In a town where it’s easy to spend upwards of $15 on a craft cocktail, happy hour is a precious opportunity, not to be squandered. For the frugal, fortunately the city is swimming in happy hour specials, sure to entice even the most parsimonious bar flies. While there are plenty of bargain libations waiting to be discovered, these a few of the best deals to be had around town.
Hardly a hole in the wall, Chef Geoff has become a household name in the capital area, with locations in Cathedral Heights and Tysons Corner. The refined yet down-to-earth eatery also serves up some of the best happy hour deals in town. First of all, happy hour is all day long on Mondays and Tuesdays (and runs from 3pm to 7pm the rest of the week). Diners can sip on $7 wine, $5 mystery pints, and $7.50 craft cocktails like apple sangria. Perhaps the best deal though, is the $9.95 super mug, especially with options like Ommegang Rare Vos and Tröegs Hopback Amber on tap – plus, lifting the hefty, ale-filled stein counts as a bicep curl. Of course, there are also $3.95 PBR cans. Hungry too? Tuck into $5.95 white truffle parmesan popcorn, $9.95 Sriracha wings, or opt for a half-price burger.
Like stumbling into a stylish Serbian speakeasy – in the middle of Arlington – BABA features a singular cocktail selection – and spectacular happy hour specials. Every weekday from 4 to 7 pm, the subterranean spot offers a selection of signature cocktails for $6, including offerings like the Serbian Sombrero, made with pink peppercorn tequila, jalapeño triple sec, and rose water. Plus, the selection of bargain-priced bites – only $5 – includes options like salmon tartare, prosciutto croquettes, and smoked gouda breaded with panko crumbs, almonds, and walnuts.
When that cup of chamomile just isn’t cutting it as a nightcap, there’s Red Derby’s aptly-named ‘Off the Rails’ late night happy hour. Sunday through Wednesday from 10 pm onward, the Logan Circle bar offers $5 rail combos –Natty Boh, Stroh’s, or Tecate plus a shot of rail liquor. Meanwhile, for anyone who keeps normal hours, Red Derby’s regular happy hour runs from 5 to 8 pm, lasts all day on Thursday, and features $1 off beer, wine, and mixed drinks. But, with deals on old school classics — like 8 ounce Budweisers for $2.50 or $11 for the comically-oversized, 25.4 ounce Fosters oil can – who even needs happy hour?
In Logan Circle, worldly gourmets can taste exotic wines and tuck into Georgian cuisine – without a cumbersome price tag – at Supra. During the Monday to Friday happy hour (from 3 to 6 pm), patrons can decide between a handful of $7 Georgian wines, snag an $8 pint of Ukrainian lager, or sample Georgia’s robust pomace brandy – Chacha– with a $7 ‘Chacha pickleback.’ Of course, then there are the food deals. Tuck into iconic Georgian delicacies like the $10 Imeruli, a regional variety of Georgia’s iconic cheese-infused Khachapuri.
In Ivy City, Big Chief oozes industrial charm – and serves up some unbeatable happy hour specials. At the cavernous, Big Easy inspired watering hole, the drinks are no-frills – just like the backdrop – with a price to match. During happy hour, running from Wednesday through Friday, between 5 and 8 pm, specials include $7 Jameson, $8 daiquiris, and unbeatable bargains like $3 Kirin Ichiban cans.
Sometimes, the remedy for an exceptionally trying day at the office is a little taste of elegance – without the highfalutin price tag. On those darkest of days, as soon as happy hour rolls around make tracks to Tulips in Dupont to take advantage of $1 champagne – from 4 to 5 pm, during the week. Besides the weekday champagne rush, the standard happy hour at the chicly cozy, three-level restaurant runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm, and offers $6 wines and seasonal draft beers – plus $1 oysters.
For the happy hour gurus gunning to get dinner and a drink for under $15, there’s Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza. Located just minutes from Metro Center, the pizzeria slings Neapolitan-style pies — and has solid happy hour specials from 4 to 7 pm, served only at the bar. Hungry barflies can sip on $6 wine or sangria and enjoy $6.50 pints of drafts like DC Brau’s Corruption IPA – but the belle of the ball is the pizza. Small (7-inch) pies are just $7, and menu options include everything from the standard cheese or pepperoni to selections like the Verdura, topped with black olives, artichokes, and basil.
At down-to-earth Republic in Takoma Park, happy hour comes around twice – from 3 to 7 pm during the week, and every night after 10 pm. Patrons can indulge in $4 mini-beers and wine by-the-glass for $9, but the best deal are the oysters. During happy hour, regional Chesapeake Bay oysters on the half shell are just $1. Even better, for anyone with a wingman who has four legs, a tail, and an inexplicable proclivity for toilet water, Republic also hosts a regular ‘Yappy Hour’ for convivial canines (from 3 to 5 pm, the last Sunday of every month, from April to October).