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Head to the Southwest Waterfront for a martini at the Grill
The Grill

18 Places to Order a Martini in D.C.

Gin or vodka, olives or twist — all are on the table

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Head to the Southwest Waterfront for a martini at the Grill
| The Grill

Beyond being one of the most iconic drinks in cocktail history, martinis bring a certain elegance to any situation, especially for customers who prefer their beverages on the savory side. This map makes no judgment on gin versus vodka, dry versus vermouth-heavy, or garnish debates that may determine what makes the ultimate martini. But it does stick to places that excel at classic versions rather than the sweeter (or more dressed-up) drinks that share the same name. For anyone craving an espresso martini — there are plenty of those out there right now, too.

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O.K.P.B.

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This speakeasy (with bartenders from the former Sheppard) offers half-priced martinis (among other classics) during happy hour, which means they’re $7.

The bar at O.K.P.B. in Mt. Pleasant.
The bar at O.K.P.B. in Mt. Pleasant.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Find a flavorful twist on the martini here featuring Capitoline vermouth, za’atar olive brine, and sumac-sesame oil ($16).

A martini with herbs in it.
Za’atar martini from Maydan.
@mojalvo for Maydan

Left Door

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Order a martini at Left Door, and the bartender will immediately ask you what gin-to-vermouth ratio you are looking for. The martini spin on their current cocktail menu, Revenge of the Gibson Girl, is a mixture of Beefeater, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Genepy, celery bitters, and a big onion they pickle themselves (be warned it’s on the sweeter side).

Martini with a pickled onion
Revenge of the Gibson Girl at Left Door
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Annie's Paramount Steak House

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This longtime gathering place for the gay community and the Dupont Circle neighborhood as a whole is known for martinis that are strong and generously portioned.

Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse storefront, with someone whizzing by on a scooter in front
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse [Photo: Official site]

Astoria DC

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Though their tiki drinks have received more attention, Astoria has a full cocktail menu devoted to the classic, and they encourage variation in martini ordering, where customers can specify ratios, spirit, and garnishes, ask for the house version, etc. That house version is smooth and chilled, and goes down easily.

Martini on a coaster with a tiki cup in the background
Martini at Astoria
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Never Looked Better

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Though some high-end cocktail bars tend to get snobby about vodka, this speakeasy in Blagden Alley is anything but, going as far to divide its menu into “Vodka Has Never Looked Better” and “Not Vodka” sections. The bar’s dirty martini is accented with bleu cheese stuffed olives, and its French martini keeps things on the wet side (there are even some throwback spinoffs like an espresso martini and an appletini).

Espresso martini next to a couch on an art deco-style table with another drink to the side of it
Espresso Martini from Never Looked Better
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Blue Duck Tavern

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Blue Duck Tavern’s new caviar martini ($60) comes together thanks to chilled single estate, all-organic Belvedere vodka, and Petrossian Royal Daurenki caviar. Simply put, it’s luxury in a glass.

Bourbon Steak

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The lounge at this restaurant within the Four Seasons in Georgetown is one of D.C.’s classier locations to sip a martini, and the bartenders consistently serve well-executed versions. At one point, a truffle-accented dirty martini appeared on the cocktail menu.

A long bar with wooden seats and back-lit bottles
The lounge at Bourbon Steak
Bourbon Steak [Official photo]

Imperfecto

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Many of us were introduced to a martini thanks to the James Bond film series. The “Double ‘O’ Seven” is (of course) shaken, not stirred and made with London dry gin, Grey Goose, mastiha liqueur (which 007 would not recognize), and garnished with Greek olives.

Off the Record

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One of D.C.’s best hotel bars (as well as a historical hangout for journalists), Off the Record is the place to order a generously-portioned martini if you’re looking for an old-school vibe.

Two red chairs, a table, and two cocktails on the table, including a martini with olives to the right
Cocktails, including a martini, at Off the Record
Hay-Adams [official site]

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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Miami transplant steakhouse Joe’s has lofty ceilings, a terrific happy hour, and bartenders who know how to make a good martini. Sadly, though, martinis aren’t currently featured on the half-priced classic cocktail menu during said terrific happy hour — but you can still pair one with discounted snacks and raw bar.

