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Dino's Grotto
Dino's Grotto
R. Lopez

D.C.'s Cheap Cocktails: Where to Find Drinks Under $10

These cocktails won't break the bank.

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Dino's Grotto
| R. Lopez

Cocktails these days often cost as much as a first course at a restaurant. It's not uncommon to drop over $12 on a single drink in D.C. With those prices, bar tabs can add up quickly.

Sure, it's easy enough to find dive bars slinging cheap rail liquor or restaurants offering happy hour specials. But aside from that, getting a well-crafted cocktail at a reasonable price is extremely difficult.

Thankfully, there are several spots were thirsty patrons can get a quality drink for under $10 – which, sad as it is, is a bargain in this city. Here are 15 to check out:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bar Charley

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1825 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 627-2183
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A pair of rotating draft tiki cocktails are just $7.95 all day and night. Classic drinks, including the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac, sell for $8.95.

2. Burger Tap & Shake Foggy Bottom

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2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
(202) 587-6258
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Wash down a burger with a boozy ice cream "shaketail." There are several varieties to choose from and each is just $8. The Apocalypto uses cinnamon whiskey, marshmallows and chocolate ice cream. There's also Talladega Nights, a shake with sweet tea vodka, homemade limoncello, vanilla ice cream and lemon juice. The only drawback? They must be enjoyed in-house.

3. Cactus Cantina

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3300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 686-7222
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This popular and kid-friendly Tex-Mex spot serves regular, frozen or strawberry-lime swirl margaritas for $7.50 a glass.

4. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

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801-A 9th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 408-1600
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The standard mojito at this well-themed Cuban restaurant runs just $9.25. Additions can be made to up the flavor and the price.

5. Daikaya

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705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 589-1600
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The draft mule at this Japanese izakaya sells for $9. The $8 "Seasame Street" drink is a blend of shochu, ginger beer, yuzu and Angostura bitters. Sake bomb dai-drops are $7 each.

6. Dino's Grotto

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1914 9th ST NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 686-2966
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Start off an Italian meal at this cozy Shaw restaurant with a classic and refreshing Aperol spritz for just $9.

7. GBD (Golden Brown Delicious)

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1323 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 524-5210
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This doughnut and fried chicken joint always has a selection of house punches on hand for $8 a glass. Among the current options is the a concoction called Tarragon With the Wind, made with mixed berry-infused rum, lemon, Egyptian chamomile and tarragon.
Official

8. Gringos & Mariachis

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4928 Cordell Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(240) 800-4266
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House margaritas at this lively Mexican spot are $8. For $7, try the Calmate – a cocktail of silver tequila, lime and house-made grenadine.
Eater.com

9. Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro

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713 H St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 289-4441
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The Chinatown location of this pizza chain slings dark and stormy cocktails for $8 each. There's also the $8 lemon quencher, made with sweet tea vodka and lemonade.

10. Olivia's Diner

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1120 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 775-3777
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This new modern diner has a couple of $9 cocktails, including The Ryan, which mixes whiskey, triple sec, simple syrup and ginger ale. Or try The Twins, a blend of Malibu rum, vodka, and pineapple and cranberry juices.

11. Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

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829 Upshur St NW
Washington, D.C. 20011
Swing by and sip from the rotating daily punch bowl for just $6 a glass.

12. Roofers Union

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2446 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-7663
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If a standard glass of beer just doesn't cut it, stop by Roofer's Union for a hop-tail. Order the Tear the Roof off, which blends Stiegl Radler and Campari. Or, go with the Here Comes the Sun, a mix of Port City Optimal Wit, Jim Beam, ginger syrup and lemon.

13. The Fainting Goat

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1330 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 735-0344
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The creative punches here "pack a punch" at the reasonable price of $8. The punch bahia is a blend of cacacha, white rum, guava, passion fruit and guarana soda.

