Food & Drink

29 DC Bars That Are Open on Christmas Day

Published On 12/23/2015 Published On 12/23/2015
Christian Horan (edited)

Need a drink on Christmas? Head to H St NE, U St, or Adams Morgan. They have the highest density of bars that care enough to stay open on December 25th. But in case those ‘hoods are a hike, here are all the spots we know will be slinging drinks for your post-holiday comedown.

Courtesy of Ventnor Sports Cafe

Ventnor Sports Cafe

Adams Morgan
Wings > fruitcake. Actually, wings are better than any cake.

The Black Squirrel

Adams Morgan
Responsible for your new Christmas tradition: beer and burgers from noon until close.

Flickr/art around

Madam's Organ

Adams Morgan
Bring your blues over and rest them on Madam's Organ’s bosom, but not until 8pm. We hear it's doing a mac & cheese and shot pairing. That’s actually a lie, but take it upon yourself to do it anyway.

Shenanigans Irish Pub

Adams Morgan
If you don’t dig Christmas, revel in knowing it’s St. Patrick’s Day every day inside Shenanigans. It’ll be open from noon to 2am serving free ham and turkey dinners to first responders and those who are hungry.

Courtesy of The Big Board

The Big Board

Warm up with the Great Chicago Fire burger (hot pepper everything) starting at 5pm.

The Pug

Tell out-of-towners tagging along not to order a Manhattan, martini, or a shot you think the bartenders "ought to know." Opens at 9pm.

Mark Thorp/Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar

Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar

Deck the halls with black lights, because everyone looks hot here.

Star & Shamrock

Irish bar-meets Jewish deli-meets Christmas. Sounds like a Seinfeld episode.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

DC Reynolds

Where hipsters go the night ugly-sweater party season ends. Join them. They don’t bite.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist


Logan Circle
Ask for a Freddy-style super grilled cheese and ye shall receive. Doesn’t even matter if you’ve been naughty or nice.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Off the Record

Red velvet screams Christmas, doesn’t it? So does splurging on a Manhattan.

Round Robin

Mint juleps -- a necessity 365 days a year.

Quill at The Jefferson

You’re ordering the Rum Plum Pum. You just are. The plum vermouth is made in house and tastes like liquid Christmas.

Rí Rá Georgetown

Rí Rá Irish Pub

No rest for the weary here. Rí Rá will be serving Christmas dinner with live music in case you want to rock around the Christmas tree. The swanky upper-level Whiskey Room will also be open and pouring drams. Opens at 1pm.

Bourbon Steak Lounge

Treat thine self starting at 2:30pm in the recently revamped lounge that looks like a billionaire’s submarine, bought for casual underwater jaunts.

Rye Bar

This is where James Bond celebrates Christmas. Didn’t you know? Use the last $22 of your Christmas budget on the barrel-aged Manhattan.

Courtesy of Rebellion


Dupont Circle
Santa brought you 260 whiskeys. Rebellion just happens to be holding them for you. The reindeer said they were heavy, so make it count starting at 7pm.

Public Bar

Dupont Circle
For once, the 49 HDTVs won’t be utilized for UFC matches, but still, expect the bros to be out in full force when Public opens at 9pm.

Courtesy of Meridian Pint

Meridian Pint

Columbia Heights
When only a draft will do. In fact, it will have to because the kitchen’s closed. Beers, however, will flow in abundance.

Lyman’s Tavern

Columbia Heights
Go on, play a little pinball. Unlike your relatives, the machines don’t talk back. The bar opens at 2pm, and while the kitchen’s closed, it's serving a Chinese carry-out buffet from Johnny’s. That’s why we love Lyman’s.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

All Souls

Of course this no-frills corner bar is rolling out the red carpet for its regulars.

Courtesy of Nellie’s Sports Bar

Nellie’s Sports Bar

U St Corridor
Something tells us the Santas will be scantily clad. And well served. Visit after 5pm.

Bar Pilar

U St Corridor
This might be the only night of the year that 14th St isn’t a crowded theme park, so grab a stool and put down some drinks. Visit until midnight, but note that the kitchen is closed.

