16 Great Happy Hours for Cocktail Fans

Saving money and enjoying a well-made drink? Win-win.

Rum cocktails at Colada Shop. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Happy hour can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it can be as simple as ducking into the closest place with the cheapest booze. But what if you want to aim higher than a $4 PBR? These bars and restaurants are our go-tos when we want a great cocktail and a great deal.

Bar Charley 
1825 18th St., NW
A wide spectrum of spirits and classic cocktails are available at this Dupont bar/restaurant during happy hour. Grab a daiquiri, Tom Collins, sazerac, or mule for $7.95 each. The deal runs all night on Monday; from 5 to 6:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday; and from 4 to 5:30 PM Friday through Sunday.  

Bar Ivy 
3033 Wilson Blvd. Arlington
Head to this Clarendon newcomer for sherry flights ($10), wine ($9 a glass), and lots of creative snacks. Not your thing? You can also pick up a Miller High Life for $3. Happy hour runs daily from 4 to 6 PM. 

Sherry flights are served during Bar Ivy’s Happy Hour. Photograph courtesy of Julep PR.

Café Riggs
900 F St., NW
Banker’s hour–which runs from Sunday to Thursday from 3 to 6 PM–at this swank Penn Quarter Hotel includes $6 beers, $14 seasonal drinks, and a bevy of posh small bites. Get six oysters, cucumbers and caviar, or mussels for $15. On Monday, stop in for martini specials and flights from 4 to 10 PM. 

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
This Penn Quarter French/American bistro from the late Michel Richard serves up a selection of wine and cocktails priced at $9, along with draft beers for $8. It also deals out specials on cheese boards, mini-burgers, and pâté. Happy hour runs from 3:30 to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday.

Colada Shop
Multiple area locations
Stop into one of these Cuban cafes for $11 cocktail pouches, $5 beers, and $8 glasses of wine during happy hour. Bonus: $2.25 empanadas. Happy hour runs from  3 to 6 PM Monday through Friday.    

The bar at Dauphine’s. Photograph by Jennifer Chase.

1100 15th St., NW
The New Orleans-inspired Downtown restaurant offers Southern snacks and $9 glasses of wines and cocktails. Knock back a glass of Cava or a Pimm’s Cup while munching on deviled eggs, dressed oysters, and catfish po’boys. Happy hour at is available at the outside bar from 4 to 6 PM Monday through Saturday, and at the pretty inside bar from 3 to 6 PM daily.  

El Chucho 
3313 11th St., NW
This Columbia Heights Mexican joint’s happy hour features $5 draft margaritas and tacos for $2 to $2.75. Visitors can also down $4 bottle beers and “pops” of mezcal for $5.50. Happy Hour runs 4 to 6 PM Monday through Friday.

3221 Mt. Pleasant St., NW
This simple “un” happy hour sells a rotating selection of discounted drinks and snacks from 5:30 to 6:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Look for $10 cocktails and glasses of wine. The menu changes, but here’s the latest

1541 14th St., NW
Eight dollar drinks are the name of the game during the Bar Bacari happy hour at this 14th Street pizza spot. Sip on multiple variations on the spritz and negroni while munching on prosciutto, $4 olives, and more. Happy hour runs from 5 to 6 PM Tuesday to Friday and 4 to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday.

The Green Zone
2226 18th St., NW
This Middle Eastern cocktail bar in Adams Morgan has a late-night happy hour that serves up $10 daiquiris, Manhattans, margaritas, and other classics from 10:30 PM to close. But that’s not the only time to get deals. Get a dollar off all cocktails from 5 to 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday and all day on Sunday.

The Imperial in Adams Morgan. Photograph by Rey Lopez.


The Imperial
2001 18th St., NW
This Adams Morgan restaurant from the folks behind Jack Rose serves up $11 espresso martinis and daiquiris (among other drinks), $12 shrimp cocktail, $2 oysters, and more during happy hour, which runs from 5 to 7:30 PM Wednesday through Friday.

Mi Vida 
98 District Square., SW; 1901 14th St., NW
This Wharf Mexican dining room and its 14th Street spinoff offer a handful of drinks such as $8 frozen mango margaritas, plus $35 pitchers. Happy hour at the Wharf is from 3 to 6 PM Monday through Friday; at 14th Street it’s an all-day affair, from 11:30 AM to 6 PM. 

The bar at Pearl Dive. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Pearl Dive 
1612 14th St., NW
Five dollar martinis that come with plenty of oyster specials? That’s all we need to hear. If martinis aren’t your thing, the 14th Street Southern spot also offers an old fashioned, glass of wine, or beer for the same price. Its happy hour is Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 PM.

Service Bar
926 U St., SW
U Street’s award-winning institution from Glendon Hartley and Chad Spangler sells a $7 old fashioneds, pisco punches, and daiquiris on weekday evenings from 5 to 7 PM. Or, skip the cocktails and go for a Miller High Life and shot for the same price. 

The Thirsty Crow. Photograph by Peggy Cormary.

Thirsty Crow 
3400 11th St., NW 
This downstairs companion bar to Columbia Heights Malaysian destination Makan already serves well-priced drinks throughout the night, but during happy hour, reach for a beer and a shot of whiskey or tequila for $8 or a Sanya Sunset (rum, lime, grapefruit, and soda) for $9. Pair them with Northern Thai sausages and Chinese pork jerky. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 PM.

Tiki TNT
1130 Maine Ave., SW
Find tasty rum drinks and great prices on beer during the week at this Wharf tiki bar/rum distillery. From 3 to 6 PM Monday through Friday, go for $10 Mai Thais and passionfruit daiquiris, plus $25 pitchers of rum punch. Bites include spring rolls, shrimp dumpling, and a flatbread of the week. 

Peter Njoroge
Editorial Fellow