Things to Do

American Idol With Drinks—Where to Find Karaoke in Washington, DC, Every Night of the Week

Maybe you’ve tried out for American Idol seven times and never made it—but remain convinced the world needs to hear your singing talent. Or maybe you’re just looking for a good night out with your friends, in which you all get embarrassed equally. Either

With those sunglasses, bad singing is the least of his problems.


Karaoke night at this popular Dupont Circle bar is fun, but be forewarned: Sweet tunes from Depeche Mode and Pat Benatar are often followed by rounds of cloying songs from Kelly Clarkson, High School Musical and—gasp!—even O-Town. Karaoke every Sunday night from 9 to closing. Specials include $3 rail drinks and bottled beer.
Cobalt, 1639 R St., NW; 202-232-4416;


Ned Devine’s (Herndon)
Enjoy some half-priced steak (from 5-7 PM) before getting your groove on every Monday at 9 PM.

Ned Devine’s, 2465 Centreville Rd., Herndon; 703-793-7376;


The Reef
Karaoke Twisted Tuesdays at this Adams Morgan restaurant and bar begin at 9:30 PM and feature $5 Grey Goose cocktails and $3 Dogfish Head IPA beers. Hungry? The menu features organic produce and free-range meats from local farmers. Make sure to sample the half-priced burgers in between songs!

The Reef, 2446 18th St., NW; 202-518-3800,

Tommy Joe’s
This restaurant and sports bar offers karaoke Tuesdays from 8 PM to closing. Grab a $3 margarita, Corona, or Corona Light, or arrive early for happy hour (4 to 7), which features $3.50 domestic and premium pints, rail drinks, house wines, and domestic bottles. Enjoy half-price wings, quesadillas, and chicken tenders.
Tommy Joe’s, 4714 Montgomery La., Bethesda; 301-654-3801;


Ned Devine’s (Centreville)
Eat a half-priced steak and sing the night away Wednesdays from 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM.
Ned Devine’s, 6208 Multiplex Dr., Centreville; 703-266-2194;


1409 Playbill Cafe

Music performances take on an added level of theatricality here, with actors from the bar’s black-box theater often joining in the karaoke fun. Show tunes are, naturally, quite popular. Thursdays 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM. Specials on beers and rail drinks.
1409 Playbill Cafe, 1409 14th St., NW; 202-265-3055.

Phase 1
This lesbian bar, within walking distance of the Eastern Market Metro stop, has a booming karaoke scene Thursdays from 7 PM to 2 AM. There’s no cover, and drink specials include $3 Buds and $3.50 Coronas.
Phase 1, 525 Eighth St., SE; 202-544-6831;


A Dupont Circle gay bar (formerly Badlands) where Gladys Kravitz hosts karaoke in the Starz Lounge every Friday night. Doors open at 9; $9 cover, 18 to enter, 21 to drink. In addition to singing, guests will enjoy the club’s nightly drink specials, flashy lights, shirtless men, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Need a little kick to perform the latest Britney single? Visit the Red Bull fridge at the front bar.
Apex, 1415 22nd St., NW; 202-296-0505;

The Meeting Place
Sit back, have a couple drinks and get in the right mood for some singing—or slurring— with a happy hour that goes on until 10 PM. Karaoke Fridays from 7 PM to 1 AM.
The Meeting Place, 1707 L St., NW, 202-293-7755;


Eat First Chinese
Enjoy entrées under $10 and karaoke Friday and Saturday; 10 PM, reservations required.
Eat First Chinese, 609 H St., NW; 202-289-1703.

Cafe Japone
Sushi, live music, and karaoke every night, 9:30 until closing. More than 14,000 songs in English, 8,000 in Japanese, and 300 in Spanish to choose from. Weekdays, $10 per person; weekends, $15. Reservations recommended for parties of six or more people. 
Cafe Japone, 2032 P St., NW; 202-223-1573.

Peyote Cafe
An Adams Morgan Tex-Mex restaurant featuring karaoke and happy hour Thursday through Saturday 8:30 PM to 2 AM. No cover charge, reasonable drink prices, and lots of tequila.
Peyote Cafe, 2319 18th St., NW; 202-265-6665.

Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
Karaoke is king at this Crystal City gay bar, where you’re guaranteed to catch someone at the microphone every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from 9 to 1:30. With a real stage for performances and plenty of people in campy costumes, weekends are your best bet for an experience that makes an art out of public embarrassment. Specials on drafts and rail drinks. No cover.
Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, 555 S. 23rd St., Arlington; 703-685-0555;

Shamelessly belt out Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” or Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” during Mama’s Trailer Park Karaoke (Friday and Saturday 9 PM to closing) at the upstairs lounge of this Capitol Hill country-western bar. A $4 cover charge Friday and $5 cover Saturday include a discount ticket for rail drinks. No cover for regular karaoke Wednesday and Thursday 9 to closing.
Remingtons, 639 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-543-3113;

Rock It Grill
This Alexandria spot features karaoke every night from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM. No drink specials, but with no cover charge and a low-key atmosphere during the week, this may be the right spot to either butcher or perfect your Whitney, Christina, or other VH1 divas.
Rock It Grill, 1319 King St., Alexandria; 703-739-2274.

J.J. Muldoon’s
A lively Gaithersburg hangout where karaoke happens every night except Wednesday, 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM. Specials on domestic beers and rails drinks. No cover.
J.J. Muldoon’s, 16143 Shady Grove Rd., Gaithersburg; 301-258-8866.

Green Lantern
Not all performers like the spotlight. For the slightly timid or bashful, this gay bar’s karaoke—Sundays and Mondays 9:30 to closing—is decidedly more low-key than some others. No cover and an all-night happy-hour drink specials on Mondays.
Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct., NW (off 14th St. between L St. and Thomas Circle); 202-347-4533;

Skydome Lounge
If the natural high you get from karaoke isn’t enough, try pouring your heart out to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” at this rotating lounge on the top floor of the Doubletree Crystal City Hotel. No cover, specials on select cocktails, and you don’t need to be a hotel guest. Wednesdays and Sundays 9 PM to midnight.
Skydome Lounge, 300 Army Navy Dr., Arlington; 703-416-4100.

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Editor's note: Some entries in this guide contained inaccuracies. They have been updated to reflect the correct information. Our apologies for the error.