Experience the hottest and coolest places to spend a night along DC's U Street Corridor.
With an unparalleled music and nightlife scene, U Street draws locals and visitors looking to stay up late and have a good time. From underground dance clubs (there's more than one in this 'hood) to industrial-chic spaces where you can sip artfully crafted cocktails and everything in between, this popular area in the District has every option to suit your vibe.
This legendary venue just off U Street is where both famous and rising stars come to perform to sold-out, raucous crowds. Even with a big audience, it’s still spacious; armed with a balcony, there’s good views no matter where you’re standing. You can fill up on great veggie fare there, too.
Nellie’s Sports Bar
The brightly colored Colada Shop – located just off of U Street – is a photographer’s dream. This Cuban cafe-bar hybrid is packed with pastel hues and good vibes, which extend to the dog-friendly patio and rooftop garden. Reasonably-priced bites bring to life diverse flavors and are best paired with a bold Cuban coffee by day and a cocktail by night. Head to the rooftop on Thursdays for a Caribbean-themed all-night happy hour starring $6 cocktails and $2 empanadas.
Billed as an “adult treehouse,” the turf-adorned El Techo brings the heat with spicy margaritas and the creative Mexican street food you’ve come to expect from the downstairs Rito Loco shop. El Techo also offers Spanish-inspired tapas and a number of cervezas for the perfect warm-weather happy hour.
The corner of U and 14th Streets may be one of the most well-known and crowded intersections in the city, but The Gibson remains inconspicuous, and for good reason. This intimate speakeasy, accessible only through an unmarked door, attracts couples and cocktail lovers alike. Dimly lit tables require reservations, while bar seats and the patio remain walk-in-ready when bespoke drinks are calling your name.
This British pub has become a popular happy hour and late-night locale, situated along the nightlife hub that is U Street. Head upstairs to the roof deck for some memorable views, especially during sunset. And oh yeah, there’s some beverages and bites you’ll want to accompany your relaxation: happy hour means all draughts are $2 off and plenty of food options for under $10.
This bar and music venue is as unapologetically divey as it gets in an ever-evolving neighborhood. Happy hour goes late, but drinks are still quite affordable on any of the three floors. Hang out downstairs in a cozy booth; visit the middle floor for stand-up comedy, live music or ‘90s dance parties; and take a breather on the top-floor patio (which is open year-round and covered in the winter).
Group of friends at Marvin rooftop on 14th Street - Summer in Washington, DC
More than just a historic venue, its two stories, alfresco patio and maze of rooms get crowded late with patrons who flock to this see-and-be-seen space. Named for DC-born soul singer Marvin Gaye, this hot spot serves authentic soul food with a Belgian twist amid fantastically ornate decor. Crowds get down upstairs on the dance floor, too.
Velvet Lounge & Dodge City
The Dirty Goose
Just across the street from Nellie’s in the heart of the U Street corridor lies The Dirty Goose, which prides itself on great drinks and even better vibes. Choose from an array of martinis with – you guessed it – Grey Goose vodka, kick back and relax. We recommend checking out this popular bar during weekday happy hour, when drinks are half price from 5 - 9 p.m.
801 Restaurant & Bar
"Good vibes only" isn't just the motto at 801 Restaurant & Bar, it's also the first thing patrons see (illuminated in white lights) when reaching the top of the stairs at this rooftop bar straddling the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods. If you're with a thirsty group, try the signature 801 Mega Mule – a multi-person Moscow Mule served in a massive copper mug.