clock menu more-arrow no yes
Tune Inn
The bar at the Tune Inn on Capitol Hill
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Where to Drink Solo on Valentine’s Day in D.C.

15 dive-y places free of sappy nonsense

View as Map
The bar at the Tune Inn on Capitol Hill
| Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Dining at a fancy restaurant on Valentine's Day isn't for everyone. Some people — especially singles — might prefer the familiar feel of a dive-y place full of regulars who may or may not need to engage in drinking conversation. Cheap booze flows all night at these low-key watering holes, and visitors shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to secure a seat.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Quarry House Tavern

Copy Link
8401 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 844-5504
Visit Website

This iconic Silver Spring basement bar is covered in wood and devoid of natural light. Spin a favorite song on the vintage jukebox, grab an essential burger and a cold beer, and let the chaos of the day fade away.

2. Lyman's Tavern

Copy Link
3720 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 723-0502
Visit Website

Belly up to the bar at Lyman’s for frosty pints of cut-rate beer, free popcorn, and fully dressed hot dogs. Got money to burn? Hit the pinball machines in back.

Pinball and arcade games at Lyman’s Tavern
Pinball and arcade games at Lyman’s Tavern
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

3. Atomic Billiards

Copy Link
3427 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 363-7665
Visit Website

Head underground and get a Valentine’s Day distraction with pool, darts, shuffleboard and one of the city’s best classic jukeboxes. Come on a full stomach though — the only food offered here comes in a bag of chips.

4. DC Reynolds

Copy Link
3628 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 506-7178

Time is running out to knock back buy-one-get-one happy hour drinks at this no-frills Petworth hangout. The bar announced it will close in April 2020 after eight years of businesses. Pair rounds of drinks with a spicy grilled chicken or crispy pork belly sandwich, or maybe a plate of black bean dip or fries.

5. Raven Grill

Copy Link
3125 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 387-8411
Visit Website

Mount Pleasant's Raven Grill — it doesn't actually serve food — is one of the oldest bars in D.C. It's cheap, and its jukebox is well-worn.

6. Breadsoda Bar, Deli & Billiards

Copy Link
2233 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-7445
Visit Website

Grab a group of friends for shuffleboard, pool, and board games at this Glover Park basement bar. The kitchen has a broad selection of hot and cold sandwiches along with soups and appetizers like hummus and charcuterie. Craft beers and cocktails come at fair prices, especially during happy hour.

7. Last Call

Copy Link
1301 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Gina Chersevani knows a thing or two about mixing cocktails, and she channels that into a New Orleans vibe at this garage-themed hangout. Beer and rail drinks are cheap, as is the draft old fashioned ($6). For something fancier, try the Erin Rose, a frozen iced coffee made with a Green Chartreuse float.

The bar and tables at Last Call
The bar and tables at Last Call
Rey Lopez/For Last Call

8. Recessions

Copy Link
1823 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 296-6686
Visit Website

The underground location is only part of the appeal of this after-work spot downtown. There’s also the carpet, the karaoke, the happy hour, and the puzzling decor. Happy hour specials include $4 rail drinks, 28-ounce “King Kong” drafts for $5, and $5 appetizers.

9. Jimmy Valentine's

Copy Link
1103 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Come here for outlandishly goth decor, the trippy decor, and an endless supply of PBR tallboys.

Jimmy Valentine's DC bar The bar at Jimmy Valentine’s. Jimmy Valentine’s [Official photo]

10. Post Pub

Copy Link
1422 L St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 628-2111
Visit Website

Go to this dark, dank bar adjacent to the site of the former Washington Post building (now the sparkling, mixed-use Midtown Center) for domestic drafts and bacon and cheese “Diplomat” burgers under $10. — Gabe Hiatt

A look at the Post Pub as the Washington Post prepares to move to a new building in Washington, DC. Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

11. Stan's

Copy Link
1029 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4488
Visit Website

Regulars have been enjoying stiff drinks — think pint glasses full of liquor flanked by mini-carafes of mixers — at Stan’s for decades.

12. The Pug

Copy Link
1234 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 388-8554
Visit Website

Valentine’s Day. Arbor Day. Judgement Day. It’s all the same to Atlas District standby the Pug. There’s beer, liquor, and some snacks in the vending machines.

13. Union Trust

Copy Link
740 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Centrally located to downtown D.C., this hard-to-spot bar is a collaboration between Pug owner Tony Tomelden and Solly’s owner John Solomon. Expect cold beer, a cocktail on tap, and no food.

