Food  |  Things to Do

Fun Things to Do If You’re Single On Valentine’s Day

Anti-Valentine's dance parties, bitterly boozy menus, and cats pooping on your ex (really)

Go gothic at Iron Gate's Edgar Allan Poe-themed pop-up bar. Photograph courtesy of Iron Gate.

For some, February 14 is The Day That Shall Remain Nameless. If you fall into the Lonely Hearts Club, you could stay home, order Shake Shack on Postmates, and play Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” for the millionth time. Or you could say screw it and go out for cocktails with like-minded friends. 

Iron Gate
1734 N St. NW
It’s full-on macabre at Iron Gate this time of year. Inspired by the dark tales of Edgar Allan Poe, the menu is split into two sections: “heart” and “heartbreak.” Dishes like bison tartare with beets will remind you of reading The Tell-Tale Heart in high school. Order a dark Cask of Amontillado cocktail with mezcal and activated charcoal, and keep an eye out for a dish labeled Quoth the Chicken Nevermore—the crispy bird comes talons-on. 

Crumbs & Whiskers
3211 O St. NW
Get a cat to take a dump on your ex. No, really. Bring in a picture of your former s/o to the Georgetown cat cafe—plus BYO wineand they’ll place it in a litter box. At the end of the month, they’ll live stream the cats pooping on all the folks who did you wrong. Now that’s closure.

Black Cat DC
1811 14th St. NW
Dance it out at Black Cat on Feb 14 during the concert hall’s 19th-annual Valentine’s Day Rock and Roll Dance Party. DJs will be on the floor playing everything from R&B to girl groups, and it’s the perfect escape from everything pink, red, and heart-shaped.

Cotton & Reed
1330 Fifth St., NE
Spend Valentine’s Day with good friends and good booze at this distillery-bar near Union Market. Their Punch Crunk Love party starts with a Galentine’s Day happy hour from 4 to 8 PM with $6 punches from Christine Kim (Service Bar) and Amie Ward (R House, Baltimore), followed by more punches from host barman Lukas B. Smith and Doug Atwell (Blue Pit, Baltimore) until midnight. Pad the stomach with eats from the Say Cheese Truck and cookies from  District Baking Co.

Bar Pilar
1833 14th St., NW
Eat your heart out—or liver, belly, and tongue. Chef Jesse Miller created an anti-valentine’s menu full of tasty odd-bits for the brave (lamb belly buns with calabrian chili relish, bone marrow mac) and very brave (rabbit liver and kidney pie). Make a reservation and submit your worst date story for a special reading. 

Union Street Public House
121 S. Union St., Alexandria
Feeling bitter? Embrace the emotion at Union Street’s anti-valentine menu. Bitter-tasting cocktails are on offer, and with names like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Shot Through the Heart,” and “Relationship on the Rocks,” you can quite literally drink your troubles.

City Tap Penn Quarter
901 9th St. NW
February 14th isn’t the only thing putting a sour taste in our mouths. At “Sour for Cupid,” City Tap will have ten sour beers on draft, guaranteed to make you pucker up. Stick around to cleanse your palate with a charcuterie board or four-layer chocolate cake with red velvet sauce.

1932 9th St. NW
Nocturne redefines the holiday with its Alt-Valentine’s Day cocktail flights. Celebrate yourself, your partner, your cat – whatever. With themed flights like “I’m Too Hot (Hot Damn!),” “Crew Love,” and “Acting Up, Drink In My Cup,” the day is yours.

Bar Rouge
1315 16th St. NW
The Kimpton Rouge Hotel’s bar will have a Bitter Valentine’s Day event toasting all the horrible exes of years past. Cocktails like “Cyrus the Great Hipster,” “Jamie Get Off Your Phone,” and “Adam Was a Vegan” will remind you of past loves. Don’t forget to bring a picture of your ex to the bar – if you shred it when you purchase food or a drink, the bartender will give you a complimentary beer.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.