Spring is here, which means it's time to dine outdoors before the oppressive summer heat descends upon Washington. Here's a sampling of patios that have opened since the last time you probably felt like eating outside.
Ambar: At this Balkan spot, the sidewalk terrace with awning seats around 50 diners — and should provide a nice respite to the loud, if convivial, dining room. You can't go wrong with the dips, kebabs and eclectic wine list. Or take your time and savor the $35 “Balkan Experience,” an option of unlimited small plates. 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.
The Bird: The poultry-themed restaurant has two outdoor dining spaces opening Sunday: a 50-seat patio and 31-seat upper-level terrace. During “Early Bird” (4 to 7 p.m. weekdays, 3 to 6 p.m. weekends), sip an aperitivo cocktail, which like all drinks during happy hour, comes with three free small bites. 1337 11th St. NW.
Colada Shop: It may not quite be Havana, but sampling Cuban fare on the colorful 16-seat patio of this 14th Street corridor spot isn't too shabby. Grab an $8 daiquiri or Cuba Libre cocktail and some croquetas, and you're good to go. 1405 T St. NW.
Dirty Habit: Regulars of Poste mourned last year when the restaurant closed, taking away the popular patio in its wake. But the outdoor space — the size of a full city block — reopened in conjunction with Poste's replacement, Dirty Habit, complete with its own bar, new furniture and fire pits. Lounge outside with one of the large-format cocktails for a group, along with such creative bites as the fried meatballs and charred eggplant. 555 Eighth Street NW.
Joselito: The modern Spanish cafe overlooks a pleasant stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue near Eastern Market, and while the patio seats 10, the restaurant will soon expand its outdoor capacity to 20. Sangria (red, white or sparkling) is perfect for an al fresco quaff, which you can pair with a wide variety of tapas. 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
Little Coco's: The lively Italian spot in Petworth has an about 15-seat front patio, as well as a 30-seat rooftop which is open as long as the weather cooperates. (The roof will briefly shut down this spring for a construction project that will allow for dining in cooler weather and rain.) Enjoy the view with a frozen Bellini and fried pizza in hand. 3907 14th St. NW.
Mezcalero: You can't miss the 18-seat patio at this excellent new Mexican spot thanks to the human-size metal chicken out front (yes, it makes for a great photo op). Order the unique “basket tacos” so you can eat them outside just as you would from the vendors who roam the streets of Mexico City. 3714 14th St. NW.
Owen's Ordinary: The 60-seat patio at this Neighborhood Restaurant Group property in the Pike & Rose development debuts Sunday. On weekdays, it's a place for regular restaurant dining, but every weekend through October, it will host a Bavarian beer garden, complete with German beers and Red Apron Butcher sausages. 11820 Trade St., North Bethesda.
Whole Foods Market: This isn't a restaurant per se, but the grocery store has a 48-seat patio facing H Street. Pick up a gourmet hot dog or, even better, noodles and Chinese burgers from chef Erik Bruner-Yang's Paper Horse stand. Cold brew coffee and fresh juice are among your beverage options, as well as wine and very affordable craft beer ($5 to $6 per pint, with $1 off during happy hour), which you can buy at the lounge inside. 600 H St. NE.
Correction: An earlier version of this article had an incorrect seating capacity for Whole Foods. This version has been updated.