You’re going to kick your night off with a happy hour, because that's by FAR the happiest way to kick off a night in DC. To help you out, we’ve identified the eight best places to boozily start your evening, whether you're looking to drink your way through a massive brewery or snack on a super-grilled cheese.
A Jackson doesn’t get you much these days… maybe one-and-a-half small plates on 14th Street? But at Urbana, $20 gets you a gourmet pizza (truffles! prosciutto!), mussels, and a Manhattan -- all taken sitting down on a fancy pants couch or chair like some kind of sultan. Well, a sultan who drinks Manhattans.
Everyone remembers where they were when they had their first Stoney’s super-grilled cheese. And if you haven't had one yet, you'll remember this moment when you first heard about it, because you're going to go get one. Wash down the perfect symphony of bacon, tomato, onion, and good ole' American cheese with $3 drafts and $12 pitchers.
Sure, they’re too new and too cool to be fixated on hooking you up with drink specials. But who needs specials when you can drink your way through $3 tastes of the 20+ drafts brewed on-site? Fries smothered in General Satan's Sauce are as fun to eat as they are to order, unless you hate spice, in which case get the house-made tater tots and a little more toughness.
Adams Morgan & Mount Vernon
The $4 sojutinis come in flavors like mango, peach, and pineapple and pack enough punch that you should just go ahead and get the fruity drink because it's delicious and you're secure in your masculinity, right? Of course, there's also something to be said for $3 beers, especially when they're washing down $4 dumplings.
For that friend that defines happy hour as the time to experience how the other half lives, this is your jam, as you can score half-off sushi (ALL sushi!) in the bar area. Drink prices also get sliced thinner than the hamachi you're about to scarf down.
The patio is heated through the Winter, the lounge is always bumping if the elements frighten you, and the rail drinks go down even smoother when they're half-off. Just be sure to clear out before bottle service kicks in or the arrival of the check will mean a decidedly unhappy hour (for real, that's how long you'll be staring at it).
So neighborhoody it’s almost as cheap as drinking on your own couch (even moreso when they're running their BOGO of ANYTHING special until 9p). Plus, you can watch Pawn Stars on a sweet patio while appreciating their unique take on the DC flag. Mustaches > stars.
It’s simple. $4 margaritas, $4 beers, and $4 tacos you gotta eat with gloves. No combo brings about happiness faster than cheap booze and eating messily with your hands. Not even pizza Combos, and those bring LOTS of happiness.
1. Bluejacket300 Tingey St SE, Washington
2. Urbana2121 P St NW , Washington, DC
3. Stoney's1433 P St NW, Washington
4. Mandu453 K Street, NW, Washington
5. Sushi Taro1503 17th St NW, Washington
6. Barcode1101 17th street NW, Washington
7. DC Reynolds3628 Georgia Ave NW, Washington
8. El Chucho3313 11th St NW, Washington
With 20 beers on draught and another five cask beers, Bluejacket ought to be able to satisfy even the pickiest of your beer-drinking friends. Enjoy some snacks at the bar or save some room and wait until 5:30pm for short ribs or sweet potato gnocchi from Arsenal -- Bluejacket's in-house restaurant.
With a swanky lounge vibe, Urbana offers a classic Italian menu from Chef Ethan McKee that features artisan pastas, fresh-caught seafood, and locally grown vegetables. You can't go wrong with the bucatini with jumbo lump crab or the diver scallops. The cocktail program as Urbana is just as classic and quality, brimming with Italian liqueurs and house-made ingredients, plus a happy hour that never disappoints.
This handsome yet understated Logan Circle sports bar serves up wing platters, nachos, pizzas, and cheap domestic brews -- all the comforting grease and suds you'll need while you watch the latest NFL game. Stoney's has a laid-back neighborhood feel that locals love, but things do tend to get rowdy during game day, particularly when the Denver Broncos, the bar's team of choice, are playing. As you're glued to one of the many TVs, you'll want to indulge in the legendary Super Grilled Cheese, an after-school snack turned bar food with an addictive buttery crunch and obviously-fake-but-obviously-tasty American cheese. Order the original Super (with tomato, bacon, and onion), or ask for it “Freddy Style" and, well, see what happens.
This is the larger, Downtown location of Dupont's Korean diner -- rocking decorative wooden ducks and bamboo flooring that creeps up to the ceiling, the spot's serving latenight eats like Korean Tacos.
Sushi Taro doles out authentic Japanese and seafood, and during their happy hour, you can get half-price regular sushi and alcohol!
Brought to us by the Lima/Ultra Bar crew, Barcode's rocking LED-lit black booths (bottle service available!) and a huge bar framed with white marble, while serving up late-night fare like eggplant frittatas with grated pecorino romano.
A "home-cooking", drink-slinging Petworth tavern, Reynolds is named for the owners' (seemingly oxymoronic) Fairfax favorite, and mixes in dartboards, a jukebox, and DC flag paintings with the original steel beams & bricks from the building's former tenant, a pharmacy. DC Reynolds has a relaxed atmosphere and spacious back patio, which is ideal for enjoying one of their three special beer-and-a-shot combos.
For such a small establishment, El Chucho has an impressive bevy menu (making for an awesome happy hour), complete with a variety of margs, spiked sodas, and a 'tail list that includes specialty drinks like the Senor Clusterf*ck.