Happy Hour, from early evening gatherings to late night lingering,
the options are plentiful and pleasantly priced.
As days grow longer, Washington restaurants are offering enticing bar fare, tempting seasonal cocktails and enticing happy hour menus. One has many options to explore during sultry summer.
The lively Cuban hot spot Cuba Libre Restaurant Rum & Bar, located at 801 9th Street, NW, Suite A, 20001, offers a Latin-inspired happy hour available exclusively at the bar, Sunday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The perfect way to end the workday, Cuba Libre’s happy hour menu showcases delicious $6 Caipirinhas, with flavors such as the Classic with Velho Barreiro Cachaça, guarapo, fresh lime juice and muddled limes; Guava with Licor Beirão, guava purée, guarapo and fresh lime juice; Energy Caipirinha with Velho Barriro Cachaça, Red Bull, guarapo, lime juice, muddled oranges and limes and the House-made Caipirinha Infusion of seasonal selection of the brightest fruits, herbs and/or spices soaked in Cachaça, guarapo, fresh lime juice, sugar and muddled lime
Additionally, one can enjoy house wine and sangria for $5 each, $6 House Cuba Libre with Don Q añejo rum, Coca-Cola and lime, plus a featured rotating beer of the day for $5 along with the “tapas bite” menu specially priced at $6 each. Highlights from the “tapas bite” menu include Tuna Ceviche, marinated yellowfin tuna, house pickled cucumbers, seaweed, avocado, toasted Macadamia nuts, and pumpkin seed oil vinaigrette; Churrasco Steak Slider, hand-chopped all natural Black Angus skirt steak burger, pickle frita sauce, chipotle-onion marmalade, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato, served on a toasted brioche roll with Boniato chip; Pineapple Guacamole Cubano with avocado, grilled golden pineapple, roasted jalapeños, fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, served with crispy plantain chips; Chicken Croquetas, Abuela’s creamy roasted chicken croquettes with roasted Cachucha pepper aioli; Tostones, twice-fried crisp green plantains with Dijon-mojo dipping sauce as well as Malanga Fritters, a traditional Cuban street food of crispy taro, garlic and West Indian culantro, served with tamarindo ketchup. Guests can also order a sampler platter with a choice of any six happy hour dishes for $28. For additional information please call (202) 408-1600 or visit www.CubaLibreRestaurant.com.
Just steps from the White House, The Oval Room, located at 800 Connecticut Ave., NW, 20006, offers an intimate bar and lounge perfect for lingering over cocktails or grabbing a quick bite. Monday through Friday, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Oval Room rail cocktails are available for $8, select wines by the glass are $7 and select craft beers are priced at $5, exclusively at the bar. Refreshing libations include the Sparkling Sidecar with Hennessy, triple sec, lemon juice and prosecco; Persephone’s Margarita with La Pinta Pomegranate tequila, triple sec and lime juice and the Pink Negroni with Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria’ pink gin, Suze, white vermouth and red vermouth. For the perfect pairing, guests can enjoy savory bar bites from The Oval Room’s happy hour menu. Current standouts include the Crab Tea Sandwich, crème fraiche, char roe and cucumber; Pommes Pont Neuf, crispy potatoes, espelette pepper with black garlic and the FB&J Sandwich, foie gras butter, huckleberry jelly and chicken crackling. Prices range from $3 to $16 each. For more information, please call (202) 463-8700 or visit www.OvalRoom.com.
The sleek, light filled Bibiana Osteria Enoteca, located at 1100 New York Avenue, NW, 20005, is a wonderful oasis to enjoy a cocktail and wind down the day. Happy hour starts early, and specials are available Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. One can relax with a Peroni priced at $6 or opt for house red wine, white wine or prosecco for $7 each. For the perfect pairing, guests can enjoy a selection of rotating bar snacks, which include La Pizzetta, tomato, mozzarella, confit baby artichoke, pickled onion and ‘nduja; Ceviche, octopus and shrimp ceviche with mango, onion, lime and cilantro; Polpette Della Nonna, beef, pork and veal meatballs, creamy mascarpone cheese, polenta and parmesan; Gamberetti Estivi, polenta battered & fried shrimp with citrus and marinara and the Calamari Fritti, buttermilk marinated calamari with caramelized lemon and tartar. Bar snacks are priced from $8 to $12 each. For more information, please call (202) 216-9550 or visit the website at www.bibianadc.com.