Café Saint-Ex

U St Corridor
Probably your best shot at snagging a Mrs. Claus. At least for the night. Just don’t be a Saint Dick. Open ‘til midnight, but the kitchen’s closed.

Restaurant Marvin


U St Corridor
The rooftop bar opens at 9:30pm on Christmas. It might actually be warm enough to enjoy the view.


U St Corridor
Reflect over cold beers and see if you can pinpoint the moment that brought you to a dive bar on Christmas.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Wicked Bloom

Come after 9pm for stiff drinks and Christmas movies. Here’s hoping for Home Alone.


Beer-and-shot combos until Christmas is, once again, 365 days away.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Beuchert’s Saloon

Eastern Market
If you wear those fake reindeer antlers, you could make Mike and Ike (the taxidermied buffalo heads) jealous. Expect some holiday specials.

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Laura Hayes is a DC-based food, drink, and travel writer who also contributes to Washington City Paper, Food Network, Arlington Magazine, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @BTMenu.

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1. Ventnor Sports Cafe 2411 18th St NW , Washington, DC, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

The hockey fan haven's cracked our list of Favorite 5 Sports Bars with its two stories of sports memorabilia-lined walls, complimentary popcorn, 64oz fishbowl, and trivia with a host so Paul Rudd-ingly charming, your Tuesdays will need nothing Morrie.

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2. The Black Squirrel 2427 18th St NW , Washington, DC, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

This massive, Adams Morgan beer hall pours 'em tall, dark, and handsome. Black Squirrel offers a plethora of domestic and imported draft and bottled beers in all ales and stripes. Feeling peckish? The in-house kitchen serves up some seriously insane burgers, and the topping list is just as varied as the beer menu-- goat cheese jalapenos on your bacon burger? Yes please.

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3. Madam's Organ 2461 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

This rowdy four-floor D.C. bar maintains the motto, "Where the Beautiful People Go to Get Ugly" -- locals will tell you that the statement holds. Known for the throngs of lively college kids stumbling in and out of its entryways until 3 am, this Adams Morgan spot is a fantastically irreverent crowd favorite. The bar has everything from a year-round roof deck, to live music, trivia, and "Drunkeoke" (it's exactly what you think). Stationed right in the heart of trendy Adams Morgan, Madam's serves a number of sandwiches and bar snacks, along with a full list of soul food entrees -- but it seems that drinking is the preferred means of consumption. The house cocktail menu is impressive, and upon request, the bartenders will top any drink off with a shot of red bull. So, whether searching for soul food and live blues, or 22-year-olds taking tequila shots while belting Christina Aguilera songs, Madam's Organ is certainly the place.

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4. Shenanigan's Irish Pub 2450 18th St NW, Washington, 20009 (Adams Morgan)

Every day is St. Patrick's Day in Shenanigan's. Enjoy this multi-level establishment with a pint of one of their many Irish beers.

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5. The Big Board 421 H Street NE, Washington, DC, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

Equipped with a screen that displays their changing, demand-based beer prices in real time, brew and burger joint Big Board fleshes out the Wall Street feel with mahogany park benches, a tile "sidewalk" running around its perimeter, and dark gray angular columns meant to evoke skyscrapers. Made with hand-pattied local beef, their burgers are nothing fancy, but they're some of the best in DC, like the Great Chicago Fire burger (chipotle powder, habanero jack cheese, sweet & spicy mango-habanero salsa).

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6. The Pug 1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

Much like the dog it’s named after, this H Street dive is small, friendly and ugly in a cute way. A regular cast of characters come in to check the list of draft beers on a chalkboard above the bar, and settle in to a seat surrounded by walls littered with vintage photos of boxers and posters from the 80s. Whatever you do, don’t ask for a craft cocktail, as you might be denied and then shamed: it’s not that kind of place. Though, while it may not look like a typical brunch spot (and the kitchen amounts to a few hot plates behind the bar), unlimited mimosas are dirt cheap and ‘The All American Special’ (a plate of eggs, sausage, hash and gravy on a biscuit) does satisfy.

