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D.C.'s Best Cocktail Bars

by Lanna Nguyen on Feb 21, 2018 in Roundups

 
Cocktail bars abound in the district, and whether you're looking for a date-night spot to impress, a bar for a late-night drink, or a new place to check out, take a look at our list of favorite cocktail bars in DC.
 
The underground lounge located off of 14th Street is a popular haunt for those looking to sip on fun and unique drinks. The menu changes every week and is hand drawn with colorful patterns and graphics; if nothing on the list floats your fancy, the bartenders are always happy to whip up whatever drink you’re craving. Pro tip: the cozy space gets pretty crowded on weekend nights and peak times - try to visit during the week if you’re looking for a more intimate drinking experience. (1800 14th St, NW)
 
From chef-extraordinaire Jose Andres, the swanky spot in Penn Quarter features over-the-top drinks that fuse technology with cocktails. The “cocktail lab” has over 100 different drinks, experiential flights, and equally fun snacks to pair with the cutting edge cocktails. (501 9th St, NW; 202-393-4451)
 
In 2017, the Blagden Alley bar from the Drink Company was named “Best American Cocktail Bar” and lives up to the award by serving up some of the most unique cocktails in the city. Snag a seat in the Spirits Library or Punch Garden or splurge and make a reservation for the Tasting Room where you’ll enjoy your choice of either a three-course or five-course menu paired with inventive cocktails. (124 Blagden Alley, NW; 202-316-9396)
 
The hip, two-story restaurant and bar on H Street features potstickers, bao, skewers and other authentic Chinese street fare on the first floor and a sultry, speakeasy-esque bar on the second level. Sip on all of the classics including Old Fashioneds, Daiquiris, Gimlets, Smashes, Manhattans, Martinis and more. (1110 H St, NE; 202-241-1952)
 
The 14th Street speakeasy is a popular destination for those looking to sip on Prohibition-era cocktails. The menu changes seasonally and is infused with personal touches from the bar staff - the current spring menu focuses on the U Street neighborhood’s history and cultural contributions with drinks named for go-go legend Chuck Brown and neighborhood landmarks. (2009 14th St, NW; 202-232-2156)
 
The Petworth bar is part of the Hank’s family (Hank’s Oyster Bar in multiple DC/VA locations and Hank’s Pasta Bar in Alexandria) and offers cocktails made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The drink menu is extensive and features seasonal drinks, Not So Classics, New Fashioneds, Beertails, and shareable punches. (819 Upshur St, NW; 202-290-1808)
 
Left Door
The 14th Street bar from cocktail connoisseur Tom Brown is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it, but enter and you’ll be treated to well crafted classics and inventive sippers alike. The low-lit space is perfect for date night or after-dinner drinks. (1345 S St, NW; 202-734-8576)
 
One of the oldest bars in the city, the Round Robin Bar was established in 1847 and is known for its rich history and being the location where the Mint Julep was first introduced to Washington, DC. Presidents and famous authors (think Mark Twain and Walt Whitman) have been guests here - stop by the bar and have house mixologist, Jim Hewes, whip up a beverage of your choice while hearing the stories behind the iconic DC bar. (1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW; 202-628-9100)
 
The team at Service Bar is always cooking up something new and fun at the U Street bar - a rotating menu of cocktails feature seasonal ingredients, all-day happy hour allows guests to enjoy classic drinks like a Daiquiri, Old Fashioned, or Tom Collins for $7, and themed Sunday brunches and live jazz music on Tuesdays make it a great destination for smaller groups. (928 U St, NW; 202-462-7232)
 
The Bloomingdale cocktail bar serves up creative drinks labeled either as “Recommendations” (the bar team’s take on classic cocktails) or “Suggestions” (less traditional drinks) on the menu. Currently on “Suggestions” try the Hai Karate (Angostura 7yr Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Corrected Orange, Maple Syrup, Angostura Bitters), Naked & Famous (Ilegal Joven Mezcal, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse, Lime) or the Hanky Panky (Ford’s Gin, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Fernet Branca). Come on a Sunday and take advantage of the bar’s Signature Sundays deal where all cocktails on both of the menus above are priced at $10. (251 Florida Ave, NW; 202-733-4952)
 
Photo via Service Bar 
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