The Mediterranean-inspired Olivia, located at 800 F Street, NW, 20004, offers a bar/lounge area that is reminiscent of a speakeasy transported directly from Casablanca. The ceiling is draped with fresh greenery while the 14-seat bar is decorated with charming string lights crisscrossing overhead to give the space an outdoor terrace vibe, perfect for lingering over cocktails or grabbing a quick bite. Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Olivia offers 20% off select wines by the glass, specialty cocktails, house-mixed drinks, as well as draft beer from local favorites such as Right Proper Brewing Company, Solace Brewing Company and Fair Winds Brewing Company. New libations for the season include the Aphrodite with vodka, pomegranate liquor, hibiscus tincture, lemon and mint. For additional information please call (202) 347-4667 or visit www.oliviadc.com.
Steps from Eastern Market, Ambar, located at 523 8th Street SE, 20003, offers a special happy hour Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (exclusively at the bar). Whether it’s beer, wine, cocktails, rakia or small plates, everything on the happy hour menu is priced at just $5 per item. Signature cocktail creations include the Mango Lemonade with vodka, mango purée, simple syrup and sour mix; Pomegranate Collinswith vodka, pomegranate syrup and lemon juice, and the Sarajevo Old Fashion with plum rakia, bourbon, bitters and cane syrup. Guests can choose from a selection of Balkan bites including Balkan Kebab with beef and veal, scallions and paprika; Urnebes Dip, cow’s cheese with ajvar and chili flakes, served with homemade bread; Drunken Mussels with rakia, garlic, capers, lemon, somun and cream; Almond Crusted Chicken with walnut, green apple, chives and wasabi mayo, as well as Hummus with paprika and olive oil, served with homemade bread. Available all evening, seven days a week, the restaurant also offers two package options under their Balkan Experience dinner menu: unlimited small plates (no alcohol) for $35 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), unlimited small plates and unlimited drinks for $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), or unlimited small plates, and larger platters with unlimited drinks for $59 per person (excluding tax and gratuity and is required for groups of 10 or more). The $35 and $49 Balkan Experiences can be combined at the table.
Additionally, Ambar offers an Express Lunch Menu, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This lunch option is priced at $19.99 per person (tax and gratuity not included) making it a great choice for those looking for a satisfying, quick midday meal. Guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat selection of Soups & Salads, Vegetables, Flatbreads, Sliders, Baked Pies, Meat & Poultry, Slow-Cooked Food, Sausages and Seafood. The Express Lunch Menu must be ordered by the entire table as items are designed for sharing. For additional information please call (202) 813-3039 or visit http://www.ambarrestaurant.com/home-page-washington/.
Ambar Clarendon, located at 2901 Wilson Blvd, 22201, offers guests the opportunity to experience some of the best traditional dishes from the Balkan Peninsula, prepared with a modern twist during happy hour Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Priced at $5, patrons can enjoy house red, white and sparkling wine, Bud Lite and Goose Island IPA as well as rail cocktails with mixers. Additionally, guest can enjoy craft cocktails such as the Kiwi Smash with vodka, kiwi purée, lemon juice and simple syrup; Strawberry Lemonade with vodka, strawberry purée, lemon juice and simple syrup; Angel & Devil with tequila, lime juice, agave-infused rosemary, Aperol and soda; Cosmo Flip with vodka, muddled grapes, mint syrup, lime and cranberry juice; Margarita Classic with tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, and the Mojito Classic with light rum, mint and lime. For the perfect pairing, guests can savor a selection of small plates including Garlic Bean Dip with onion, dry roasted pepper and paprika; Tzatziki with roasted beets and garlic; Balkan Salad with tomato, peppers, cucumber, onion and cow cheese; Crispy Smelt with tartar sauce, and the Pork Slider, slow cooked pork with cabbage slaw and horseradish. Available all evening, seven days a week, the restaurant offers their popular Balkan Experience dinner menu: unlimited small plates for $35 per person or unlimited small plates, and larger platters for $45 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). The entire table must order the same package level of the Balkan Experience menu.
