a place that has to get a lot of meals and drinks out in a short time - you won't be disappointed. You won't be thrilled either. The food is good, but relatively pricey compared to higher rated restaurants.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    We dine here often before shows and the food has been quite good, although pricy. They have always been very accommodating in terms of seating. This time, in spite of numerous empty tables away from the kitchen entrance, they insisted we had to sit in this busy section. Then, after selecting a bottle of wine, the waiter came back to inform us they were out of our selection and suggested a substitute. However, he did not state the price of the substitute ($12 more) and when I asked if we would be given the same price as our original selection, he said he would have to ask a manager. When we selected a different bottle, it was warm, and they had no buckets in which to place ice and the bottle and instead stuffed crushed ice in the narrow wine holder, resulting in ice all over the table. All in all an not very pleasant experience this time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • pleasantly amazed
    My2cents
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Thoroughly impressed by brunch. Our wait staff delightful and attentive. Learning the buffet line would be in the chef's kitchen, I expected a special ambiance but it was on the cold and lifeless side. However, the buffet feast quickly impressed me, offering two scrumptious styles of eggs benedict, four fish choices. The salads (including seaweed salad) were excellent. The broccolini was perfectly sauteed (still naturally crunchy). Other seafood included king crab legs, oysters, and shrimp. The roast beef was generously portioned. While I didnt have a room for the fried eggplant, Belgian waffles, bacon, omelette station, danishes or dessert, the presentation was impressive. My2cents: relocate omelette station & bring music into kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too much, too soon
    fork
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The coffee started out fresh, but each time the server "warmed it up" it got more and more bitter. If there is some way to serve hot coffee without its getting bitter, do that. Maybe a fresh cup each time. I expected my fresh orange juice to be served in a champagne flute, not in a tumbler! That is a real waste. Nobody drinks that much juice, and they could always ask for a refill. Strengths: eggs Florentine, mini-croissants, fresh strawberries, cold cooked portobello mushrooms, blanched asparagus, roasted red peppers, whitefish salad, oysters. The question "Are you still working (i.e., eating) that" should be stricken from all servers' vocabulary. I suggest fewer but higher quality desserts.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid brunch prior to theatre
    StudioTheatreFans
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We occasionally go to the Kennedy Center and prefer the Sunday matinee. Having brunch prior is a treat and this place is the obvious choice because of how isolated the Kennedy Center is from alternatives. The food is good. It's not spectacular but the raw oysters are a nice touch. The servers are all gracious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for theater goers
    Nona
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    This is a wonderful place to dine for theater goers. I was treating a friend to dinner and the Opera on a Friday evening. Having dined here before I knew it was the perfect place. The food is always fresh and the menu, which changes seasonally, caters to everyones pallet. The prices are reasonable for the quality of the food. Service has always been impeccable every time I have dined here. Since we both worked that day, we had to get from upper NW Washington, down to the Kennedy Center in early rush hour traffic. We had 6 pm reservation, which gave us plenty of time for a leisurely meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazed at great food was!
    Grannyles
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The best tuna tartar I have had anywhere -- and while I expected a "this is the restaurant that is handy KenCen for theater goers" it was good enough for a special visit even if you aren't going to theater!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Slow...