Joe’s Seafood dining room
Joe’s Seafood
Joe’s Seafood/official photo

L'Ardente

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This glam Italian spot‘s whet martini ($16) is heavy on vermouth, making it easier to have plenty in large part to the fortified wine’s lower alcohol content. Topped with basil oil, the concoction is vigourously stirred ice-cold.

Old Ebbitt Grill

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Old Ebbitt’s well-trained bartenders know their way around a number of classic cocktails, including the martini. Have one at the oyster bar during happy hour when raw bar items are half-priced.

Olive-garnished martini with a menu in background.
Martini from Old Ebbitt
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Mastro's Steakhouse

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Mastro’s is the rare place where they’ll shake the martini in front of you and leave what remains in the shaker behind for you to refresh your drink with later. Their signature spin on the cocktail is vodka-based, and garnished with bleu cheese-stuffed olives.

A martini next to a cocktail menu
Mastro’s house martini
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Silver Lyan

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Situated in the depths of Penn Quarter’s Riggs hotel, this classy cocktail lair led by London’s world-famous bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana is back with its martini service for one ($23) or two ($42). There’s two options each for vodka or gin, served with an oyster, pickled onions, and lemon. Chetiyawardana’s version of choice? The fifty-fifty ratio of Fords Gin and Dolin vermouth.

barmini by José Andrés

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Find three different versions of a martini in the “classics” section of this avant garde bar’s drink menu. There’s a spin on the James Bond-themed Vesper, spiked with Kina, a classic dry martini, and a martini cocktail that adds sweet vermouth and orange liqueur to the mix.

The Grill

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The Grill has a fun “martini your way” section of its menu where diners can customize by spirit, style, garnish, etc. The cocktail menu also contains a traditional and “perfect” riff on the drink, as well as a spin on the James Bond-influenced Vesper cocktail.

Martini-style cocktail with bar in the background
Cocktail from The Grill
The Grill [Official Site]

Caruso's Grocery

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The antipasto dirty martini sounds like a gimmick, but Caruso’s actually pulls it off. The martini itself isn’t too briny, and it’s surprising how nicely mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes work as less traditional garnishes here. The best part? It’s $10.

A martini with olive, mozzarella, and cherry tomato as garnish, on a table with a menu
The antipasto martini at Caruso’s
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

O.K.P.B.

This speakeasy (with bartenders from the former Sheppard) offers half-priced martinis (among other classics) during happy hour, which means they’re $7.

The bar at O.K.P.B. in Mt. Pleasant.
The bar at O.K.P.B. in Mt. Pleasant.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Maydan

Find a flavorful twist on the martini here featuring Capitoline vermouth, za’atar olive brine, and sumac-sesame oil ($16).

A martini with herbs in it.
Za’atar martini from Maydan.
@mojalvo for Maydan

Left Door

Order a martini at Left Door, and the bartender will immediately ask you what gin-to-vermouth ratio you are looking for. The martini spin on their current cocktail menu, Revenge of the Gibson Girl, is a mixture of Beefeater, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Genepy, celery bitters, and a big onion they pickle themselves (be warned it’s on the sweeter side).

Martini with a pickled onion
Revenge of the Gibson Girl at Left Door
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Annie's Paramount Steak House

This longtime gathering place for the gay community and the Dupont Circle neighborhood as a whole is known for martinis that are strong and generously portioned.

Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse storefront, with someone whizzing by on a scooter in front
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse [Photo: Official site]

Astoria DC

Though their tiki drinks have received more attention, Astoria has a full cocktail menu devoted to the classic, and they encourage variation in martini ordering, where customers can specify ratios, spirit, and garnishes, ask for the house version, etc. That house version is smooth and chilled, and goes down easily.

Martini on a coaster with a tiki cup in the background
Martini at Astoria
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Never Looked Better

Though some high-end cocktail bars tend to get snobby about vodka, this speakeasy in Blagden Alley is anything but, going as far to divide its menu into “Vodka Has Never Looked Better” and “Not Vodka” sections. The bar’s dirty martini is accented with bleu cheese stuffed olives, and its French martini keeps things on the wet side (there are even some throwback spinoffs like an espresso martini and an appletini).

