There are a number of terrific hotel bars in DC. If you want a taste of the Irish, you’ll only have to walk through the Phoenix Park lobby into the Dubliner. They have live music 7 nights a week. Our favorite smaller hotel bar is located near Dupont Circle at the Tabard Inn. If it’s chilly outside, there will be a blazing fire in a lovely fireplace in the lounge. Their weekend brunch is also terrific (try the donuts).
For a more “DC experience,” we have a few suggestions near the White House. The term “lobbyist” was supposedly coined at the Willard Hotel. Check out its Round Robin bar to see where politicians of yore grabbed a drink. Across 14th Street from the Willard is the J.W. Marriott hotel, which has an otherwise unremarkable bar but sits on the location of Shoomaker’s Bar, birthplace of DC’s official cocktail, the Rickey. There’s now a plaque.
Just north of the White House, Off the Record at the Hay Adams is another DC institution. Who knows, you may meet a White House staffer at the bar. We’re also pretty certain the head bartender was the inspiration for Phil in Murphy Brown. And for the best views, you’ll want to check out the aptly named P.O.V. at the W Hotel. This bar, one of DC’s hottest spots to see-and-be-seen, has a semi-covered deck overlooking the Washington Monument and the White House.
By the way, stir a Manhattan, don’t shake it. It’s only okay when Nick Charles says it.