Have you consulted our NYE parties, restaurants and shows guide? Didn’t find anything up your alley? Would you rather ring in 2016 drinking a beer because you’re in a bar and not because you feel the need to celebrate? We understand.
If for some reason you haven’t been to one of these places, we’ve included positive words we’ve written about them in our Least Douchey, Best Bars Without TVs and Where To Watch The Super Bowl features.
From Best Bars Without TVs: If you want to hang out in Shaw and near our office, head to A&D. We included A&D in our Least Douchey Bars In D.C. 2013 edition because it’s relaxing, calm and fancy but not too fancy. It’s a good place to drink and act like a non-sports fan adult.
From Best Bars Without TVs: All Souls bills itself as a ‘corner bar.’ Technically, that’s true. It’s on a corner and it is a bar. It is not a corner bar. It’s a dark cocktail bar ideal for conversations with one other person. If you’re looking for a pleasant Sunday evening date spot, this is for you.
American Ice Company
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2012: American Ice Company can get fairly out of control and unmanageable on weekends when crowds rush inside, but what place on a weekend that’s worth it isn’t going to be loaded?
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: In both 2012 and 2013 we got comment flack for not including the Argonaut. We know, we know. You DO deserve to be here.
From Least Douchey Bars To Watch The Super Bowl: I watched the end of a Chicago Bears game at Bar Pilar. It felt like watching a Chicago Bears game in an overseas bar. A handful of fans scattered throughout the bar were paying attention and the rest of the people were enjoying their drinks. If you’re not betting on the game and are part of a couple, this 14th Street bar will make you feel informed and comfortable.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: Bedrock Billiards in Adams Morgan sounds like it would be horrible. The location screams douche, the idea of a pool hall bar sounds douchey and, once again, Adams Morgan. But it’s not. Maybe it’s because it’s in a basement it doesn’t attract the kind of clientele that frequents most Adams Morgan rooftops. Maybe it’s the lack of windows and ample space. But Rocket has no windows and ample space and it’s a very douchey bar. Location matters. For some reason, this location works.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2013: The food at Beuchert’s is DELICIOUS (check out our day at the farm we spent with their team) but the front part is one of DC’s best bars to simply hang out at. Both a relatively new kid on the block AND the oldest one, it is a restoration of the original Beuchert’s which after 1880 became a Prohibition-era speakeasy fronted with the pretense of a gramaphone and sewing shoppe. Over time, the space petered out, and fell into a state of disrepair. Now, strong, delicious, seasonal, no-nonsense drinks and food are served to you in a setting that both evokes the original, and still feel thoroughly modern. And the two the humongous taxidermy buffalo heads (fondly names Mike and Ike) hovering over you? They’re simply there to keep the douchebaggery away, naturally.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Brookland is becoming hipper and hipper. There are new bars and restaurants popping up on 12th street all the time. Sometimes that’s a bad thing. Since this slow, but steady, gentrification has begun, the neighborhood has lost local establishments like Brookland Cafe (RIP), Little Rickey’s, and Optimism Bar. It has also gained a Busboys and Poets. The upside to all of this change is, of course, Brookland’s Finest. It is hands down one of the best places to get cocktails and food in the neighborhood. Their draft cocktail is always out of this world (so is their cocktail list, but seriously, go for what they have on draft). I would eat the blackened chicken club everyday for the rest of my life if it would not kill me. But, more than that, Brookland’s Finest has a very inviting atmosphere. During the day they’re filled with families and at night, it’s clear that the bar is packed with locals. I have ended many a drunken night (maybe even too many…) at Brookland’s Finest and I have not once regretted it. That’s true love right there.
Dew Drop Inn
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: The Dew Drop Inn manages to do what most bars cannot, it is never (and I mean never) too crowded. There is always a great balance between having enough people to make friends and being able to comfortably and without hassle find a seat at the bar and chat. Unlike many of the new bars opening in Brookland / Edgewood, Dew Drop is not trying to be fancy in any way. It’s just a good bar. It is succeeding.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: 17th street has always been a great place to hide from 18th (and now 14th street) and do some low key drinks. Now that Duke’s is here, there’s no reason to not make it one of your primary destinations too. The ground floor bar gets busy, but maintains a neighborhood-y vibe at all times. The sandwiches are some of the most intense in town. The bar snacks are good enough for a full meal. The staff is both nice and not overbearing. The beer list is good, the bottles of wine are half off on Mondays, and NO ONE is ever rushing you.
