Between knocking off work early and needing to get outside (or cool off) with a cold beer, summer in Washington is high season for happy hours. Looking to save some money? Below you’ll find a number of options for $10 and under—everything from swanky martinis and freshly shucked oysters to dollar brews and free food.
$10 mussels and fries at St. Arnold’s
1827 Jefferson Pl., NW; 3433 Connecticut Ave., NW
Some of the tastier pots of mussels in town for a Hamilton? We’re in, especially for the house special simmered in beer, garlic, and duck fat. Look for the deal all night long—alongside half-price half liters of beer—at the Cleveland Park location on Monday, and again from 9 to 11 on Wednesday and Sunday. The Dupont location serves the moules Monday through Friday 3:30 to 6:30.
$9.50 Tanqueray gin martinis or Maker’s Mark Manhattans at Vidalia
1990 M St., NW
Keep it classy with one of the best cocktail happy hours in town. The pours are generous, and the white-tablecloth setting is swanky, so take a date and impress him/her on the cheap. You’ll also find discounts on Southern bites such as $4.50 rock-shrimp hushpuppies and $3.50 duck confit deviled eggs.
$9 pizzas and supermugs at Chef Geoff’s
Locations in DC, Tysons Corner, and Rockville
Chef Geoff’s happy hours fall under the category of oldies but great-ies. Look for a bountiful menu of specials at all four locations (here’s an example from downtown DC). Times and deals vary slightly, but all offer $8.95 pizzas and “supermugs” (almost a liter) of craft brews throughout the day Monday and Tuesday, and from 3 to 7 Thursday and Friday.
$7.75 barbecue shrimp and grits at Johnny’s Half Shell
400 N. Capitol St., NW
Head to this Capitol Hill institution for the weekday happy hour menu, which includes a number of food and drink options. Our order: barbecue shrimp with Asiago cheese grits, and a $9 margarita if we’re splurging.
$6 bubbly and oysters at Republic
6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park
Drop in for $1 Chesapeake oysters and $5 bubbly among the many happy hour deals from 3 to 7 Monday through Friday. If you’re in the area and looking for bivalves, Jackie’s (8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring) serves $5 glasses of cava and $1 oysters Tuesday evening throughout the summer.
$5 plates of tacos, wings, and whiskey at Smoke & Barrel
2471 18th St., NW
You’ll find a lively crowd at this Adams Morgan ’cue and whiskey spot, taking advantage of two nights of specials: platters of smoked wings on Mondays until 11, and three tacos plus a side on Tuesdays until 9. Try the tangy “Buffalo blue” wings cloaked in sauce and cheese, and barbecue pork tacos. To pair with your snacks is $5 select whiskey (Monday through Friday 5 to 7). An unusual twist: Both the bird and tacos can be made vegan, so yes, chicken-less wings exist.
$4 dumplings and sojutinis at Mandu
1805 18th St., NW; 453 K St., NW
The namesake mandu are some of the best things on the menu at the sister Korean spots; six steamed or pan-fried dumplings stuffed with shrimp, beef, pork, or veggies. You can wash them down with $4 sojutinis and liquor drinks daily 4 to 7, as well as late night at the K Street location.
$3 bison sloppy Joe sliders and shots of Overholt Rye at Cashion’s
1819 Columbia Rd., NW
Skip the jumbo slice and head to Cashion’s for the revival of its “after dark” menu, which runs from 11 to 1 on Friday and Saturday evenings. You’ll find $3 to $5 eats such as an Italian hero or the chef’s riff on a sloppy Joe, plus $3 shots of whiskey. Note there is also a regular early evening happy hour.
2-for-1 drinks at DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
Happy hour is a buy one, get one free affair at this Petworth spot, which includes any and all drinks—even the fancy ones. A spacious outdoor patio only sweetens the deal, which runs Monday through Friday 5 to 9.
$1 oysters at Mussel Bar
7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 800 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington
Get more dollar bivalves at Mussel Bar in Bethesda and Arlington. The deal runs all day Monday in Maryland (as well as daily 4 to 6), and every Tuesday in Virginia.
$1 beer at the Red Derby
3718 14th St. NW
This Columbia Heights cash-only bar is no-frills, which is why we love it. Hit the roof deck for $1 Natty Boh, Stroh’s, and Budweiser ponies on weekdays from 5 to 8. All beers are a buck off, so you can get fancy with a $4 hefeweizen.
