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Heated domes outside of The Watergate Hotel are filled with candles, Ouija-patterned pillows, and skeletons for Halloween.
The Watergate Hotel’s heated outdoor igloos are decked out in Halloween decor.
The Watergate Hotel/official photo

Where to Eat, Drink, and Party for Halloween Around D.C.

Get into the spirit with Chambord-infused cotton candy, haunted graveyard-themed parties, and big prizes for the best dressed

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The Watergate Hotel’s heated outdoor igloos are decked out in Halloween decor.
| The Watergate Hotel/official photo

Many D.C. bars and restaurants sat out of Halloween festivities in 2020 because they had to enforce restrictions on capacity and last call during the the height of the COVID-19 crisis. With regulations much more relaxed this year, holiday parties are returning in all their gory glory. Businesses getting into the spooky spirit are offering ticketed hotel parties, smoking cocktails, scary movie screenings, Day of the Dead menus, pumpkin patches, and over-the-top decor. Here’s a list of places to celebrate Halloween, which falls on Sunday, October 31.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bark Social

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North Bethesda’s sprawling new dog park, bar, and cafe kicks off Halloween weekend with a screening of Scream on Thursday, October 28. There’s a dogs-and-drag show with MoCo Pride on Friday, October 29. The following Saturday, Bark Social will host DJs and a costume contest for the chance to win free drinks. On Halloween, there’s a morning of fall fun — bobbing for apples, ring toss, pumpkin calligraphy, and drinks dished out by Silver Branch Brewing and Frankly Vodka — will be the prelude to a puppy parade (costumes encouraged) around the Pike & Rose complex.

Summer House Santa Monica

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From Sunday, October 17, to Sunday, October 31, Summer House Santa Monica will give out cookies to customers who bring in painted mini pumpkin from home. The California-style restaurant is also selling Halloween cookie kits on Tock ($24.95 plus tax), with pickup available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, October 21, to Sunday, October 31.

Mussel Bar & Grille

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To usher in fall, buy a full pot of mussels and get half a pot for free from Tuesday, October 26, through Halloween at Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian roadhouse in Bethesda. Timely cocktails include a “Gimme the BOOze!” full of Aperol, St. Germain, and dark rum, with lychee “eyeball” garnishes.

A martini glass filled with vermouth and orange bitters at the patio at Mussel Bar.
“The Dark Side” (port, Johnny Walker Black, sweet vermouth, orange bitters) at Mussel Bar.
Mussel Bar

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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Islay Scotch whisky Ardbeg heads to D.C. for Halloween weekend as part of its yearly Monsters of Smoke Tour, pulling up to Jack Rose (4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.) with its all-terrain tactical vehicle to offer tastings and Augmented Reality photo opportunities.

Ardbeg’s oversized all-terrain tactical vehicle, named An Oa.
Ardbeg dispenses peated malt whiskys this weekend out of its “An Oa” vehicle.
Ardberg/official photo

Rebel Taco

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U Street’s Rebel Taco will sell $5 “bloody” margaritas throughout Halloween weekend. 

Ice Cream Jubilee

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Throughout the month of October, the D.C. ice cream company from Victoria Lai offers “Gravedigger” sundaes with a choice of ice cream, chocolate cookie “dirt,” gummy worms, chocolate eyeballs, and candy corn pumpkins. Seasonal flavors for fall include pumpkin honeycomb, apple butter oatmeal cookie, and maple rye pecan.

A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
Ice Cream Jubilee

Black Cat

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After a 20-month hiatus, live music venue Black Cat is back to throw a 9th Annual “Eighties Mayhem” dance party on Saturday, October 30, with DJs Steve EP, Missguided, and Killa K. Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Costumes are encouraged.

Chicken + Whiskey

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For the month of October, Chicken + Whiskey transforms its back bar in Logan Circle into a lab fit for a mad scientist, complete with petri dishes, beakers, science experiments, and mysterious hands coming out of the walls. Seasonal cocktails include “The Hustler,” with Old Overholt Rye, toasted coconut, and chocolate bitters, all theatrically flamed with orange oil. It pays off to go all out in costume for its big party (4 p.m. to close) on Saturday, October 30, with a $500 prize for the best dressed.

The Eleanor DC

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Eleanor hosts a Halloween-themed drag brunch on Saturday, October 30, starring the Millie Meringue and Friends Show with bottomless mimosas for $22 per person (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Swingers the crazy golf club

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The adults-only crazy golf course released a new theatrical cocktail dubbed “Dark Magic Margarita” to go along with spiderweb and skull decor, new fall bites, and Halloween giveaways. Show up in costume on Saturday or Sunday and snap a pic at its photo studio for a chance to win a VIP experience and Swingers gift card. Spin a trick-or-treat prize wheel to win freebies, too.

