by Lauren Sloat - 260 Reviews - 86 List
Perhaps D.C.'s most well-known neighborhood for nightlife, Adams Morgan has an impressive collection of neighborhood dives, DJ-driven bars and live music, making it a one-stop shop for a night out on the town. Though it's a hot spot out-of-towners looking for an epic evening, plenty of locals have their favorite bars here, too--you'll find both types lining the streets after last call, chowing down on the neighborhood's ubiquitous drunk food: Jumbo Slice. Here, a collection of some of our favorite Adams Morgan bars. (Photo by Flickr user Daquella Manera)
Updated: October 23, 2010
A local hot spot for young professionals, Bourbon offers an impressive array of whiskey (more than 200 types), rum and absinthe whether the liquor is served alone, in tasting flights or in a classic cocktail. You'll also find DJs and some dancing at the upstairs bar, depending on the night.
Another local favorite populated by neighborhood regulars, Pharmacy Bar--so named for its pill-and-potion motif--boasts a great jukebox and a low-key vibe unusual to the 18th Street strip. It's a great spot to get away from Adams Morgans' oft insane nightlife scene; view it from a safe distance in the bay window.
Coffeehouse and blogger den by day, Tryst turns down the lights--and sometimes offers up live, music, too--at night, when it becomes more of a bar and lounge (though you'll still catch workaholics tapping away on their laptops). Serious drinkers can order something from the "Day Drinkin' Favorites" menu starting at 10am, while coffee addicts can spike their joe with one of the Coffeehouse Cocktails. Craft cocktails, plus a decent selection of draft and bottled beers, round out the selection.
This blues bar, recognizable by its building-size mural of a red-headed, large-chested woman, is a classic Adams Morgan watering hole. Catch live music every night of the week, as well as open mic nights, "drunkeoke," and bar trivia. Redheads enjoy half-price Rolling Rocks all day, every day.
The Reef gets into the Adams Morgan nightlife spirit with two themed bars. Lush, on the ground floor, is a dark, jungle-like enclave for more relaxed lounging, while the ocean-themed bar sprawling across the second floor--complete with fish tanks lining the booths--is a livelier spot with weekend DJs. For fresh air, patrons overflow onto the third floor roof deck, which offers great views of the streetside mayhem below.
Habana Village, another themed spot, takes you to the heart of Cuba with a great selection of mojitos. Enjoy them at the downstairs bar among murals of Havana and twinkly lights, or hit the dance floor--with or without a salsa lesson--where DJs and live bands turn out tunes on the establishment's second level.
For a bit of class without the pomp of some other establishments, Napoleon is a great bet. You'll feel just as comfortable in a dress and heels as you will in jeans and flats at the basement-level Champagne bar, which boasts shiny gold wallpaper, streamlined black couches and great weekend DJs.
For craft beer, look no further than The Black Squirrel. The bar boasts more than 85 types of beer, specializing in "hop monsters" and "anything really, really strong." If the draft beer list doesn't impress you, then the absinthe collection might: The Black Squirrel carries five brands of the 136-proof liquor.
This two-story sports bar sets the tone for any game with its impressive memorabilia collection and complimentary ballpark-style peanuts and popcorn. While it's a good spot for teams from UNC and Syracuse as well as for the Capitols and Seahawks, Ventnor is for Philadelphia fans at heart.