Having a few cocktails with friends is fun, but fighting your way through a packed bar is not. With the warm weather rolling in, we know you’re looking to find the best spots around DC where you can sit back and lounge while sipping on some of the best cocktails DC has to offer. Here are five of the top watering holes in DC with trendy settings and luscious libations sure to quench your thirst this summer.

Eighteenth Street Lounge
1212 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 466-3922

Located in a former mansion, Eighteenth Street Lounge boasts impressive chandeliers, dim lighting and many couches for lounging. The scene at ESL is reminiscent of a house party, if that house party was hosted by your richest, most gossip-girl like friend. With no door sign and strict door policy, ESL remains one of DC’s most ultra-hip clubs featuring some of the city’s best DJs playing a selection of house music and live jazz bands on the upper levels during the weekend.

New Vegas Lounge
1415 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 483-3971

Nestled between Whole Foods and luxury condos in Logan Circle, the New Vegas Lounge offers a refreshing glimpse to DC’s past. The New Vegas Lounge has been a destination for blues, jazz and R&B for over 35 years, and thanks to recent renovations, this small, homey-feeling venue remains a hot spot for classic blues and soul. Since the venue is small, it can sometimes get uncomfortably packed, but visiting this little place with a rich past is always rewarding.

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The Gibson
2009 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-2156

No standing is allowed in this specialty cocktail-focused pseudo-speakeasy on 14th Street. The Gibson’s cozy, romantic and candlelit space evokes the ambiance of the 20s and 30s. Along with a unique soundtrack mixing 60’s rocksteady and roots reggae, it creates a perfect vibe to match the expertly created cocktails. Since no standing is allowed, reservations are suggested but not required to get a taste of prohibition-era glamour.

P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace 
515 15th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 661-2400

The W Hotel’s rooftop bar combines some of the best views of DC with great cocktails and beautiful decor. Located on the 11th-floor balcony at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace features low-slung lounge tables and subdued lighting, leaving the amazing view of the Washington, DC landscape as the focal point of the lounge. The rooftop and lounge are open until 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on Saturday, and since the W reserves a percentage of its seats for guests, it is always a good idea to make a reservation or stop by early in the week for the happy hour specials.

Number Nine
1435 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 986-0999

Number Nine has the honor of having one of the best happy hours in Washington, DC, offering two-for-one drinks nightly until 9 p.m. Number Nine, a gay lounge, has a sleek, attractive look, solid cocktails and a varied music selection of top hits and old pop classics. The large circular booths with chandeliers overhead make for intimate seating options off the main bar floor. And with the focus on seating over standing room and beautiful sturdy marble bars, Number Nine exemplifies the traditional design of classic hotel lounges.

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Matthew Scott is a freelance writer covering all things Washington DC. His work can be found on Examiner.com.