Food & Drink

Where to Get the Best Beer-and-a-Shot Combos in DC

Published On 06/14/2016 Published On 06/14/2016
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Left Door

14th St

Left Door is one of DC’s hottest new cocktail bars, and it also serves an off-menu beer-and-a-shot combo for $9. It’s ultimately the bartender's choice, and things can switch up, but expect something along the lines of a Tiger lager and a pour of Old Overholt whiskey... or something similar.

Looking Glass Lounge

The Looking Glass Lounge

Petworth

The beer-and-a-shot combos at this casual neighborhood pub draw in thirsty regulars for everything from bar trivia to patio drinking. The $6 Bo-Beam combo pairs a can of Baltimore favorite Natty Boh with a pour of Jim Beam. More discerning drinkers can try the gentleman’s combo: a bottle of Yuengling paired with a shot of Clontarf Irish whiskey ($8). There’s a full menu of creative and tasty bar food, too -- (heyyy, grilled shishito peppers) -- which you'll undoubtedly need, after a few of these.

The Codmother

U Street

As the name suggests, this lively basement dive features killer fish & chips, sticky floors, good music, and plenty of cheap beer. Codmother doesn’t serve light brews, so the $6 combo pairs a generous pour of basic rail whiskey with a can of PBR, Natty Boh, or Genesee Cream Ale.

Scarlet Oak | Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Scarlet Oak

Navy Yard

The cocktail list at this casual American restaurant near Nationals Park includes the 909 Triple Play ($9), which consists of a three-pronged punch: George Dickel Whisky, a can of PBR, and a shot of pickle juice. The aptly named drink is perfect for a Nationals pregame session... or a post-game drink.

Pub and the People

The Pub & the People

Bloomingdale

Despite the fact that its menu is graced with items like duck confit, this North Capitol St gastropub and cocktail bar still has something to offer budget-conscious booze drinkers. Case in point: the $6 "Family Banquet" combo of Coors Banquet beer and Old Grand-Dad bourbon. The cheapest beers on the menu run $4 a pop on their own, so going for the pair isn’t really a hard choice to make (but was it ever going to be?).

Showtime

Bloomingdale

Showtime is one of the city’s most beloved dive bars, and might even be one of the best in the country. The go-to drink at this cash-only watering hole is the timeless $5 "Comb’oh" -- a can of Natty Boh and a whiskey back. For a dollar more, you can grab a shot of tequila and wash it back with a Tecate.  

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Adams Morgan

Whiskey rightfully takes center stage at Jack Rose, but the beer program is solid as well. They offer several high-end boilermaker pairings with flavor, not value, in mind. Among the choices is the Harvey Fry ($14), which matches a 12oz IPA with 1oz of cask-strength Islay Scotch. There’s also the Hasta La Vista ($10) combo, featuring a 16oz Stiegl Radler and a 1 oz shot of Cabeza Tequila Blanco.

Red Derby

Red Derby

Mount Pleasant

The Red Derby has an entire section of its menu dedicated to beer & shot combinations, and it goes beyond (far, far beyond) cheap beer and whiskey. Some of the more affordable options include $6 for a Tecate and a tequila, $7 for a Natty Boh and a Bulleit, and $9 for a Dale’s Pale Ale and a pour of Old Overholt. On the higher end is an $11 pairing of Guinness and Jameson, and even $12 for a DC Brau Corruption and a cognac (which might just be the fanciest boilermaker ever?).

Boundary Stone | Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Boundary Stone

Bloomingdale

Late nights at the neighborhood Boundary Stone mean a can of DC Brau Public and a shot of Jameson for $8. This high-end boilermaker is available Sunday-Thursday from midnight to close, making it a solid option for a nightcap during the week.

DC Reynolds

Petworth

DC Reynolds has a relaxed atmosphere and spacious back patio, which is ideal for enjoying one of its three special beer-and-a-shot combos. The P2 ($7) is a shot of Powers Irish whiskey served with a standard-issue PBR can. If you want to get fancy, order up the "Sweet and Smooth" combo, which consists of a shot of Jameson Caskmates and Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout ($10), or the "Refreshing and Mello" pair: Traverse City bourbon with a Denizens pilsner back ($10). And in news that's equal parts terrifying and amazing, this special is also buy-one-get-one daily from 5-9pm. We challenge you not to get utterly soused.

Eat the Rich

Shaw

Oysters and a rock 'n' roll soundtrack are iconic aspects of this Shaw raw bar and seafood spot from mixologist and restaurateur Derek Brown. But don’t overlook the menu’s combo selections. Wash down dinner with a "Broh'sville" -- a can of Natty Boh and a shot of Pikesville Rye ($7) – or go for "America’s Main Street," a Yuengling and Old Overholt ($8). The bar also slings the H St. Bohemian, which is a PBR tallboy and Mexican Fernet combo ($12). Plus: oyster shooters, y'all.

