I am a born-and-bred New Englander and I love it up there, but in Massachusetts, we don’t have happy hours.
I know – it’s a vile, repugnant thought. Legally, bars and restaurants in my home state cannot reduce the price of alcohol at any time for any reason, which means NO HAPPY HOUR DEALS. Don’t be fooled – bars there will claim to have “happy hour,” but the cruel subtext is that they only offer $2 discounts on quesadillas between 5:00 and 6:15 PM.
Enough of that talk. Here in the great nation’s capital, happy hour is an Olympic sport.
Who has the highest quality $5 wine? Which bars start HH before 3:00 PM? Where’s the best deal on pitchers? Who offers the cheapest AND tastiest marg/taco combo deal? If you’re a DC HH triathlete, you know the answers to all these questions and more. But something I rarely hear DCists discuss is their favorite weekend happy hour spot. Hmm.
Why should happy hour be relegated to the confines of Monday through Friday? Trick question: it shouldn’t. Fortunately, quite a few DC hot spots have joined the ranks of the wise and offer drink deals to thirsty Districters all week long. Cheers to you, sirs and madams. You’re the real heroes.
- Neighborhood: Logan Circle
- Happy Hour(s): 3-7 Mon-Fri / 4-7 Sat-Sun
- Why we love it: nestled in the popular P Street block in Logan Circle, Logan Tavern is home to knowledgeable bartenders, house-made bitters and to-die-for brandied cherries for your Old Fashioned’s ($7). The bartenders can tell you which bourbons to get on ice, which you can mix for cocktails, and which you simply MUST get neat. Order the bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese ($6) while you’re at it. Don’t argue with me, just do it.
- Neighborhood: Downtown and Eastern Market (two locations)
- Happy Hour(s): 3-7 Mon-Sat / 5-8 Sun
- Why we love it: champagne mojitos, dragon balls, lemontinis and every other vibrantly-colored, juicy cocktail you can imagine is HALF PRICE during their generous 4-hour-long HH (or as they call it, “Crazy Hour”). Though the 19th street location can be buzzing during the week with GW undergrads, it generally dies down on weekends and you can kick back with a few $4 (very strong) cocktails and spicy crunchy tuna rolls. No whiskey cocktails on the menu though, so if you’re a bourbonphile, prepare to substitute with a Sapporo or just shut up and order a mango bellini.
- Neighborhood: Adams Morgan
- Happy Hour(s): 4-7 Mon-Sun
- Why we love it: found at the fringes of the Adams Morgan main drag, this oft’ overlooked gem offers over 15 specialty HH cocktails, $5 wine and $4 bottled beer. The sidewalk outdoor seating is a big draw in the warmer months, and you will have no trouble finding a seat. Make sure to try the bruschetta while you sip your weekend afternoon away, and don’t be shy if you want to stay for dinner. I myself am a die-hard fan of their chargrilled Mediterranean sea bass. YES, it comes with the fish head still on and NO, I do not care.
- Neighborhood: Metro Center
- Happy Hour(s): All Day Mon-Tues / 3-7 Wed-Sun
- Why we love it: after sightseeing around the monuments with your out-of-town friends and family (or just on your own, as I often do), the last thing you want to do is keep walking. Fortunately, you don’t need to go much further to find a $3.50 16 oz PBR or a seasonal sangria (currently Candy Apple!). Chef Geoff’s is the self-proclaimed “Best Happy Hour in Washington, DC,” and has some of the better food specials accompanying their HH drinks: beef and black bean burgers ($6.95), half a dozen pizza pies ($8.95) and white truffle parmesan popcorn (!!!!) are just a few of their tasty options.
- Neighborhood: Shaw
- Happy Hour(s): 5-7 Mon-Thurs / 4-7 Fri-Sun
- Why we love it: as if we need another reason to love Shaw. Located at the corner of 9th and P St NW, Chaplin’s is delicious Japanese Ramen hot spot that slashes drink prices in half during HH. Relax at the bar with a $6 draft cocktail like the Tramp – Bourbon, Benedictine, Peychaud’s Bitters, and burnt orange peel (am I crazy for still being impressed by burnt citrus peels?? That shit is so cool). Definitely don’t miss out on the braised pork buns while you’re there ($8/2 per order).
Well, what are you waiting for? THE WEEKEND IS UPON US. To the bar, post haste!