Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar

4.2
6435 reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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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)
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Phone number
(202) 416-8555
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Matt Shourds
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Private party facilities
Smaller parties can enjoy a more personal setting in the Private Dining Room, which can seat 30 for dinner and up to 40 for a reception. The Private Dining Room features a warm palette with shimmering lighting on wood and mirrored walls just perfect for intimate, private dining experience.
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Private party contact
Niiyo Madison: (202) 416-8571
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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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Virginia Avenue NW
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Parking details
Three levels of garage parking are available under the Kennedy Center. Very limited street parking available in the surrounding area.
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Public transit
The Kennedy Center provides free shuttle service to/from Foggy Bottom Metro (Orange and Blue Lines).
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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.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 6435 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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LC
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Pre-theater dinner , food was very good, service was slow. It was good that we had a 5:30 seating for a 7:30 performance

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DP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

If you want a restaurant that will get you in and out very quickly to enjoy a show at the Kennedy Center, you've come to the right place. If you want to actually receive a meal worth the ~30 entree price, you're out of luck. The Service was excellent...no complaints there. It was actually TOO fast, and betrayed the kitchen's secret, which is pre-cooked meals, nuked to some semblance of warmth and thrown on a plate. My fish--which was allegedly the special--was barely warm, and had very clearly seen the inside of an oven quite some time previously. I should have guessed when we ordered, and I had time for two sips of wine and three bites of bread before the entree arrived. I tried to compensate with dessert, and was rewarded with a tiny serving of bananas foster with a packaged cookie and the thinnest banana known to mankind. The caramel was copious (hard to screw up caramel), and was the only redeeming factor in a $12 item. Hey, I get it--you need to get people in and out quickly. Fine. Don't overcharge for the privilege of microwaved food.

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JP
Chicago
33 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was nothing special and overpriced. My adult daughter and I were dining together and the service we received as two woman was very different that those who had male dining companions. We felt pretty ignored.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

so convenient when going to the Kennedy Center for a performance - friendly staff and the brunch was great !

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d
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar has a easy monopoly on the pre-theater crowd at the Kennedy Center. I ordered the crab bisque and found it lacking in flavor other than crab, so much so that I found a couple of crab shells in my soup. The tuna tar-tar, was spicy, and lacked a delivery method other than a fork. The halibut was dry on one half, but delicious on the other half. Dessert was bananas foster, which was good, but very small compared to the other plates. Over all decent dinner, but does not stand up to other restaurants in DC.

I doubt I would go again, and would rather find a different location for a pre-theater dinner.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Everything was outstanding but we felt like our private anniversary date turned into a dinner for 4 when another couple was seated right next to us. We were so close that we could hear each other's conversation. I was very disappointed because the table was very romantic up to that point. Delicious food, amazing views, great servers, wonderful candlelit ambiance. My only complaint was the uncomfortably close seating. Even so, we had a special time. Thank you Kennedy Center Roof Top Restaurant!

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p
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

They charge $21 for a glass of champagne and the champagne is not chilled properly...sent it back twice. Still wasn't right.

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T
Washington DC
113 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We were so delighted with our waiter, Oscar! But prospective diners should be aware that special requests may be ignored. For example, I'd requested a quiet table in a corner or against a wall, not in the center of the floor -- and instead the restaurant put us in the center of the floor.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Birthday!! Very much enjoyed the service provided by Freddy. Great evening.

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SS
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and good ambience. Quick service so it was perfect for dining prior to our show.

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f
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The quality of the food has increased since I last dined there two years ago, so that's a plus. I would recommend a reservation earlier than you think you'd want. It can get a bit harried closer to curtain.

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KE
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good Beef Tenderloin and Crabcakes entrees. Waiter was very good. Service before a theater event was relaxed and very good, we did not feel rushed.

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M
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

We celebrated my daughters birthday and pre theater for Hamilton. The food was only so so and the prices extremely high. $16 for a glass of not so good Pinot Gris.

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HR
Philadelphia
52 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The crab soup just tasted like canned tomato soup with crab.

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LC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Crab cakes were very good! Beef tenderloin was also good . Scallops were squishy. Chef was very accommodating to a member of our party with special dietary requirements.

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B
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a gem of a restaurant. As good as any fine dining around.

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h
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent. Finished plates removed very quickly so a trip back to the buffet could return with more! Our server, Freddy, was very attentive.
Food on the buffets was replaced/refilled often so that food was always fresh. Seafood bar particularly good with oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon and trout, and more.
Nice view out the windows.

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

Buffet line for brunch is not ideal -- you're going through the kitchen. As such, the line goes very slow. In addition, the food selection was not robust. The dining area is nice and this is an ok restaurant to go to right before catching a show.

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BB
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Soggy fish , tasteless salad, unfriendly waiter . Will not return .

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CP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My group had a great time and the waiter was very accommodating with a guest's food allergy concerns. We did not feel rushed.

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3
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

A disappointing experience. With tickets for Hamilton we felt the convenience of the Terrace Restaurant would add to the evening out. Arriving at the site we were seated within touching distance of a table with two individuals engaged in a constant loud conversation which lasted for the entire time we were there. Our waiter, who seemed uninterested in our presence, finally took our order. When it arrived my wife found the Maryland crab too salty to eat. My salmon was tasteless. Our cocktail had to be sent back to the bar. Facing the need to finish before the show we selected ice cream, thinking it impossible to ruin. WRONG. When it finally arrive, our waiter being casual about service the entire evening, it was well on the way to a melt down. Spending well over $100 for food and drink that was poorly prepared, poorly served did not add to the enjoyment of a long awaited evening.

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GK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great place to get dinner before a show at the Kennedy Center.

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M
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The food was great- halibut with peaches and tomatoes; Great crab cakes. Decor in large dining room is a little drab in a 60s sort of way. Could be updated a bit. We had a table by service door so not the best ambiance.

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YV
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service and food were excellent. I always enjoy the resturant.

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DF
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

you go for the convenience factor. the view was nice. the server brought me tepid white wine and it took forever to get his attention for a replacement. he poured a sam adams beer into one person's wine glass and walked away. it was pretty odd. we felt like our party of three didn't matter and it was a shame for a special occasion evening for us.

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D
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

The new furniture was nice and quite comfortable. However the menu remains quite limited, the prices are high, and the service is so so. Very convenient pre or post show.

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m
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was wonderful! Have an amazing cauliflower steak, so vegetarians are welcomed. A perfect place for a memorable pre-show meal!

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j
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Pre-theater dining was extremely convenient. The food and service were very good.

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MF
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

Food was great. Menu was limited. There were not a lot of beef or steak choices. The service was excellent. The restaurant itself was just one large room with high ceilings and so very noisy and not very private for conversations. Sit very close to other patrons. Just a few window tables and really no view. So why is it called the Terrace?? No outside tables at all

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MM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delightful prelude to "Hamilton" in celebration of my sister's special birthday!

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R
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

A convenient place to eat before a performance at The Kennedy Center, but don't expect too much (although the bill will probably be more than expected). Feels kind of like a gymnasium with ill-fitting drapes on the wall. Food was just OK, service about the same - except for one busboy who was EXCEPTIONAL: smiled, was polite and careful to serve and remove dishes from the proper side, etc - wish I had gotten his name!

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JH
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

After years of eating at the Terrace before shows - maybe twice a year - I was very disappointed in the quality of the meal and the menu changes. Is there a new chef here? This is our first trip to the KC in 2018 - perhaps we missed the change.

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l
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I thought the food here was very average and the food and wine prices were very high. It’s the restaurant at the Kennedy Center so it’s convenient but I think that’s the only reason to eat at this place.

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j
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

We went to the Roof Terrace for a pre-theater dinner. The room decor is tired and need a refresh. We were looking forward to rooftop view, but all the drapes were drawn. The menu, food and service were mediocre. The Roof Terrace needs to kick it up a notch! Bread service was cold and ordinary. The restaurant lacks a cocktail menu (in the heart of DC, at a theater venue, couldn't they come up with some creative drinks?). The AC was out on the (hot) night we dined, and no one mentioned it or offered any explanation or apology.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meal and service was excellent! We were there for a performance of Hamilton, which was cancelled because of cooling system issues. But our experience at the restaurant was wonderful.

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J
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Went to see Hamilton and to dinner before the show. Hamilton was canceled due to a/c. No air conditioning which wasn’t the restaurant’s fault but it took away from the experience. Service could have been a bit better. I will try dinner there again.

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JK
Wilmington
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

The review is most likely out of the norm regarding ambience and view. The day we went on 08/27, the Kennedy Center’s AC was down. We had reservations and what should have been a show after, but the show was cancelled. The whole restaurant was hot and humid and just not a pleasurable environment to eat dinner.

I ordered crab cakes under the server’s recommendation and it was not good. Every bite had shells and I ended up sending it back. He replaced the meal with the filet, which was still just mediocre. I never season my food with additional salt/pepper when out, but it was so bland, I had to add the seasoning.

For the price, I would recommend going somewhere else. I don’t think it’s worth the cost.

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TI
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I am always a bit amused by the menu - which takes a culinary dictionary to completely understand. Wonderful crab cakes - but plate lacked a starch (Hot crab cakes served on a cold slaw and what do you get? Lukewarm slaw and crab cakes.) Far better than the cafeteria because you can get great table service and a good drink (and their bar makes great drinks), but the room is a barn and the menu limited and seldom changing. I wonder what will change with the new space being built - will there be other options?

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p
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The view and menu indicated a sophisticated gourmet dinner was at hand. Both the view and the food lived up to that expectation. However, the table arrangements, lack of decor or plants left us with the impression that the tables were arranged haphazardly across a great expanse with no thought to ambience. The waiter, though pleasant, was busy and neglected to bring plates for the lobster starter. Three of our party had the special - halibut. Two of those dishes were excellent - one was a bit dry and lacking in sauce.

So, all-in-all, the food was good, the wine list satisfactory - it was a good meal before a performance ---- the rest could do with some more thought and consideration for ambiance.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

The bartender was getting overwhelmed and starting slamming things around, which echoed horribly and ruined our enjoyable dinner. Maybe they need to get her some help or remove her from the bar area tables.

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