As the temperatures drop, the culinary landscape is undergoing a transformation to embrace the season. Restaurants and bars across the region are getting creative with their outdoor spaces, offering a unique and cozy experience for patrons seeking warmth and ambiance. One trend that has gained popularity is the introduction of outdoor igloos—charming, transparent domes that provide a snug haven for diners. We highlight a handful of these destinations in this week’s blog.

Bear Chase Brewing Company

Situated along a wooded mountain ridge in Bluemont, Virginia, Bear Chase Brewing offers stunning views of the Virginia hunt country. During the winter months you can admire those views and your favorite beer from the inside of a mountainside igloo. With three sizes to choose from, groups of up to 16 can enjoy an igloo outing. But be sure to dress warmly because the igloos are lighted but not heated! If you don’t want to brave the cold, check out the spacious taproom with rustic decor and a cozy fireplace.

Whether you choose the charm of an igloo or the warmth of the fireplace, visitors can select from a variety of beers on tap. Offerings include IPAs, stouts, lagers, and seasonal brews. In addition to beer, Bear Chase Brewing also offers a food menu with a selection of appetizers, sandwiches, and pizzas. The brewery hosts regular events, such as live music, trivia nights, and food truck rallies. Check out their calendar to plan your visit!

Himalayan Wild Yak

Located in Brambleton Town Center in Ashburn, Virginia, Himalayan Wild Yak brings a taste of Nepal to Ashburn. The patio features several igloos. Some igloos offer cozy sofas and chairs and make the perfect spot to enjoy drinks with friends. Others have traditional dining tables and chairs that allow guests to experience a full meal. The igloos are lighted and come with space heaters and blankets.

A family owned and operated business, the Washington Post heralded Himalayan Wild Yak as one of the best new restaurants in Northern Virginia when it opened in December 2021. The variety of flavors on the menu will have your taste buds dancing. And if it’s drinks you are looking for, their cocktails won’t disappoint. Learn more about this culinary destination here!

King and Rye

Experience winter wonderland in Old Town Alexandria when you visit one of the four igloos at King and Rye. With Gingerbread, Jack Frost, Polar Express, and Ski Haus themes, the igloos at King and Rye offer guests an unforgettable outing. Igloos are heated and feature a special “igloo-only” menu of small plates, shareable dishes, and cocktails. Make your reservations here.

Located just blocks from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, King and Rye is known for its Southern cuisine, hospitality, and “damn fine whiskey.” Featuring seasonal ingredients carefully sourced and recipes passed down for generations, it’s an experience your whole group will savor.

2 Silos Brewing

The “Bigloos” at Farm Brew Live are quite different from the offerings at other local restaurants and breweries. Although they are seasonal, these large, igloo-shaped spaces resemble permanent structures. They are huge and feature tables and chairs, sofas, holiday decorations, TVs, and lots of heaters. Think of these igloos as a jolly extension of the brewery!

A well-known destination for craft beer, food, cocktails, and live music, 2 Silos Brewing creates an unforgettable experience for visitors. With five different food venues and a seemingly endless drink menu, there is something for everyone here. Check out everything they have to offer!

The Watergate

Looking for an upscale igloo experience for that special occasion? Check out the Ornament igloos at the iconic Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. Nestled along the historic Potomac River, the Watergate Hotel is renowned for its iconic architecture and timeless elegance. This winter, the hotel has transformed its rooftop into a winter oasis, complete with stunning views of the city and a touch of holiday magic.

Step into a world of wonder as you enter the Ornament igloos at the Watergate Hotel. These transparent domes are equipped with heaters, bluetooth speakers, and festive decor, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. The clear walls offer panoramic views of the Washington Monument, the Kennedy Center, and the Potomac River, making each igloo a private haven suspended in the heart of the city.

The experience is elevated with a specially curated menu of winter-inspired cocktails and delectable bites. From spiced mulled wine to holiday-themed concoctions, the beverage menu at the Watergate Hotel’s igloos is designed to warm both body and spirit. Accompany your drinks with a selection of gourmet treats, ensuring a culinary journey that complements the enchanting ambiance.

Rental fees range from $50 – $300 and do not count toward the food and beverage minimum of $300 – $400 per igloo.

The chill of winter can be the perfect backdrop for a warm and inviting culinary adventure. Whether you’re seeking a romantic evening, a family-friendly outing, or a night of cocktails under the stars, these restaurants and bars have redefined outdoor dining.  So, bundle up, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey through the cozy igloos of Northern Virginia—a winter dining experience like no other.

Feel free to share new things to try with us so we can cover them (and try them!) in the comments below or via email