A Single's Guide to Dating in Washington, DC

Photo of Nicole Hampton
18 September 2017

Despite being a city that is known for honoring dead presidents and having career goals, Washington DC is also a city of love, however temporary that love may be. In fact, studies have shown that it is the best city to live if you are a single, and that people actually prefer to be single here. This guide won’t make you more attractive, but it will lead you to places where your chances of scoring will improve!

Tryst Washington DC | © Bex Walton/ Flickr

Have a tryst at Tryst

I mean, with a name like that, need they say more? It’s a coffee shop that has the perfect combination of work and play – WiFi, coffee, comfy couches, and booze. This is a place that’s unexpected, where people can let their guard down more than they might at a nightclub or a grimy bar. Striking up conversation about what book you’re reading or assignment you’re working on is sometimes easier than pestering someone to dance, so try this for your next romantic rendezvous.

2459 18th St NW, Washington, DC USA, +1 202 232 5500

Take it outside

POV, the terrace with a rooftop lounge and view of the White House makes for a great location to meet some new faces (tourists) who may be looking to end their vacation with a bit of local passion. It has a luxurious vibe with its comfy seats and dim lighting that just makes you want to cuddle up and whisper sweet nothings into a random ear. The best part: when you want to turn those sweet nothings into somethings, you can go to the hotel that’s literally an elevator ride away.

515 15th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 661 2400

Warm up at American Ice Company

If you’d like an outside area that’s a little more downtempo than a nightclub terrace, check out the neighborhood bar American Ice Company. Being a basement bar, it has a warm local feel to it, with a roomy outside area that has many picnic tables to choose from, which gives it a great atmosphere to mingle. If you and your new friend feel like getting down to some good music later in the night, 9:30 Club, The Velvet Lounge, and DC9 are all nearby.

American Ice Company, 917 V St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 758 3562

9:30 Club, 815 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001, +1 202 265 0930

The Velvet Lounge, , +1 202 462 3213

DC9, 1940 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA, +1 202 483 5000

Find your soulmate at All Souls

This is another local neighborhood bar that is beautiful in its simplicity. They have uniquely crafted cocktails at a cheap price, which is always a great find in DC. From business people to yoga teachers, All Souls attracts every type of individual, so you never know who is waiting for you to catch them singing to one of the classics that are bumpin’ from the jukebox.

725 T St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 733 5929

Challenge a hottie to ping-pong at Colony Club

There’s something so alluring about establishments that are one thing during the day, then morph into something else entirely at night. The Colony Club is another chill coffee shop, but with a twist. It has a fantastic happy hour that will help you not break the bank once you strike up a conversation at the bar, and you can challenge them to a ping-pong tournament upstairs. Here are a couple of tips: let them win, and go on a Tuesday night when there’s soulful live jazz to dance to.

3118 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 722 7202

Capture a Heart at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Heart Club

The patience it takes to find this cash-only bar, whose windows are darkened and where a sign is nonexistent, is well worth it once inside. The bizarre décor and wall of costumes to borrow makes starting up a conversation easy. Plus, the small red-lit one-room establishment makes accidentally bumping into someone to start a conversation totally possible. Be sure to try out Mr. Lethal, the extremely alcoholic root beer slushy, but not before grabbing a free condom at the bar to make sure you have a safe night!

1103 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC, USA

Let Loose at Madam’s Organ

With a total of five bars in the four-story Madam’s Organ, the scoring possibilities are endless. The second floor which is commonly referred to as the “Pick-Up Joint” is most recommended. This is one of the few places in DC where you are allowed (and even encouraged) to dance on a table! With live music and half-price beer and wine every night of the week, they make it difficult not to.

2461 18th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 667 5370

A corner for singles

Near the corner of 9th and U Street, you’ll find a few good places to pick someone up. If you want that forever type of love, the music venues are your best option. The Velvet Lounge, 9:30 Club, and DC9 are all in that vicinity offering eclectic live performances in cozy settings. If you’re looking for something more short term, go to Brixton, Nellie’s Sports Bar, or All Souls.

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