Additionally, Ambar Clarendon offers a late-night happy hour menu available exclusively at the bar on Friday and Saturday, from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Guests can enjoy a selection on small plates priced at $5 each. Highlights include the Ambar Slider with house-ground veal & beef, urnebes, lettuce and tomato; BBQ Pork Slider with coleslaw, Fresno pepper and horseradish dressing; Ambar Fries with homemade spices, red peppercorn and ajvar emulsion; Fried Chicken Slider with apple-wasabi salsa, almond crusted chicken and lettuce; Catfish Slider with tartar sauce and organic slaw; Zucchini Slider with tzatziki-cucumber, missed greens, ajvar aioli and sprouts, as well as the Balkan Salad with tomato, peppers, cucumber, onion and aged cow cheese. For additional information please call (703) 875-9663 or visit http://www.ambarrestaurant.com/home-page-clarendon/.
BABA, the sister restaurant to Ambar Clarendon, located at 2901 Wilson Blvd, 22201, offers the opportunity to experience Balkan cuisine that takes inspiration from European small plates. Happy hour is served Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Priced at $5, one can enjoy house red, white and sparkling wine, Heineken beer and pre-selected dishes off the restaurant’s small plates menu. Highlights include the Hand Cut Chips with kimchi yogurt; Greek Salad with peppers, cucumber, Kalamata olives and feta cheese; Grilled Vegetables with garlic bead spread, and the Prosciutto Croquettes with mustard dressing. Guests can also enjoy Chicken Skewers with Mediterranean marinade; Beef Skewers with kimchi yogurt and Shrimp with ginger lime aioli and microgreens blend. Dishes are priced from $3.50 to $5 each. Additionally, guest can enjoy select craft cocktails priced at $6. Standouts include Zastava Sidecar with Maraska Slivovitz, lemon juice, jalapeño, triple sec and hibiscus syrup; B&B with rum, beet juice, lime juice, maraschino liqueur and mint and the Brazilian Smash with cachaça, muddled mandarin orange, lime juice, honey and mint leaves. For additional information please call (703) 312-7978 or visit www.baba.bar.
Legal Sea Foods, located at 704 7th Street, NW, 20001, offers happy hour exclusively at the bar Monday through Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Patrons can indulge in half-priced freshly shucked clams and oysters, as well as a selection of bar bites. Priced at $7 each, one can also enjoy Buffalo Calamari with blue cheese, celery hearts and radish; Crab Toast with lump crab spread; Old Bay Hummus & Pita; Bang Bang Wings with kung pao sauce; Cheeseburger Sliders with mustard relish and fried pickles; Sriracha Shrimp with orange-ginger marmalade, as well as the Tuna Burger Sliders with red pepper aioli and fried pickles. For the perfect pairing, select draft beers are priced at $4.50, select wines by the glass are $5.95, and select Raising the Bar cocktails for $6.95. Highlights include the Legal Sangria with Spanish red wine, Cruzan raspberry and citrus rums, Merlet Crème de Pêche, lemon-lime soda and fresh fruit; Pineapple-Coconut Lemon Drop, citrus vodka, Malibu rum, pineapple and citrus; Apple Highball with Four Roses bourbon, Bulleit rye whiskey, Duche de Longueville sparkling apple cider and Angostura bitters, as well as the Tito's Mule with Tito’s Handmade vodka, muddled lime, ginger beer and lime. For additional information please call (202) 347–0007 or visit http://www.legalseafoods.com/.
