While DC is the perfect place to spend the day, those 21 and older can agree it’s also a must-visit destination for the best nightlife across the region. From happy hours to dance vibes, there are plenty of bars and clubs around the District that’ll match your aesthetic for the night.
If you’re looking for …
Cocktails and Conversation
Check out Jane Jane (1705 14th St. NW) in Logan Circle, where you can sip both classic and offbeat cocktails in a wood-paneled space straight from the set of Mad Men. Or venture to Penn Quarter and descend to Silver Lyan (900 F St. NW), an underground bar in a historic bank vault where you can sample inspired drinks with both DC and international influences.
Miami Beach’s Hoja Taqueria (1900 Connecticut Ave. NW), which recently opened a DC outpost at Kalorama’s Generator hotel, serves $10 cocktails and $5 tacos on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. A mezcal flight is worth trying, too.
With zero- and low-proof drinks trending, bars like Capitol Hill’s Show of Hands (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) are coming up with creative takes on classic recipes, and — in the case of spirits director Nick Farrell — making their own liquors. A nice bonus: Show of Hands is part of giant new food hall The Roost, so you can enjoy your drink with a slice of pizza, burger, and more.
Ciel Social Club (601 K St. NW) in Mount Vernon Triangle offers 360-degree views of the Capitol and Washington Monument, dramatic décor with marble and a stunning chandelier, and prime people-watching. Groups can sip a variety of large-format cocktails. Or try the upscale Moonraker at the new Pendry hotel at the Wharf (655 Water St. SW, 14th Fl.), where you can order sushi and cocktails while taking in the panoramic river view.
A Dance Vibe
U Street’s new Alice (1357 U St. NW) is a multitasker that offers takeout pho and banh mi on the first floor and a full-on nightclub with bottle service on the second floor. Lose yourself in the psychedelic visuals and kitschy bonuses like arcade games (which are more fun after a couple of cocktails, just saying). If you’re looking for a bigger space or want to host a private party, Royal Sands Social Club (26 N St. SE) in Navy Yard is a worthy new spot. The Florida-themed bar has a glamorous swimming pool vibe, and its 14,000-square-foot, two-level space has capacity for nearly 1,000 people with private rooms for groups of all sizes to partake in dancing and piña coladas.
Ginza Karaoke & Rooftop Lounge (526 Eighth St. SE), recently opened in Barracks Row, features a lively karaoke bar plus smaller rooms for groups of up to 28 people. When you’re hungry after your star turn, a noodle and barbecue menu awaits.
Feature image courtesy Silver Lyan
This story originally ran in our March issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine.