In recent years, D.C. has opened up many amazing places for a night out in the city. There are wine bars, sports bars, nightclubs, restaurants, lounges and more. Here is a list of five unique spots in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown/Gallery Place neighborhood where you can go with friends to relax and have a great time. Each one has a different vibe, so you can make your selection based on what type of evening you want to have.
Poste Brasserie
700 F St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-6060
www.postebrasserie.com

This charming bar has both indoor and outdoor spaces, comfortable seating and fabulous food and drinks, which are all the makings of a great night out. Sample some appetizers like arancini, popcorn and their famous truffle fries. For drinks, their basil lemontini is always a hit, but if you prefer a glass of wine, they have an extensive list for you to choose from. This is an ideal spot to visit with a group of friends, as their outdoor area has plenty of lounge chairs and couches for big groups.

Barmini
855 E. St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 393-4451
www.minibarbyjoseandres.com

You may not be able to afford to dine at Minibar, but a visit to its adjacent bar, Barmini, is just as much fun. Jose Andres’ gorgeous cocktail bar has a Miami-like feel to it, with its all white decor and refreshing cocktails. The mixologists are real experts in craft cocktails, and are willing to make you pretty much whatever your heart desires. Relax at the beautiful bar while your personal bartender whips you up a delicious cocktail, or order one of their punch bowls to share with your friends or your date. This is the perfect spot to begin, or end, a fancy night out in D.C. Keep in mind that Barmini only takes reservations, which of course means it is especially exclusive, but it also means you can’t just walk in on a whim! The cocktails are expensive, but totally worth it.

City Tap House
901 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 733-5333
www.citytaphousedc.com

For a fabulous, informal night out in D.C. where the highlight is good food and a great beer, head to City Tap House. There are lots of TVs indoors if there is a game on that you want to watch, or you can grab a seat outdoors. Choose from delicious appetizers like their soft pretzel with smoked gouda fondue or one of their many flatbreads, which are perfect for sharing. Your server will be more than happy to help you pick out a beer, or even better, a beer flight, if you are indecisive. This spot works well for big groups or for two friends who just want to share some food over beers while watching a game.

Related: Best Breweries Near Washington, D.C.

Nopa Kitchen + Bar
800 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4667
www.nopadc.com

If you are looking for an upscale place to start off your night out in DC, look no further than Nopa Kitchen + Bar. Once you enter this Gallery Place venue the restaurant will be on the right, and the bar will be on the left. Take a seat along the bar or in the cozy, glass-enclosed lounge area. Sleek and modern, this is the place to see and be seen. Enjoy cocktails like the cucumber vesper, with cucumber infused vodka, or tiny bubbles, where sparkling wine is topped with a pomegranate and orange flower nectar. For a snack to enjoy along with your beverage, choose from olives, nuts and pimento cheese fries. Take advantage of the 20 percent-off deal on all beverages between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and on Sunday evenings.

Proof
775 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7663
www.proofdc.com

Proof, one of D.C.’s best wine bars, is an ideal location for all oenophiles to visit. The bar easily has one of the best and most extensive wine menus in the city. Grab a chair in the bar area, or ask for table on their sidewalk patio. Non-wine drinkers can enjoy one of their many creative cocktails, including the meridian hill with bourbon, sherry and grapefruit bitters, or the pedgu club, a combination of bitters, gin, curacao and lime juice. This is a fun spot to mingle with friends over drinks and a cheese plate.

Related: Best Irish Bars In Washington DC

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.