½ off bubbly and cocktails at Red Light
1401 R St., NW
Both pre-dinner and night owl crowds find deals at this new 14th Street drink and dessert bar. The bar offers 50 percent discounts on beers, wines by the glass, bubbly, and specialty cocktails on weekdays from 4 to 7, and again from 11 to last call Sunday through Wednesday.
Free appetizers at Piola
2208 14th St., NW; 1550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Drinkers can eat for free on weekdays from 4:30 to 7:30 at Piola’s 14th Street and Arlington locations. Sip discounted drinks including $4 beers, $5 wines, and $6 cocktails while servers pass around gratis platters of thin-crust pizza, bruschetta, meatballs, and more.
It’s a particularly good week for drinkers, with new happy hours, bar deals, and a rare BYO offer—but breakfast fans get some love, too.
Happy hour and later closing at Rappahannock Oyster Bar
1309 Fifth St., NE; 202-544-4702
One of our new 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2014 launches a $1 oyster happy hour, which also includes $4 beer and wine. Even better news: The deal runs from 7 to 9 Tuesday through Saturday and 6 to 8 on Sunday. The Union Market spot has introduced the deals in conjunction with extended hours, now closing at 9 and 8 on the aforementioned days.
Brunch for dinner at 1905
1905 Ninth St., NW; 202-332-1905
Breakfast lovers can head here for a brunch-for-dinner menu, which will be offered every Tuesday starting this week. Think fried chicken and waffles, a truffled egg sandwich, and, of course, bottomless Bloodys and mimosas for $15.
Half-price wine, Tiki Thursday, and other nightly specials at Tryst
2459 18th St., NW; 202-232-5500
This Adams Morgan spot has been around since 1998 and continues to keep things fresh with specials, the latest of which bring a different scene to the bar every night of the week. Highlights include black-and-white movies on Tuesday with $5 Old Fashioneds and live jazz; half-price bottles of wine and discount cheese and charcuterie on Wednesday (with more live jazz); and Tiki Thursday, with surfer movies and $24 volcano bowls.
New mixologist/happy hour for Water & Wall
3811 Fairfax Dr., Arlington; 703-294-4949
Barkeep Steve Oshana (formerly of BLT Steak) has landed at Water & Wall. Look for a new cocktail menu in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, take advantage of the recently launched happy hour Sunday through Thursday, featuring rotating specials and a three-course dinner for $35 per person (bar only).
BYO at Malmaison
3401 K St., NW; 202-817-3340
You’ll have to wait until next week to try it, but Malmaison just announced free corkage on Mondays so guests can bring their own bottle of wine at no cost. Even better: Give chef Gerard Pangaud 72 hours’ notice and he’ll design a menu around the bottle.
Revamped bar menu at Logan Tavern
1423 P St., NW; 202-332-3710
The beverage menu gets an overhaul: You’ll find more local beers, expanded whiskey offerings—including two flights—and new cocktails, such as the appropriately named Samantha Jones, a riff on a Cosmo with house-infused cranberry vodka and sparkling wine.
Check out a new restaurant for weekend brunch, sip discount daiquiris, or grab a sandwich (and some free wi-fi) at a new market opening Friday.
Jaleo (Penn Quarter, Crystal City, and Bethesda locations)
José Andrés announced this week he’ll switch up the brunch offerings at Jaleo starting Saturday, February 1. Look for sweet and savory small plates such as crispy bread layered with goat cheese and smoked salmon, fried eggs and potatoes (with optional sea urchin), and churros dunked in hot chocolate.
Medium Rare Barracks Row
515 Eighth St., SE; 202-601-7136
The Capitol Hill sibling to Cleveland Park’s steak frites spot just opened on Monday, and is serving its first brunch this weekend. The $23 set menu includes bottomless mimosas (or screwdrivers for more ambitious drinkers), fruit salad, and a steak-portobello mushroom Benedict.
405 Eighth St., NW; 202-347-7491
The first phase of chef Frederik de Pue’s new restaurant opens on Friday. While the sit-down restaurant portions don’t debut until later, you can head to the first-floor market for lunch. The lineup includes sandwiches, salads, coffees, and pastries; settle in at the top-floor bistro with your haul and take advantage of the free wi-fi.
919 Fifth St., NW; 202-290-2233
The new Mount Vernon Triangle spot Silo just launched lunch. Look for French- and Swiss-inspired dishes such as a seafood salad with cider vinaigrette and a dry-aged burger with Guinness-caramelized onions and Gruyère.
