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Best Bars in Washington DC

Updated: February 6, 2024

There are quite a few excellent bars to visit while you’re in Washington D.C.

Here are a few of our favorites from Sports Bars, Rooftop Bars, Wine Bars, Best Happy Hours, Cocktail Bars and Waterfront Bars.

Best Sports Bars in DC

1. Walter’s

Named after Walter Perry Johnson, a player from the 1920s with an illustrious record, Walter’s is a great place to grab a beer, a bite to eat, and watch sports both national and international.

Address: 10 N St SE, Washington, DC 20003

2. Proper 21

A sports bar with elevated pub food? This is D.C. Check out a game and enjoy plenty of beer on tap, wine, or cocktails.

Address: 1319 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

3. Stoney’s

For more than 50 years, Stoney’s has been a classic, D.C. neighborhood bar. One of the best burgers in the city and beer on tap makes this a great place to take a load off and enjoy talk about your favorite D.C. team(s).

Address: 1433 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Rooftop Bars in DC:

1. VUE at the Hotel Washington

Next to the White House, Vue will give you a lovely view of the city. Sip on a cocktail while you see the Washington Monument lit up at night.

Address: 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

2. Top of the Gate at the Watergate

Atop the Watergate Hotel, you can enjoy hand crafted cocktails while getting a beautiful view of Rosslyn, the Potomac, and Georgetown.

Address: 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

3. The Rooftop at the Graham

When you’re in historic Georgetown, you can enjoy a drink, some fresh air, and a view at this trendy rooftop bar.

Address: 1075 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Best Waterfront in DC:

1. Tiki TNT

If you want to relax with a nice tiki cocktail, this is the place for you.

By the Wharf, it’s a great spot to escape to after a long day on the National Mall and visiting museums. Try the frozen Rum “In” Coke for something fun and refreshing.

Find a few more options of places to eat at the Wharf on our neighborhood guide.

Address: 1130 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

2. The Salt Line

Across the street from Nats Park, The Salt Line gives you great views of the Anacostia River. You can enjoy seafood and waterfront cocktails.

Address: 79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

3. Nick’s Riverside Grill

Right along the waterfront in Georgetown, it’s a great place to grab a drink and people watch. You might even catch a glimpse of local crew teams practicing on the Potomac.

Address: 3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Good Happy Hour Bars :

1. China Chilcano

If it’s getting late and you just want to sit down, have a cocktail and a bite to eat, this José Andrés restaurant is a wonderful getaway. A few blocks from the National Mall on 7th St., it features a wonderful fusion of Peruvian and Asian flavors. You’ve got to try the Dancing Yucca.

Address: 418 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

2. Duke's Grocery/Duke's Counter

The beauty of Duke's happy hour is that it is offered Monday-Friday from 12pm-7pm (with additional nightly specials extending after 7pm.) Enjoyed discounted wine, beer, and rail drinks at any of their locations around town and pair it with one of the best burgers in the city.

3. Boqueria

With a location near Dupont Circle and one in Penn Quarter, Boqueria can be a great option for taking a break from sightseeing for some drinks and tapas. Their happy hour drink and food specials are offered daily, even on the weekends.

Address: 1837 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Best Wine Bars in DC

1. Lulu’s Winegarden

Good food. Good wine. Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. They’ve even got “Golden Hour” (their version of Happy Hour) not only every weekday, but even on Sunday.

Address: 1940 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

2. Apero

If you’re looking to indulge your champagne & caviar tastes, look no further than Apero. It’s a nice spot for a fancy evening.

Address: 2622 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007

3. Barcelona Wine Bar

Wine and tapas is a great combination. Share food and drinks in a friendly and welcoming environment and consider a seat on the patio if the weather is nice.

Address: 1622 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Cocktail Bars in DC:

1. The Mirror

Behind the facade of a nondescript office building is a mirror that will transport you to another era. With a speakeasy vibe, you can get a classic cocktail at this intimate bar on K Street.

Address: 1413 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005

2. The Wells

Gin-lovers will be in heaven at the Wells. With a rotating menu of hand-crafted cocktails with fresh, seasonal ingredients alongside a small selection of fancy bar snacks and Instagram-worthy decor, this is a cozy and inviting bar.

Address: 727 C Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

3. Jane Jane

This newer addition to the DC bar scene aims to transport you back to a traditional cocktail party. A wide variety of classic cocktails and tasty snacks (salty, crunchy, savory is the motto) are on hand at Jane Jane.

Address: 1705 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

4. Round Robin at the Willard

This is a slice of D.C. history, located at the Willard Hotel. Enjoy a classic cocktail surrounded by some plush, old-timey charm.

Address: InterContinental the Willard Washington D.C., an IHG Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Follow On Instagram | I'm a historian & tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. I have written for HuffPost Travel and have been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. I've also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. I am the producer of the podcast, Tour Guide Tell All. I am an authority on D.C. history, and have led tours in the city since 2011. I currently resides in DC, but have also lived in London and South Korea, and have traveled to over 28 countries and every US State but Hawaii. I homeschool my 2 children by exploring the plethora of museums in DC. Read More...
Updated: February 6th, 2024
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