Best Bars With Sake In Washington DC

January 16, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Sake is referred to as rice wine and this intoxicating beverage can be enjoyed cold or hot. The process to make rice into sake is more along the lines of brewing barley for beer than the fermentation of grapes into wine. Nearly 80 types of sake rice exist. In Washington, DC, we have located the best sake bars that serve premium sake, imported Japanese beer, Shochu and more. Visit one of these full bar restaurants and enjoy a bottle of sake.

Hikari Sushi & Sake Bar
644 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-0523

Hikari Sushi & Sake Bar is one of the new sake bars in the DC area. Also, it is the sister restaurant to Matsutake Sushi in the DMV area, Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan National Airport. Hikari Sake Bar has an impressive menu of premium sake, imported Japanese beer and Shochu. Whether you visit for a nice evening meal or gather around the bar with friends for the night, try one of the Junmai DaiGinjo sakes. Also, ask for one of the Japanese martinis – Saketini, Pearl Plum Sakatini or a Sake Sangria.

465 K St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 682-3123

Kushi is an izakaya establishment. This means it is more of a sake shop (bar) that offers food to complement your drink. Kushi offers some great, creative sake cocktails including the Sake Blossom which is vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, sake and lime juice. In addition to great sake cocktails, Kushi also has other traditional Japanese distilled beverages like Shochu, a liquor distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and rice. Look out, Shochu packs more of a punch than sake.

Izakaya Seki
1117 V St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-5841

Izakaya Seki opened its doors in July 2012 as a restaurant with a full bar. It is one of the favorites off the U Street Corridor. The premium sake Izakaya Seki carries includes Junmai, Daiginjo, Honjozo, Tokubetsu Honjozo, Ginjo and Tokubetsu Junmai. Try one of the imported Japanese beers from the Codeo or Echigo brands. Maybe you are interested in a sesame or black sugar Shochu from the bar. Whatever you order, you’ll likely enjoy it.

Related:  Best Hotel Bars In Washington DC

444 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 783-7007

SEI is located in the Penn Quarter area of DC. SEI has a great happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stop in and try one of the draft Japanese beers like a Sapporo Lager or a Yo-Ho ‘Tokyo Black’ Stout. SEI has over 50 selections of sake including premium and ultra-premium. If you are planning to eat at the restaurant, try one of the white or pink wines as well.

Toki Underground
1234 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 388-3086

Toki Underground is a Japanese noodle and dumpling restaurant with a full bar. Toki is one of the few places you can buy sake by the Tokkuri (shot). It carries draft (Futsu-shu) sake and premium brands like Dassai Junmai Daiginjo. If beer is your drink of choice, choose from Japanese beers like Coedo Beniaka, Orion and Yona Yona. Try the sake cocktail Little Cloud for a different sake taste.

Related: Best Wine Stores In Washington DC

Sonya Dunn is a freelance writer covering all things Washington DC. Her work can be found on

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