Washington, DC's nightlife scene has never been as exciting as in recent years. The city has experienced a gigantic boom in fresh, edgy, upscale, and urban chic bars, clubs, and concert venues. DC nightlife changes by neighborhood; each has its own vibe"and scene that it attracts. Here's a breakdown of nightlife in DC by neighborhood, with a few "top shelf" spots in each one.  

Capitol Hill

Kick back after a long day or week of work with a brew at one of the many bars in Capitol Hill. Cozy up to the bar, and chances are high your stool neighbor works on the Hill as a Congressional staffer, or on a lucky day, maybe even a Congress person. This neighborhood caters to young professionals looking to unwind. Popular bars include the upscale Harold Black, the neighborhood's first speakeasy, and Tune Inn, a dive bar with enough history to keep you coming back to learn more.


DC's commercial downtown appeals to tourists staying nearby and white collar professionals with high-class hotel bars and some of the city's best restaurants. After work happy hours are popular here, as well. The two nightlife standouts are easy: the P.O.V. rooftop terrace at the W Hotel provides one of the greatest views of the city - including the White House and the monuments on the National Mall lit up at night; and Off the Record is the lounge to be and be seen… and to rub noses with DC's political elite.


Trendy Dupont Circle attracts a vibrant 20-something crowd. Partiers flock to Front Page, a large bar with excellent nightly drink specials, games, and bar food, to start drinking as early as 5:00pm and end the night at Level One, a popular, three-storied gay dance club, in the wee hours of the morning. Dupont has a few upscale options as well, including the popular wine bar Veritas, whose eclectic wine reads like a book.

Logan Circle/14th Street

The conjoined neighborhoods of Logan Circle and 14th Street have undergone a food and bar renaissance in the last year. The urban chic neighborhood is a haven for DC's thriving GLBT community. Favorites include the craft beer paradise Churchkey and the grilled cheese making, pint pouring Logan Tavern.

H Street/Atlas District

Few neighborhoods boast a more eclectic, hipster, downright cool vibe than H Street Northeast. From edgy, indie live music venue Rock and Roll Hotel to the long-running holder of the best dive bar in DC title, The Pug, H Street has a little bit of it all. Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar is one of the city's hottest dancing spots, featuring theme-nights.

U Street

If live music is your thing, then U Street is your scene. The 930 Club is arguably the best music venues in the city with shows from lesser-known artists to big name bands. U Street also boasts DC's iconic late night chow: Ben's Chili Bowl.


The preppy enjoy Georgetown's nightlife. Pricey bars and restaurants line Georgetown's waterfront, making for a relaxing, romantic summer night. Chadwicks offers an unpretentious menu with decent prices near the water. The Tombs is a pub with strong drinks and a loyal following.

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