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7. Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar 1104 H St NE, Washington, 20002 (H Street Ne)

Bathed in the violet glow of black lights and serving up an adult slushy called "Awesomeness", Little Miss Whiskey's is a New Orleans-themed haunt with a sticky floor and a good heart. Keep it a little more relaxed downstairs or head up a floor to a DJ-fueled dance party.

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8. The Star and Shamrock 1341 H St NE, Washington, 20002 (H Street Ne)

Half Irish pub, half Jewish deli, the Rock's anchored by a central, three-sided, pine-topped bar lit by hanging cast-iron lanterns and decked with hand-carved oak reliefs of four-leaf clovers and Stars of David, heart-warmingly coupled with a back-corner,

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9. 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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10. Stoney's 1433 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

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.

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11. Off the Record 800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006 (Downtown)

If you're across the street from the White House, head to Off the Record. Situated in the Italian Renaissance-style Hay-Adams hotel, this aptly named haunt looks like an over-the-top hideaway of the political elite. Don't be surprised if you noticed Frank Underwood sipping a Sazerac by the bar...

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12. Round Robin & Scotch Bar 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, 20004

Opened in 1847, Round Robin has been frequented by a number of presidents, as well as Mark Twain & Walt Whitman. Bartender Jim Hewes has also been there for almost 30 years!

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13. Quill at the Jefferson 1200 16th St NW, Washington, VA 20036

Inspired by Thomas Jefferson's Monticello parlor, Quill is an upscale cocktail bar serving signature drinks, such as the "Route One Ricky" (Jim Beam rye, caramelized key lime shrub, and homemade cream soda), and American fare. There's a pianist playing live jazz most nights and new cocktails are introduced monthly.

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14. Rí Rá Georgetown / Whiskey Room 3125 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

Ri Ra Georgetown has hearty Irish pub fare, 16 taps and up to 100 bottles of fine craft beers, and a whole floor dedicated to a special brown liquor oasis -- The Whiskey Room has 200+ whiskeys, simple but high-quality cocktails, and a ton of knowledge behind the bar to guide you on your boozy travels.

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15. The Rye Bar 1050 31st Street NW, Washington, 20007 (Georgetown)

Just because the C&O Canal isn't some major shipping lane doesn't mean it can't be a major sipping lane. So hit the Capella Hotel's legitimately beautiful Rye Bar, which serves up barrel-aged cocktails and rare rye whiskeys to patrons sitting at a marble topped honey onyx bar, or on large Chesterfield leather chairs next to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the canal.

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16. Rebellion 1836 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20019 (Dupont Circle)

Rebellion is a casual, whiskey-soaked joint where you can enjoy a killer patio, over 150 whiskeys, a ton of beer, and tasty bar food like burgers, ribs, and wings.

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17. Public Bar 1214 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

Public Bar is the place you can go to catch hard-to-find sporting events on TV -- with a screen built into individual booths you can choose what you want to watch. Sip on some cheap beers, snack on some delicious wings, and watch the downstairs areas turn into a big dance party as the night wears on. If that's not your scene, head right upstairs and enjoy the all-weather roof deck.

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18. Meridian Pint 3400 11st NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Columbia Heights)

Columbia Heights' Meridian Pint always has its finger on the pulse of the craft beer scene, offering its customers the latest and best domestic brews in its rustic, Americana dining room -- where you'll find people noshing on bites like nachos, burgers, BBQ pork sandwiches, and wings -- and in its basement that boasts table taps from which you can pour your own beers. If that weren't enough, there's even weekend brunch with breakfast burritos, chicken & waffles, and huevos rancheros.

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19. Lyman's Tavern 3720 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Columbia Heights)

Sliders, dogs, and tacos are the main staples at this Columbia Heights dive bar. Here you will find pinball machines, PBR on draught, local beers like DC Brau, National Bohemian, and Atlas Brew Works, and a good number of domestic bottles. If it gives you any idea of what the atmosphere is like, the casual bar features stuffed jackalope heads, cross-stitched signage, and retro decorations. Now with the addition of an outdoor patio space, hot dogs aren't the only dogs welcome at Lyman's ... in other words, bring your pooch.

