Rough day? Red Line got you down? Boss schedule you in three hours of meetings about planning future meetings, in which you’ll be planning meetings? Are your presidential hopes growing dimmer by the day?
Fear not! There are a host of new places to blow off steam when the clock strikes 4pm (if you work for Uncle Sam) or 6pm (if you work on K St). Most are fresh new spots, while a few are old favorites that have recently sweetened the deal.
Who wouldn’t want to attend a happy hour dubbed “the cocktail party”? Especially when it doesn’t require a wardrobe change. The name is a reference to the good vibes Chef Michael Schlow remembers from his parents’ dinner parties growing up, when nostalgic dishes like deviled eggs would make an appearance. Shoulder pads and sweet mustaches probably appeared too. Visit the new Dupont hotspot weekdays from 4-7pm to try 11 hors d’oeuvres and $6 cocktails from Christine Kim, including martinis, Manhattans, and gimlets. Also: $4 drafts.
The move: making your way to Mad Fox Taproom post work on a Wednesday. That way you can take advantage of the 4-7pm happy hour AND order the epic burger of the week. A recent contender, the “Faded, Fat and Fancy,” combined a house-ground burger patty, pulled pork, Korean BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, fried pickles, and Irish whiskey mayo on a buttered croissant. Drink specials include $2 off drafts, $5 select wines, and $6 rail drinks. The other move: go on Sunday when there are $5 beer flights (four 4oz pours) available from 3-7pm.
Bar Deco has two floors that deserve your attention -- the third floor bar and the fourth floor roof deck. One is an industrial-chic place to catch a game, the other is one of the hottest outdoor spots in the city. Cash in on happy hour specials in both of these locales weekdays from 4-7pm. Drafts, house wines, and rail drinks are all $5, but more importantly fried pickles are $6. Other nibbles include Sicilian wings cooked by a Sicilian chef for $10, grilled octopus for $11, and bacon sliders for $13. Visit before the whole city is obsessed.
Inject your post-work malaise with a shot of France at newcomer L’Hommage Bistro Francais, especially if you’re the kind of person who gets giddy over happy hour food specials, because there are a dozen of them. They range from one-bite wonders like Basque candied walnuts ($5.50) to a “knuckle sandwich,” which fortunately amounts to poached lobster on a brioche bun ($9.50) instead of that thing bullies threatened to give out in the ‘50s. There are also tartines and sausages. Drink specials include $2 draft beers, $5 draft wines, $6 rail cocktails, and a $6 rotating cocktail of the day. Weekday happy hour runs from 4-7pm.
If there’s one word to describe Blackwall Hitch, it’s "handsome." Every detail of the massive space on the water from the crow’s nest to the Led Zeppelin lyrics tattooed on the wall contributes to making this a nautical environment you want to spend time in. Especially when food and drink happy hour specials are so substantial. Buffalo shrimp tacos, fried green tomatoes, pan-seared scallops, and calamari are all $6. Wash down the discounted bites with $3 domestic drafts, $4 craft drafts, $5 glasses of wine, and $4 rail cocktails. Happy hour runs weekdays from 3-7pm in the main bar.
Before you prematurely freak out, we know Tico isn’t brand new. But its “Margarita Mondays & More” sure is, and you’re going to care about it a lot because there’s something about $4 fried chicken tacos on a Monday evening that sounds just right. Also on special: a host of small plates, a standout bacon cheeseburger, beer, wine, and cocktails until close. If you happen to be dining in the dining room on a Monday evening, you can also get $30 pitchers of all draft cocktails.
The Source is also bringing some joy to the suckfest known as Mondays with its brand-new “dumpling Mondays” happy hour that lasts from 4pm until close. Peruse a list of the restaurant’s greatest meat pocket hits and make some draft picks because they’re only $5 (one order comes with about five dumplings). Options include garlic chive crystal dumplings, chili dan dan chicken dumplings, and shrimp & lobster spring rolls. The Source recently got a major makeover, so it’s time to pay it a visit anyway.
