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Top 7 Oldest Bars in Washington DC

Embark on a historic journey through time as we explore the oldest bars that have withstood the test of time in the captivating city of Washington DC.

Old Ebbitt Grill showing Washington DC oldest bars

These legendary establishments hold tales of bygone eras, preserving the rich heritage and charm of the nation’s capital.

Join us as we delve into the hallowed walls of the oldest bars in Washington DC, where you can raise a glass and toast to the enduring legacy of these iconic institutions.

Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 347-4800
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Located just a stone’s throw away from The White House, Old Ebbitt Grill has been a DC staple since 1856.

The bar has a rich history, having hosted presidents and popular politicians.

Despite its upscale atmosphere, the Ebbitt Grill is a casual place where locals and tourists come to unwind and enjoy drinks.

So, you should expect longer wait times for a table.

However, you can often avoid the long queues by slipping into one of Ebbitt’s four bars to enjoy a cocktail.

They offer an extensive selection of wines and cocktails.

Round Robin Bar

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 628-9100
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If you don’t know where to get drinks in Washington DC, the Round Robin Bar at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is a classic spot.

Situated just blocks from the White House and the National Mall, the bar has served drinks to presidents and political power players since 1847.

The vibe here is upscale, with leather banquettes, dark wood accents, and a well-dressed clientele.

The Round Robin is known for its specialty cocktails, including the classic Mint Julep, and a rotating selection of craft beers on tap.

The place celebrates its 200+ years of history with a “History Happy Hour” once every month.

Off the Record

800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 638-6600
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Located in the basement of the Hay-Adams Hotel, Off the Record is a classy bar with a unique vibe.

It’s upscale, intimate, and cozy, perfect for a date or nightcap after a business meeting.

Their drinks are not cheap (starting from $20), but they’re unique and well worth the money.

So, if you’re feeling adventurous, ask them to whip up something special just for you.

My favorite pick is the irresistible “Slip of the Tongue,” comprising of basil, cucumber, lime, pineapple, and Grey Goose Vodka, or a “Trumpy Sour” (made with honey, thyme, lemon juice, and Filibuster Whiskey).

Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

331 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 543-2725
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The Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar has served locals and visitors since 1947.

It is located on Capitol Hill, just a few blocks from the US Capitol building and the Library of Congress.

The vibe here is casual and divey, with a friendly staff and a jukebox that plays everything from classic rock to country.

They serve a great selection of beer on tap and in bottles.

Their specialty drink is the “Tunetini,” a delicious mix of vodka and orange juice.

Make sure to try their famous burgers served all day.

Martin’s Tavern

1264 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 333-7370
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If you’re looking for fun places to go out and enjoy an old-school charm, look no further than Martin’s Tavern.

This historic establishment has been a fixture in Georgetown since 1933.

The vibe here is laid-back and casual but with a touch of upscale elegance.

You’ll find a great selection of wine and spirits, including some specialty cocktails.

I highly recommend trying their trendy champagne cocktail (wild hibiscus flower and champagne).

It’s the best I’ve ever had. It’s also a great place to people-watch, as you never know who you might run into.

The Tombs

1226 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 337-6668
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The Tombs is located in Georgetown, right next to Georgetown University.

It’s a classic college bar with a laid-back vibe and casual atmosphere.

The spot has been a popular chill spot for intellectuals for decades.

They serve a range of beers and cocktails, but their specialty is their vast whiskey selection.

My favorite pick is the Apple Pie Old Fashioned. It’s a strong drink but perfectly balanced and delicious.

Expect all the comforts of an elegant college bar, such as multiple options during happy hour (including $3 craft beers) and a long and cheap late-night menu.

The Dubliner Restaurant

4 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 737-3773
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The Dubliner Restaurant is located in the heart of Capitol Hill, just a stone’s throw away from the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court.

Its traditional Irish pub vibes make it one of the best places to go out for after-work drinks or a cozy dinner.

The atmosphere is laid-back but with lively energy.

They offer a great selection of draft beers and an extensive whiskey list, including Irish, Scotch, and American brands.

Don’t miss out on their delicious dishes, including fish and chips.

Final Thoughts

Every city in the United States has its own history, and these oldest bars in Washington DC are a testament to that.

Each bar has a unique story and charm, from the historic Old Ebbitt Grill to the charming Dubliner Restaurant.

They’re a great way to experience DC’s history and culture firsthand.

So, grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy the atmosphere of these beloved establishments.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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