Its prime Logan Circle location, indoor bocce courts, and killer cocktails—get the Blue Vein, with vodka, cassis, and house-made ginger beer—mean that plenty of people come just to hang out and booze. But stick to the liquid stuff and you’ll miss some of the area’s tastiest bar snacking, courtesy of Jeff and Barbara Black, the chefs/restaurateurs who also own Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, the Southern seafood dining room downstairs. The cooks here know their way around a deep fryer, which turns out fabulous shrimp po’ boys, shattering fried chicken, and the airy popcorn crawfish that top a delightfully bad-for-you chopped salad with buttermilk dressing. A couple of other reasons the place is always crowded: affable bartenders, some of whom are as conversant in nuclear nonproliferation as they are in Kentucky rye, plus an all-day happy hour on Sunday.
Cuisine: Snacks and Small Plates
Where you can get it: 1612 14th St., NW; 202-319-1612
Also good: Dive Burger, with green chilies and pepperjack cheese; duck-confit nachos; mariscos de campechana, a ceviche of grilled shrimp and oysters; pecan and Key-lime pies.