1833 14th St., NW; 202-265-1751
Newish chef Jesse Miller just revamped the food menu to include some interesting dishes—think pork sliders with pickled-pig-ear slaw, bison pot pie, and Old Bay-spiked crab mac and cheese. Try them alongside the new happy hour offerings: trotter tots, rum daiquiris, and glasses of wine, all for $5. The deals run Monday through Friday 5 to 7:30.
Shake Shack (Dupont and Penn Quarter locations)
As if we needed another reason to be tempted by Shake Shack, the burger chain now offers happy hour. Head in for half off red and white wine and draft beer, including Brooklyn Brewery’s Shackmeister Ale. The deal runs Monday through Friday 5 to 7.
Ah, Thursday—the day you most crave and deserve an after-work drink (though for the record, there’s nothing wrong with Martini Monday). Check out one of the many new happy hours around town, whether you’re drinking cheap beers at a new watering hole or noshing on recently discounted eats at a longtime favorite.
4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington; 703-552-8010
The deal: Due to Virginia lawmakers fancying mystery over practicality, we can’t tell you about this Shirlington Village tavern’s drink specials. But we’re pretty sure they exist in the month-old space, along with $1 oysters.
The details: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
The Daily Dish
8301 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring; 301-588-6300
The deal: The Kalmia Road shutdown is apparently affecting commuters and traffic to this Silver Spring eatery, so it’s offering some liquid solutions: $5 “rush hour rum runners” and “sloe down gin fizzes,” as well as $4 brews and wines.
The details: Monday through Friday 3:30 to 6:30 at the cocktail bar.
3115 14th St., NW; 202-797-7227
The deal: The recently revamped neighborhood restaurant offers two happy hours: one early-evening round of extensive discounts, and late-night offer with $4 to $5 bites such as shishito peppers and fried oysters.
The details: Regular happy hour runs daily from 4 to 7. Late-night happy hour runs Thursday 10:30 to 11:30 and Friday and Saturday 10:30 to midnight.
It’s officially summer: the days are getting longer, the workload lighter, and the chances of slipping out for an afternoon drink significantly higher. Luckily, several restaurants and bars take the “five o’clock somewhere” seriously attitude and offer afternoon discounts for thirsty patrons well before the sun goes down. Check out these 11 spots, all ready to liquor you up before the clock strikes 4. (Note that many also serve discounted drinks during regular evening happy hours as well.) Have a favorite daytime watering hole? Tell us about it in the comments.
Washington has always been a big happy hour city, but in “this economy,” the idea of making it out of the office for a 5 PM weekday beerfest seems about as antiquated as the three-martini lunch. Don’t worry, overworked and underpaid boozers—the restaurant industry has your back. We’ve seen more happy hours than ever stretch into Saturday and Sunday, meaning you can still get your discount drink and food fix. An added perk: Plenty of these places have outdoor space, so you can enjoy your deals in the sun.
While this H Street watering hole plans fun for every night of the week, dog owners and beer lovers are treated extra special on weekends.
Specials: Saturday brings the Argo-Mutts happy hour with beer specials for humans and free treats and water for dogs on the patio. Come Sunday, get beery with half-price drafts.
Hours: Saturday noon to 5 (patio only); Sunday 8 to close
Avoiding the rain (or the Death Star)? Head to this subterranean Adams Morgan billiards hall for discount brews.
Specials: $10 buckets of Bud and Bud Light on weekends.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1 to 7
A fun weekend plan: Hit up Jeff and Barbara Black’s Pearl Dive for a late brunch, then wander up the stairs for all-day Sunday happy hour and a few rounds of bocce. (Perk: you won’t fight the Saturday-night crowds.)
Specials: Half-price draft beers, pizzas, and Addie’s mussels; two-for-one oysters; $5 red, white, and sparkling wines.
Hours: Sunday 3 to close.
For a more adult happy hour, plus a chance to try the restaurant’s dish sans the splurge, head to the Blacks’ Palisades spot.
Specials: A bar menu with discount bites such as oysters Rockefeller and Provençal seafood stew.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 4 to 6 (and until 7 every other day) in the bar only
The Kushi team’s whiskey-and-beer bar is definitely the kind of place you want to hang at night, but get there early for food and drink deals and easy access to the vintage pool table.
Specials: $6 PBR-shot combos, $1 off draft beers, and $15 carvery plates such as suckling pig and two sides.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 5 to 6
Last week, chef Victor Albisu opened his South American restaurant Del Campo in the former PS 7's space at 777 I Street, Northwest. Starting Wednesday, May 1: happy hour!
