8 of Our Favorite Cocktail Bars in Washington D.C.

Guide By Cole Bubenik
A great cocktail bar is a crucial need during the holidays. Whether you're meeting up with old friends, vacationing with new ones, or needing a spot to escape from your family–you'll want a place that feels sensational.
Finding the best cocktail bars in Washington D.C. can be incredibly challenging. Sure, there are common factors to consider that help you make your decision: space, price, and offerings just to name a few. But there are lots of individual choices that stack up. Does this venue serve the classics? Do they have innovative or signature drinks?

In this holiday guide to our favorite (and some of the best cocktail bars) in Washington D.C., I focused on a few different criteria. With the help of inKind experts, we started by asking the obvious questions: do they serve the classics? Then, we expand from there: how does it feel to sit there? Do these spots have a good happy hour? What type of signature drinks do they have on the menu? How is their food: full menu, or just small plates?

Most of the spaces featured in this guide are available on the inKind app and with inKind Pass. Those not available on the inKind app are great holiday-themed spots that are just a hop, skip (or Uber ride) away from our partner restaurants.

When you dine with inKind Pass, you'll get special bonuses every time you dine at hundreds of restaurants across the country. From Michelin-star restaurants to elevated cocktail lounges, inKind Pass lets you dine at the premiere restaurants and the best cocktail bars in NYC and throughout the country.

Places featured in this guide:

Our Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars in D.C.

Service Bar

926-928 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Service Bar, started by Chad Spangler and Glendon Hartley in 2016, is known in D.C. for its signature cocktail menu and great food like fried chicken, mozzarella balls, and buffalo chicken sandwiches. This space is perfect for anyone who wants to counter the traditional quiet and formal cocktail bar. Service Bar boasts a "low-key atmosphere" making it a perfect place to bring friends and family.

You'll love this neighborhood bar's focus on high-quality local ingredients and its bold, fresh, and innovative cocktail list.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
The Semester Abroad: lemon-infused vodka, Strega, pineapple, and lemon. Service Bar is a great spot for family and friends. The bustling atmosphere will make you want to swap stories and experiences and the semester abroad will prime you to share that one light, refreshing, and carefree summer you spent touring abroad.

Miracle at Death Punch Bar

2321 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Don't let the name scare you away, Death Punch Bar is a timeless atmosphere serving well-crafted spirits and cocktails year-round. This year they're transforming their bar into a Christmas pop-up in collaboration with Miracle, the international Christmas sensation.

Visit this year for a festive cocktail lounge transformed into a destination perfect for the elevated Santas in your life. Paired with twinkling lights, themed seating areas, and a holiday bar serving seasonal cocktails, this is perfect for anyone looking to spread a little cheer.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
Snowball Old-Fashioned: rye, gingerbread, aromatic bitters, wormwood bitters, and orange essence. An old-fashioned is a classic for a reason and the Snowball Old-Fashioned is the perfect seasonal accent to a classic drink. With an added bit of fun and whimsy, this drink will keep you warm and merry throughout the night.
inKind Restaurants Nearby

Bar Amazonia

920 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Located on the second floor, above Carlos Delgado's Peruvian restaurant, Causa, Bar Amazonia features a slice of Amazonian cuisine and delicious cocktails. You'll fall in love with their decor which features rich velvety greens, wicker lights, and illustrative prints.

If you're looking for room to spread out, they have a glamorous outdoor patio featuring great views and ample seating. Treat yourself to their delicious list of cocktails, featuring plenty of bold and beautiful flavors.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
The El Cóndor: Neisson blanc Rhum, tamarillo, campari, lime. Causa serves a tasting course that sends you on a trip through Peru and the Andes, and this cocktail highlights that with familiar Peruvian notes and just a hint of spice.


1280 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Destino is your ideal destination for modern interpretations of classic Mexican dishes and drinks. The team at Destino describes their restaurant as being "inspired by all the places in Mexico we have visited or lived" and as serving "food and drinks we love, served by our happy restaurant family." You'll quickly pick up on their communal vibe, with great outdoor seating and a beautiful interior, this spot will make you feel right at home.

Destino earns its spot as one of the best cocktail bars in D.C. based on its interpretations on classic cocktails like daiquiris, Palomas, and negronis made with mezcal.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
Their Mezcal Negroni: Mezcal, hibiscus red bitter, Cio Cairo, Dolin rouge. The Negroni is a classic (with or without the spagliatto), and Destino's take on a Negroni is sure to become a classic for you. Serged with Mezcal and hints of hibiscus bitters, this drink provides refreshing sips that perfectly complement your meal.


1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Maketto's 60-seat restaurant has a fresh interpretation of Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking all situated in a communal marketplace serving a combined restaurant and cafe experience. While their dumplings and Red Pork Bao are to die for, their cocktail bar is nothing to overlook.

With signature cocktails like the Brothers and Sisters (Four Rose Bourbon, plum wine, and mandarin soda) and the Negroni Ceremony (served with Japanese whisky infused with Tieguanyin Tea), you'll find beautiful and innovative flavors with every sip. As a bonus, after eating check out Coolkids Vinyl, located upstairs, for records, comics, and hundreds of curated books.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
The Brothers and Sisters: Four Rose Bourbon, Umeshu (Plum Wine), and Mandarin soda. This cocktail will give you hints of the Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking you're set to explore at Maketto. A lighter cocktail served with a hint of plum sweetness, I guarantee you'll love it.


401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Visit Oyamel for delicious food inspired by the rich diversity and vibrant urban atmosphere of Mexico City from chef José Andrés. Stay for their creative cocktails, signature Salt Air Margaritas and lively dining room.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
The Oyamel with 'Salt Air', Milagro Blanco, Combier l'Original, lime. This cocktail is José Andrés (and our) personal favorite. A perfect sampling of a classic Mexican drink crafted with a unique and refreshing twist.

1799 Prime Steak and Seafood

10 S Pitt St, Alexandria, VA 22314
This spot for steak and seafood is infused with history. Describing themselves as a "polished modern steakhouse" 1799 Prime serves prime steaks, fresh seafood and delicious craft cocktails in Old Town, Alexandria. Their elevated communal interior and the classic red-brick exterior give this spot a historical feeling that's sure to delight any diners.

Their Peacock Lounge serves classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Moscow Mule alongside their delicious craft cocktails like an Aperol Mule, 1799 Smoked Manhattan, or Fashionably Old. All of these features make this one of the best cocktail bars in D.C.
Our Cocktail Recommendation
The Fashionably Old: infused Bulleit bourbon, walnut bitters, orange, cherry. When you're eating something classic like an expertly prepared cut of meat you'll want to pair it with a classic cocktail. This take on the standard old-fashioned is a delight to sip and shows the expertise needed to elevate a classic.

Visit the best cocktail bars
in Washington D.C.

What's the best way to try these cocktail bars in San Francisco? Try inKind Pass–the curated dining pass that comes with a spending bonus. With inKind Pass, you can dine and drink at any of the restaurants listed in this article or hundreds of other Michelin-star restaurants, cozy cafes, or restaurants throughout SF.

You'll also get bonuses when you load a balance into your inKind Pass account. That means you'll get extra drinks while exploring the very best cocktail bars in San Francisco.

Tag us, @inkind_hospitality or use our hashtags #inkindeats and #inkindshares to show off your best Instagram shots!