Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel

4.1
49 reviews
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$50 and over
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American
The energetic and sophisticated rooftop bar and lounge at The Watergate Hotel boasts commanding 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, the Washington Monument and the rest of the DC skyline. It is the perfect place for an after-work cocktail or the season’s most talked-about event.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
*Hours subject to change due to weather conditions & private events.*
Monday - Wednesday: 5pm - 12am
Thursday: 4pm - 12am
Friday: 4:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 1:00pm - 2:00am
Sunday - 1:00pm - 12:00am

RESERVATIONS: To occupy a table, there's a minimum spend requirement of $50 per person for all reservations and lounge seating.
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Phone number
(202) 322-6455
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Michael Santoro
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
We offer Valet parking at the hotels entrance for $12 per vehicle.
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Public transit
The nearest metro station is Foggy Bottom.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, View, Wine
What 49 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
3.4
food
3.7
service
4.3
ambience
3.0
value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

Other than the view, there is no reason to go. The service is lousy and the drinks are over-priced.

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S
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 4

The only positive was the view. The service was poor (waiter was a nice guy) but it took a long time to get drinks. We had to track down the waiter a few times. The cocktails came in plastic cups, didn’t match the high end experience or cost.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Awesome! Staff was super helpful. Good views. Awesome drink menu :)

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AF
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The best view in DC.
Great cocktails.
Nice pizzas and salads.
Excellent service.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

From the moment we walked through the doors, there was such a relaxing energy. We sat to the left, in the couch area at the walk through. If your hungry this is not a dinner menu, pizza & salad. The murmuring of conversations is all we could hear. Only when we ventured to the other side for sunset pictures did we see that the bar area was full. We couldn’t hear any of the bar goings on from our seated area. The service was great from the moment we walked in and continued throughout. Great everything chill location. A new sunset go to for us!

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JT
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 5

I booked Top of the Gate in conjunction with a 2 night stay at the Hotel. I live in the DC area and thought the hotel was amazing. The rooftop view can’t be beat! BUT the hostess was so rude I would not go back. Long story short even by DC standards she was extra! You can go up and have a drink without booking a table and it’s crowded but fine for a quick drink. Skip the reservation and the extra DC attitude.

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N
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We were seated at the worst table even though there were at least 5 better tables that sat empty the entire time we were there. Service was pleasant but slow.

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FD
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We were heading to the Kennedy Center following dinner so we thought we'd try a light bite before the show and Top of the Gate fit the bill. I did review the menu before making the reservation so we were not walking in blind. I had to provide a CC to secure the reservation and did so. Upon arrival we were immediately seated in a couch area. We were offered the option of a traditional table placed alongside a wall or the more scenic, airy and casual sofa areas. Evidently we could only be seated on 1 side of the table which was dirty. We were quickly greeted and asked about our drink options. We were then also asked to provide a cc to run a tab. I thought this very odd since I had to provide a card to secure the reservation and given the price points on the menu, I really found it offensive. The service was good, pizza, Caesar salad, 2 drinks amounted to 85/$90 before tip. You pay a lot to be on a roof. Again, I knew it going in, but still a shock especially with an 18.00 cocktail served in plastic.

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C
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Beautiful view and sunset. Good pizza. Excellent service provided by Kylie

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

If you don’t mind paying $25 for a medium cheese pizza and $17 for a glass of everyday table wine - it’s your kind of place. The view of the Potomac is terrific though, but in the early evening the sun was so bright and hot, we ended up moving to a seat with no view just to get out of the heat.

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A
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Loved the set up, however there were quite a few bugs. The pizza was great and I enjoyed the wine I had. Beautiful views.

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M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great rooftop to hang out with friends or family. The drinks are a bit high but overall outstanding place.

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CO
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The reason to come is the view, which is stunning and unlike anything you'll see in the DC area (public spaces anyway). Drinks are always top notch at the Watergate, including at "Top of the Gate". This is a great place for a few drinks to share with a very special date.

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AR
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

While the view was fantastic, there was 0 shade and it was much too warm with the beaming sun. We opted to go down to another bar instead.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

"IN" place if you want to be seen and pay $18,- for a bad cocktail that comes in a little plastic cup and a straw ! Not at all eco-friendly & a very unfriendly service, it's like "take it or leave it" - we don't need you here 'cause others are waiting in line for your spot! Food is a disaster - so don't go there for dining and, anyway, your only choice is either a piece of pizza or Caesar salad! The only good thing is the view, probably one of the best in DC!

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a
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 3ambience 5

Always loved coming here, our server this time was a bit inattentive, but overall a great experience.

