Best Places for Day Drinking in Washington, D.C.

February 13, 2014 8:00 AM

(credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A few mimosas at brunch can easily turn into a long afternoon of day drinking – a term coined by college kids who mastered the act. Day drinking is not frowned upon, if done responsibly and in moderation. Although most bars are willing to serve those interested during all hours of the day, some D.C. bars are known as day drinking hot spots. The atmosphere is welcoming and non-judgmental when one wants to order tequila at noon.

A-Town Bar & Grill
4100 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 528-1100

A-Town in Ballston knows how to do a Sunday Funday. The nightlife is certainly lively, but so are the afternoons. On Sundays, crowds gather to watch football, particularly The Washington Redskins, and eat brunch with friends and family. The A-Town experience is fun and inviting, drawing in groups of friends week after week. Expect to lose track of time with loud music and rambunctious people. A-Town is very accessible, just a block from the Ballston metro station.

Cantina Marina
600 Water St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-8396

Located right on DC’s up-and-coming Southwest waterfront, Cantina Marina hosts dock parties because the bar is one of the only around to actually sit on top of the water. Due to its close proximity, Cantina Marina is a common destination for those going to and from Nationals games. The beach vibe makes drinkers feel like they are on vacation, even if feels like an escape from reality just for the time being. View the scenery of passing sailboats from indoors or outdoors.

Related: Best Tiki Bars In Washington DC

H Street Country Club
1335 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 399-4722

A casual yet modern environment, H Street Country Club has indoor games for patrons who want to do more than just drink. There is an indoor mini golf course, with games available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other games are skeeball, shuffleboard and Big Buck Hunter. The Mexican restaurant and bar looks small from the outside, but is spacious on the inside, included an upper level and rooftop. Margaritas are a house favorite, as H Street Country Club has over 25 tequilas.

The Graham Hotel
1075 Thomas Jefferson St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-0900

The Observatory is a spectacular rooftop lounge inside The Graham Hotel in Georgetown with a breathtaking panoramic view of Washington, DC. Keep in mind that there is a dapper dress code for The Observatory. Bottle service and bar packages are available upon request for larger parties. As the daytime turns to night, the sunset is quite a sight to see. ABG restaurant in the Graham Hotel is the go-to destination for winter months when The Observatory closes for the season.

Whitlow’s On Wilson
2854 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 276-9693

Whitlow’s is a lively diner and bar known for fantastic brunch and specials. The roof-turned-tiki-bar is a destination for day drinking. Even enjoyable during cooler months, thanks to standing heaters, the rooftop is Whitlow’s main attraction. Live bands and big-screen TVs provide endless entertainment for guests. The inside of Whitlow’s is equipped to serve large crowds, with two main bars and separate sections, including pool tables and a designated smoking lounge.

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Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at