Seven days a week, the restaurant offers $7 drink specials from 5 to 7 in the bar and lounge area, which features a casual menu inspired by the streets of Peru, Argentina, and other countries in the region. (Fine-dining dishes are the focus in the rest of the restaurant.) In addition to a margarita, a mojito, draft beers, and wine, the deal extends to some of the restaurant's specialty cocktails. If you've been curious about grilled-juice cocktails—scheduled to appear also at the forthcoming Kapnos—opt for the Viñedor, with strawberry purée, Torrontes syrup, grilled lemon juice, and Biutiful cava brut. When we spoke with Albisu about the Del Campo bar program, he was most excited about A Las Once: Cristal aguardiente, chicha morada syrup, and lime and pineapple juices. It is also on the daily discount menu. The full happy hour list appears after the jump.
Looking for a new happy hour spot? Hungry for eggs Benedict on a beautiful patio? Ready for a new restaurant? We have you covered on all fronts. The Washington restaurant scene is buzzing with fresh dining experiences, from newly opened eateries to lunches and brunches launching at established places. Here’s what’s new this week for a variety of cravings.
Boozy $3 punch and fried chicken
New fried chicken and doughnut hot spot GBD just rolled out its sit-down dinner menu and bar last week. Up this Thursday: happy hour from 5 to 7 Tuesday through Friday. Tonight’s specials include $3 glasses of punch, $4 Tempranillo and Riesling wines on tap, and $4 brews like De Struise Pannepot and Ballast Point Sculpin (the brews will rotate daily on the whim of brewmaster Greg Engert). Order up snacks such as smoked chicken skin chips or crispy Buffalo wings and make an early evening of it.
Lunchtime tacos and tortas
Richard Sandoval’s 14th Street Mexican spot El Centro D.F. just launched lunch service on Monday. Weather permitting, you’ll head up to the 45-seat roof deck—likely less crowded than it is on beautiful evenings—for the menu of guacamole, ceviche, tacos, entrée salads, and more. The ground-floor taqueria is the place to hole up with a steak torta and Dos Equis during springtime rain and scorching summer afternoons. The meal is served Monday to Friday 11 to 3.
By Jessica Voelker
Cleveland Park tapas spot Pulpo (3407 Connecticut Ave., NW) opened for dinner a few weeks back, but at the time had not yet secured its all-important liquor license. We can say with certainty, however, that the restaurant in the former Tackle Box space is now serving beer, wine, and cocktails. Co-owner Mike Finkelstein designed the menu of mixed drinks. The best we've tried so far is the Cuba Libre Deconstruido—a riff on the classic white rum, lime, and Coca-Cola highball drink with a dark spiced rum from Captain Morgan's, lime-infused simple syrup, and Coke syrup. The bar was not serving the Gintonic—Hendrick's, house-made cucumber tonic, and rosemary water—on the night of our visit, but we look forward to trying that one as well.
Wines by the glass include a couple of cavas, a very serviceable vinho verde, and some French and Italian reds. There are six draft beers, including Estrella Damm Lager from Barcelona, Negro Modelo, Matilda from the great Goose Island in Chicago, DC Brau's Corruption IPA, and Bud Light. Beers in bottles and cans include Shipyard IPA from Portland and 312, Goose Island's summer wheat ale. Pitchers of three types of sangria (red, white, pink—with rosé wine) and a punch called Agua de Valencia (cava, orange juice, vodka, and gin) are also on offer.
Happy hour lasts from 5 to 7 daily at Pulpo. Consult its Facebook page for details and updates.
"What should Ripple do with all that cheese they have?" you've probably never wondered. But the owner, Roger Marmet, has. And here's what he came up with: On June 5, the Cleveland Park restaurant will debut a new grilled cheese bar. Guests in the bar area can either choose their own ingredients--there's a list of 15 fairly amazing cheeses, plus spreads like chutney and black-eyed-pea hummus and toppings that include roasted red peppers and caramelized onions--or opt for one of the sandwiches on the menu.
Take the Stinky Pete, for instance, a $9 combo of Époisses cheese, asparagus, and anchovy. "There is no Pete," says Marmet. "It just sounded funny." Other silly sandwich names include the Krusty Krab, an homage to Spongebob SquarePants's place of employ that features jumbo lump crab imperial and béchamel; and the "Swiss bank account," with hand-sliced prosciutto, Challerhocker, and truffles.