Washington D.C.’s Most Iconic Bars

By Troy Petenbrink

The nation’s capital is filed with iconic establishments — including many bars. From the classy to the divey, we have found the D.C.watering holes that have reached icon status.

The Dubliner
4 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-3773
www.dublinerdc.com

The Dubliner is a Capitol Hill institution and by far the most popular Irish pub in Washington, D.C. Established in 1974, it has been owned and operated by the same family ever since. Over its many years the pub has played host to members of Congress, President Obama, and many Irish Prime Ministers and Ambassadors. The Dubliner’s authentic decor, nightly live music, and outstanding selection of Irish beers and whiskeys keeps its patrons loyal.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-4800
www.ebbitt.com

Located just steps from the White House, Old Ebbitt Grill has roots dating back to 1856. Many of the nation’s presidents were frequent visitors — from Ulysses S. Grant to Theodore Roosevelt. Now part of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, it is one of the most visited restaurants in Washington, D.C. It welcomes its patrons with four full service bars: the Old Bar, the Oyster Bar, Grant’s Bar and the Corner Bar, and is known for its selection of classic cocktails..

The Tombs
1226 36th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-6668
www.tombs.com

In addition to being one of the most iconic bars in Washington, DC. The Tombs is one of the most famous college bars in the nation. In the classic 1980s movie “St. Elmo’s Fire,” St. Elmo’s bar was modeled after the Tombs Located next to Georgetown University, it has been in operations since 1962 and is a very popular spot for current students, loyal alums, faculty members, and neighborhood locals.. The Tombs is housed in a Federal-style townhouse dating from the mid-1800s.and is decorated with Georgetown University sports memorabilia.

Related: Washington, D.C.’s Top 5 Craft Beer Bars

Annie’s
1609 17th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-0395

Annie’s is the gay “Cheers” of Washington, D.C. Opened in 1948, it barely survived the 1968 riots that claimed many local businesses following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and it lost a great many customers and staff during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ’90s. Despite those occasional struggles Annie’s maintained its place as a welcoming establishment for all Washingtonians and visitors. On any given night the bar at Annie’s is filled with loyal customers enjoying its famed heavy pours.

The Big Hunt
1345 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 785-2333
www.thebighunt.net

With is funky safari-theme, The Big Hunt is one of Washington, D.C.’s leading dive bars. It occupies three floors with four bars, an outdoor patio, and dozens of beers on tap. Many of the area’s interns and bargain hunters flock to The Big Hunt after work for its generous happy hour deals. In recent years the Underground Comedy show held at the Devil’s Kitchen bar in the basement level of the Big Hunt has become a must do stop from top local and touring comedians.

Related: Best Bar Food In Washington, D.C.

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