10 Best Dive Bars in Washington, D.C.

While our nation's capitol has its fair share of uptight bars filled with chino-wearing lobbyists, 10 best dive bars in Washington D.C.  do exist. The competition is tight, however, these D.C. dive bars are not to be missed. 

  1. Velvet Lounge – Great bartenders and great live music makes the Velvet Lounge one of the the best dive bars in Washington D.C.  The fact that the drinks are strong and cheap doesn't hurt either. Velvet Lounge: 915 U Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001. (202) 462-3213.
  2. The Red Derby – What's not to love about The Red Derby? This bar offers a great selection of beers, from PBR to Old Chub. The Red Derby: 3718 14th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20010. (202) 291-5000.
  3. Trusty's Full-Serve Bar –  Any bar that serves beer in Mason jars definitely deserves a place on our list of best dive bars.  And with its selection of games, there's never a boring moment at Trusty's.  Trusty's Full-Serve Bar: 1420 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003. (202) 547-1010.
  4. Pharmacy Bar – With the best jukebox in the District and a terrific vintage pharmacy theme, Pharmacy Bar serves great drinks in an unpretentious atmosphere. Pharmacy Bar: 2237 18th Street Northwest,Washington, DC 20009. (202) 483-1200.
  5. Tune Inn – A D.C. institution, Tune Inn has been serving great drinks since 1955 and definitely fits the bill as one of the 10 best dive bars in Washington D.C.  Come by on Friday for crab cakes.  Tune Inn: 331 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC 20003. (202) 543-2725.
  6. Toledo Lounge – When it rains, it pours at Toledo Lounge; Toledo offers $2 pours on rainy days.  This quirky dive bar also serves great milk shakes! Toledo Lounge: 2435 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009-2045. (202) 986-5416.
  7. Fox and Hounds Lounge – Quite possibly the strongest drinks in the District, Fox and Hounds is the quintessential dive bar. Fox and Hounds Lounge: 1537 17th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 232-6307.
  8. Wonderland Ballroom – If you're looking for a great neighborhood bar in Columbia Heights, look no further than Wonderland Ballroom.  Don't forget to check out Wonderland's beer garden, and if you're looking for a relaxed Sunday brunch, this is the place to go. Wonderland Ballroom: 1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC 20010. (202) 232-5263.
  9. Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club –  Super strong drinks and friendly bartenders makes Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club and an excellent addition to our list dive bars in Washington D.C. Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club:1103 Bladensburg Road Northeast, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 555-1212.
  10. Palace of Wonders –  With its museum of oddities, free WI-FI and burlesque stage, Palace of Wonders rounds out our 10 Best Dive Bars in Washington D.C. list. Palace of Wonders: 1210 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 398-7469.
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