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Where To Eat and Drink During The Debates

Politics is always better with alcohol

Spanish tapas joint Boqueria has big plans for each of the debates.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will continue to duke it out at several debates this election season. The next one is Sunday evening.

No matter what a person's political preference, all can vote that accompanying food and drink specials are always winners that take the edge off.

Since August, Eater has been frequently updating a growing guide for election specials around town.

While the Republican and Democratic camps nervously await how each debate night will play out in front of millions of Americans, the only debate D.C. eaters and drinkers need to have is what to order next.

Here are some Eater picks for the feisty face-off.

Got more debate night screenings to share? Send to

Penn Social

801 E St. NW

A 22-foot screen TV (with sound!) will be showing the final debate at Penn Social. To go with: $4 beer specials.

The Big Board

421 H St. NE

$10 scotch pours and $15 Bud (Light) Buckets await watchers upstairs at this H Street restaurant.

The Ugly Mug

723 8th St. SE

13 TVs with surround sound await debate watchers at The Ugly Mug, as do drink specials.

Ben's Next Door

1211 U St. NW

The upscale neighbor to Ben's Chili Bowl is holding a debate-watching party, and promises a "casual setting" and discussion.

Nellie's Sports Bar

900 U St. NW

Nellie's has been offering $15 buckets of Bud products for each of the previous debates (including the VP stand-off).

Capitol Lounge

231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

The Capitol Hill watering hole has developed a very special debate drinking game, with drinks, shots and pounding beers associated with things each candidate will probably say. Please, drink responsibly.

The Graham Georgetown

1075 Thomas Jefferson St. NW

This preppy upscale hotel will hold a viewing party in its craft cocktail lounge, The Alex, for each of the debates. Drink specials and blue and red Jello-O shots will be offered.

Pennsylvania 6 DC

1350 I St NW

For the upscale seafood eatery’s Presidential Happy Hour, expect $1 Chesapeake Bay oysters, $5 oyster shooters, $10 champs, $7 house wine, and $1 off draft beers. Available from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., enjoy these specials while watching each debate from several large flat screens.


1837 M St. NW

"Big Talks, Small Plates" is the name of the game here. Enjoy a menu of unlimited tapas and drinks for each debate night. Priced at $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity, the menu starts 15 minutes prior to the debate. Seating in the debate screening room is limited, so for reservations call 202-558-9545. For drinks, choose from draft beer and sangría, while 10 dishes run the gamut from Tortilla Española to Escalivada to Garbanzos Fritos.


1340 U St. NW

Enjoy happy hour until the chatter ends at this U Street bar.

DC Reynolds

3628 Georgia Ave. NW

Find the debates with the sound on inside (not the patio) at this bar.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle

950 I St. NW

Order a red or blue VIP cocktails during the debates at Del Frisco's, which will be shown tonight.

Lincoln, Declaration Teddy and the Bully Bar (multiple locations)

The sister restaurants will have themed pizza, presidential cocktails, and other specials during the presidential debates, plus extra televisions and even presidential mascot appearances.

Busboys & Poets (all locations)

The debate will be streamed on the large screens at every Busboys and Poets location, with specials available at every location all night. A sampling of some activities: a book presentation, open mics, panel discussions, and election-themed bingo, Skittles on the house.

Ventnor Sports Cafe

2411 18th St. NW

The sports bar will show the debate on both floors. Bingo cards will be used, and expect prizes for the winners throughout the night. Prime TV views will be aplenty, as there are 40 throughout.

Bar Pilar

1833 14th St. NW

Watch the drama unfold on a big screen projector in the upstairs dining room, with a rousing game of Debate Bingo while eating and drinking. Guests who cover an entire bingo card of debate topics and sound bytes get a complimentary drink from the bar. No reservations needed.

The Renaissance Dupont

1143 New Hampshire Ave. NW

The hotel has complimentary blue and red-themed punches in the lobby, as well as themed cocktails and several sessions of "Debate Bingo" scheduled on debate days.

The Passenger

1539 7th St. NW

This popular bar has been showing the debates on a projector upstairs, and includes cocktail specials like The End of the World and The Drumpf.


1904 14th St. NW

Find happy hour pricing all debate long at this 14th Street lounge.


901 U St NW

The Brixton will have two floors open for debate-watching, as well as cocktail specials.

Stanton & Greene

319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Multiple TVs, patriot punches, and campaign cocktails will all be served at this party. There's debate bingo, too, and reservations are suggested.

Ventnor Sports Cafe

2411 18th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 234-3070 Visit Website

Pennsylvania 6 DC

1350 I St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 (202) 796-1600 Visit Website


807 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 257-3177 Visit Website

Bar Pilar

1833 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 265-1751 Visit Website

Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 898-9000 Visit Website