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1. Left Door 1345 S St NW, Washington, 20009 (Logan Circle)

This sultry, polished cocktail lounge from Tom Brown -- the guy behind Hogo and The Passenger -- offers its famous "French 95" cocktail for 100$ a pop. The remainder of the cocktail menu, both classic and original in nature, is surprisingly well-priced. Listing 20 or so drinks featuring an intriguing selection of ingredients -- think gingerbread cookies and ignited lemon peels -- the place is something of a craft cocktail mecca. Food-wise, it serves a number of snacks and small plates -- things like house-made olives and brie with aged balsamic -- but the inventive, original drinks are by far the stand out offering. And while the space itself feels somewhere between an upscale lounge and a well-designed living room, the showy bow-tie-clad mixologists always manage to keep the bar bustling and lively.

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2. Looking Glass Lounge 3634 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, 20010

The space might be designed with stained glass windows, but that's pretty much where the sophistication ends and the easygoing vibe begins. The beer and shot combos at this casual neighborhood pub draws in thirsty regulars for everything from bar trivia to patio drinking. There’s a full menu of creative and tasty bar food, too -- (heyyy, grilled shishito peppers) -- which you'll undoubtedly need, after a few of these.

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3. The Codmother 1334 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

As dive-y as it gets, this U Street Corridor joint has fish & chips to rival the best chippies in The Big Smoke (that's London, mate). On top of that, they've got free-flowing PBR, some killer desserts -- deep fried snickers and oreos -- blaring British punk, and walls covered in photos of Sid Vicious, Joe Strummer, and other punk legends. It'll be just like being in London, and be amazing enough to maybe make you reconsider that whole 1776 thing. For a second, anyway.

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4. Scarlet Oak 909 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Navy Yardnear Se)

Named after D.C.'s official tree, this spot is situated right near the ballpark in the Navy Yard and hopes to cater to crowds pre and post games. They serve simple dishes like pizza and pasta as well as some globally inspired fare. The cocktail list at this casual American restaurant is impressive, but the highlight is the 909 Triple Play, which consists of a three-pronged punch: George Dickel whiskey, a can of PBR, and a shot of pickle juice.

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5. The Pub & The People 1648 N Capitol St NW, Washington, 20002

At this North Capitol street gastropub, top shelf bottles of whiskey are tucked between Chick Palahniuk novels and yearly editions of the Roget's Thesaurus. In addition to a full roster of creative American eats, the place is home to a text-and-spirit-heavy library where guests are welcome to flip through mysteries and essay collections while they sip scotch served neat, in tasteful vintage glassware. The food menu offers things like pumpkin-truffle mac& cheese and bourbon chicken liver mousse, while the cocktail list is an impressive amalgam of drinks crafted with fresh herbs, hand-squeezed citrus, and house liquor infusions (try the grapefruit-honey concoction with rosemary-infused vodka). Perhaps the most enticing of the available items, however, is the singular, rotating house barrel-aged cocktail -- it won't be listed on the menu, but be sure to ask your server.

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6. Showtime 113 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

This Bloomingdale spot is one of DC's most beloved dives, thanks to its funk & soul jukebox, weekly live music, and dirt-cheap beer. Painstakingly curated by owner & DJ Paul Vivari, the jukebox contains more than 2,000 tracks of soul, R&B, jazz, and ‘60s pop. As for the booze, the selection isn't quite as extensive: the converted barbershop offers just four draft lines and a compact liquor selection, and fuses them with its $5 shot-and-beer combos, which are ideal if you’re looking to loosen up before getting down to some funk music.

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7. Jack Rose Dining Saloon 2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

With over 2,400 kinds of whiskey lining the brick walls of this high-end saloon, Jack Rose has one of the largest whiskey libraries in the country. The spacious, bi-level Adams Morgan establishment offers a relaxed dining experience downstairs, and a spot to enjoy drinks and watch sports upstairs. Food-wise, the fried chicken skins are a fan favorite, and more adventurous items like rabbit & beans, wild Atlantic rockfish, or Broken Arrow Ranch venison make the staff's expert cocktail pairings an absolute pleasure.

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8. Red Derby 3718 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

DC’s Red Derby is a local staple that combines all the necessary ingredients for an optimal night out, including a rooftop, board games, bar snacks, and reasonable prices. The dinner menu consists of American comfort food, like the crowd-favorite sweet potato fries and chicken tenders, tacos, burgers, and a gooey grilled cheese. Be sure to head to the Derby rooftop for brunch, complete with sweet and savory options, like breakfast bowls and French toasts sticks.

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9. Boundary Stone 116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Shaw)

Named for the mile markers that once shaped the city, Boundary Stone encapsulates DC style with exposed brick, original tin ceilings, oak bars, and even a stained glass DC flag. The Bloomingdale American restaurant boasts a menu of snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees, with favorites including daily changing deviled eggs and the honey hot chicken with honey hot sauce, bleu cheese, lettuce, and fries. Try one of the eight drafts on tap as you slide into one of the rustic, charcoal-colored wooden booths.

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10. DC Reynolds 3628 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Petworth)

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.

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11. Eat The Rich 1839 7th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20001

Oysters and a rock-and-roll soundtrack are iconic aspects of this Shaw raw bar and seafood spot from mixologist and restaurateur Derek Brown. The space is narrow and brick-walled, with a cozy, earthy atmosphere ideal for indulging in the “Locals Only!” $1 oysters-centric happy hour. Plus: oyster shooters, y'all.