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IN
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fabulous place to go to before a show, people-watch and enjoy the views. The gold-standard service made the high prices more than worth it. A $60 pitcher of raspberry mojitos went down easy in the hot, early evening sun; the waitress was attentive and made great recommendations for a memorable happy hour. The food menu is very limited but two gals didn’t need more than the prosciutto-arugula pizza and the world’s best bar mix (corn nuts and sesame sticks!).

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very romantic spot to watch the sunset over dc

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

This was truly a huge waste of money! Although the view was nice, we could not enjoy it because we had to sit at one of the few very limited number of tables in the shade. Its mind boggling that a roof top restaurant doesn't have proper shading over tables to accommodate guests during the really hot summer months.
The drinks are very expensive and for that price really nothing special. DC has so many other venues with much better, more creative drink options for that price point. I think the food was the most disappointing....pizza served takeout style in cardboard boxes. I truly regret spending over $100 dollars on drinks and "dinner" for 2 when essentially the best part of the experience - the view - could not even be ensured by the venue.
Would absolutely not recommend!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Terrible. It’s on a rooftop with NO shade at all - no umbrellas, nothing. Not somewhere anyone could go before 8pm in the summer or in the winter at all. There are 4 items on the menu (salads and a dessert pizza for ~$25 each (HUGELY overpriced, even for DC). Drinks were lovely. But when we got the bill, the server told us that they had a $50 per person minimum (there’s no way one person could get to this amount unless you had an entire pizza and at least 2 drinks), so we were told we had to spend at least $100 more, which was not disclosed to us until that moment. After an uncomfortably long 20 minutes where the server had all our credit cards and didn’t return, we went up to the front maitre ‘d stand and they said this was a new policy they hadn’t told everyone about yet so we didn’t have to spend the additional $100. Good thing because there wasn’t a chance after this horrible experience that was going to happen. Still watching my credit card statement to make sure I wasn’t overcharged. Don’t go here!

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JW
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

The service at the Top of the Gate is awful. Our reservation time was moved by ToG just hours beforehand, then they "gave our table away because [we] were late." Then seated us at the worst table while others arrived later and received far better seating. The drinks, served in plastic cups, are overpriced, but never arrived. I know the price because they had already entered the cost onto my credit card. When I demanded my credit card so I could leave, no one seemed to know where it was or how to retrieve it. Eventually, a manager offered to seat us at the table we should have had in the first place and drinks immediately, on the house. But, prompt drinks and reserved seating were what I was expecting an hour earlier, so I left once my card was delivered.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

It was nice

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i
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

The I saw that there is a minimum of $50 per person, I imagined at least the cocktails would be in a glass, not a plastic cup. Really thought it would be a cool place, up scale and elegant --wrong! Waitresses were extremely pleasant , but I felt it was a ripoff.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

The food was ok but the drinks were pretty good. The service was less than stellar. The waitress went missing for about 15 minutes and we were trying to leave to make it back across the street to see Hamilton opening night.

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c
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Facility had an awesome view. However did not have a variety of food. Good for get together with family, and friends, as well as a good business meeting.

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s
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance. Chris, one of the skate attendant was great! He even came and skated around the ice rink a few times and also offered to take a few pictures of my date and myself. He took great pictures btw. The ice rink itself was small but the view made up for it! Awesome view of the national monument and surrounding areas with views overlooking the water. Drinks were nicely made but the food was ok for what they had to serve. Bartenders were nice and friendly. The fire pits, blankets and comfy seating made the ambiance that much more enjoyable. Valet parking ticket can be validated at the bar, cost only came up to $12. Valet excepts cash or credit card. Heavy traffic since it’s right next to the Kennedy center so be prepared to wait longer than expected to actually get to the hotel. Overall l, i had a great time and I definitely look forward to coming here again in the spring!

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P
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for NYE. Amazing staff, serving us all with a smile in bitter cold. Will go there again soon.

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DC
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Tom was great!

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SM
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Sadly disappointing experience. We were “served” by a random assortment of nice people who seemed to have no idea what they were doing or what we had ordered. We never received the pizza we ordered after waiting more than 30 minutes. We waited about 20 minutes for the bill we repeatedly requested. We had theater tickets and finally just had to hand the manager cash to cover the bill. For a meal we never received. Terrible. Never again.

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OT
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tom showed us respect and was there for every thing we needed

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S
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Proscuitto Pizza was very good. Sangria was delicious too. There is a charge just to sit up there though, FYI.

