Blind dates can be fun and exciting with the prospect of meeting someone that you may click with and potentially start a relationship with. Setting up the perfect first blind date means choosing a spot in which it will be easy for you to find the other person and where you can chat and enjoy good drinks without too much ruckus. These top five bars will make it easy for you to find the person you seek and enjoy a libation or two with them.
1155 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
The Donovan House recently renovated its rooftop pool and bar to make it a hip lounge area that is the only rooftop that remotely resembles the LA scene. The small, but cozy rooftop, named DNV which stands for “Damn Nice View,” is the perfect place for a blind date because you’ll be able to find the person. There are nooks to couple up and chat in, but nothing too obscure that you won’t be able to find who you’re looking for. The cozy benches and chairs with stunning views of downtown DC offer a great place for a casual drink and intimate conversation without being too loud. Although the bar and menu is limited, it offers Pimms on tap and other creative cocktails that are served by the glass or by the carafe…or larger depending on how the date is going. When you get a little peckish, DNV offers small Asian-inspired bites that are perfect for sharing.
2009 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
This clandestine speakeasy is the perfectly intimate bar for a blind date, but should only be used if you’re certain the person can find it. The bar is completely unmarked. There’s just an address on a gray brick building. You have to know that you enter the door and then wait for someone to come get you. What makes this a great place for a blind date is that it doesn’t allow just anyone to roam in and sit down. The hostess will greet you and take you to your table. This takes the pressure off of having to find and identify the person. The intimate booths and dim lighting make it a romantic place to have that first conversation and get to know the person. The cocktail menu alone will give you something to talk about for hours, and given that the libations are all uniquely put together, trying different drinks and even sharing each other’s makes for an easy icebreaker.
1017 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Hogo is the newest bar in DC from Tom Brown of The Passenger. It makes for a great place for a blind date because there’s a strong likelihood that at least one of you has not been there before. The laid-back atmosphere is the perfect place for the casual first date and the intimacy will allow for great conversation. The perfectly crafted Caribbean-inspired cocktails make it easy to chat about your favorite tropical drink or share one of the huge flaming scorpion bowls. The menu is constantly changing due to the rotation of chefs serving whatever they may please, so you’ll never know what you’re going to get…kind of like a first date.
Related: Best Tiki Bars In Washington DC
3418 11th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
Maple is a quiet, intimate, neighborhood wine bar in the Columbia Heights area of DC. Its wine list is extensive with several options for wine by the glass or even 2.5-ounce tasters. It’s the perfect place for a blind date as there are only a few tables and a small bar, so it’s easy to find the person you’re looking for. Then it gives you the chance to talk about wine and chat about your knowledge on the subject, or lack thereof. The tasters give you the chance to chat about what you enjoyed most or sample a few before settling on a bottle to split. The food is locally and sustainably sourced as much as possible. Delicious, small Italian bites make it easy for sharing a nibble as you sip on your vino.
800 16th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
This quiet and intimate bar located at the Hay Adams Hotel makes for a great first date for many reasons. The first is that it’s centrally located in downtown overlooking the White House on 16th Street. Hay Adams is very Washington. With its caricatures of historical political figures, it allows for an easy foray into politics—one of DC’s favorite subjects that comes up on nearly every first date. Off the Record is a small bar with sumptuous booths that beckon you to sit down and stay for a while. The elegant setting with delicious cocktails and an excellent wine and beer selection make for an easy place to sit and chat. The quiet atmosphere makes it ideal to discover more about your date without having to shout.
Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.