Bottoms Up: The Top Speakeasies In Washington, DC
Photo Credit: Photo credit: Jordan Lye

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Jordan Lye

Bottoms Up: The Top Speakeasies In Washington, DC

washington dc , speakeasy
Rafael Peña
Rafael Peña Sep 21, 2023

In the heart of the Chocolate City, a place known for its vibrant energy and cultural richness, Washington D.C.’s nightlife thrives like no other. From the spirited celebrations of Howard Homecoming to the bustling DC nightlife, this city offers an unparalleled atmosphere.

What truly elevates the nightlife experience in Washington D.C. are its hidden speakeasies scattered throughout the urban landscape. Fortunately, Travel Noire has compiled an exclusive guide, revealing the hottest speakeasies in the nation’s capital for your imbibing pleasure.

Off The Record

Situated not far from Lafayette Square, The Hay-Adams has history as a residential hotel in the 1920s. Down in its cozy, subterranean sanctuary, you’ll find a vibe about secrecy and sophistication. Earning it the reputation as the spot to see and stay discreet. Think plush, crimson banquettes, walls adorned with political caricatures, and a mix of patrons ranging from sharp-suited lobbyists to in-the-know locals and stylish tourists who blend right in. Dive into an extensive Scotch selection or savor the timeless appeal of classic cocktails like the meticulously prepared Manhattan.

The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speakeasy

Located within the elegant yet intimate confines of Georgetown’s The Graham Georgetown Hotel lies The Alex. A charming establishment that gracefully marries Victorian elegance with a “farm-to-glass” cocktail concept. Some evenings, the ambiance is elevated by the soothing sounds of live jazz music. The bar’s thematic decor tips its hat to Alexander Graham Bell, with telephone-inspired accents throughout. To enter this speakeasy-style gem, one must possess a special code for keyless access. The menu boasts an extensive selection of shareable bites and substantial dishes. The Alex is the perfect spot to revel in a night reminiscent of the late 19th century.

Chicken + Whiskey

In the heart of the vibrant 14th Street, you’ll find Chicken + Whiskey. Here, you’ll find a unique fusion of a fast-casual South American-style chicken eatery and a whiskey connoisseur’s haven. After savoring their delectable chicken dishes, venture through a seemingly ordinary refrigerator door at the back – a surprising entrance to an inviting wood-paneled bar. Discover a world of two-ounce whiskey pours, well-priced cocktails, and an extensive vinyl collection. On select evenings, talented DJs set the ambiance with their music. Whether you fancy international or domestic whiskeys or prefer expertly crafted cocktails, this establishment has your libation desires covered.


An innovative oasis awaits in the heart of Downtown DC’s Eaton Workshop. The establishment features a 200-plus room hotel, a forward-thinking co-working hub, and an array of four distinct dining and drinking experiences. Venture toward the hotel’s rear, where a hidden world comes to life behind a book-lined wall. The Allegory is an elegant yet enigmatic cocktail bar boasting an expansive drink menu. Sink into plush leather couches, soak in the mural honoring civil rights champion Ruby Bridges, and enjoy the playful infusion of Alice in Wonderland elements as you savor literary-inspired libations.

600 T

Located at 600 T Street NW, the unassuming basement bar in Shaw boasts wood and brick interiors, creating an intimate ambiance accentuated by moody lighting and a crackling fireplace. Flying mostly under the radar and thriving on word-of-mouth praise, this hidden gem lures in speakeasy enthusiasts from D.C. and beyond. Its menu features drinks simply named after their core spirit, such as the Bourbon, a delightful concoction marrying Buffalo Trace whiskey with strawberry-infused Campari, Amaro di Angostura, and chocolate bitters, all served over a large ice cube.

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