Top Hidden Cocktail Bars, Speakeasies and Secret Lounges in Washington DC

Forget dive bars: modern eateries and hidden lounges have been stepping up their game, preparing the best cocktails in town that highlight unique spirits, fresh herbs, and handcrafted syrups and tinctures. Whether you want to splurge on futuristic cocktails, or indulge in a frozen treat, Washington has an array of outstanding cocktails bars to satisfy your needs.

Check out these top craft cocktails shops that are revolutionizing the drinking experience in DC.

If you have a friend who is a happy hour fanatic, why not treat them with an electronic GiftYa gift card to their favorite cocktails bars in town? These cards are easy to load onto their debit card and are customizable based on what you like. The best part is that you can add a personal message before sending the card to make the experience even better!

Archipelago

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1201 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 archipelagobardc.com

Island-themed spot to grab dramatic rum-based cocktails and snacks!

Setting itself apart from similar joints in Washington, Archipelago not only offers incredible cocktails available on tap, but also a table-side service where professional mixologists create a made-to-measure cocktail based on your personal tastes.

It’s one of the first adopters of the modern tiki revival. The chic space is still tacky enough with attractive décor, classic tiki glassware, and of course creative cocktail selections that add to the flair. Enjoy classics like frozen Pina Colada and Mai Tai alongside more futuristic options such as the Truck Bed Funeral, a combination of navy-strength ram, grapefruit, mezcal, peach cordial, and cinnamon. Captain Cody with some aged rum, pineapple, coconut, and oranges is also a great option to try.

Apart from signature drinks, this popular spot also features a food menu with interesting options such as egg rolls, hot chicken steam buns, and specials such as red braised pork belly with pumpkin, scallion, and hints of ginger. They are a perfect selection to pair with your favorite drink!

Astoria

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1521 17th St NW Washington, DC 20036 astoriadc.com

A modern cocktail shop with an extensive menu of creative drinks and food options!

If you’re in the mood to try something different this time, consider going to Astoria. This hidden bar offers an ever-changing menu of different signature cocktails, so you don’t have to worry about drinking the same drink several times – unless it’s a newly-found favorite!

Order classic such as the Bourbon Smash, a traditional smash made with mint only with gin, vodka, golden delicious, boulevard smash, or rye grin, or the popular Caipirinha that comes with from a line of limey drinks such as gimlet, daiquiri, margaritas, and mojitos. It can be served with pebble ice or cracked ice.

Regulars also rave about the Painkiller, a tropical drink created instead of the Pina Colada with some OJ and aged rum, served over some grated cinnamon and crushed ice. They also serve some featured cocktails such as Remus, Clyde Barrow, Blended Pearl Dive, Frank Hamer, and more. Bartenders are also willing to work with you on something new to fit whatever mood strikes you.

If you feel hungry, make sure you grab something from the large dishes menu or even order small sharable dishes. Whatever you’re in the mood for!

Bar Charley

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1825 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 barcharley.com

A cellar gathering spot offering classic brunch, happy hour drinks, and steak deals!

Immediately you enter Bar Charley, you’ll feel like you’re being taken to another world. This neighborhood bar has some vibrant vibes and a cool atmosphere. Perhaps it’s because of the carefully hand-crafted cocktails available on the ever-changing menu, or even the cool music that leaves you feeling entertained as you sip on your favorite drink!

You will be glad to know the menu is packed with signature cocktails such as the Rum Runner on tap with banana liquor, pineapple, crème de mure, and grenadine, or the Holy Shishito infused with tequila, yuzu, agave, and lime. Other options such as the South African cocktail will surely keep you refreshed while you enjoy the cool music.

They also serve brunch dishes and cocktails too. Order the American breakfast that comes with two eggs cooked any style, crispy potato cake, and bacon, then choose a brunch cocktail, either a tropical cocktail like the frozen Pilates with Ashton or a classic cocktail like the old fashioned bourbon with sugar, orange peel, and old fashioned bitters.

Apart from classy cocktails, this popular bar also offers signature wines and craft beers including national and domestic brands.

