Food  |  Things to Do

11 Fun and Festive Things to Do in DC on New Year’s Eve

Black tie party or all-you-can-eat tacos? We've got you covered.

Jack Rose hosts two parties for NYE. Photograph by Scott Suchman

A new decade is officially upon us, and whether you’re feeling nostalgic or glad the year is over, it’s time to ring in 2020. From rowdy themed bashes to a laid-back evening of all-you-can-eat tacos, we’ve rounded up some of the most fun ways to spend your New Year’s Eve around DC.

No-fuss (and no cover) parties at Jack Rose
2007 18th St., NW
The Adams Morgan whiskey mecca is hosting not one but two New Year’s Eve parties. On the covered terrace, guests can load up on food and drinks at the a $50 all-you-can-eat cookout from 5 to 8 PM, which includes unlimited barbecue and low country boil-themed eats, beers, and select bourbons ($50 per person). In the saloon, there’s a “no cover, no minimum, no pressure” themed gathering, which is exactly as advertised—plus happy hour from 5 to 8 PM and specials through 1 AM like $40 bottomless Moet bubbles.

Wine down at The Eastern
360 7th St., SE
Ease into 2020 at this wine bar’s first New Year’s Eve party. At the open bar, guests can sample “sommelier’s select” wines and snack on hors d’oeuvres like tuna tartare and pork sliders. Tickets start at $125.

French fête at Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
Calling all Moulin Rouge! fans: Le Diplomate is bringing Baz Luhrmann’s beloved film to life with a night of Parisian grandeur. Tickets are $275 per guest, and in addition to a huge feast–a traditional French réveillon–the evening will include burlesque performances, roaming sketch artists, and plenty of Champagne. Festivities start at 9 PM with a reception featuring passed canapés, Champagne, and cocktails.

Le Diplomate hosts a grand New Year's Eve bash. Photograph courtesy of Le Diplomate

College kegger for adults at Union Pub
201 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Union Pub’s annual “formal kegger” is like a college house party–but with better drinks. Pour yourself a beer from all-you-can-drink kegs, grab a jello shot, and watch the ball drop at $70 per ticket, which includes bottomless drinks. Swifties will be especially excited: Taylor Swift is this year’s pop star theme.

Rising stars align at Emilie’s
1101 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Not only is chef Kevin Tien’s new Capitol Hill hotspot a must-try for foodies—NYE brings a gathering of other industry talents previewing their anticipated restaurants. Chef Johanna Hellrigl (Mercy Me), Tim Ma (Laoban Dumplings), Demetri Mechelis (Martha Dear), and Mathew Ramsey (Cold Beer) will all preview their soon-to-open eateries alongside Emilie’s eats and an open bar. Tickets are $120.

All-you-can-eat tacos at El Cucho
3313 11th St., NW
Close out 2019 with an unbeatable combo: tequila and tacos. The Columbia Heights cantina offers three ways to celebrate. You can pregame at their “endless happy hour” from 4 to 6:30 PM; enjoy a four-course meal with an open bar from 6:45 to 7:45 ($55 per person), or beginning at 10 PM, indulge in all-you-can-eat tacos and a bottomless bar ($59.20 per person).

Family-friendly fun at The Yards
355 Water St., SE
Why not make New Year’s a family affair? Beginning at 10 AM, the Yards’ Noon Yards Eve celebration is free and has something for kids of all ages, from train rides to balloons and glitter tattoo artists. There’s even a balloon drop at noon.

Spend NYE over bottomless tacos at El Chucho. Photograph courtesy of El Chucho
Spend NYE over bottomless tacos at El Chucho. Photograph courtesy of El Chucho

Retro rowdiness at Cafe Citron
1343 Connecticut Av., NW
If you’ve ever wished you could have spent a night at legendary New York club Studio 54, now’s your chance: Cafe Citron is channeling the 1970s hotspot for New Year’s Eve. Cover starts at $35, and just like the original, there will plenty of dancing, including free salsa and bachata lessons, along with a Champagne toast at midnight.

Fondue for all at Stable
1324 H St., NE
Gather friends around the fondue pots of this Swiss restaurant, which is serving both cheese fondue and fondue Chinoise (meat cooked in hot broth). Both come as a prix-fixe option with advanced reservations ($52 to $64), which includes a glass of wine, appetizer, fondue, and dessert. A la carte fondue pots and dishes are also available.

Get glitzy at the Capital Gatsby Gala
1099 14th St., NW
Break out your flapper dresses, homburg hats, and ring in 2020 like it’s the Roaring Twenties. This year’s formal gala is at the Showroom downtown, and Gatsby-themed attire is encouraged. Tickets are $174, and there will be a dessert bar, three DJs, and 1920s-style dancers.

Dance the night away at U Street Music Hall
1115 U St., NW
Mirror Company–made up of four veteran DJs from the District’s dance music scene–will perform a New Year’s Eve show, incorporating a range of styles from disco to soulful house. Be sure to get there early, though: tickets, which are $10 each, will only be sold at the door.

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Nathan Diller
Editorial Fellow

Nathan is an editorial fellow at Washingtonian. Originally from Nashville, he graduated from Columbia Journalism School with a master’s degree in 2019. His work has also appeared in SPIN, NYLON, and Nashville Lifestyles.