Food  |  Things to Do

Your Guide to No-Cover Bars for New Year’s Eve Around DC

Photo via iStock.

It’s terrifyingly easy to shell out a fortune while celebrating New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, some bars around DC sympathize with your wallet. Check out these no-cover spots for some fun and affordable options.

American Ice Co. 
917 V St., NW; 202-758-3562
Celebrate at this no-frills New Year’s Eve bash with happy hour drinks all night ($5 Narragansett, $4 Astra, and $10 pulled pork sandwiches). The party starts at 5 PM and lasts until 2 AM.

Black Squirrel 
2427 18th St., NW; 202-232-1011
Ring in the new year with a live DJ playing music all night, specials on lamb shepherd’s pie and duck-fat fingerling potatoes, $5 Goose IPAs, winter-weather drinks, and a Miller High Life toast at midnight.

Boundary Stone
116 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-621-6635 
Enjoy an extended happy hour from 4 to 10 PM with $4 DC Braus, $5 cocktails, $6 wines, and $7 sandwiches. Groove to a local, brass-heavy jazz group performing a mix of classic jazz and swing music starting at 10:30 PM.

Cafe Saint-Ex
1847 14th St., NW; 202-265-7839
Say goodbye to 2017 at a New Orleans-themed fete, complete with food and drink specials plus music from DJ Sharkey. 

415 8th St., SE; 202-847-4827
In honor of the new year, chef Nate Anda is crafting a menu of all his favorites guilty pleasures from 2017, including egg rolls, crab rangoons, French pizzas, and hot pockets. Also in tow: Mario Kart, Street Fighter 2, and other games for the classic Super Nintendo console. The party lasts until 2 AM.

El Camino
108 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-847-0419 
The restaurant will serve its regular dinner menu before inviting patrons to dance 2017 away with DJ Stardust Lounge and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. 

Evening Star Cafe
2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-5051
Enjoy a four-course tasting menu that includes dishes like pastrami swordfish and seared sea bass with black garlic arborio. Top it off with a vanilla bean cheesecake, then head upstairs to the No. 9 Lounge (no cover, of course) where live music from the Beanstalk Library will help you say hello to 2018.

Hank’s Cocktail Bar
819 Upshur St., NW; 202-290-1808
Guests can enjoy $5 Champagne cocktails from head bartender Jessica Weinstein all night long.

Ivy & Coney
1537 7th St., NW; 202-670-9489
The Shaw bar welcomes all those who don’t want to indulge in the hoopla surrounding New Year’s Eve. There will, however, be a Champagne toast at midnight.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St., NW; 202-588-7388
A no-hassle, no-cover shindig starts at 5 PM and goes on until 1 AM. The bar will serve the “20 best whiskeys to drink before the ball drops” plus vintage cocktail flights. From 5 to 8 PM, for $50 per person, guests can also enjoy unlimited beer, bourbon, and barbecue on the heated rooftop terrace. 

McClellan’s Retreat
2031 Florida Ave., NW; 202-265-6270  
The Dupont circle bar is keeping it casual but will offer a Miller High Life toast at midnight.

1430 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-742-3150
Radiator is partying like it’s 1978 with a disco-themed New Year’s Eve bash. Starting at 6 PM, guests can enjoy food and drink specials, as well as a Champagne toast at midnight. The party lasts until 3 AM, and platform shoes are strongly encouraged.

Know of another no-cover bar? Email

Editorial Fellow

Nehal joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in fall 2017. She enjoys all things food, arts, culture, and health and is always looking out for new trends. This past May she graduated from Johns Hopkins with a degree in creative writing and a minor in photography. She lives in Foggy Bottom.