Celebrity chef Edward Lee’s National Harbor restaurant is now open and serving dollar smoked chicken wings during happy hour. It's also slinging $8 pimento fundido, $7 pulled pork sandwiches, and $1.50 Rappahannock oysters on the half-shell with watermelon mignonette. Drink reduced-price drafts and wines by the glass, plus some mighty fine cocktails like a pitcher of “Belle’s Punch” for $25 or $5 milk punch made boozy with bourbon, rum, Averna, Carpano Antica, and Creole bitters. Happy hour runs weekdays from 4-7pm.
Experience swank for less at Quadrant inside the Ritz-Carlton in West End. The sexy lounge offers weekday happy hour from 5:30-6:30pm and it's not above dishing out waffle-fry nachos with sour cream, bacon, spring onions, and cheese or a simple but tasty heirloom tomato flatbread. Beer, cider, and prosecco on draft are all discounted, as are two happy hour wines -- a sauvignon blanc and a malbec.
New Turkish restaurant Ankara transformed the former Levante’s space into something fantastic and the location is clutch. If you’re feeling bold during happy hour, sip some raki -- it’s just three bucks so if you don’t love it you can move back to beer. Other specials include half off select drafts, $3 wine, and $18 pitchers of sangria. You’ll also be able to scoop into some dips with warm pide bread for $4 or try skewered chicken with rice for $7. Weekday happy hour runs from 5-7pm.
At Due South, the happy hour specials are all in liquid form. Namely, weekdays from 3-6pm you can get $2 off draft beer or sip on $5 house wines and $6 well drinks. That being said, no one is stopping you from a post-work splurge on some Southern-inspired eats like broiled oysters with Tabasco shallot Parmesan butter; “squash puppies” with roasted jalapeño aioli; or the signature Nashville hot fried chicken thigh sandwich.
You’re allowed to go to L’Enfant for reasons other than its naughty, boisterous brunch. For starters, it just launched a brand-new happy hour featuring rotating food specials for $5 or less, like mini French bread pizza, gougères, and olive tapenade. Drink specials include $5 Belgian drafts, select wines, and highball cocktails. Visit weekdays from 5:30-7:30pm.
Penn Commons is really happy -- happier than Alex Ovechkin with a bowl of borscht after a win. That’s because the restaurant abutting the Verizon Center recently decided to offer happy hour all night long starting at 4pm. It features $5 14oz drafts and $8 22oz drafts, and other $5 drink specials. You’ll want to pad your stomach with a $3 hot pretzel baguette served with beer mustard butter. Twelve flat screens sweeten the deal for sports fans.
1. Riggsby1731 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington
2. Mad Fox Taproom2218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington
3. Bar Deco717 6th St NW, Washington
4. L’Hommage Bistro Francais450 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.
5. Blackwall Hitch5 Cameron St, Alexandria
6. Tico1926 14th St NW, Washington
7. The Source575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington
8. Succotash186 Waterfront St, National Harbor
9. Quadrant1150 22nd Street, N.W, Washington, D.C.
10. Ankara Restaurant1320 19th St NW, Washington, D.C.
11. Due South301 Water St SE, Washington, D.C.
12. L'Enfant Café2000 18th St NW, Washington
13. Penn Commons700 6th St NW, Washington
Located inside the swanky Carlyle Hotel at Dupont Circle, The Riggsby is a luxe retro-inspired cocktail bar and eatery. Celebrity chef Michael Schlow helms the menu, offering bespoke takes on classic 60s' inspired bar fare like club sandwiches, chicken paillard, and steak frites, the perfect accompaniment for a three martini lunch.
Newest member of the Mad Fox family, this Glover Park location boasts a mean brew selection and an even meaner (meatier) menu.
Bar Deco really just has two floors that necessitate your attention -- the third floor bar and the fourth floor roof deck. One is an industrial chic place to catch a game, the other is one of the hottest outdoor spots in the city. Crash their 4-7pm happy hour for $5 drafts, house wines and rail drinks.
L’Hommage Bistro Francais will inject your post-work malaise with a shot of France via a dozen 4-7pm happy hour food specials. They range from one-bite wonders like Basque candied walnuts ($5.50) to a “knuckle sandwich,” which fortunately amounts to poached lobster on a brioche bun ($9.50) instead of that thing bullies threatened to give out in the ‘50s. Drink specials include $2 draft beers, $5 draft wines, $6 rail cocktails and a $6 rotating cocktail of the day.
