Looking for a true hidden gem to relax, and experience the authentic side of Washington, DC?
Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll uncover the unpretentious havens where locals gather for good drinks and lively conversations.
From dimly lit corners to jukeboxes playing the classics, these establishments exude a charm that’s hard to resist.
So grab a cold one and join us as we embark on a journey through the top dive bars in Washington, DC.
1537 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 670-9489
If you’re hoping to find an eclectic yet cozy and bright space with a dive bar feel, look no further than Ivy and Coney, located in Shaw near Howard University.
I love going to Ivy and Coney.
It’s one of the most fun places to get drinks due to its relaxing rooftop area, sports bar vibe indoors, and delicious pizza and coney dogs.
Although the drink selection is superb, I’ve decided to mainly go for the pizza because it’s so darn tasty!
But in terms of drinks, you can’t go wrong with their everlasting supply of Malort.
3718 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Phone: (202) 291-5000
Red Derby is a trendy bar that caters to a lively, hip, young professional crowd who want to relax and have a good time.
It’s located near Piney Branch Park, and the rooftop deck provides excellent vibes and an eclectic, diverse feel.
I’ve been there at many different times of the day, but I especially love going to Red Derby for brunch cause I find that it’s the liveliest.
Plus, they make a mean Bloody Mary that I simply can’t resist!
113 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Showtime Lounge, in Bloomingdale near Crispus Attucks Park, is a brick-lined, cozy, casual bar with murals of musicians that provide a nostalgic feeling.
The musicians on the walls also inspire people to play music on the jukebox, which creates an interactive and engaging atmosphere.
I love going to this spot when I want to jive to great funk and soul jams while sipping on an Orange Crush and drinking a National Bohemian beer.
Showtime always has an excellent atmosphere, partly due to the room’s high-quality acoustics.
1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 636-0050
The Pug, near Gallaudet University, is one of the most fun places to go out for college students and locals looking for an easygoing, chilled-out environment.
It’s a boxing day-themed bar which is comical to me, as there are eclectic Christmas decorations and lights at every turn, creating a fun and lively vibe.
This cash-only establishment has a great mix of people and is one of the best places to meet new friends – and order rounds of beer and shots!
3125 Mt Pleasant St NW #101, Washington, DC 20010
Phone: (202) 387-8411
If you’re wondering where to get a drink near the Powell Recreation Center that has a dive bar feel, check out Raven Grill, a no-frills local bar that’s one of the oldest since it’s been running since 1935.
I love everything about the Raven Grill, from the cozy vintage booths to the simple yet decorative fairy lights to the jukebox tunes.
It has a bit of a hipster vibe if you’re into that, and you’ll likely find several people drinking Natty-Bo’s and other inexpensive beers.
2315 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 265-0299
Dan’s Cafe, in the AdMo area, is one of the best dive bars in Washington, DC, because you get to become your own bartender!
They’ll give you squeeze bottles filled with booze and mixers so you can get creative and mix your own drinks if you’d like.
I find it very fun to do this when I’m in the mood for it, and it’s a great thing to do on a third or fourth date if you’re looking to have some fun!
It also has an old-school, unfussy vibe I love.
331 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 543-2725
Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar, right by Seward Square, is another easygoing hangout spot filled with casual, friendly folks and cheap beers.
I love going here if I want to hang out with friends and munch on some tasty pub grub, such as fried pickles, mozzarella sticks, and chili cheeseburgers.
It seems like almost everything on the menu is beer-battered, and I can’t complain about that!
It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives for good reasons.
1716 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 298-8488
The Bottom Line, by Farragut Square, is one of my favorite spots to hang out for its funky basement atmosphere and delicious array of both American and Mexican fare.
It’s also an excellent spot for Sunday football games.
I like to go with a decent-sized group of friends and split an array of food and drinks, such as the Bottom Line Nachos, the Taco Platter, and many different draft beers.
If they have the Evolution Exile Red or the Elysian Space Dust on tap, I will go for one of those.
2801 8th St NE, Washington, DC 20017
If you want a relaxed bar with a good but not overwhelming menu, check out The Dew Drop Inn.
I like how they have a good assortment of tasty snacks and sandwiches that they’ve seemed to perfect.
I also appreciate the retro feel that gives it a trendy yet unpretentious vibe, staying aligned with its dive bar atmosphere.
I usually go for trivia on Tuesday nights, and if you’re interested in doing that, go with a good group because it’s quite competitive!