Whether you’re heading out to dinner afterwards or just want to pace yourself, you may not want a full appetizer with your drinks. Here are some places where you can tie one on and grab a little nosh as well, for free!
500 8th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Banana Café’s happy hour offers not only great-priced drinks, but free appetizers as well. It sets out a buffet of all the good stuff to keep your stomach balanced between liquor and food with light bites like onion rings, hush puppies or empanadas. This Puerto Rican café in Capitol Hill offers a piano bar upstairs to sing away your work day. It specializes in margaritas, which are on happy hour specials most nights. If you want something a little more substantial, Banana Cafe has $5 food specials from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Front Page
1333 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
The Front Page is a staple of young Washingtonian life in the Dupont Circle area of DC. Its extended happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with great specials on liquor, wine and beers. On Thursdays, it serves up free tacos at happy hour. The taco bar starts with a carved up filling, which is usually pork and chicken with black beans for the meat-free crowd. Then there are the toppings of several different salsas, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and some coleslaw to top.
401 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
The first round of chips and salsa is on the house, the rest is up to you. The chips are made from masa and sliced very thin and fried to a crispy deliciousness. The salsa is a smokey salsa made with tomatoes, onions and chipotle peppers that is made fresh daily. But you may want to spring for the guacamole, which is delicious. Oyamel’s happy hour, or hora feliz as it’s known in Spanish, is only from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., but offers great prices on margaritas, wines and beer. You can also grab some light bites for only $4 if you want something a little more substantial.
Related: Best Tacos in Washington DC
The Rye Bar
1050 31st St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
This posh Georgetown bar in the Capella Washington offers a sophisticated place to unwind at the end of the day. It specializes in American Rye whiskey, so much so that it has its own ice cubes that are crafted from purified water and hand shaved. The Rye Bar offers nuts for free at the bar. They’re a nice blend of different varieties like peanuts and Brazil nuts that are roasted and spiced with a salty hot blend.
1350 I St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Tuscana West in the McPherson Square area is a great place for happy hour drinks and nosh. This Italian restaurant serves up drinks with a free appetizer to boot. It usually sets out pizza or pasta to whet your appetite. You can also grab a large bite to eat at the bar with the oysters, appetizers and small plates.
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.