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EV
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

possibly the best rooftop restaurant in the usa
yes, you heard me
truly, it beats the band

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Location was inredible. Was worth the $50/person reservation for this special occassion. We had no trouble spending it with the steep prices. We knew to expect the pricey and limited menu so no qualms there. The heirloom tomato/peach/ricotta seasonal salad was incredible. They brought us the wrong pizza at first, but had a correct and fresh one out within 15 minutes. Our server was nice enough to take a photo of us as well. The blankets were a nice touch on the windy rooftop. All in all a wonderful evening.

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C
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We had a great experience at the Top of the Gate. The views are unreal, the pizza and drinks were delicious. Service was a bit slow but our waitress had a lot of tables she was serving. It is pricey but worth it for a special night out.

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SS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

My parents came into town and requested a place for dinner with a view. The dinner menu is not extensive (pizza & one salad option), but Top of the Gate is great for drinks, conversation, and has a sensational view of the monument, the waterfront, Georgetown & Arlington's skyline.

Be warned if you book a table, there is a $50 minimum per person- come hungry, ready for happy hour, and definitely bring your friends! Another suggestion- book just before sunset and plan to stay for a few hours. I will definitely be coming back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

An amazing place that was recommended by a friend. Not to be missed!

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OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2017
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

The view was amazing and that's what we came for. Minimum $50 pp spend is easily achieved given the prices. The ambiance doesn't justify the cost - drinking a $30 glass of Verve from a plastic glass just isn't right. The only food option is pizza ... served in cardboard boxes ... no serving plates on offer. Top of the Gate has top notch prices a fantastic view but all in all an underwhelming experience. Could be so much better!!

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b
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2017
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

We were excited to visit the Watergate Hotel and Top of the Gate on our visit to D.C. At first I was not successful at making an online reservation prior to our visit, so I called. When I did not receive a confirmation, I went back online to try again. I was able to make an online reservation and received a confirmation. We arrived on Aug. 9th and were seated, and we were excited. The waiter arrived and immediately asked if we knew there was a $50 minimum per person. I explained I did not, but that we would stay. He was very aggressive about pointing out the more expensive wines. We ordered a glass of red wine ($20) and a glass of sparkling ($30). We had dined at the Blue Duck Tavern, and wanted to enjoy a cocktail with a view. Again, he kept trying to get us to order more drinks because of the minimum. I explained we were not going to drink more. He even encouraged us to order a bottle and take the remaining with us. This required minimum was not included on my online reservation, was not mentioned when I called, and was not posted. When I asked the hostess about it on our way out, she said it was posted at our table. I told her it was not, and she said she will tell the manager. Two drinks in plastic for a total bill of $107.88 is unacceptable. I will not return nor will I recommend the Top of the Gate. So very disappointing!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

It was a great view.

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SD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Let’s see. If you are looking for a super-casual (t-shirts, ripped jeans, water-pipes, etc.) rooftop bar with cool 180-degree views of the river, TRI & Rosslyn, this is one to consider. We were lucky to be there on a cooler August evening. Place is advertised as an energetic (which, perhaps, it can be) and SOPHISTICATED LOUNGE (which it is definitely not; it's a paved roof around a few ventilation/cooling towers, or smth resembling these).

In short: you're paying for the view. Weather-permitting, this is an OK bar to hang out after work or before a performance next door. Nihilistic menu (5 pizza varieties, served in carton boxes & 1 salad); quality of our 1 pizza and 1 salad approached ‘mediocre’ … but only on some bites. Drinkware is plastic & “silverware” means 1 fork … rest is finger-work. For a bar, wine selection is poor; fortunately, we picked a plastic of nice ($12) pink champagne and a tasty plastic of ($16) Lemelson Pinot Noir. Our server Vafa (?) was super-attentive (addressing us by name), accommodating, and at times even over-compensating for what he must have perceived was our experience there. TOTG’s Management should recognise, reward, listen to, and cherish co-workers like Vafa, and make certain they never leave.

Found notification of ‘minimum spending requirement of $50 per person’ utterly off-putting … first when seen on TOTG’s website, and later – when actually on-site – on big white sheets under the glass top on each table. How about this: offer a genuine quality experience and people will spend such an amount anyway … no need to prod, remind, or threaten.

Conclusions: (a) no sophisticated lounge on this roof, (b) don't come here for food, (c) do not expect a wine-list, and (d) our service experience actually was good. Hoping to celebrate a birthday in a sophisticated rooftop lounge environment, we dropped the required >$100 as quickly as slow & mediocre pizza+salad service permitted, were in-n-out in <75min, and went elsewhere.

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