speakeasies in dc

Washington D.C. is home to some of the most unique speakeasy bars in the country. These hidden bars will transport you to a time of secrecy and elegance. Some of these are cocktail bars while others are just hidden bars with a speakeasy vibe. When it comes to finding speakeasies in DC you have a good amount of options. 

Best Speakeasies In DC: Good For Groups

Washington DC is home to a variety of speakeasies and secret bars that are well-suited for group outings. Now the term “secret bars” is fairly relative since these social clubs may have secret doors, but the internet and articles like this one make these DC speakeasies not so secret. 

Either way, a speakeasy-style bar has a unique and fun environment. While you may immediately think that these spots won’t be good for groups, think again. In addition to having extensive drink lists, there is also plenty of space for socializing.

Death & Co

Death & Co is an ideal spot for groups seeking a chic and modern speakeasy experience. Its sleek design and open layout make it suitable for gatherings.

Private Events: Death & Co hosts private events with customizable options.

Reservations: Highly recommended, especially for large parties. Even small parties will need reservations on Saturday nights. 

Handcrafted Cocktails: They offer a diverse selection, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Unmarked Entrances: Adds an air of mystery, enhancing the experience for first-time visitors.

The Backroom At Capo Deli

Known for its casual yet lively atmosphere, Capo Deli blends a deli and speakeasy experience. Enter through the deli and head to the Backroom. Enjoy cocktails and music as you dance late into the evening. 

Late Night Partying: It’s a favorite spot for those looking to party late into the night.

Neon Signs: The vibrant decor is perfect for group photos.

Keyless Entry: Simplifies access, creating a seamless visit.

Happy Hour: Popular among groups for its generous deals on drinks and bites.

Silver Lyan Inside The Riggs Hotel

Located in the chic Riggs Washington DC, Silver Lyan offers an upscale retreat. Enter through the lobby and make your way down a grand staircase to the lower level where you will find the red themed Silver Lyan. Curated by London-based bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, be sure to check out the Silver Service Martini as well as the Kiwa cocktail. 

Extensive Drink List: Tailored for cocktail enthusiasts, featuring unique and expertly crafted options.

Craft Cocktails: Each drink is meticulously prepared, ensuring a high-quality experience.

Room Hotel: Ideal for travelers looking to stay overnight, providing convenience.

Private Events: Can be arranged, making it perfect for special occasions.

Late Night: If you are looking to keep your night going, this bar stays open late.

Never Looked Better

This speakeasy features a unique mix of modern and classic elements, ideal for group gatherings.

Vintage Knocker: A distinctive entry detail that adds charm.

Reservations: Recommended for ensuring a spot, especially during busy hours.

Extensive Menu Of Shareable Bites: Perfect for groups to enjoy.

Late Night Partying: Great for night owls looking to extend their festivities.

Denson Liquor Bar

Located on 14th Street, Denson Liquor Bar offers a classic speakeasy vibe with an extensive menu.

Downstairs Cocktail Bar: The intimate setting is perfect for group chats over drinks.

Reservations: Highly advised given its popularity.

Extensive Drink List: Features a range of options to cater to diverse tastes.

Private Events: Available for booking, providing tailored experiences for group celebrations.

Quadrant Cocktail Bar

Quadrant Cocktail Bar is not a speakeasy. There is no mysterious door hidden behind a wall of books. However, the wood-paneled bar and the shadowy cocktail bar make it a great place to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail. This elegant DC cocktail bar is the ideal destination for a beautiful date night or a group outing with friends. It has a large space so you can easily accommodate groups of 4 to 6 people.

Quadrant Bar is a DC cocktail haven

Enter the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the West End neighborhood and have the staff direct you to the back of the hotel to Quadrant. One great thing about this place is it’s open all day even during the week. So if you are looking for a speakeasy style upscale bar but it’s not the weekend or its early in the day, this place is one of the only spots open. Choose from their extensive drink menu or ask for the bartender’s choice. You can’t go wrong either way. 

Reservations: Not needed during the weekdays but recommended on weekends.

Extensive Drink List: Quadrant has a large range of options to cater to diverse tastes.


Located in Navy Yard, DC, STFU offers a unique and intimate cocktail experience with a modern, minimalist design.

Exclusive Atmosphere: The dress code here is strictly enforced so dress to impress.

Reservations: Highly recommended due to the limited seating and exclusive nature of the bar.

Craft Cocktails: Features a menu of meticulously crafted cocktails, showcasing innovative mixology and high-quality ingredients.

Chic Ambiance: The sophisticated ambiance makes it an ideal spot for a quiet evening out or a special date night.

Private Events: Available for booking, offering an exclusive venue for intimate gatherings and celebrations.