    Lee41VIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    KC knew it was a busy night, but didn't manage service well -- despite our server's reassurance, we waited 30 minutes + between appies and entrees, and had to rush to make our curtain. No question of dessert or coffee.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Average Food but Great Service
    Mark
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Our service was excellent but the food quality was average - good but no where near worth the price, which was very high. Also very irritating was the wine-by-the-glass experience. You only get half of a glass, by design, and they admit that it's their policy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service Not Up to Par with Food
    VanessaLovesFood
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I ate at Roof Terrace prior to seeing an orchestra perform in the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center. The food was very good. I had the smoked pork cheeks for the appetizer and the seared rainbow trout for the entree. The pork cheeks were amazing. The rainbow trout dish was a little on the salty side. I completely missed the pancetta in the dish. The sauce vierge was not complimentary to the dish, although a sauce is necessary. I also started my night with a Tom Collins (with Hendricks), which was excellent. The service was lacking. The waiter was not prepared to select a wine that paired well with my entree and suggested simply the most expensive glass of red wine on the menu.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Roof Terrace Meets the Challenge
    NJHW
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Staff really met our needs this week. We were ONE HOUR late for our reservation (horrible traffic) but the hostess quickly found a substitute table and a fast staff, who took all our orders (cocktails, salad,, main course) at once. Beet salad was especially welcome and our usual specials (scallops and the gnocchi) were delicious. We did have to skip dessert, but we did make our curtain (opera) and had cookies later in the Lounge. What a relief! Oh yes, the view was beautiful as usual.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wrong vibe that night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The menu was different with only one item appropriate to share, a cheese board. I thought we ordered 1 when 3 came out. the place closed we were then handed a bill. We barely touched the food leaving 3/4 of it untouched, paid the check, & left. In the past we have had a table where we could add our girls as they arrive from DC, MD, VA and we could offer them a glass of wine & pass them appetizers we had ordered which included a popular Mediterranean sampler & others. What has changed? This was unaccommodating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worst ever in DC
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Service and staff are tops. Food horrible. My meal did not taste good and was served warm to cold uneven temp. Presentation was horrible and not at all value added.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Good food and service. Excellent venue for a pre-show dinner at the Kennedy Center.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • They've brought back the magic!
    irishwhiskey
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We've dined at the Roof Terrace dozens of times over the past 16 years. The quality of service and food had been a disappointment for the last couple seasons, but our experience on Nov 4th was fantastic. The physical set-up was modified to provide more space between tables and more views of the city. The service was attentive and well versed on the selections. The white asparagus soup and butternut soup were light, flavorful, and deliciously satisfying. The trout was fresh, flaky and was a portion to fill you. The salmon was amazing - done to perfection with fabulous flavors. The crab cakes were up to par with the eastern shore! The fresh sorbet sealed the deal on a what can only be called a wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Special Occasion
    Veronica
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The Sunday brunch is great! Go hungry because you will want to try everything. It has made to order omelettes, eggs benedict, seafood, prime rib roast, desserts, and MORE.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CAPT Stu Ashton USN (Ret)
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The Roof Top is a delightful venue for show matinees at the Kennedy Center. Convenient, great service and good food. Makes a fun Opera package.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Brunch before a performance
    MabelDodge
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Lavish brunch served in the kitchen, but the eggs benedict were pieces of rubber. Even more than omelets they should be made individually. The restaurant could stand a redecorating; it looks like radio city music hall.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seating is everything
    Candy
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We were seated at the worst possible location - no view and next to kitchen. Even though we objected and noted there were other open tables at the time, we were told they were booked and could not relocate us to any other table. I felt we were being snubbed. Those other tables were still empty when we left. Brunch was excellent, but very expensive.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Roof Terrace is convenient
    BobSVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The Roof Terrace is located on top of the Kennedy Center, and virtually all their customers are there for a pre-show dinner. It is convenient, and has improved over recent years. The room is beautiful, the service mostly attentive, and the food is pretty good. Saturday night I had the sweetbread appetizer, which was excellent; my wife had white asparagus soup, which she totally enjoyed. For an entree, she had the ricotta gnocchi with asparagus, and I had the rainbow trout on asparagus. Seems there was a sale on asparagus. Never mind - it was prepared perfectly. The trout was very good. We asked our waiter to delay putting in the entree order, as we were early for a show; he complied, and the timing was excellent. 10% discount for KC donors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprisingly Fine
    RuggerVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The Terrace is worth the $$ to have a meal at before or after a show. For such a large venue the food and service were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Food service was extremely slow. Agonizingly slow. And my companion and I were consequently late for the concert we attended.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like an Expensive Diner
    measureformeasure
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We go to the Roof Terrace sometimes when we go to the Kennedy Center. The service was reliably fast for pre-theatre, the menu was limited and the food adequate. Service was friendly. One thing is that for a meal that is designed to last an hour to 90 minutes the prices were like those at a restaurant where you would east leisurely for three hours with cocktails, wine, appetizer, a menu with many options and coffee and desert. Another is that we ordered dessert and my sorbet was frozen like an Italian ice. I showed the waiter that I couldn't hack away to eat it, he asked me if he should bring a replacement, and I said no. I thought he would take it off the bill but he didn't. I didn't want to ruin meal for my wife and we paid and left.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
    kf8harris
    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