Washington, D.C. is known for its monuments, history, the Hill and great food. It’s a place full of new discoveries — spots in the city are never the same from winter to summer, Friday to Monday. Out of love for our nation’s capital, I’m going to share a few of the lesser-known DC-area drinking spots.
For a View: Sequoia
Sequoia has an amazing outdoor section that overlooks the Potomac River and some of the National monuments. To save from splurging on dinner, try their Happy Hour. Sequoia is best when it’s warm out and the entire Georgetown waterfront area is filled with good-looking young professionals seeking to let off steam after a long workday. 3000 K Street, NW Washington, DC.
Drink to try: Huckleberry Lemonade (44 North Huckleberry Vodka and lemonade)
For a Cold or Rainy Day: The Board Room
The owners of this Dupont Circle bar had the genius idea to combine alcohol and board games. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could have a relaxing night with friends just playing cards and board games. Well, look no further. The Board Room allows patrons to rent Scrabble, Jenga, Taboo or Cards Against Humanity (just to name a few) for a flat fee of $2. Bonus: you can also bring your own food. 1737 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC.
Drink to try: The Board Room Manhattan (Bulleit Rye, Noilly-Pratt sweet vermouth, Regan’s orange bitters and a maraschino)
For Cigar and Whiskey Lovers: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Even if you’re not a fan of either, this place is seriously cool. There are over 1,500 bottles of whiskey on the walls, some that can only be reached with ladders. The third floor rooftop allows visitors to smoke cigars. And coming soon to Jack Rose is a speakeasy-feel “Prohibition Bar” in the basement, where you can sample some pre-Prohibition whiskeys. 2007 18th Street, NW Washington, DC.
Drink to try: Bakersbread Man (Baker’s small batch bourbon, gingerbread syrup, cherry & orange bitters)
For Strong Drinks at a Dive: Stan’s Restaurant & Bar
This dive bar is sometimes referred to as Washington, D.C.’s Cheers. Stan’s is famous for giving you two glasses, one large glass with your liquor and another little shot glass with your soda. It’s the ultimate dive bar, but after a full glass of straight liquor, you’re bound to have a good time. 1029 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: A glass of your favorite liquor!
For the Soulful Gal: Marvin DC
Named after Marvin Gaye (a Washingtonian), this restaurant/lounge serves Southern and European cuisine alongside playing soul music. In the early ’80s, in an attempt to escape the fallout after declaring bankruptcy and detox from his drug addiction, Gaye moved to Belgium. The upstairs lounge is filled with pictures of soul icons, including the Supremes. 2007 14th Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: A Belgian beer, of course!
If You Want to Dance the Night Away: U Street Music Hall
This place is owned and operated by a DJ, so enough said. It fits up to 500 people, and the dance floor is huge. DJs are hosted almost every night, and there’s a strict no-camera policy so you don’t have to worry about showing up on social media. The best part? There’s no dress code, no bottle service, and no VIP. Just dance. 1115 U Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: A classic mixed drink. It’s no nonsense and void of specialty cocktails—have whatever will get you in the mood to have a good time.
For a Drink on the Sly: The Gibson
This place is a great hidden bar with an unremarkable door. Naturally, that means you don’t get a table unless there’s a seat available. When you arrive, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the 1920s. Also, expect to be served by some of the most skilled bartenders in DC! 2009 14th Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: Mr. Fahrenheit (Old Port rum, Dolin Rouge, AITA Root, AITA Snap, Domain de Canton, Hellfire bitters)
For a Boozy Brunch: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
For only $28, you can get all-you-can-eat tapas, and an additional $16 will get you all-you-can-drink beverages from a huge menu. 801 9th Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: Lychee Mimosa (lychee liqueur, cava, splash of Guanabana Agua Fresca, splash of Guarapo)
For a Sweet Post-Dinner Night Cap: Co Co. Sala
Major emphasis on chocolate! This is the best spot for a post-meal drink and dessert. Sit by the bar and taste a chocolate covered strawberry alongside a specialty cocktail. The vibe is low-key, and Co Co. Sala is frequented by small groups/couples. The bartenders are extremely talented, and you’ll leave without that nagging craving for dessert. 929 F Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to try: Fetish cocktail (fresh strawberries, chocolate-infused vodka, strawberry foam, chocolate-dipped berry)
If You’re Looking for a Sports Bar: Ventnor Sports Café
I may be biased because this is a UNC Sports Bar (go Heels!), but it’s still an awesome place to grab beers and wings while watching your favorite team. It’s a clean bar with plenty of TVs to catch the action. 2411 18th Street, NW Washington, DC
Drink to Try: Your favorite beer on draft (alongside the tater tots)
Photo Credit: The Drink Nation
Where are your favorite spots to grab a drink in Washington D.C.?