14. Galaxy Hut

Copy Link
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
Visit Website

This Arlington mainstay is home to draft beers, assorted grilled cheese sandwiches, tater tots, and local music.

People have a grand time at Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. Xiaomei Chen/ The Washington Post via Getty Images

15. Tune Inn

Copy Link
331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-2725
Visit Website

This bar got a little cleaner and a little classier after a post-fire renovation, but there's still taxidermy decorations, cheap beer and all-day breakfast.

Tune Inn Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

1. Quarry House Tavern

8401 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

This iconic Silver Spring basement bar is covered in wood and devoid of natural light. Spin a favorite song on the vintage jukebox, grab an essential burger and a cold beer, and let the chaos of the day fade away.

8401 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Lyman's Tavern

3720 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010
Pinball and arcade games at Lyman’s Tavern
Pinball and arcade games at Lyman’s Tavern
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Belly up to the bar at Lyman’s for frosty pints of cut-rate beer, free popcorn, and fully dressed hot dogs. Got money to burn? Hit the pinball machines in back.

3720 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

3. Atomic Billiards

3427 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Head underground and get a Valentine’s Day distraction with pool, darts, shuffleboard and one of the city’s best classic jukeboxes. Come on a full stomach though — the only food offered here comes in a bag of chips.

3427 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

4. DC Reynolds

3628 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

Time is running out to knock back buy-one-get-one happy hour drinks at this no-frills Petworth hangout. The bar announced it will close in April 2020 after eight years of businesses. Pair rounds of drinks with a spicy grilled chicken or crispy pork belly sandwich, or maybe a plate of black bean dip or fries.

3628 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

5. Raven Grill

3125 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

Mount Pleasant's Raven Grill — it doesn't actually serve food — is one of the oldest bars in D.C. It's cheap, and its jukebox is well-worn.

3125 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

6. Breadsoda Bar, Deli & Billiards

2233 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Grab a group of friends for shuffleboard, pool, and board games at this Glover Park basement bar. The kitchen has a broad selection of hot and cold sandwiches along with soups and appetizers like hummus and charcuterie. Craft beers and cocktails come at fair prices, especially during happy hour.

2233 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

7. Last Call

1301 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
The bar and tables at Last Call
The bar and tables at Last Call
Rey Lopez/For Last Call

Gina Chersevani knows a thing or two about mixing cocktails, and she channels that into a New Orleans vibe at this garage-themed hangout. Beer and rail drinks are cheap, as is the draft old fashioned ($6). For something fancier, try the Erin Rose, a frozen iced coffee made with a Green Chartreuse float.

1301 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

8. Recessions

1823 L St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

The underground location is only part of the appeal of this after-work spot downtown. There’s also the carpet, the karaoke, the happy hour, and the puzzling decor. Happy hour specials include $4 rail drinks, 28-ounce “King Kong” drafts for $5, and $5 appetizers.

1823 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

9. Jimmy Valentine's

1103 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Jimmy Valentine's DC bar The bar at Jimmy Valentine’s. Jimmy Valentine’s [Official photo]

Come here for outlandishly goth decor, the trippy decor, and an endless supply of PBR tallboys.

1103 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

10. Post Pub

1422 L St NW, Washington, DC 20005
A look at the Post Pub as the Washington Post prepares to move to a new building in Washington, DC. Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Go to this dark, dank bar adjacent to the site of the former Washington Post building (now the sparkling, mixed-use Midtown Center) for domestic drafts and bacon and cheese “Diplomat” burgers under $10. — Gabe Hiatt

1422 L St NW
Washington, DC 20005

11. Stan's

1029 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Regulars have been enjoying stiff drinks — think pint glasses full of liquor flanked by mini-carafes of mixers — at Stan’s for decades.

1029 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

12. The Pug

1234 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Valentine’s Day. Arbor Day. Judgement Day. It’s all the same to Atlas District standby the Pug. There’s beer, liquor, and some snacks in the vending machines.

1234 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

13. Union Trust

740 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Centrally located to downtown D.C., this hard-to-spot bar is a collaboration between Pug owner Tony Tomelden and Solly’s owner John Solomon. Expect cold beer, a cocktail on tap, and no food.

740 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

14. Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
People have a grand time at Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. Xiaomei Chen/ The Washington Post via Getty Images

This Arlington mainstay is home to draft beers, assorted grilled cheese sandwiches, tater tots, and local music.

2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

15. Tune Inn

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
Tune Inn Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

This bar got a little cleaner and a little classier after a post-fire renovation, but there's still taxidermy decorations, cheap beer and all-day breakfast.

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Related Maps