Bathtub Gin & Co.

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2205 2nd Ave #310, Seattle, WA 9812 bathtubginseattle.com

Enjoy prohibition-era cocktails and international gin selection in this chic spot!

Located in downtown Seattle, is a small speakeasy bar that is ideal for an all-day hangout to enjoy some classic drinks and mouthwatering dishes. This former hotel boiler room that opened in 2009, features an eclectic international drinks menu with specialty Prohibition-themed cocktails and old-time-gin and tonics.

When you come here, you will be greeted by an earthly tone, and bricks that take you back in time, and you can sip your favorite drink during Happy Hour every night. Enjoy options such as the Great Arrival, a combination of light rum, lemon juice, Cocchi di Torino, bordiga apertivo, and celery bitters, or the Death Star with bourbon, lemon juice, fig and maple syrup. The Bang Your Drum is also a popular drink here and it’s a combination of coconut liqueur, Scottish whiskey, and angostura bitters.

In addition to draft cocktails, Bathtub Gin also serves creative wines, gins, and draft beers. Whatever you decide to have will be served and we are sure you will like it!

Barmini

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501 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 minibarbyjoseandres.com

Swanky craft-cocktail bar serving an innovative menu of drinks and dishes in a white-on-white setting!

Described as one of Time’s “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is among the world’s popular culinary trendsetters, and his magic in food doesn’t stop in the kitchen. Barmini is José Andrés' unique cocktail lab adjacent to the minibar restaurant next door that celebrates classic cocktails plus distinctly modern creations.

The cocktail lab features an extensive menu with over 100 different classic and experimental cocktails. What is really fun when you come here is watching bartenders use advanced technology and general skills to craft signature drinks right inform of you. Some arrive still smoking while others change color. It’s up to decide what you want.

Try popular options such as the Clover Club cocktail with gin, eggs, and raspberries, the Twentieth Century cocktail with gin, Lillet blanc, and crème de cacao, or the Del Carmen cocktail with some tequila, carpano, bittermens, and orange blossom. That’s not all, they also have margaritas, wine options, and beer by bottle and drafts. The list is long!

Morris American Bar

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1020 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 morrisbardc.com

Laid-back bar with a pastel-pretty environment serving artisanal cocktails, and other classic drinks!

For a lively night out, you can never go wrong with Morris American Bar. They take their cocktails seriously and experts bartenders handcraft every drink based on your taste. It has a lively atmosphere with the bold marquee that transports you to the bright interior featuring excellent lighting and pastel blues finishing.

The menu here changes seasonally and you can enjoy winter cocktails such as the Fuji Winter allspice with bonded bourbon, ginger, and apple, the Grand Oaxacan, a combination of bitter liqueur, banana liqueur, mezcal, and rosewater, or the Restorative Fix with vodka, mint, pomegranate, lemon, and black walnut.

If you don’t like too much alcohol, they serve low ABV options such as the Strawberry Kitty, and spirit-free options such as Flora and Fauna, Savoy Maind, and Money Honey with lemon, seedlip spice, and honey.

The Passenger

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1539 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 passengerdc.com

Custom cocktail shop in a rustic-chic dig serving cocktails on the tap!

If you have a hard time deciding whether to have a vodka soda or a mezcal negroni, then you should make your way to The Passenger. The minute you come to this relaxed bar, you will be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere and peruse a chalkboard menu with specialty cocktails including the Chartreuse on tap.

Sample unique options such as the Passenger combo, a combination of panga pils and shot of rye, the long list of draft beers, and can beers. They also serve late-night eats such as cheese tequeno and beef empanada that pair well with your drink of choice.

Whether you stay for a couple of drinks, or just one, ensure you come a little early so that you can grab a seat in this popular spot.

Nothing beats going for a night out in one of the most popular bars especially when you’re in the mood for some classy cocktails! Washington has some unique speakeasies where you can drink the night away and even grab something to eat. Which cocktails joints on this list are your go-to options for drinking and enjoying live music? Let us know in the comments!

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