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The Fourth Annual Mellon Gala is one of the most glamorous D.C. options for New Year’s Eve.
Mellon Gala/official photo

Where to Eat, Drink, and Party for New Year’s Eve

From formal keggers to fancy dinners

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The Fourth Annual Mellon Gala is one of the most glamorous D.C. options for New Year’s Eve.
| Mellon Gala/official photo

With New Year’s Eve approaching, D.C. is getting ready for one of its biggest Monday night parties of the year.

This year the celebrations swing from casual — there’s a nacho cheese fountain at Taco Bamba — to swanky. There will be red carpet arrivals at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and top-shelf liquors on-hand at the Wharf’s Whiskey Charlie. Prix fixe menus and all-you-can eat and drink options are also prevalent across town, with Barrel and Kingbird boasting open bars for hours.

Here are 15 spots to consider for celebrating the start of 2019.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Drink Company

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1825 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 316-9396
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The Miracle on 7th Street pop-up will curb post-Christmas cravings from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. That’s followed by a Taittinger Champagne-sponsored blowout at 9:30 p.m. The $20 ticket covers a free flute, New Year’s Eve punches, party favors, and a spot at a countdown inside a glittering dome room that resembles a New Year’s Eve Ball.

2. Estadio

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1520 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 319-1404
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Instead of going the pricey prix fixe route, the Spanish tapas mainstay is serving its regular menu on New Year’s Eve, with reservations from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. After serving up chorizo iberico and bomba rice with wild mushrooms, the space will transform into a lively Pintxo Bar with skewered snacks from chef Rufino Bautista, Spanish sparkling wine specials, and seasonal Gintonics (gin and house-made tonic).

3. Radiator

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1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 742-3150
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The rooftop bar at the Kimpton hotel is going retro this year with a Studio 54-themed celebration — priced at $54. The bash will be packed with 1970s hits, platform dance shoes, and disco balls. Executive chef Jonathan Dearden’s a la carte menu kicks off at 5 p.m., and from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., guests can access a premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a midnight champagne toast.

4. The Alex at Graham

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1075 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-0900
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The Hilton hotel’s subterranean speakeasy will serve a three-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity), with free bubbles, specialty cocktails available a la carte, and live music at 11 p.m. Seatings at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. include dishes such as lobster bisque, garlic roasted ribeye, and pan-seared scallops. Reservations are required.

“Bathtub Gin” at The Alex.
The Alex/official photo

5. American Son

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1201 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 900-8416
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Chef Tim Ma is slinging meals with five-course ($125) and eight-course ($180) menus at his new Eaton DC restaurant from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Offerings include black sea bass, beet pastrami, and roasted squab.

6. Taco Bamba

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777 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-7377
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The taco destination is dressing down this New Year’s Eve, pairing its regular menu with a nacho cheese fountain flowing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and a midnight toast with the “Champagne of Beers” (Miller High Life). Walk-ins are welcome, but buying $10 advanced tickets covers the first drink.

Taco Bamba
Taco Bamba/Facebook

7. Taberna del Alabardero

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1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 429-2200
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Fun fact: eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight is considered good luck in Spain. The restaurant will honor that tradition on New Year’s Eve by hosting an eight-course dinner ($125) with a lucky grape finale when the clock strikes midnight. The festive fruit will also be passed at 6 p.m., when it’s midnight in Spain. Dishes include lamb chops and octopus with poached egg and parsnip cream.

8. Crimson DC

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627 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-4459
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This three-story bash in Chinatown will feature a live performance by DJ and vocal duo NAKD in the Pod hotel’s subterranean Whiskey Bar, followed by a complimentary bubbly toast at midnight on each floor. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Crimson
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

9. The Watergate

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2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
(866) 709-6910
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Kingbird restaurant is starting the night early with a 5 p.m. three-course menu featuring options like braised veal cheek, red snapper, and chocolate and pistachio mousse. Another seating at 7 p.m. includes two more courses. Come 9 p.m., a stylish Watergate fete calls for a four-hour open bar, fried chicken buffet, other hot and cold bites, DJ, and midnight champagne toast. Tickets are $195 (inclusive of tax and gratuity).

