Proudly the capital of the United States of America, Washington DC sits on the east coast of the nation and along the banks of the Potomac River. Begin your trip from the Nation’s Front Lawn, the National Mall, which is home to the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the free-to-visit Smithsonian Museums all in one place. Beyond the cluster of historical sites, wander North to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and neighborhood where people live and work. While many history buffs would enjoy hopping around inspiring galleries and museums at the national mall during the day time, don’t forget to come back to the mall at night when the monuments light up. Interested in finding out where to head to next after admiring the display? Read on to discover this list of dive bars in Washington DC that you might want to hang out in to experience some nightlife while in this amazing city.
1. Ivy and Coney
Ivy and Coney is a Chicago and Detroit-themed sports bar. Clearly, the establishment is a low key and unpretentious bar that has still garnered popularity over the years despite having no elaborate signboards. Rather, it gives the feel of a neighbourhood and apartment-like bar where you can enjoy some beer and watch a game. They even have liquor lockers for regular patrons to store their unfinished bottles. Their small food menu consists of Chicago-style and Coney hot dogs, some bar snacks and also free complimentary peanuts that you have to crack open yourself. The place only accepts cash so don’t forget!
Ivy and Coney
Address: 1537 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Website: Ivy and Coney
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4pm - 2am; Fri: 4pm - 3am; Sat: 12pm - 3am; Sun: 12pm - 2am
2. Red Derby
Red Derby is a pretty chill bar that comes with a great selection of canned beers and a satisfying food menu. Can’t decide what beer to get? Leave it up to them to surprise you with their dealer’s bucket and a random selection of beer and shots. Not forgetting, they also do come with gluten-free beer can option and offer gluten-free food options upon request. During their happy hour from 5 pm to 8 pm daily and an all-night happy hour on a Thursday, you will also get USD 1 off every beer, wine and cocktails. Their burgers are also very popular and highly recommended to go with the beer.
Address: 3718 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA
Website: Red Derby
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 2am; Fri: 5pm - 3am; Sat: 11am - 3am; Sun: 11am - 2am
3. The Pug
The Pug is truly a gem that retains the old charm of a dive bar. It is a humble and affordable place for a decent selection of draft and canned beers. Going simply by the tagline of “No idiots. No bombs. No shooters. No specials. No politics. Relax. Drink. Be cool. Behave.” you can already kind of imagine how swag this place can be. They only serve snacks from a vending machine so have a meal elsewhere like from the ramen place above the bar or somewhere along the street before heading down here. From what you have already heard, just a word of advice, do not try to order any fancy cocktails at this no-frills bar. Simply enjoy a beer listed on their chalkboard menu or ask them and you will be sure not to go wrong.
Address: 1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Website: The Pug
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 5pm - 2am; Sat - Sun: 11:30am - 2am
4. Lyman's Tavern
Who wouldn’t love a great classic arcade game of pinball and some beers? The Tavern is certainly a great choice for a fun night with great company, food and drinks. Once in a while, they also host some pinball competitions. Fun aside, you can find food from hot dogs, sliders, tacos to mac-n-cheese and even vegan burgers. The bar is also a great place to try some local beers on tap and other canned and bottled beers.
Address: 3720 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20011, USA
Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)
One of the main highlights of Trusty’s is definitely their “bus” bar on the second floor which you must check out. With the good old school days kind of vibes, it is also a great place for some board games on the patio. With over 50 plus American craft beer cans to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice here. Accompanying the beers are the grill food menu which has burgers, cheesesteaks and hot dogs as usual.
Address: 1420 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4pm - 2am; Fri: 4pm - 3am; Sat: 10am - 3pm; Sun: 10am - 2am
6. Showtime Lounge
Showtime Lounge is a neighbourhood bar in Bloomingdale. The Lounge bar specially features Granny & The Boys, a house band that plays every Sunday from 7:30 pm to 10 pm. The atmosphere here is lively with a free jukebox containing over 2000 tracks of great songs. At just USD 5, you can also get a shot-and-beer combo while enjoying the music. Then, dance to live bands or just enjoy the amazing vibes.
Address: 113 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 3pm - 2am; Fri - Sat: 3pm - 3am; Sun: 3pm - 12am
In the crowded streets of Chinatown, the entrance to this basement dive bar may be a bit difficult to find and easily missed. But once you do, you might feel like you have hit the jackpot (literally) for finding this hidden gem. Under a dimly lit environment, enjoy your free popcorn with your choice of local beers. With huge TV screens, watching a game here might be a great idea too.
Address: 726 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4pm - 2am; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 3am
8. The Codmother
The name definitely gave this one away. Yes, that’s right, you have to get fish and chips with beer at the Codmother. On top of that, they also serve deep fried snickers and Oreos! The interior is dimly lit and their brick walls are heavily vandalised (or decorated) by chalk. The ambience you get here can be pretty chill or fun when people start dancing. Here, you can get away with one of the cheapest beer like PBR to wash down all the greasy fried food.
Address: 1334 U St NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 5pm - 1:30am; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 3am (closed on Mon)
Solly’s is one of the most happening bars in DC. Do check out their calendar of events to know what to expect when you head down. For instance, they have charity trivia on Wednesday nights. Some nights there are even comedies, dress up, sing-alongs and live music. For drinks, they serve cheap alcohol, whisky and vodka to go with BBQ bar bites such as wings, chicken tenders and pulled pork burgers.
Address: 1942 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 3pm - 1:30am; Fri: 3pm - 2:30am; Sat: 12pm - 2:30am; Sun: 12pm - 1:30am
Get ready for Awesome Con tonight!😎🍻 special Happy Hour all night🎉 #latenightfood SUNdeVICHPosted by A & D Neighborhood Bar on Friday, 3 June 2016
A&D is Shaw’s neighbourhood bar that is a low-key place to enjoy a peaceful evening. Enter the black doors into a spacious interior with walls painted black too. Then, choose from the good selection of drinks and food that is updated on a few neatly written black chalkboard hung up on the walls. Despite the dark themed environment, the bar also serves small jars of surprises filled with colourful gummy bears. They even have speciality cocktails if you’re feeling in the mood for it.
Address: 1314 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 1am; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 2am (closed on Sun)
Drink to your heart's content
There is truly a lot to see in Washington DC and thus you might want to take a break in between or at the end of the day so that you do not tire yourself out. If you are looking for a place to chill out after immersing yourself in America’s greatest history, the dive bars mentioned above will not disappoint with their affordable selection of alcoholic beverages and food. Do make sure you bring enough cash with you as some of these places do not accept cards. Last but not least, the metro isn’t going to run late at night, so plan how you will get back to your accommodation safely after all that booze if you intend to stay out late.
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