If there’s one word to describe Blackwall Hitch, it’s handsome. Every detail of the space, starting with the water from the crow’s nest to the Led Zeppelin lyrics tattooed on the wall, contributes to making this a spot you want to spend plenty of time in. Especially when food and drink happy hour specials are so substantial. Buffalo shrimp tacos, fried green tomatoes, pan-seared scallops and calamari are all $6. And you'll be keen to pair them with $3 domestic drafts, $4 craft drafts, $5 glasses of wine, and $4 rail cocktails.
The bright and graffic graffiti murals are the first clues that your visit to Tico, an outpost of original Boston tapas bar, is going to be a colorful one. Inspired by Schlow's travels in Latin America, Spain, and Mexico, Tico offers bold small plates with Latin leanings, like roasted cauliflower with cotija cheese, black bass ceviche, and a velvety tres leches cake for dessert. There are multiple taco varieties too, but what keeps fans coming back for more are the addictive hibiscus margaritas.
The name Wolfgang Puck attached to this Penn Quarter restaurant should tell you two things right off the bat -- this place isn't messing around with its culinary technique, and dinner here isn't going for cheap. The sleek dining area, brightened by cheerful yellow accents and floor-to-ceiling windows, is always full of people (many of whom are tourists, given the location) vying for a taste of Asian-inspired cuisine like chili oil-poached Nordic Cod or soy-marinated lamb chops. On the other side of the restaurant, the bar and lounge are a little bit calmer and offer a slew of classic and specialty cocktails along with, of course, an impressive wine list.
Celebrity Chef Edward Lee’s National Harbor restaurant is now open and serving classic southern fare. Swing by their 4-7pm happy hour for drafts and wines by the glass, plus some mighty fine cocktails like a pitcher of “Belle’s Punch” for $25 or $5 milk punch made boozy with bourbon, rum, Averna, Carpano Antica and Creole bitters.
Experience swank for less at Quadrant inside the West End Ritz-Carlton. From 5:30pm to 6:30pm, their beer, cider and prosecco on draft are all discounted, as are two happy hour wines—a Sauvignon Blanc and a Malbec. Zero room reservations necessary.
New Turkish restaurant Ankara transformed the former Levante’s space into something fantastic and the location is clutch. If you’re feeling bold during happy hour, sip some raki -- it’s just three bucks so if you don’t love it you can move back to beer. Other specials include half off select drafts, $3 wine and $18 pitchers of sangria. For food, classic dishes include shaksuka and htipiti.
Housed in a repurposed lumber shed in DC's Yards district, Due South is serving a full menu of inventive, sophisticated Southern fare, with eats that fall somewhere between creative, contemporary American cuisine and classic comfort food. The spot serves things like broiled oysters with Tabasco-Parmesan butter and 12-hour Texas style brisket, cooked in the in-house smoker, and served with fresh baked rosemary corn bread, and the cocktails are equally Southern-inspired like the Austin City Limits (Lone Star lemonade with lemon and jalapeño-infused vodka). The wine and spirits lists are impressively lengthy and versatile, and the warm-wooded rustic eatery offers brunch on the weekends and a popular happy hour daily.
If the miniature Eiffel Tower on the roof is any indication, this Adams Morgan bar and cafe is a little piece of Paris in DC. Open from 6pm to 12am during the week (and 1am on Fridays), L'Enfant is a great place to go for a glass of wine and a late bite (the menu is classic French with crepes, steak frites, and duck confit). Its claim to fame, though, is the weekend party brunch. The so-called La Boum Brunch is a three-hour Saturday and Sunday event that takes brunch to the next-level with a DJ, champagne, and plenty of dancing. Reservations are required and it fills up fast, so book a few weekends ahead of time.
This Penn Quarter tavern offers signature American fare like burgers and sandwiches alongside raw bar and charcuterie options. They also have an impressive drink menu, featuring signature cocktails and beer flights (four for $10).