Menus subject to change.
Exposed wooden beams and a fireplace make Birreria Paradiso feel more like a ski lodge than a basement-level bar on Georgetown’s bustling M Street. A mix of students and older clientele come for the perfectly charred Neapolitan pizzas and an extensive beer list. Among the 200 bottles and 16 drafts, you’ll find pilsners, stouts, and more unusual selections such as a beer with 18 percent alcohol.
3282 M St., NW; 202-337-1245.
In addition to a wide variety of bourbons, the bar at the Four Seasons offers some of the area’s best-executed cocktails (as well as a variety of nonalcoholic ones for teetotalers). Beyond drinks, there’s a lively late-night and post-theater scene and plentiful bar food that will sate any appetite—from the veggie burger to the heritage-turkey burger and the delectable steak burger.
Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-944-2026.
Need to get warm on a winter night? The roaring fireplace of the Georgetown Ritz’s industrial-chic lobby and its dimly lit bar, Degrees, is a perfect spot for a quiet nightcap. Every evening from 6:30 to 7, the lobby area offers freshly made s’mores.
The Ritz-Carlton, 3100 South St., NW; 202-912-4100.
Georgetown’s oldest drinking spot—it opened the day Prohibition ended in 1933—maintains the feel of a neighborhood tavern, even with tour groups stopping outside to see the place where JFK allegedly proposed to Jackie. The dark wood and vintage sports photos add to the old-fashioned charm, as do affable bartenders topping off gin martinis and pints of Guinness.
1264 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-7370.
The best thing about this restaurant and bar in Georgetown is its outdoor patio, which stays open all year round. Tables are set up on Washington Harbour’s boardwalk, a great place to watch boat and bike traffic. Grab a spot under one of the bright-blue umbrellas and watch the sun go down.
3050 K St., NW; 202-342-3535.
This article appears in Washingtonian’s Welcome Guide.