The bar scene in Washington DC‘s Capitol Hill neighborhood offers a variety of options, from creative cocktail lounges to longtime neighborhood watering holes. Take a tour of the 10 best bars the area has to offer.
Wisdom opened in 2008, billing itself as DC’s first parlor dedicated solely to cocktails. The cocktail bar specializes in gin drinks – in fact, it has the largest gin selection in the DC metro region. The drink menu features a long list of craft cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else. For example a cocktail called It’s Always Sunny combines gin and limoncello. Meanwhile Capt. Jack’s Green Sparrow is a fantastic mixture of absinthe, grapefruit and coconut juices along with coffee dust. The ambiance at Wisdom is just as special as its drinks; the cozy nooks are perfect for a group get-together.
Harold Black is a speakeasy with a secret, sliding door entrance – does it get any cooler than that? And though it may be hard to find, this intimate bar is worth searching for. The dim lighting and dark wood decor has customers feeling as if they’ve gone back in time to the Prohibition era. Cocktails are expertly mixed and the snacks to go along with them are top notch as well. Give the tasting menu a try if you can’t pick out one drink.
A long-time Hill establishment that we really love, the Tune Inn is a dive bar located just a few blocks from the US Capitol building. This is a place that has all sorts of characters walk through its front doors, from neighborhood regulars and blue collar workers to Hill staffers and tourists visiting on their summer vacation. The friendly service at the bar has them coming back for more.
Customers that head to the second floor at Trusty’s in Hill East will see an unexpected sight: a bar fashioned out of an old school bus. Plus, there is an open air patio. Downstairs, there are plenty of TVs and board games that await to entertain patrons after a long day at work. Beers are served in mason jars. Plus, there is no lack of comfort food on the menu – those tasty cheesesteaks are worth the calories.
Tunnicliff’s Tavern is a friendly neighborhood bar, located right across from the iconic Eastern Market building. An excellent spot to sit back and relax with a beer, Tunnicliff’s also offers plenty of delicious food options, from burgers and fries to soups and salads. This is a superb spot to watch the big game on one of the big screen TVs hanging behind the bar.
The Dubliner strives to re-create the feel of an Irish pub in Capitol Hill. As the single largest purveyor of Guinness Stout in the US, we’d say this spot is on the right track. Patrons will also find two brews that can only be found at The Dubliner – Auld Dubliner Amber Ale and Dubliner Irish Lager. These beers are made with hops imported from Count Kilkenny, Ireland. To top off the Celtic experience, Irish performers entertain each and every night.
Owners Genevieve and Conan O’Sullivan have a passion for great cheese and wine – a passion that led them to open the first recorded cheese-making creamery in DC’s history. The husband and wife pair can be found at Sona every day of the week, doing everything from waiting tables to making cheese. Customers can simply enjoy the perfect wine and cheese pairings, or learn more about the cheese-making process through educational courses.
This quiet and classy bar on bustling Barrack Row is a good place to get away from it all. The first floor features a long bar with comfortable barstools and dark wood decor. Patrons who head upstairs will find a room with a pool table and another bar, as well as an outdoor patio. Up yet another flight of steps is the shuffleboard attic. The menu has a variety of beers and wines to enjoy alongside traditional bar fare.
You never know who you’ll run into at Bullfeathers, the longtime Capitol Hill watering hole that often serves Hill staffers and lobbyists. After all, it’s located just down the street from the office buildings on the Hill. After trying one of the perfectly cooked burgers, you’ll understand why Bullfeathers is such a popular after-work spot. There are also a number of great beers available on tap and by the bottle.
Barrel has a never-ending selection of whiskeys from all over the globe, from brown water made in the US and Canada to whiskey distilled in Asia. Not to be forgotten are the cocktails, beers and wines that are also available for consumption. The food options on the menu are Southern-inspired, with items such as fried chicken and grits.