A photo of Swingers’s new Halloween cocktail.
The new Halloween cocktail at Swingers.
Swingers/official photo

The Southern Mexican restaurant and mezcal bar in Shaw will offer drink and flight specials from Saturday, October 30, through Tuesday, November 2. On those days, Espita will start pouring its ponche para Los Muertos (Pasote reposado tequila, pomegranate, piloncillo, Mexican marigold, ginger) at 4 p.m. Over in the Union Market district, sister spot Las Gemelas will pour the same punch along with a Fantasma cocktail (horchata, rum, pineapple, orange) and the Calavera (cold brew cordial, mezcal, vanilla).

A crowded dining room inside Espita Mezcaleria
Espita Mezcaleria
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown

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Fairmont’s 10th annual Howl-O-Ween on Thursday, October 28, invites humans and their costumed canine companions to its new courtyard bar from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Prizes for best-dressed dogs include overnight stays, dinners and more. Treats include canine-themed cocktails and peanut butter doggie biscuits from the Fairmont’s pastry team.

The Fairmont’s resident yellow lab.
The Fairmont’s canine ambassador, Georgie.
The Fairmont/official photo

Sprinkles Georgetown

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This long-running cupcake shop in Georgetown condenses an evening of knocking for candy into one giant sugar fix. The limited edition “Trick or Treat” tops Twix, Kit Kat, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and M&Ms minis onto a Belgian dark chocolate cupcake. Order October 25 and 26 for pickup or delivery October 30 and 31. Other specials sporting spooky decor for the season include Double Stuffed OREO (October 18 to 31) and Bewitched Red Velvet (October 25 to 31).

Spinkles cupcakes for Halloween
Sprinkles cupcakes are available for local pickup and delivery, purchased individually or in a limited-edition festive matte black box.
Sprinkles

Casta's Rum Bar

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The West End rum haunt hosts a three-night Halloween party starting Friday, October 29, with three themed cocktails, costumes encouraged all weekend, and late-night hours on the big night.

Morris American Bar

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The glam Shaw cocktail bar offers a Halloween weekend tasting menu on Friday, October 29, to Sunday, October 31, that pairs three themed cocktails with a tasty treat ($60 per person). Book a slot on OpenTable starting Monday, October 18.

Morris American Bar/official photo

Ledo Pizza (multiple locations)

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The locally born chain’s idea of trick-or-treating is a carryout-only special on Sunday, October 31. An 18-inch, one-topping pizza, mozzarella sticks, and a mix-and-match Pepsi four-pack all costs $32.99. 

The Watergate Hotel

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The iconic hotel invites guests to enjoy spooky sips at The Next Whisky Bar or reserve heated domes for parties up to six on the bar’s terrace. A new “Casting Spell” cocktail features pumpkin vodka and biscotti liqueur.

A cocktail covered with fake spiders at The Watergate Hotel.
A Halloween-themed cocktail at The Watergate Hotel.
Watergate Hotel/official photo

Urban Roast

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Chinatown’s day-to-night cafe goes all out for Halloween this year with over-the-top decor like tombstones, giant spiders, plenty of jack o’lanterns, and frightening figurines fit for a horror movie. Seasonal coffees and billowing cocktails made with dry ice round out the “Nightmare on G Street” theme through the end of the month.

Hotel Washington

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The party starters at JBC Events throw a glam Halloween soiree at the swanky Hotel Washington (formerly the W) on Saturday, October 30. There will be live entertainment and stylish cocktails spiked with Dahlia tequila from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Early bird tickets start at $20. A table for up to six ($100) requires a $500 minimum, and a table for up to 10 ($150) has a $750 minimum. There’s also a costume contest, but leave the Squid Game head gear at home; no costume masks are allowed — only protective cloth face masks.

Dirty Habit

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Hotel Monaco’s dimly lit bar hosts a “Nightmare on 8th Street” bash on Saturday, October 30, from 7 p.m. to close. Guests will find Chambord-infused cotton candy, appearances by Jason and Freddy Krueger, a DJ spinning hits from the ’80s to present, a Tarot Card reader, and aerialists and fire dancers on its private patio. Admission is free with an advance RSVP.