14. The Queen Vic

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1206 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 396-2001
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This H Street bar features several unique beer cocktails. Examples include a a blend of hard cider, blueberry vodka and Sprite for $7.27. Or splurge on a combo of IPA and St. Germain liqueur or a Jameson shandy for $8.18.

15. Tryst

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2459 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-5500
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This cafe serves up warm Irish coffees for just $6 each. Be sure to check the seasonal cocktail list as well— there are always a few other very affordable options available.

1. Bar Charley

1825 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
A pair of rotating draft tiki cocktails are just $7.95 all day and night. Classic drinks, including the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac, sell for $8.95.
1825 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

2. Burger Tap & Shake Foggy Bottom

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20052
Wash down a burger with a boozy ice cream "shaketail." There are several varieties to choose from and each is just $8. The Apocalypto uses cinnamon whiskey, marshmallows and chocolate ice cream. There's also Talladega Nights, a shake with sweet tea vodka, homemade limoncello, vanilla ice cream and lemon juice. The only drawback? They must be enjoyed in-house.
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

3. Cactus Cantina

3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
This popular and kid-friendly Tex-Mex spot serves regular, frozen or strawberry-lime swirl margaritas for $7.50 a glass.
3300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

4. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

801-A 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The standard mojito at this well-themed Cuban restaurant runs just $9.25. Additions can be made to up the flavor and the price.
801-A 9th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

5. Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The draft mule at this Japanese izakaya sells for $9. The $8 "Seasame Street" drink is a blend of shochu, ginger beer, yuzu and Angostura bitters. Sake bomb dai-drops are $7 each.
705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

6. Dino's Grotto

1914 9th ST NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Start off an Italian meal at this cozy Shaw restaurant with a classic and refreshing Aperol spritz for just $9.
1914 9th ST NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. GBD (Golden Brown Delicious)

1323 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Official
This doughnut and fried chicken joint always has a selection of house punches on hand for $8 a glass. Among the current options is the a concoction called Tarragon With the Wind, made with mixed berry-infused rum, lemon, Egyptian chamomile and tarragon.
1323 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

8. Gringos & Mariachis

4928 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
Eater.com
House margaritas at this lively Mexican spot are $8. For $7, try the Calmate – a cocktail of silver tequila, lime and house-made grenadine.
4928 Cordell Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

9. Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro

713 H St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The Chinatown location of this pizza chain slings dark and stormy cocktails for $8 each. There's also the $8 lemon quencher, made with sweet tea vodka and lemonade.
713 H St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Olivia's Diner

1120 19th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
This new modern diner has a couple of $9 cocktails, including The Ryan, which mixes whiskey, triple sec, simple syrup and ginger ale. Or try The Twins, a blend of Malibu rum, vodka, and pineapple and cranberry juices.
1120 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

11. Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

829 Upshur St NW, Washington, D.C. 20011
Swing by and sip from the rotating daily punch bowl for just $6 a glass.
829 Upshur St NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

12. Roofers Union

2446 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
If a standard glass of beer just doesn't cut it, stop by Roofer's Union for a hop-tail. Order the Tear the Roof off, which blends Stiegl Radler and Campari. Or, go with the Here Comes the Sun, a mix of Port City Optimal Wit, Jim Beam, ginger syrup and lemon.
2446 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

13. The Fainting Goat

1330 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
The creative punches here "pack a punch" at the reasonable price of $8. The punch bahia is a blend of cacacha, white rum, guava, passion fruit and guarana soda.
1330 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

14. The Queen Vic

1206 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
This H Street bar features several unique beer cocktails. Examples include a a blend of hard cider, blueberry vodka and Sprite for $7.27. Or splurge on a combo of IPA and St. Germain liqueur or a Jameson shandy for $8.18.
1206 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

15. Tryst

2459 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
This cafe serves up warm Irish coffees for just $6 each. Be sure to check the seasonal cocktail list as well— there are always a few other very affordable options available.
2459 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

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