Espresso martini next to a couch on an art deco-style table with another drink to the side of it
Espresso Martini from Never Looked Better
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Blue Duck Tavern

Blue Duck Tavern’s new caviar martini ($60) comes together thanks to chilled single estate, all-organic Belvedere vodka, and Petrossian Royal Daurenki caviar. Simply put, it’s luxury in a glass.

Bourbon Steak

The lounge at this restaurant within the Four Seasons in Georgetown is one of D.C.’s classier locations to sip a martini, and the bartenders consistently serve well-executed versions. At one point, a truffle-accented dirty martini appeared on the cocktail menu.

A long bar with wooden seats and back-lit bottles
The lounge at Bourbon Steak
Bourbon Steak [Official photo]

Imperfecto

Many of us were introduced to a martini thanks to the James Bond film series. The “Double ‘O’ Seven” is (of course) shaken, not stirred and made with London dry gin, Grey Goose, mastiha liqueur (which 007 would not recognize), and garnished with Greek olives.

Off the Record

One of D.C.’s best hotel bars (as well as a historical hangout for journalists), Off the Record is the place to order a generously-portioned martini if you’re looking for an old-school vibe.

Two red chairs, a table, and two cocktails on the table, including a martini with olives to the right
Cocktails, including a martini, at Off the Record
Hay-Adams [official site]

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Miami transplant steakhouse Joe’s has lofty ceilings, a terrific happy hour, and bartenders who know how to make a good martini. Sadly, though, martinis aren’t currently featured on the half-priced classic cocktail menu during said terrific happy hour — but you can still pair one with discounted snacks and raw bar.

Joe’s Seafood dining room
Joe’s Seafood
Joe’s Seafood/official photo

L'Ardente

This glam Italian spot‘s whet martini ($16) is heavy on vermouth, making it easier to have plenty in large part to the fortified wine’s lower alcohol content. Topped with basil oil, the concoction is vigourously stirred ice-cold.

Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt’s well-trained bartenders know their way around a number of classic cocktails, including the martini. Have one at the oyster bar during happy hour when raw bar items are half-priced.

Olive-garnished martini with a menu in background.
Martini from Old Ebbitt
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Mastro's Steakhouse

Mastro’s is the rare place where they’ll shake the martini in front of you and leave what remains in the shaker behind for you to refresh your drink with later. Their signature spin on the cocktail is vodka-based, and garnished with bleu cheese-stuffed olives.

A martini next to a cocktail menu
Mastro’s house martini
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Silver Lyan

Situated in the depths of Penn Quarter’s Riggs hotel, this classy cocktail lair led by London’s world-famous bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana is back with its martini service for one ($23) or two ($42). There’s two options each for vodka or gin, served with an oyster, pickled onions, and lemon. Chetiyawardana’s version of choice? The fifty-fifty ratio of Fords Gin and Dolin vermouth.

Related Maps

barmini by José Andrés

Find three different versions of a martini in the “classics” section of this avant garde bar’s drink menu. There’s a spin on the James Bond-themed Vesper, spiked with Kina, a classic dry martini, and a martini cocktail that adds sweet vermouth and orange liqueur to the mix.

The Grill

The Grill has a fun “martini your way” section of its menu where diners can customize by spirit, style, garnish, etc. The cocktail menu also contains a traditional and “perfect” riff on the drink, as well as a spin on the James Bond-influenced Vesper cocktail.

Martini-style cocktail with bar in the background
Cocktail from The Grill
The Grill [Official Site]

Caruso's Grocery

The antipasto dirty martini sounds like a gimmick, but Caruso’s actually pulls it off. The martini itself isn’t too briny, and it’s surprising how nicely mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes work as less traditional garnishes here. The best part? It’s $10.

A martini with olive, mozzarella, and cherry tomato as garnish, on a table with a menu
The antipasto martini at Caruso’s
Missy Frederick/Eater DC

Related Maps