Kingbird
Kingbird/Yelp

10. Union Pub

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201 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-7200
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The Capitol Hill bar is catering to recent college grads by throwing a formal kegger to give the boot to 2018, dubbed “Thank U 2018, Next!” For $60, the bar-turned-house party will offer unlimited booze from 8 p.m to 3 a.m. with pour-your-own-beer kegs, select beers and spirits, a champagne toast at midnight, and appetizers.

Union Pub
Union Pub/Facebook

11. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

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1301 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 373-8183
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This black tie affair has a red carpet entrance, a top-shelf open bar, and free flowing Champagne across three decked out ballrooms. There will be multiple DJs, passed desserts, hors d’oeuvres, and food stations. Remaining tickets for the glam gala start at $129. For more than $1,000, a group of friends can go in on the ultimate New Year’s Eve treatment with the pick of a premium bottle, rose Champagne, and express entry.

12. Barrel

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613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-3622
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As part of its annual “Blind Pig” Speakeasy, the restaurant will be blacked out in curtains to hide from the street. Inside, guests can feast on a sea of surf-and-turf offerings like pork, fried chicken drumsticks, and lobster rolls, washing it all down with Manhattans, Negronis, wine, and beer for $120 per person.

Barrel
Barrel
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

13. CHIKO

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423 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 558-9934
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The Fried Rice Collective team still has a few tickets left to its 8:30 p.m. seating ($75 per person), which includes tickets to Mandu’s karaoke bash and a free glass of bubbly at the door.

14. Punch Bowl Social Arlington

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4238 Wilson Blvd Ste. 1180
Arlington, VA 22203

The newest venue on this list is getting its New Year’s Eve feet wet with 90s music, no cover, and a special passed punch crafted for the evening. The dining and gaming mecca, which jams in bowling, ping pong, darts, and karaoke rooms into 25,000 square feet, presses play at 9 p.m.

Punch Bowl Social
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

15. Whiskey Charlie

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975 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 488-2500
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The rooftop respite at the Wharf is throwing an intimate soiree with an open bar of top-shelf spirits, beer and wine, a Veuve toast at midnight, and a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.. The price: $175 per person (plus tax and fees). Doors open at 8:30 p.m. 

Whiskey Charlie
Whiskey Charlie/Facebook

1. Drink Company

1825 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

The Miracle on 7th Street pop-up will curb post-Christmas cravings from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. That’s followed by a Taittinger Champagne-sponsored blowout at 9:30 p.m. The $20 ticket covers a free flute, New Year’s Eve punches, party favors, and a spot at a countdown inside a glittering dome room that resembles a New Year’s Eve Ball.

1825 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

2. Estadio

1520 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Instead of going the pricey prix fixe route, the Spanish tapas mainstay is serving its regular menu on New Year’s Eve, with reservations from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. After serving up chorizo iberico and bomba rice with wild mushrooms, the space will transform into a lively Pintxo Bar with skewered snacks from chef Rufino Bautista, Spanish sparkling wine specials, and seasonal Gintonics (gin and house-made tonic).

1520 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

3. Radiator

1430 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

The rooftop bar at the Kimpton hotel is going retro this year with a Studio 54-themed celebration — priced at $54. The bash will be packed with 1970s hits, platform dance shoes, and disco balls. Executive chef Jonathan Dearden’s a la carte menu kicks off at 5 p.m., and from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., guests can access a premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a midnight champagne toast.

1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

4. The Alex at Graham

1075 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007
“Bathtub Gin” at The Alex.
The Alex/official photo

The Hilton hotel’s subterranean speakeasy will serve a three-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity), with free bubbles, specialty cocktails available a la carte, and live music at 11 p.m. Seatings at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. include dishes such as lobster bisque, garlic roasted ribeye, and pan-seared scallops. Reservations are required.