Legal Sea Bar, located within Union Station, Washington, D.C. at 50 Massachusetts Ave, NE, 20002, offers happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Patrons can enjoy half-off all raw oysters, as well as a selection of bar bites. Priced at $7 each, standouts include Sriracha Shrimp with orange-ginger marmalade; Crab Cake Sliders with mustard sauce and coleslaw; Buffalo Calamari with blue cheese, celery hearts and radish, as well as Crab & Spinach Dip with feta, served with whole wheat pita chips. For imbibers, there are select draft beer for $4.50, select wines by the glass for $6.50, and select Raising the Bar cocktails for $6.95. Cocktails on the happy hour menu includes the Winter Citrus Sangria, Combier Pamplemousse, St. Germain, Sauvignon Blanc, botanicals, grapefruit soda and cinnamon; Good Time Charlie, Tito’s handmade vodka, Campari, falernum, guava, lemon and soda and the Pomegranate Lemon Drop with citrus vodka, pomegranate and citrus. For additional information please call (202) 864-0401 or visit http://www.legalseabar.com/.
MXDC Cocina Mexicana, located at 600 14th Street, NW, 20005, offers a wallet-friendly happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 p.m. to close (drinks only). Guests can partake in select red, white, and sparkling wines by the glass, priced at $6 each, as well as a $6 Margarita de Casa with Milagro blanco tequila, MXDC cordial, fresh lime,and agave, $30 house margarita pitchers, $25 red or white sangria pitchers, $5 Sol Tecate, Dos XX, and Tecate, and $6 house spirits. Guests will also find $7 select antojitos and tacos including Rockfish Aguachile Ceviche with cucumber, chile pequin, red onion and lime; Guacamole Traditional with tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapeño; Kabra Quesadilla with goat cheese, Cotija, arugula and smoked chile aioli; Nachos with tortillas, queso mix, pico de gallo, beans and pickled onion; Cuatro Queso Fundidos with Oaxaca, chihuahua, Cotija and queso fresco, served with tortillas; Carne Asada Tacos with soy-ginger marinade, pico de gallo, pickled red onion and avocado; Pollo Tacos with chile marinade, fajita salsa and avocado; Cochinita Pibil Tacos with braised pork shoulder, pickled red onion, cilantro and garlic aioli; Hongos Tacos with huitlacoche, wild mushrooms, truffled corn salsa and tomatillo, as well as Mahi Tacos with Baja beer batter, grilled pineapple chutney and chipotle aioli. For more information please call (202) 393-1900 or visit https://www.mxdcrestaurant.com/.
In Silver Spring, Buena Vida, located at 8407 Ramsey Avenue Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, which draws on the warm and relaxed characteristics of Mexico, offers a classic style happy hour of select beer, wines and cocktails for $5, Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Available all evening, seven days a week, the restaurant showcases their popular Latin Experience dinner menu: unlimited small plates (no alcohol) reflecting the signature flavors of Mexico for $35 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), unlimited small plates and unlimited drinks for $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Highlights include Colorado Lamb Ribs with chile pasilla, roasted garlic, Oaxaca cheese and potato purée; Tropical Tuna Ceviche with pineapple, red onion, chia seeds, habanero and lime; Beef Barbacoa Nachos with corn tortilla chips, black bean purée, cheese sauce and pickled chiles, and the Sweet Corn Empanadas, crispy organic maseca, guacamole, Oaxaca cheese, corn rajas, garlic and guajillo salsa. The Latin Experience menu must be ordered by the entire table. For more information please call (301) 587-8407or visit https://www.buenavidarestaurant.com.
The newly opened High Street Café, an American brassiere with a Latin twist, located in the heart of Georgetown at 1303 Wisconsin Ave, NW, 20007, offers happy hour Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 12 Midnight. During the early seating, guests can order select red and white wine by the glass, as well as Calimocho and Smirnoff cocktails priced all priced at $5. Select Mojitos, Caipirinhas, Margaritas and Ketel One specialty cocktails are also available and priced from $7 to $8 each, along with 16-oz cans of Mahou San Miguel and 12-oz bottles of Polar Pilsner priced at $5. An assortment of bar snacks and pizzas are also available and priced from $6 to $12. Highlights include the Yucca Croquettes with provolone, ajilimójili and mayo ketchup; Caribbean Fritters with beef and mayo ketchup; Pigeon Peas Two Ways with hummus and escabeche, served with house chips; Stuffed Plantains with avocado and pico de gallo, as well asRoasted Lechon Pizza with spicy tomato sauce, arugula and taleggio.
