Just Say No to Valentine’s Day at These DC Restaurants and Bars

Meet you at the cat cafe?

Franklin Hall is hosting an event where people can pitch their friend's Shark Tank-style to suitors. Photograph by Johnny Grave.

Candlelit dinners? Fire hazard. Glittery cards? Wasting trees. This year, indulge in a Valentine’s Day—or, in the vein of the Parks and Rec ladies, a Galentine’s Day—that has nothing to do with relationship status and everything to do with love—for yourself and for your people.

ABC Pony
2 I St., SE
Recruit your foodie friends for a three-night celebration of Best Friends Day at this Navy Yard Asian/Italian fusion spot. Guest chefs Peter Chang (Thursday, February 13), Bobby Pradachith (Friday, February 14), and Kevin Tien (Saturday, February 15) will each take over ABC Pony’s kitchen for one night of culinary experimentation.

Bar Deco
717 Sixth St., NW
Toast to the Lonely Hearts Club with discounted drinks at this rooftop bar. $15 bottles of champagne, $5 martinis and $3 Labatt Blue Lights will be offered all day on Friday.

Brookland’s Finest 
3126 12th St., NE
On Friday, this Brookland hangout will hold a “Salty + Bitter” happy hour  4 PM to 2:30 AM. Discounted offerings include Brussels-sprout chips with sea salt; boiled salt-brined peanuts; and a selection of bitter IPAs.

Cotton & Reed 
1330 5th St., NE
Dance away Valentine’s woes to up-tempo beats of Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins at this fourth annual Punch Crunk Love party. On Friday from 6 PM to 2 AM, DC’s rum distillery will serve rum punch specials.

Crumbs & Whiskers 
3211 O St., NW
Cuddle with more than 20 furry friends at this cat cafe’s Galentine’s Day party, starting at 7 PM on Thursday. The feline-focused destination—one of many in the DMV—helps kitties socialize and encourages adoptions for cats without a home. Tickets come with a surprise “sweet treat” and complimentary café beverage.

705 6th St., NW
On Friday, couples—or a couple of friends—can eat a $60-per-person, 5-course tasting menu including cacio e pepe with udon noodles, beef kushiyaki with Koji aged tenderloin and Bananas Foster with Japanese whiskey and black sesame ice cream.

Franklin Hall 
1348 Florida Ave., NW
Dying to set someone up? This Columbia Heights beer hall is bringing back its popular Shark Tank-like dating event from 7 to 10 PM Friday. People “apply” to prepare a three-minute PowerPoint presentation about a single friend’s date-worthy qualities, then take part in a Q&A session. If public speaking isn’t your thing, you can watch a drag performance by KC B. Yoncé and down cocktails with names like “Be Mine…Except If Your Texts Are Green.”

805 V St., NW
Indulge in Valentine’s-themed cocktails from $10 to $12 (with names like “IDGAF” and “Shout Out to My Ex”) and small bites including a charred chicken heart yakitori from $3 to $10 at this Shaw ramen shop, Friday through Sunday.

The Line DC
1770 Euclid St., NW
If you’d rather spend an evening with Andy Warhol than Nora Ephron, look no further than the fourth annual Heartbreaker’s Ball, presented by contemporary art organization Transformer. Mingle with art-lovers, sip free bubbly, and peruse works from DMV artists from 7 PM to 11 PM on Friday.

Po Boy Jim
1934 Ninth St., NW
This Cajun spot is hosting a special edition of its midnight brunch on Friday from 8 PM to 3 AM. Seating is first come, first serve.

Port City Brewing Company
3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria
Here’s a place to dish about all your cautionary dating tales: “Love is Hell,” a horror-themed event at Port City Brewing Company by Funland Productions on Thursday and Friday from 7 PM to 10 PM. Each ticket includes a pint of beer, terror-inspired games, and the chance to ask advice of “demonic Cupid.

The Royal 
501 Florida Ave., NW
On Monday, February 10 from 8 PM to 1 AM, drown any sorrows in $8 cocktails from guest bartender Grady Meier. The LeDroit Park cafe’s “Break-up Bar” features drinks such as “Punch, Drunk, Love,” with Appleton rum and mango, passionfruit, and lime; or “Til Daq Do Us Part” with pineapple-infused rum and Mezcal.

1332 F St., NW
On Friday, February 14, this Penn Quarter ping pong club will host a “Love Pong” party from 9 PM to 1 AM. There will be a DJ, love-themed cocktails, a tarot card reader, a wedding chapel with a “faux officiant,” a glitter station and, of course, ping pong.

2121 P St., NW
Make like Leslie Knope and go all out for Galentine’s Day at this Dupont Circle Italian spot on Thursday. From 5 to 10 PM, there will be female-themed cocktails and playlists. Diners can order a $10 pizza and Prosecco combo, and those who register in advance will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling rosé. 

W Hotel 
515 15th St., NW
Dance Friday night away at Heartbreak Hotel, a party at the newly renovated rooftop bar POV. It’s $45 a ticket, and there will be limited open bar starting at 11 PM.

Nora McGreevy
Editorial Fellow

Nora McGreevy joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in January. Originally from South Bend, she has worked for The Boston Globe and the South Bend Tribune. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame.