The historic neighborhood of Washington D.C. is full of great bars; from hip lounges serving high-end cocktails to bars that date back to Prohibition. This neighborhood also offers live-music bars and restaurants that turn into bars in the evening. We list ten of the best drinking spots in Georgetown.
ENO Wine Bar
With exposed brick and a modern interior, the ENO Wine Bar is a chic place for a glass of wine. The bartenders are proper wine connoisseurs, so be sure to ask which meats, breads, and cheeses pair well with your choice. They will be happy to explain the notes in each wine in thorough detail. If you aren’t in the mood to commit to an an entire glass of wine, go for a tasting to try a range of wines so you know which glass or bottle you want for your next visit to ENO. And don’t forget to try one of their delicious chocolate selections for dessert. 2810 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007 (202) 295-2826
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The Rye Bar
Located in the swanky Rosewood Hotel, The Rye Bar is an upscale bar with artisanal foods and drinks. Named for their well-curated American Rye Whiskey collection, The Rye Bar also offers a list of traditional cocktails with new twists and exciting flavors. This bar has skilled and knowledgeable bartenders and an atmosphere that makes it conducive to catching up with a bunch of old friends. The food from the restaurant is a pretty delicious addition to any visit here. Look out for the seasonally changing menu of drinks, made with fresh ingredients, and ask the bartender what’s new.
A cozy and intimate restaurant, Unum also has a fantastic bar if you’re only in for a drink and a snack. The food is a Georgetown must try, the bartenders are friendly and prompt with their service, and the drinks are refreshing, with ingredient such as lemongrass and ginger to excite your palate. One of the must-try drinks here is the Cardamom Citrus Collins, made with house infused cardamom vodka, Aperol, and grapefruit soda. Though the cocktail menu is not extensive, the flavors and ingredients are fresh and inventive, and the wine list pairs very well with the award winning food. If at Unum for a meal, be sure to explore the bar too.
A unique hangout spot in Georgetown, Pinstripes offers bowling, bocce, restaurant, and a bar all in one. A year-round outdoor patio and fire pit makes for a lovely time relaxing outdoors with a glass of wine while the kids are off playing bocce or bowling (though both are a fun option for adults too). The bar is in the downstairs area with an extensive menu that offers handcrafted cocktails like the Ruby & Ginger, which is made of reserve port wine, ginger ale, lime, all on ice. There is also a substantial wine list and local craft beers. Be sure to catch the happy hour from 3-7 or 9-close and the live music performances on weekends.
Blues Alley is a hidden gem tucked away in alley of Georgetown that features local jazz artists in an intimate setting. The small size of the room isn’t a setback, however. It provides for great acoustics and a cozy, nostalgic, old-time jazz bar feel. This isn’t the sort of place you can chat loudly to your friends in; patrons go for the music and drink, eat, and talk after or before a show at the bar with a wide range of drinks. It’s good to keep in mind that it’s a first come first serve venue, so be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show if not earlier. The cover charge is $25 and there is a $12 food or drink minimum.
Thunder Burger & Bar is the place to go for gourmet burgers and microbrews in a vibrant setting of graffiti-highlighted booths or an ivy covered library room. There are over 20 drafts available, several red and white wines, and a good cocktail menu. The Sweet Emotion is a special treat, made with Godiva chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, coconut milk and cinnamon syrup.
Martin’s Tavern has been around since the end of the Prohibition era, making it the oldest family owned pub in D.C. Many of the cocktails have warm and spicy flavors like ginger, cinnamon, and honey. The wine list is extensive, and the drafts come from all over the world. Having welcomed patrons that range from the presidents of the U.S. to the locals of Georgetown, Martin’s Tavern serves wonderful food along with a special atmosphere. Arrive early on the busy weekends, and you might have the chance to snag “The Proposal Booth,” where JFK proposed to Jackie Kennedy.
Located under the Key Bridge in Georgetown, Gypsy Sally’s is a charming spot with modern Americana decor. It is a great place to catch a live music gig in D.C., featuring local artists and a wide range of genres. There are three levels for music lovers to enjoy the night, with the floor level designed for dancing and the upper two levels for seating. And if the music isn’t your taste or if you want some space to chat, the vinyl lounge near the back is a cozy respite. The beer selection includes several craft brews and local brews. While the menu is limited, the food is delicious. If you’re in the mood for serendipitous musical variety, Gypsy Sally’s has an open-mic night on Tuesdays.
On the lobby level of the Ritz Carlton, Degrees is one of the most upscale bistro lounges in D.C. Though it is pricey, Degrees offers a fantastic ambience and wonderful food to pair with your drink. Perfect for an after-work wind down, Degrees offers an extensive wine-list, specialty cocktails, and craft beers that come with exceptional service. If you’re at the bar, check out the tapas offered with the drinks as well. Degrees hosts events such as live jazz nights, which are especially enjoyable with a cocktail in hand.
You can find many Georgetown locals and students at The Tombs, a fair-priced, underground bar and restaurant next to the iconic 1789 Restaurant. The bar offers a range of beers, spring and summer cocktails, and wines, many of which are available during Happy Hour between 3-6PM on Monday through Friday. The atmosphere is somewhat “speakeasy”, and the music is fun and danceworthy past 11PM. There is a DJ & Dancing night on Fridays every week. There is also an affordable late-night menu to replenish your energy with a quick corn on the cob or a pizza slice before getting back on the dance floor.