Food & Drink

The Best Happy Hours in 15 DC Neighborhoods

Published On 08/20/2014 Published On 08/20/2014
Belga Cafe
Rustik Tavern
Tortilla Coast
Bayou Bakery
Bar Charley
District Commons
Richard Sandoval Restaurants
The Pig
Laura Hayes
Shaw's Tavern
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1. Diego 2100 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This casual U Street Tex-Mex joint has amazing fajitas and $5 prickly pear margaritas, and is equally good for brunch and dinner.

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2. Belga Cafe 514 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Inspired by cafes in Brussels, this Capitol Hill spot is known for its brunch offerings, including lobster omelets and salmon waffles. The cafe's extensive Belgian beer list is also definitely worth sampling.

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3. Rustik Tavern 84 T St NW , Washington, DC, DC 20001

Bloomingdale's 30-seat pizza/beer joint's rocking graffiti'd up walls and a giant last-call bell, plus delivering Neapolitan joints like the watercress/mozzarella/roasted garlic sauce Going Green from their brick oven.

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4. Tortilla Coast 400 1st St SE, Washington, DC 20003

This Capitol Hill Tex-Mex spot is beloved by both politicians and regular Joes, and offers up awesome burritos and combo plates, as well as delicious margaritas.

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5. Bayou Bakery 1515 North Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201

Stop by this inventive bakery for the likes of Southern-inflected vittles (biscuits, candied pecans, muffalettas) and inventive treats like boozy popsicles.

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6. Grillfish 1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Grillfish serves up great seafood and steak dishes and has a substantial happy hour menu, with a variety of food and drink options. The restaurant is decked out with chandeliers and offers lots of outdoor seating.

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7. Bar Charley 1825 18th St, NW, Washington, DC 20009

This Adams Morgan spot specializes in variations on cocktail classics, including 15 different Manhattan recipes. Many of the bar’s drinks cost $10 or less, including the rotating draft Tiki cocktails for under $8. While you wouldn't necessarily come here for the food, shareable bites like flatbreads and fries are worthy orders.

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8. District Commons 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

Upscale dining with an American tavern inspiration, District Commons elevates comfort food with a fresh raw bar, hearth-fired flatbreads, and a carving board slicing local and sustainable meats. Come in for the rotating pre-fixe family meal served nightly at 10p or just sample one of the 99 beers on the wall.

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9. El Centro Georgetown 1218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Richard Sandoval's El Centro takes over the old Third Edition space and amps things up with house-infused tequilas, a back patio, and Greek influences.

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10. Boundary Road 414 H St. NE, , Washington, DC , DC 20002

Futilely trying to live up to the ingenuity of the building's former tenant, Hair Force One, Boundary Road's mod'ing up American bistro fare in a steampunk-y tavern with lights welded to exposed I-beams, and a giant wire mattress chandelier, which'll serve as a solid reminder for your dinner date that you're just trying to Sealy the dealy.

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11. The Pig 1320 14th St NW , Washington, DC 20005

From the folks behind Logan Tavern and The Heights, The Pig's got a pork-focused sharing menu and a rustic, general store feel: Frederick-sourced barn wood walls, and an entire bar made from a huge butcher's block, so -- chop chop! -- get to drinking on it.

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12. Silo 919 5th St , Washington, DC 20001

This modern Mt. Vernon Triangle bistro offers up Swiss- and French-inspired New American fare in an ultra-casual atmosphere. Go for $2 happy hour drinks and $7 burgers.

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13. Agua 301 301 Water St SE, Washington DC, 20003

This modern resto crafts authentic Mexican cuisine and then spices it up with modern flair by using experimental ingredients and out-of-the-box techniques.

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14. Shaw's Tavern 520 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

A massive neighborhood watering hole where lanterns light exposed brick walls and an outdoor patio, Shaw's wood-burning oven cooks up fare like roasted branzino (with clams in a warm shellfish vinaigrette), and Granny Smith-topped Vermont pizza. The cocktails are highlighted by an amped-up Bloody garnished with a house-pickled carrot, called the "Pickle Mary" -- good enough to produce a "Jesus!".

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15. Vinoteca 1940 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Among U Street's most popular wine hideaways, Vinoteca is the ideal locale for wine connoisseurs and bocce athletes, alike. Complete with a back "plaza" featuring an old-world, brick-enclosed bocce court, an ethereal fountain, and an outdoor bar, there is rarely reason to set foot inside (the heat lamps make it fairly easy to stay put all winter). The enclosed bar and dining room are equally charming, with exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows, and vintage film posters tacked between towering displays of stacked bottles of wine. The food menu boasts an in-house whole-animal butchery program, but the stand-out offering is inarguably the wine and spirits list, featuring an impressive number of inventive house-cocktails, a selection of craft beers on tap, and a seemingly-infinite catalog of available wines.