DC’s Basement Bars

Basement bar at Big Hunt

Last Updated: November 1, 2020

Although rooftop bars and outdoor beer gardens are extremely popular in DC, there’s a time and place for good ole fashioned subterranean drinking and partying. This an attempt to comprehensively chronicle all below-sidewalk-grade bars (not restaurants) in DC; you’ll see there’s a good mix of dives, musical venues, regular bars, and clubs. Articles by Washingtonian’s Anna Spiegel and Eater (tho 2015) go into a bit more detail on ones that are great (the sources helped supplement my off-the-top-of-head research, which was in turn supplemented by use of Google Streetview and Yelp). Missing any?-tweet/DM @barredindc or email barredindc@gmail.com

* only part of spot is underground
** the underground space is not really a basement
*** clubby scene, at least late night
Barred in DC choice 
highlighted (pertaining to subterranean space)

Chinatown/Penn Quarter (Best neighborhood for underground drinking in DC)

Crimson Whiskey Bar


Rocket Bar

Free State

Denson Liquor Bar

The Boardwalk*

Hill Country*

Penn Social*


Bravo Bravo***


Living Room***

The Mirror

The Bottom Line

Off the Record

Sidecar at PJ Clarke’s*

Opera Ultra Lounge***


Astro Beer Hall*

Spin DC



1831 Bar & Lounge**



Bier Baron*

Dito’s Bar (at Floriana)*, **

DIVE Bar**

Mission Dupont*, **

Bar Charley**

U Street/14th Street/Logan Circle

The Saloon**

Pure Lounge*, ***

Café St. Ex (Gate 54)*,***


Player’s Club

The Crown and Crow


The Dabney Cellar**


Appioo African Bar & Grill**

Adams Morgan

Smoke & Barrel*

La Pop

Bedrock Billiards


A League of Her Own**

Club Timehri**,***

The Game Sports Pub**

Columbia Heights/Park View/Petworth

Reliable Tavern*

Zeba Bar*,**

Looking Glass Lounge*

Georgetown/Glover Park

Pizzeria Paradiso (Game Room)**

Georgetown Piano Bar

The Tombs


Capitol Hill


Kelly’s Irish Times*

H Street

Ocean Lounge**

Cleveland Park

Atomic Billiards

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