Assembly

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Rosslyn’s new food hall unveils a fall pumpkin patch on its terrace starting Tuesday, October 19. Orange gourds from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will be on sale for $15 each. Drop a business card in a big pumpkin for the chance to win one of three happy hours for up to six people.

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

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The Penn Quarter Mexican restaurant from José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup is hosting Day of the Dead festivities that pay tribute to Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo with a colorful five-course dinner. The menu features chorizo and potato molotes, tortillas entomadas, slow-cooked beef barbacoa, braised pork shank and Brussels sprouts in yellow mole, and creamy corn nicuatole with hibiscus caramel. Tickets (Monday, November 1) cost $100 each. There will also be a Dia de los Muertos cocktail class on Tuesday, November 2, for $60.

TTT Clarendon

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Clarendon’s rooftop Mexican mainstay celebrates the season with a Tequila Sunrise-themed party on Saturday, October 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. ($30) with a DJ, decor, and costume contest to win gift cards up to $250. Come back in costume on Sunday, October 31, for an all-you-can-eat brunch ($34.99 per person, with cocktails for 25 cents and margs for 99 cents). The best dressed wins brunch for two.

Decorated brunch bites at TTT.
TTT’s brunch gets into the Halloween spirit this weekend.
TTT/official photo

Clarendon Pop-Up Bar

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Clarendon’s millennial magnet for bottle service and DJs hosts a “Monster Ball Halloween Bash” on Saturday, October 30, with costume prizes and surprise giveaways. Across the street at outdoor sister bar the Lot, there’s a haunted graveyard-themed party on the same night with prizes for the best costumes, giveaways, and drink specials.

MI VIDA

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From Sunday, October 24, to Tuesday, November 2, the high-end Mexican restaurant at the Wharf runs Day of the Day specials on select drinks, appetizers, entrees, and desserts. A cocktail called La Catrina screams fall with Cazadores Anejo tequila, Black Fidencio Classico mezcal, Grand Marnier, hibiscus, cinnamon, and lime. There’s also flan custard with chocolate cake and a cajeta and orange blossom-scented bread with dusted sugar and hot chocolate.

Bark Social

North Bethesda’s sprawling new dog park, bar, and cafe kicks off Halloween weekend with a screening of Scream on Thursday, October 28. There’s a dogs-and-drag show with MoCo Pride on Friday, October 29. The following Saturday, Bark Social will host DJs and a costume contest for the chance to win free drinks. On Halloween, there’s a morning of fall fun — bobbing for apples, ring toss, pumpkin calligraphy, and drinks dished out by Silver Branch Brewing and Frankly Vodka — will be the prelude to a puppy parade (costumes encouraged) around the Pike & Rose complex.

Summer House Santa Monica

From Sunday, October 17, to Sunday, October 31, Summer House Santa Monica will give out cookies to customers who bring in painted mini pumpkin from home. The California-style restaurant is also selling Halloween cookie kits on Tock ($24.95 plus tax), with pickup available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, October 21, to Sunday, October 31.

Mussel Bar & Grille

A martini glass filled with vermouth and orange bitters at the patio at Mussel Bar.
“The Dark Side” (port, Johnny Walker Black, sweet vermouth, orange bitters) at Mussel Bar.
Mussel Bar

To usher in fall, buy a full pot of mussels and get half a pot for free from Tuesday, October 26, through Halloween at Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian roadhouse in Bethesda. Timely cocktails include a “Gimme the BOOze!” full of Aperol, St. Germain, and dark rum, with lychee “eyeball” garnishes.

A martini glass filled with vermouth and orange bitters at the patio at Mussel Bar.
“The Dark Side” (port, Johnny Walker Black, sweet vermouth, orange bitters) at Mussel Bar.
Mussel Bar

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Ardbeg’s oversized all-terrain tactical vehicle, named An Oa.
Ardbeg dispenses peated malt whiskys this weekend out of its “An Oa” vehicle.
Ardberg/official photo

Islay Scotch whisky Ardbeg heads to D.C. for Halloween weekend as part of its yearly Monsters of Smoke Tour, pulling up to Jack Rose (4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.) with its all-terrain tactical vehicle to offer tastings and Augmented Reality photo opportunities.

Ardbeg’s oversized all-terrain tactical vehicle, named An Oa.
Ardbeg dispenses peated malt whiskys this weekend out of its “An Oa” vehicle.
Ardberg/official photo

Rebel Taco

U Street’s Rebel Taco will sell $5 “bloody” margaritas throughout Halloween weekend. 

