For obvious reasons, Washington, D.C., is an exceptionally hot travel spot this week. Whether you’re headed to our country’s capital to march or to cheer, it’s safe to say you’ll most likely want a drink at some point. We’ve compiled a list of 21 of D.C.’s best bars so you can drink off your emotions, whether positive or negative. And there’s a helpful map at the bottom, too, so you know where you are and where to go.
Harold Black (Map)
This spot has limited but lovely cocktails and light food. Enter the bar through a secret sliding door and be greeted by an intimate setting and dim lighting. The ambiance is everything.
The Sovereign (Map)
For Flemish food and Belgian beer, this is the place to go. With over 50 drafts and 350 bottles available, you’ll have a wide range of beers to choose from. Pair with flammekuchen, European flatbread-style pizza.
Foodies and wine lovers rejoice; this is the place for you. This contemporary, rustic space offers creative small plates and a rather large wine list for all your food and wine-pairing needs. Happy hour is from 5 to 7, serving up $5 house wine and $8 classic cocktails. On warm days, grab a seat on the patio.
Off the Record (Map)
Located in the Hay-Adams Hotel, this classy joint offers a variety of wines by the glass, themed cocktails, and upscale bar cuisine. Caricatures of government officials, current and past, line the walls, giving the place a truly D.C. feel.
Old Ebbitt Grill (Map)
Located on 15th Street just a few steps away from the White House, this spot is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with affordable cocktails and a half-price raw bar during happy hour.
This one’s a rustic tapas bar serving small plates, slushies, and sherry-based cocktails. Great for lunch, brunch, or dinner.
American Ice Co. (Map)
Craving barbecue with your booze? Set in a reclaimed industrial-style space, American Ice Co. serves up wine, beer, and whiskeys as well as classic BBQ items produced with local ingredients. Grab a bowl o’ chili (veggie version available as well!) with your whiskey.
Board Room (Map)
This bi-level bar has a super-fun ambiance, with 21 beers on tap and a closet of endless board games. The bar is also equipped with nine TVs.
Black Squirrel (Map)
This massive beer hall has an immense selection of domestic and international beers. Check out the calendar of events to see what’s going on while you’re in town; live music, mac and cheese night, or a free comedy show could be your event of the evening.
Jack Rose (Map)
This high-end bar is known for its extensive whiskey selection and reserve barrel-aged/vintage beer list. Themed dining rooms and an outdoor terrace provide an array of ambiances for whatever suits your mood. Not to be missed for whiskey aficionados.
Bar Charley (Map)
Great cocktails, tiki drinks, and a sweet back patio. One of our favorite spots for day drinking at brunch.
Glen’s Garden Market – Dupont (Map)
While it may not be open super late (10 p.m.), this café-market hybrid focuses on locally produced and craft beer. A grocery store with beer on tap? Sounds like a place we’d love to do our shopping.
Right Proper Brewing (Map)
Sip on handcrafted pints right at their source in this retro warehouse-esque space. Grab some Southern-style food while checking out the plethora of paintings that line the walls at this unique brewery.
Mockingbird Hill (Map)
Love sherry? This fortified wine mecca’s menu is packed with sherries, cured meats, and various other bar snacks and cocktails. Grab a flight of various samples for a quick sherry 101. And don’t forget a cheese plate.
ANXO Cidery and Pintxos Bar (Map)
This Basque-inspired bar is the perfect place to taste handmade ciders while snacking on small bar bites. Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 5 to 6:30, with half off select drinks and all pintxos. Don’t miss the vermouth!
Left Door (Map)
This small, intimate space is perfect for those looking for creative cocktails and small bar bites. And if you’re feeling fancy, it offers a $100 cocktail, made with Pappy Van Winkle and Cristal Champagne.
This island-themed bar serves up tiki drinks as far as the eye can see. Rum rules at this vacation-inspired joint. Drink and snack like you’re in the Caribbean.
ChurchKey is a craft beer lover’s mecca; with five casks, 50 drafts, and 500 bottles of beer, the opportunities are endless. Pair with some house-made tots or the fried chicken sandwich for some greasy goodness. Bonus: For wine lover’s, check out the sparkling Austrian rosé made from Zweigelt and Pinot Noir.
Northwest Washington/Columbia Heights
Petworth Citizen (Map)
This insanely laid back bar offers creative cocktails and classic pub food, equipped with a library in the back for reading and sipping. Bonus: Kids books are available as well, if you brought your little ones along for the occasion.
Red Derby (Map)
Looking to drink like a local? Head to Red Derby for cheap cans (as low as $2!), board games, and a rooftop deck. Tacos, burgers, and all things fried are served up on the regular.
This colorful bar serves up New American-style cuisine and boasts an extensive cheese menu. Craft cocktails are your drink of choice here.