There’s just something so satisfying about sipping on cocktails at a bar after you spent ages trying to find it. Going down long winding staircases, asking for entry codes, and opening up secret doors give cocktails a special flair. Tucked away bars seem to be popping up all around D.C., these days, so we thought we’d put together a list of the best secret bars you have to try if you’re in the city.
1. The Mirror, Downtown D.C.
Formerly known as The Speak, this is probably the most hidden bar of all! Head down the stairs next to an abandoned storefront and toward the mirror hanging on the wall. Beyond the looking glass, you’ll find a bar with all of the fun but none of the restrictions of a speakeasy. The Mirror is the perfect space to relax and cozy up while sipping on an Old Fashioned.
2. Allegory at the Eaton Hotel, Downtown D.C.
Hidden at one of D.C.’s most avant-garde hotels this speakeasy is accessed through a bookshelf in Eaton’s Radical Library. Tell the bartenders at Allegory what your favorite flavors are and you’ll have the crafted cocktail of your dreams in your hands in no time!
3. The Alex at the Graham Hotel, Georgetown
Named after inventor Alexander Graham Bell, this speakeasy is tucked away in the basement of the Graham Hotel. This cellar’s steampunk-inspired decor will take you straight back to the Victorian era as you sip on one of their craft cocktails and munch on delicious snacks. We recommend trying their bathtub gin & tonic—served in an actual mini bathtub! The bar has a classy dress-code and requires a code to go in, which you can get from the guards at the lobby before you head downstairs.
4. 600 T, Shaw
This bar is so well hidden it literally has no name. Owner Stephen Lawrence refuses to name it because he prefers its visitors to experience the place and describe it themselves rather than just passing along a name. Located underneath 600 T Avenue this bar has a cozy, cabin-like atmosphere, fireplace included. 600 T has some pretty amazing and crazy cocktails fit for your every mood, like a 12-year-old scotch cocktail that includes carrot puree, cilantro, jalapeno and eggwhite! We recommend heading down there on a Wednesday to enjoy their weekly live music show.
5. The Gibson, Cardozo
Not as hidden as the ones above, but still deserves an honorable mention as one of D.C.’s best speakeasies. Located on U street corridor, the Gibson is a secretive, candle-lit lounge. Dark and sexy, this place is perfect for low-key dates and craft cocktails!
This is possibly one of the most fun to get to. Located inside Capo Deli, the real part is in the back. Enter the walk-in freezer and into a dark, glamorous speakeasy! With crystal chandeliers, leather booths, and a small, intimate vibe the only thing that’s better? You can grab a late-night sub on your way out!
Written by Ma Del Rosario Castro Diaz and Jenna Romaine