Ice Cream Jubilee

A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
Ice Cream Jubilee

Throughout the month of October, the D.C. ice cream company from Victoria Lai offers “Gravedigger” sundaes with a choice of ice cream, chocolate cookie “dirt,” gummy worms, chocolate eyeballs, and candy corn pumpkins. Seasonal flavors for fall include pumpkin honeycomb, apple butter oatmeal cookie, and maple rye pecan.

A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
A pumpkin honeycomb ice cream pie from Ice Cream Jubilee
Ice Cream Jubilee

Black Cat

After a 20-month hiatus, live music venue Black Cat is back to throw a 9th Annual “Eighties Mayhem” dance party on Saturday, October 30, with DJs Steve EP, Missguided, and Killa K. Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Costumes are encouraged.

Chicken + Whiskey

For the month of October, Chicken + Whiskey transforms its back bar in Logan Circle into a lab fit for a mad scientist, complete with petri dishes, beakers, science experiments, and mysterious hands coming out of the walls. Seasonal cocktails include “The Hustler,” with Old Overholt Rye, toasted coconut, and chocolate bitters, all theatrically flamed with orange oil. It pays off to go all out in costume for its big party (4 p.m. to close) on Saturday, October 30, with a $500 prize for the best dressed.

The Eleanor DC

Eleanor hosts a Halloween-themed drag brunch on Saturday, October 30, starring the Millie Meringue and Friends Show with bottomless mimosas for $22 per person (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Swingers the crazy golf club

A photo of Swingers’s new Halloween cocktail.
The new Halloween cocktail at Swingers.
Swingers/official photo

The adults-only crazy golf course released a new theatrical cocktail dubbed “Dark Magic Margarita” to go along with spiderweb and skull decor, new fall bites, and Halloween giveaways. Show up in costume on Saturday or Sunday and snap a pic at its photo studio for a chance to win a VIP experience and Swingers gift card. Spin a trick-or-treat prize wheel to win freebies, too.

A photo of Swingers’s new Halloween cocktail.
The new Halloween cocktail at Swingers.
Swingers/official photo

Espita

A crowded dining room inside Espita Mezcaleria
Espita Mezcaleria
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Southern Mexican restaurant and mezcal bar in Shaw will offer drink and flight specials from Saturday, October 30, through Tuesday, November 2. On those days, Espita will start pouring its ponche para Los Muertos (Pasote reposado tequila, pomegranate, piloncillo, Mexican marigold, ginger) at 4 p.m. Over in the Union Market district, sister spot Las Gemelas will pour the same punch along with a Fantasma cocktail (horchata, rum, pineapple, orange) and the Calavera (cold brew cordial, mezcal, vanilla).

A crowded dining room inside Espita Mezcaleria
Espita Mezcaleria
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown

The Fairmont’s resident yellow lab.
The Fairmont’s canine ambassador, Georgie.
The Fairmont/official photo

Fairmont’s 10th annual Howl-O-Ween on Thursday, October 28, invites humans and their costumed canine companions to its new courtyard bar from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Prizes for best-dressed dogs include overnight stays, dinners and more. Treats include canine-themed cocktails and peanut butter doggie biscuits from the Fairmont’s pastry team.

The Fairmont’s resident yellow lab.
The Fairmont’s canine ambassador, Georgie.
The Fairmont/official photo

Sprinkles Georgetown

Spinkles cupcakes for Halloween
Sprinkles cupcakes are available for local pickup and delivery, purchased individually or in a limited-edition festive matte black box.
Sprinkles

This long-running cupcake shop in Georgetown condenses an evening of knocking for candy into one giant sugar fix. The limited edition “Trick or Treat” tops Twix, Kit Kat, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and M&Ms minis onto a Belgian dark chocolate cupcake. Order October 25 and 26 for pickup or delivery October 30 and 31. Other specials sporting spooky decor for the season include Double Stuffed OREO (October 18 to 31) and Bewitched Red Velvet (October 25 to 31).

Spinkles cupcakes for Halloween
Sprinkles cupcakes are available for local pickup and delivery, purchased individually or in a limited-edition festive matte black box.
Sprinkles

Casta's Rum Bar

The West End rum haunt hosts a three-night Halloween party starting Friday, October 29, with three themed cocktails, costumes encouraged all weekend, and late-night hours on the big night.

Morris American Bar

Morris American Bar/official photo

The glam Shaw cocktail bar offers a Halloween weekend tasting menu on Friday, October 29, to Sunday, October 31, that pairs three themed cocktails with a tasty treat ($60 per person). Book a slot on OpenTable starting Monday, October 18.