During the later seating, 10 p.m.to 12 a.m., guests can enjoy select red, white and rosé wine by the glass along with featured Calimocho and Don Q cocktails priced at $5. 16-oz cans of Mahou San Miguel and 12- oz bottles of Polar Pilsner are also available and priced at $, with select Don Q Anejo cocktails, priced at $7. An $8 industry special is also available ‘late night’ and offers guests a choice of 16 oz can of PBR 16 oz can of Mahou San Miguel or 12 oz bottle of Polar Pilsner paired with a 1.5 oz shot of Old Gran-Dad, Old Overholt Rye Whiskey or Aguardiente Antioqueno. For more information please call (202) 333-0256 or visit www.highstreetdc.com.
In Adams Morgan, Mintwood Place, a charming neighborhood brasserie, located at 1813 Columbia Road, NW, 20009, also offers happy hour Tuesday through Friday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (available exclusively at the bar). Guests can enjoy draft beer for $5, as well as select red, rosé, white and sparkling wines for $6, and a featured cocktail of the day for $8. A selection of small plates is also available, each priced from $5 to $16. Highlights include Escargot with garlic butter; Chicken Liver Mousse; Smoked Salmon Rillettes with toasted brioche; Burrata with beet carpaccio, hazelnuts, basil oil and pomegranate; Moules Frites Meuniere; Tagliatelle Bolognese with pecorino, and the Wood-Grilled, Dry-Aged Bacon Cheeseburger. For more information please call (202) 234-6732 or visit www.mintwoodplace.com.
Shaw’s newest hotspot, Zeppelin, located at 1544 9th Street, NW, 20001, pays homage to the Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships and is the perfect gathering place to enjoy Edomae (Edo-style) sushi and craft cocktails. Japanophiles are encouraged to stop by for Sakana Hour,which is available exclusively at the second-floor, 20-seat sushi counter. Sakana Hour is served seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and boasts an extensive selection of sushi, available at discounted pricing. Guests can look forward to a rotating list of nigiri, hand-selected by distinguished Executive Chef/Partner Minoru Ogawa. A second-generation sushi chef with four decades of experience, Ogawa carefully chooses fish from the Toyosu Market in Tokyo, Japan, which are imported directly to the restaurant. Signature pieces are priced from $2 to $3 each, and include Iwana, arctic char; Maguro, tuna; Tako, octopus boiled in-house with Mirin and sake; Suzuki, bronzini; Sawara, Spanish mackerel andHirame, flounder.
Those in need of a refreshment are encouraged to stop by the first-floor cocktail bar and expansive patio for Bubbly Hour, which is also available seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bubbly Hour offers two vintage Champagnes by the glass, available at half-price, along with $3 Sapporo drafts and a $6 specialty highball, the Toki Baller with Toki, lemon peel and baller bubbles, from the restaurant’s Toki Highball Machine. For more information please call (202) 506-1769 or visit www.zeppelindc.com.
The “modern Israeli” concept, SABABA, located in the heart of Cleveland Park at 3311 Connecticut Avenue, 20008, is a wonderful oasis to enjoy a cocktail and wind down the day. Happy hour is served exclusively at the bar Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and offers Hummus Tahina, served with pita, priced at $4. One will also find $6 draft beer, $7 wines by the glass, and $3 off specialty cocktails. New libations for the season include the Z&T with fresh zaatar, Green Hat gin and Fever Tree tonic, poured tableside over an ice block with frozen herbs and Jupiter berries; the Orange Fashion with clementine shrub-infused rye whiskey, brandied cherries, smoked orange rind, Regan orange bitters and sweet vermouth, and the Charred Lemon Lemonata with grilled lemons, crushed ice, lemongrass-infused vodka, fresh squeezed lemon, lemon zest and simple syrup, served in a citrus marmalade-rimmed glass with crystalized mint leaves. For reservations, please call (202) 244-6750 or visit www.sababauptown.com.
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