+ Happy Hour

Happy Hour: What Can I Get for You?

A few weeks ago, some of you expressed that the reason you don’t read Happy Hour is because it doesn’t apply to people who don’t make cocktails at home.  This is completely understandable.

I often drink at home because I live in a large building and am friends with several of my neighbors, and it’s much easier to take a bottle of Roederer Champagne up to the roof that it is to coordinate a trip to the bar.  But my favorite spot in D.C. to go for a cocktail, when I’m not imbibing at home, is Rasika in Penn Quarter. 

If you like gin cocktails, this is the spot for you.  The menu is populated with gin drinks of all types and tastes.  However, since yours truly is hopelessly allergic to gin, I stick to either the infused Woodford Reserve or the Pisco Sour.  Yes, a Pisco Sour, at an Indian restaurant, and it’s good.

This is definitely my favorite place to go for cocktails, and it just happens to be within stumbling distance of my home, so that helps.  (Not that a lady should ever stumble home, but you know what I mean.)

What are your favorite places to go for a cocktail in D.C.?  Would you prefer drink PBR at the Tune Inn or sip champagne on the roof at POV?



  1. DB says:

    Firstly, I know you can never please everyone, but I do really enjoy your happy hour posts. I'm always in the market for a new cocktail to try making at home, and so far I've tried several of the ones featured here. (Usually the easier ones though, I'll admit.)

    That being said, I do love a good bar recommendation. With so many bars to choose from, I always find myself defaulting the to same few that I know and love.

    One of my new favorite places for cocktails is District Commons in Foggy Bottom. Their entire bar (beers, wines, liquors, liqueurs) are American-made, which leads to a good many of them being of the small-batch and craft variety. Definitely a good way to try something new!

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  2. Jennifer says:

    Gibson on U/14th. They have some “reservation” requirement, but it actually ends up being really nice because the bar is not loud or packed. It's the perfect place to go when you really want to have a conversation with someone. The drinks also happen to be excellent, more than 2 and you will be stumbling home, but they organize cocktails into sweet, dry, sour, and bitter categories and they are always updating and coming up with new drinks.

    Now I need an excuse to have a deep conversation with someone to go there this weekend

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  3. Abbey says:

    As someone who is about to move to DC this fall, I would LOVE more happy hour posts with bar recommendations! That being said, I'm all for boozing at home. Especially if I luck out and manage to find an apartment with outdoor space. Thanks for the Rasika rec!

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  4. E says:

    Belle, like you I live near Penn Quarter and I enjoy (in no particular order):

    Zola, Poste, or Proof for a nicer sit-down drink with girlfriends or out with another couple.

    Clydes or Hill Country for a more casual/rowdy group of friends.

    Cava on Barracks Row for drinks after work on the Hill (I'm just too old for the staples of Tortilla Coast of Cap Lounge).

    El Centro on 14th street for late night happy hour and tacos (they serve food until 2am!)

    Potenza on 15th street near the White House for a nice drink and even dinner at the bar. Good atmosphere, mix of tourists and locals, and on Thursdays they do a free wine tasting at their wine store. No corkage fee if you buy wine there and bring it to your table!

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  5. Shannon says:

    I'm a fan of Cafe Mozart for drinks after work, the basement of 18th Amendment for a dive bar night, or 701 for a fancy night out.

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  6. Stephanie says:

    I live right on the cusp of the Adams Morgan/U St. Area. My favorite spots are (in no particular order):
    Jack Rose (BEST. PATIO. IN. TOWN. THE END.) Local 16 ($5 cocktails and margherita pizza for happy hour; the French Martini is amazing), Marvin's, Lauriol Plaza (top floor) and District of Pi (they serve my hometown brew, Schlafly!).
    I do, admittedly, have a soft spot for guilty pleasures like The Big Hunt in Dupont and Millie & Al's in Adams Morgan. Sometimes cheap beer and bro-watching is in order; don't judge me.

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  7. Rachel says:

    Rasika is one of my favorite places to eat in the entire city. Their palak chaat is sensational, and normally I stay away from spinach!

    For Penn Quarter/Gallery Place: Drinks at Poste in the summer are especially fun, especially after the sun goes down. America Eats Tavern has amazing drinks with a historical twist, and the bar is not crowded (usually). I'll be sad when/it it leaves. Graffiato has also stepped it up lately, though you have to get there early to grab a seat at the bar.

    My friends love the Smoke & Barrel, where Asylum used to be in Adams Morgan. They have an excellent beer list, pretty tasty bbq, and excellent whiskey. The Jack Rose is also great, but gets overrun by idiots later on in the evening. Well, that pretty much goes for all of AdMo.

    Lately I have been loving Smith Commons on H Street. Great patio and that large window in the front makes for great people watching. I can't speak for their food, but they have excellent cocktails and the wine didn't disappoint either. Oh and the Rock n Roll Hotel opened a roof deck, which is HUGE. Completely different crowd than drinks at Rasika, but a super fun time.

    June 15, 2012/Reply
  8. Tabitha says:

    Well I live in Scotland so can't answer the first part but I love cocktails at home, every Friday night we have cocktail hour – er perhaps two hours and the sofa is but a stumble away – heavenly.

    June 16, 2012/Reply
  9. JJ says:

    Belle I love your blog, but this new redesign seems to have made the actual blog posts smaller and the side bar wider! I liked the layout before as the photos and text were larger and easier to read! Just my 2 cents ­čÖé

    June 16, 2012/Reply
  10. K says:

    I live near H street and tend to go around there for happy hours. My favorites:
    Granville Moore's (just started a new 1/2 price draft happy hour and has food specials)
    Toscana's (great patio, $5 pizzas and half price appetizers)

    In Penn Quarter, I like Jaleo for small groups and Vapiano for large groups.

    I prefer happy hour places that also include a food discount/special. I'm always starving when I get off work and don't want to add alcohol to the mix before I get snacks.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  11. Mary says:

    Tune Inn all the way! lol but seriously, I do love the cocktails at Founding Farmers!

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  12. giggling gourmand says:

    Love Rasika as well. The bar at Central is my other favorite. Great cocktails and always charming service. On the less fancy end can't go wrong at Tunnicliffs in Eastern Market.

    June 20, 2012/Reply