The 23 Essential Washington, D.C., Bars: Fall 2017
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The 23 Essential Washington, D.C., Bars: Fall 2017

Washington, D.C., has long been one of the country's hardest-drinking towns. The politics and traffic can do that to you apparently. But little by little, the District has quietly become a leader for high-end drinking experiences and watering holes of all varieties, including some of the most destination-worthy drinking spots found anywhere in the nation. Consider this your must-do list for the capital city.—Jake Emen

*Bars are listed in alphabetical order.

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1.  All Souls

All Souls, "A Corner Bar," is probably the place that the bartenders from your favorite labor-intensive craft cocktail joint go to…
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2.  Archipelago

The District had been missing a true Tiki hub until Archipelago came along and officially opened in March. The multistory space…
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3.  barmini

barmini is the conjoined cocktail lounge to Jose Andrés' culinary playground minibar, and the libations here receive just as much mad…
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4.  Bourbon Steak

You'd be forgiven if you thought Bourbon Steak was nothing more than a place to see and be seen since it’s…
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5.  China Chilcano

The latest lively addition to Jose Andrés’ portfolio, China Chilcano is a Peruvian joint that showcases the country's different cultural influences…
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6.  Churchkey

Five hundred and fifty five—that's the number of beers in the collection put together by partner and beer director Greg Engert.…
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7.  Columbia Room

The new Columbia Room from Derek Brown is a monument to the cocktail and really to drinking and living well. While…
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8.  Compass Rose

Compass Rose is dedicated to a global array of street food. The bar and restaurant from owner Rose Previte is known…
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9.  Copycat Co.

The chalkboard cocktail menu at Copycat Co. is one of the more captivating ways to showcase a range of house libations.…
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10.  Dram & Grain

Located in the basement of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Dram & Grain is its own operation, offering the speakeasy setting done…
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11.  Espita Mezcaleria

Josh Phillips is one of just a few dozen certified Master Mezcaliers the world over, and beverage director Megan Barnes served…
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12.  The Gibson

The Gibson helped to usher in the speakeasy craze within the District, which thankfully has subsided to some degree, with only…
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13.  Hank's On the Hill

Hank's Oyster Bar has several locations, with Hank's On the Hill appropriately found in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. There's also an…
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14.  Jack Rose Dining Saloon

The largest whiskey portfolio in the country tantalizingly adorns the walls that wrap around the main-level dining room of the multistory…
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15.  La Jambe

Husband-and-wife team Anastasia Mori and Dave Bloom opened La Jambe to feed their passion for French wine and cheese. Having no…
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16.  Masseria

If you thought that Masseria was all about its food, you're wrong. The wine list is extensive and painstakingly curated by…
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17.  Off the Record

Maneuver through the Hay-Adams hotel lobby, down a back staircase and into Off the Record, a swanky lounge and bar replete…
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18.  Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

Petworth Citizen is a laid-back locals-friendly neighborhood joint, serving a section of D.C. that until recently was largely ignored by bargoers…
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19.  PX

Todd Thrasher made speakeasies in the D.C. metro area cool years before the cool kids knew they were cool. Got it?…
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20.  Round Robin

Located in the Willard InterContinental hotel, Round Robin is the oldest bar in the city operated at its original location. As…
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21.  The Royal

The Royal immediately became a neighborhood staple when it opened in the summer of 2015. Located in LeDroit Park, it's between…
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22.  Service Bar

After creating the cocktail programs behind a litany of D.C. bars, Glendon Hartley and Chad Spangler teamed up with partner Chris…
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