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20. All Souls Bar 725 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Shaw)

Across the street from a school, All Souls Bar isn't a mad-house, but rather a low-key, 33-seat retreat offering just three classic cocktails (negroni, Manhattan, and a cava-kissed sidecar), and just a handful of beers and wines. It's not about limitless options, but rather curation. Jukebox tunes float inside, while guests snack on olives, cheeses and nuts. An early closing time, and a table-service-only patio (no standing or smoking) prohibits any shenanigans.

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21. Nellie's Sports Bar 900 U St NW, Washington, 20001

A local favorite, drawing a more eclectic crowd, Nellie's boasts some strong drinks, but the bar really known for its Drag brunches and Drag bingo nights. The performances are fun to watch, especially with a Nellie's Spritzer in hand.

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22. Bar Pilar 1833 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

A pioneer of the 14th Street restaurant boom, this comfortable, nautical-themed spot is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s boat, Pilar, and divided between a downstairs bar that fills up quickly on the weekends, and a low-key restaurant upstairs, where outstanding small plates take center stage (from honey-roasted beet salad to lamb belly bolognese). The 20 or so beers are well-curated but a tad overpriced, so you’re better off opting for a craft cocktail, many of which are mixed with house-made sodas and even include adult slushies, such as the "Violet, You’re Turning Violet," which swirls jalapeño tequila, wild blueberry, pineapple, allspice dram, and ginger into a spicy and sweet concoction.

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23. Cafe Saint-Ex 1847 14th Street NW , Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Named for aviator/ author of The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Cafe Saint-Ex also holds a dual identity. Upstairs is a classy cafe where you can enjoy delicious offerings like Sriracha Chicken Liver Mousse or Slow Roasted Pork Belly, while downstairs a dance party awaits your full-stomached dancing (wait 30 minutes!).

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24. Marvin 2007 14th St NW, Washington, 20009

This DC mainstay is exactly what you think it is: a bistro that pays homage to Marvin Gaye and serves up Belgian and Southern cuisine. OK, maybe it's not exactly what you thought. A little history lesson: the legendary soul singer-songwriter was born in DC and later spent a period of self-imposed exile in Belgium to rehabilitate and reflect. At Marvin, you'll find dishes like Belgian moulles-frites and southern-style shrimp, plus grits and fried chicken over Belgian waffles. There's a roof deck perfect for sipping cocktails on, too.

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25. Solly's U Street Tavern 1942 11th St NW, Washington, 20009 (U Street)

After adding on a new bar, the U Street tavern figured they'd supplement your all-PBR diet with "sammiches" like the breaded cutlet/ fresh mozz "Italian Stallion", and tilapia tacos with "awesome sauce".

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26. Wicked Bloom Social Club 1540 North Capitol St, Washington, DC 20002

The brother of DCSmokehouse, this trendy speakeasy serves BBQ bites and creative whiskey drinks.

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27. 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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28. Beuchert's Saloon 623 Pennsylvania Ave SE , Washington, DC , DC 20003 (Eastern Market)

A reborn western saloon with the upscale hipness of Eastern Market, Beuchert’s takes “farm-to-table” fare to the next level. Everything on the market-driven menu is sourced from local coops and farms, resulting in an abundance of fresh flavors. We suggest you sip on a specialty cocktail and order the roasted bone marrow -- a verdant combination of pickled pistachios and mustard seed, served with a parsley salad -- to fit in with the local herd, providing the taxidermy Buffalo (mounted above the cherry wood bar with lifelike expressions) haven’t done so already.

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29. BOURBON STEAK DC 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, 20007 (Georgetown)

Bourbon Steak, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, is a chic and modern restaurant brought to you by award winning Chef Michael Mina. It has a classy upscale hotel vibe, offering one of the most extensive selection of steaks, including dry-aged, grass-fed, corn-fed, and Japanese wagyu beef. However, it’s the kind of steakhouse where a trio of steak cuts can cost you up to three figures.



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