1075 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. American Son

1201 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Chef Tim Ma is slinging meals with five-course ($125) and eight-course ($180) menus at his new Eaton DC restaurant from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Offerings include black sea bass, beet pastrami, and roasted squab.

1201 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. Taco Bamba

777 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Taco Bamba
Taco Bamba/Facebook

The taco destination is dressing down this New Year’s Eve, pairing its regular menu with a nacho cheese fountain flowing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and a midnight toast with the “Champagne of Beers” (Miller High Life). Walk-ins are welcome, but buying $10 advanced tickets covers the first drink.

777 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Taberna del Alabardero

1776 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Fun fact: eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight is considered good luck in Spain. The restaurant will honor that tradition on New Year’s Eve by hosting an eight-course dinner ($125) with a lucky grape finale when the clock strikes midnight. The festive fruit will also be passed at 6 p.m., when it’s midnight in Spain. Dishes include lamb chops and octopus with poached egg and parsnip cream.

1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006

8. Crimson DC

627 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Crimson
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This three-story bash in Chinatown will feature a live performance by DJ and vocal duo NAKD in the Pod hotel’s subterranean Whiskey Bar, followed by a complimentary bubbly toast at midnight on each floor. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

627 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. The Watergate

2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
Kingbird
Kingbird/Yelp

Kingbird restaurant is starting the night early with a 5 p.m. three-course menu featuring options like braised veal cheek, red snapper, and chocolate and pistachio mousse. Another seating at 7 p.m. includes two more courses. Come 9 p.m., a stylish Watergate fete calls for a four-hour open bar, fried chicken buffet, other hot and cold bites, DJ, and midnight champagne toast. Tickets are $195 (inclusive of tax and gratuity).

2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

10. Union Pub

201 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Union Pub
Union Pub/Facebook

The Capitol Hill bar is catering to recent college grads by throwing a formal kegger to give the boot to 2018, dubbed “Thank U 2018, Next!” For $60, the bar-turned-house party will offer unlimited booze from 8 p.m to 3 a.m. with pour-your-own-beer kegs, select beers and spirits, a champagne toast at midnight, and appetizers.

201 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

11. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

1301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20240

This black tie affair has a red carpet entrance, a top-shelf open bar, and free flowing Champagne across three decked out ballrooms. There will be multiple DJs, passed desserts, hors d’oeuvres, and food stations. Remaining tickets for the glam gala start at $129. For more than $1,000, a group of friends can go in on the ultimate New Year’s Eve treatment with the pick of a premium bottle, rose Champagne, and express entry.

1301 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20240

12. Barrel

613 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Barrel
Barrel
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

As part of its annual “Blind Pig” Speakeasy, the restaurant will be blacked out in curtains to hide from the street. Inside, guests can feast on a sea of surf-and-turf offerings like pork, fried chicken drumsticks, and lobster rolls, washing it all down with Manhattans, Negronis, wine, and beer for $120 per person.

613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

13. CHIKO

423 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

The Fried Rice Collective team still has a few tickets left to its 8:30 p.m. seating ($75 per person), which includes tickets to Mandu’s karaoke bash and a free glass of bubbly at the door.

423 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

14. Punch Bowl Social Arlington

4238 Wilson Blvd Ste. 1180, Arlington, VA 22203
Punch Bowl Social
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The newest venue on this list is getting its New Year’s Eve feet wet with 90s music, no cover, and a special passed punch crafted for the evening. The dining and gaming mecca, which jams in bowling, ping pong, darts, and karaoke rooms into 25,000 square feet, presses play at 9 p.m.

4238 Wilson Blvd Ste. 1180
Arlington, VA 22203

15. Whiskey Charlie

975 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Whiskey Charlie
Whiskey Charlie/Facebook

The rooftop respite at the Wharf is throwing an intimate soiree with an open bar of top-shelf spirits, beer and wine, a Veuve toast at midnight, and a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.. The price: $175 per person (plus tax and fees). Doors open at 8:30 p.m. 

975 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20024

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