There are many reasons why you should come to Washington, DC, and even though going out for a night of fun might not be one of them, The Big Apple has a lot to offer in its nooks and crannies regarding nightlife. Everything sounds better with music, whether doing the dishes or having fun with friends. Below is a list of my favorite live music bars in Washington, DC, and some reasons you should try them next time you have the chance.
740 Water St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Union Stage has played host to several musicians and bands, from key players to up-and-coming artists. I visited Union Stage for a sold-out concert and fell in love with the concert-going atmosphere in and out of the bar. Union Stage bar is a trendy intimate bar that serves an exceptional assortment of wines, craft beers, and cocktails and boasts a delectable menu prepared by world-renowned chefs. Union Stage should be at the top of the list when considering fun places to get drinks. It helps that it’s close to major landmarks such as the Anacostia River, Riverfront Park, and several museums within walking distance.
600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 787-1000
There are hundreds of reasons to go down to the Penn Quarter neighborhood. A trip to Lafayette Square is complete with visiting the Hamilton Live Bar. Additionally, you might associate Hamilton Live with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The bar is a culinary tribute to the chef and owner, Tony Stafford. The Hamilton Live is perfect for those seeking a sophisticated night out and those willing to enjoy the vast array of local DC genres. If you like your craft beers, you will love this place as it has an assortment of local and regional beers and other drinks.
1518 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 319-9350
Jojo Restaurant and Bar is a delightful place in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. It is located close to several galleries and embassies and is close to the iconic Dupont Circle Park. The bar is an upscale and laid-back restaurant that works well for a fancy date (the reason I went there first) or a night with friends. Jojo’s specialty is in the cocktail department, and you are bound to be treated to a palatable experience (whether you are in the mood for gin or whiskey).
33 Pearl St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 380-9620
Pearl Street Warehouse lies in the Historic neighborhood of The Wharf. If you’re new to DC, you might hear people talking about the fish market or the Potomac River (perfect for promenading). You should check out the Pearl Street Warehouse when thinking about where to get a drink after tiresome shopping. It is a casual and laid-back bar that has gathered a cult following over the years due to national and regional artists’ exceptional display of talent. You are bound to enjoy the rotating selection of craft beers and a wide selection of cocktails.
2461 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 667-5370
Madam’s Organ is an iconic and eclectic bar in the Adam Morgans neighborhood known for its lively and unpretentious atmosphere. Madam’s Organ is the perfect place to visit when thinking of fun places to go out. From the eye-catching exterior adorned with murals to the funky interior decor, revelers are greeted with an upbeat atmosphere. I enjoyed the selection of stouts and lagers, and my friends swear by the cocktails prepared in-house (both the signature and old-fashioned cocktails).
1940 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 483-5000
I have been to the Lincoln Theater more times than I can count, and on most occasions, I usually visit the DC9 Nightclub in the U Street corridor, one of the best late-night bars in Washington, DC. It is also close to the African American Civil War Museum and has a distinctly energetic aura. The drinks selection consists of impressive collections of cocktails and beers.
620 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 803-2899
Located on the cross streets of T Street and 7th Street NW, The Howard Theater is more than just an answer to where to get a drink. It is a landmark surrounded by the “black broadway” and other important attractions of the U Street Corridor. It is an upscale bar, the recent beneficiary of a renovation, and features a laid-back atmosphere. The well-stocked bar has several beers, signature cocktails, spirits, and top-of-the-shelf selections of beverages of all kinds. In addition to world-class performance, visiting patrons are treated to excellent food at the in-house restaurant.
901 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 888-0020
Some of the best late-night bars in Washington, DC, are found along the Potomac River, and The Anthem is one among them. The Anthem is close to the Anacostia River trail and is famous for its concerts, gatherings, and comedy shows. I enjoy the bar’s laidback atmosphere, often balanced with an energetic atmosphere. You can enjoy everything from a glass of wine to craft cocktails and even specialty beers in the drinks section.
815 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 265-0930
Centrally located on the corner of the U Street Corridor, the 9:30 Club is popular with tourists and locals, and I particularly appreciate how easy it is to access the bar. It is known as a premier location for live music and attracts an energetic crowd of concertgoers and musicians while maintaining a laid-back atmosphere. It is the perfect destination for beer lovers but is also known for its excellent selection of wines, spirits, and cocktails.
1073 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 337-4141
It is only fitting that my favorite Jazz club makes it to the list of the best late-night bars in Washington, DC. Located in Georgetown, the Blues Alley Club is close to the Potomac River and the Waterfront Park. The club has an intimate and cozy experience (as expected of a jazz club), allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the music entirely. A team of passionate music enthusiasts owns it and has an exciting selection of beers and spirits for every connoisseur.
540 Penn St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 544-5500
Another bar to grace this list hails from the iconic Adams Morgan neighborhood close to Meridian Hill Park and the famous Philip’s Collection. The Songbyrd Music House has a casual, laid-back, trendy vibe that is perfect for an intimate setting for an evening of live music. I can vouch for their excellent curated wine list and specialty spirits, but additional draft beer and cocktail options exist.