Food & Drink

These are DC's Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/08/2014 Published On 01/08/2014
Niall McGinty
Paul Morigi
Sign of the Whale
Jay Snap | LaDexon Phtographie
Tatiana Salas Inostroza
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1. Cafe Asia 1720 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Cafe Asia is serving up cheap sushi during the day, transitioning (via a $4 sake happy hour) into a bottle-service-and-foam-party kind of spot by night.

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2. Sign of the Whale 1825 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Sign of the Whale is your home for nine dollar cocktail pitchers, killer happy hours, and a Sunday brunch with $10 bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys.

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3. Madam's Organ 2461 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

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. Rumors 1900 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Rumors is a great spot for many occasions -- come to grab a bite and a beer while you watch the game, sit down for a lobster or steak dinner at an awesome price, or stick around for drinks and dancing on the weekend when the place turns into a party!

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5. Cafe Saint-Ex 1847 14th Street NW , Washington, DC 20009

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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6. Smith Point 1338 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

With somewhat of a reputation for a preppy contingent, Smith Point will please anyone who's looking for a fun time -- with mixed drinks served in big plastic cups, an awesome courtyard, and a continuous sweaty dance party.

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

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. Public Bar 1214 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

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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9. Local 16 1602 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

A sweet rooftop, a $20 bottomless brunch (unlimited mimosas, bellinis, and bloody Marys), and awesome dance parties make Local 16 a smart call at any time of day.

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10. Lucky Bar 1221 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

A great bar to watch football (meaning soccer) or football (meaning football) or whatever sport you like (so long as it's not too busy) on one of their 22 screens while sipping on a reasonably priced brew or enjoying some standard pub fare.

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11. The Wonderland Ballroom 1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC 20010

The Wonderland Ballroom does a little of everything -- they have killer brunch and dinner menus stacked with awesomeness like Mac 'n Cheese Pancakes and fried pickles, they've got a great beer selection, a trivia night on Mondays, and their dance floor is renowned for it's reliably high and positive energy.

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12. McFadden's 2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

Not too far down the road from The White House, McFadden's is in the perfect location to hold specials like WTF Tuesdays ($1 cans, $2 drafts, and $5 bombs). Come in any day for cheap drinks, some dancing, and a good time.