Ivy and Coney
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2014: If you think Chicago and Detroit neighborhood bars are douchey, this is the douchiest bar in D.C. If you think no frills neighborhood bars with cheap beer (Old Style), medium priced beer (Goose Island) and hot dogs (Chicago and Coney style) are the opposite of douche, we agree.
Lost & Found
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Lost & Found is keeping things pretty real with a bar that is long (long bars help the non-douchiness factor in popular neighborhoods because they spread the human factor out), a solid 24-beers-on-tap-but-we’re-not-going-to-call-ourselves-a-craft-beer-bar energy, PLENTY of whiskey on tastefully fluorescently lit shelves and a three hour long happy hour. Go in, get lost.
From Best Bars Without TVs: When compiling these lists the first thought is to include Red Derby. The no frills, low key bar does have a TV. Yelp says it does not. It does. It’s in the back room. Lyman’s, next door to Red Derby, does not have a television. It does have pinball machines and a great jukebox and free popcorn.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2012: What MARX Cafe is good for? Amazing, unpretentious quality beer happy hours. Great, off-kilter DJ night during which people sometimes dance wildly (OUTLAWS) or just nod their heads knowingly (We Fought The Big One, etc), super friendly fellow patrons who seem to show up to any of said DJ nights “just to check them out” and that one bartender that never makes you feel like you’re better than the rest of us. You want more than that in bar? Well, kid, you’re in a wrong city.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: Nestled in the nook next to a drycleaners (and in the former Veritas location) McClellans is a dark (but friendly), cocktail driven (but not pretentious) operation that doesn’t try to do anything aside from simply be itself. And being itself is the #1 bar on this list we’d recommend you take a first date. The impression you’ll leave is: I am not douchey. This was an equal gender opportunity note, BTW.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2013: The only dive bar on H Street that’s a real dive bar but not scary or super expensive. There’s a good view of H in one booth and that’s about it for perks. The bartenders are nice, the owners are nice and the clientele is nice. The Pug is nice.
The Raven Grill
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2013: A dark, old, cash only space that’s able to feel unlike any other bar in DC, which is a very good thing. If you don’t like the person you’re with, you’re out of luck. Raven is one of those old timey bars that doesn’t feature a TV every 5 feet or loud music. At the Raven, you have to talk to the other people at The Raven. No specialty cocktails or an extensive beer list, just the basics and the company you keep.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: We’ve never had a bad time sitting at the bar, drinking whatever the bartender is recommending (we’ve had good luck with the French farmhouse and porter), eating fries and complaining that the Brussels sprouts are currently out of season.
From Best Bars Without TVs: If you’re in the mood for red and white, go to 11th. The home of wine and drinking and fire and patios and adult conversation, Room 11 caters to people that like to converse instead of pound things.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: This summers 2015 addition to LeDroit Park is part coffee shop and breakfast spot and part bar and dinner destination. It’s the kind of place you want to go on a date, not hang out with douchebags. The area isn’t surrounded by douchebags so there’s no reason The Royal should be overrun with bad people anytime soon. Sit at the bar, enjoy a cocktail made from shaved ice and come back the next morning for an espresso.
From Best Bars Without TVs: If you need a classic bar, go to The Saloon. When we compiled our first Least Douchey Bars In D.C. feature The Saloon made the list. When I asked Facebook what bars I should in this roundup, The Saloon had the most votes. When I visited D.C. for the first time and I wanted a ‘real’ bar, I went to The Saloon. This U Street tavern features beer and wooden tables and that’s about it. It shouldn’t be there and thank god it is.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2015: There’s not enough love for SE, especially when it comes to good, no frills bars. Go for the greasy food (100% not making fun of this, it suits the place) and stay for the three beers on draft. Don’t like it? You don’t like no frills bars. There are a lot of frills nearly everyone else on the Hill.
From The Least Douchey Bars in D.C. 2012: If someone wrote a bio of The Tune Inn the words “quintessential” and “classic neighborhood” would be used. Even now, after the renovation and the lifetime achievement Rammy, it is still exactly what it set out to be when it first started: a quintessential, classic, neighborhood Capitol Hill bar. Plus, for real-the grilled cheese is among the best in town.