Top 5: Speakeasies in Washington, D.C.

by Allie Moore

Jan 31, 2019

Meridian Pint, Washington, D.C. © Rudi Riet | Flickr

Top 5 / North America

In a city that has seen a transformation of epic proportions in recent years, Washington, D.C. has remained at the precipice of drinking and dining trends. Nowhere is this more evident than in the capital city’s speakeasy scene. Inconspicuous buildings that reveal clandestine watering holes have taken the world by storm, and those on D.C.’s list cover both established spots as well as recent additions.


600 T There’s no website, sign or even an official name for this bar, known only by its street address at 600 T Street NW. The rowhouse located in the up-and-coming Shaw neighborhood sticks to the basics in terms of cocktails and is a nice retreat from the new openings that seem to pop up every day around it.



Bibliophiles will appreciate this bar located behind a bookshelf in the Eaton Hotel near Farragut North. Choose a cocktail inspired by famous book titles like The Giving Tree and Ecotopia.


Denson Liquor Bar

Travel back in time when you enter this Art Deco–inspired space right next to Chinatown’s Shakespeare Theatre Company. When you’re not quite in the mood for the crowds of Chinatown and Gallery Place, Denson’s offers a more tranquil setting with dim lights, creative drinks and small plates like artichoke hummus, grilled cheese sandwiches or short rib tacos.


The Gibson

A longstanding staple just off the bustling U Street corridor, this unmarked building with no signage leads to a sparkling underworld of elaborate chandeliers, crafty cocktails and tucked-away seats that evoke a feeling of exclusivity. Make your way to the back patio to sip libations under the stars.


Harold Black

One block over from Barracks Row/8th Street SE is yet another hidden door that slides open and leads to a hallway of curves that eventually leads to the bar. Harold Black’s cocktail menu is inspired by its guests who are free to make suggestions to sip on with a side of cheese or charcuterie boards.




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