Best Speakeasies In DC: Best For Small Parties

Here are some top spots in Washington, D.C. perfect for small gatherings, each providing a unique ambiance and memorable drinks. Whether you prefer a literary-themed setting or a more intimate vibe, you’ll find a variety of experiences to suit your party’s taste.

Chicken And Whiskey

If you want to experience the hidden doors and prohibition era vibes, then be sure to check out Chicken and Whisky on 14th street. You can enter the speakeasy through the rear refrigerator door and find yourself in a small bar space great for enjoying a cocktail with a date or small group of friends. 

Casual Dining: The front section of this speakeasy bar has mouth-watering rotisserie chicken and Latin American dishes in a laid-back atmosphere.

Speakeasy Bar: Hidden behind secret doors is a fun whiskey bar with an extensive whiskey selection. Some nights they also have a DJ playing music. 

Reservations: Not required for the dining area, but it’s a good idea for larger groups to ensure seating.

Extensive Whiskey List: Features a wide variety of whiskeys from around the world, catering to both connoisseurs and casual drinkers.

The Dabney Cellar

Located on 9th Street, The Dabney Cellar has a cozy and rustic atmosphere. In addition to cocktails, you will also find an impressive wine list and small plates menu. This speakeasy style bar had closed during the pandemic but is now open again to the public. It is located right around the corner from their Michelin starred restaurant The Dabney in Blagden’s Alley.

Wine Cellar Vibes: The intimate setting with a warm, rustic design is perfect for relaxed evenings with friends or a date night.

Reservations: Highly recommended due to its popularity and limited seating.

Extensive Wine List: Features a curated selection of wines, with an emphasis on natural and biodynamic options.

Small Plates Menu: Offers a range of delicious small plates, perfect for sharing and pairing with your wine.

Private Events: Available for booking, providing a charming venue for special occasions and gatherings.

Allegory At The Eaton Hotel

Located in the Eaton Hotel, Allegory is a literary-themed bar perfect for small parties who appreciate a good story with their cocktails. The ambiance is cozy, with book-lined walls and comfortable seating. Patrons can enjoy literary-themed concoctions inspired by famous authors and novels.

The bartenders are skilled at crafting classic cocktails with a twist, making this a unique experience for any small group. It’s an ideal spot for those who enjoy a sophisticated, bookish atmosphere.

Location: Allegory at The Eaton Hotel, Washington, DC

Ambiance: Intimate, dimly lit setting

Decor: Mural inspired by Alice in Wonderland, creating a whimsical and intriguing atmosphere

Experience: Offers a unique and immersive experience

Code Red

Located in Adams Morgan, this DC speakeasy style bar also has an oyster happy hour. In June 2013, a red panda named Rusty went missing from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., causing the city to go to “Code Red” alert. The missing red panda caused a frenzy on social media and Rusty was eventually found and captured in Adams Morgan, ending the “Code Red” alert.

Code red has both happy hour and food options. You can order their foie gras which is one of their popular dishes. 

Style: Hidden speakeasy-style bar

Ambiance: Intimate and exclusive setting

Decor: Vintage-inspired, with cozy seating and dim lighting

Drinks: Craft cocktails with a focus on unique and innovative recipes

The Fountain Inn

The Fountain Inn offers a Prohibition-era vibe right in the heart of D.C. This speakeasy is known for its treasure trove of vintage decor that takes guests back to the 1920s. The intimate setting is perfect for small parties looking to enjoy expertly crafted drinks in a cozy, dimly lit environment.

Visitors can sip on classic and modern cocktails while enjoying the nostalgic atmosphere, complete with period-appropriate furnishings. This hidden gem provides an authentic speakeasy experience that’s hard to beat.

Style: Elegant, upscale bar and lounge

Decor: Classic and luxurious, featuring plush seating and tasteful decor

Experience: Offers a refined and relaxing environment

Ideal for: Enjoying a classy night out or a special occasion in the nation’s capital

The Alex At The Graham Hotel

Hidden within The Graham Hotel, The Alex is a speakeasy that combines elegance with innovation. The bar has telephone-themed decorations to honor Alexander Graham Bell. There is no secret password but there is a special code that allows you to enter this DC speakeasy through an unmarked door. The Alex is a great place to relax at the bar and enjoy a night with a Prohibition-era feel.

The Alex has sophisticated decor, with plush seating and ambient lighting. It also has live music on certain nights of the week. This spot is perfect for those who want to impress their guests with a classy night out.

Style: Chic, telephone-themed speakeasy

Ambiance: Cozy and intimate with a nostalgic feel

Decor: Telephone-themed details honoring Alexander Graham Bell

Access: Keyless entry using a special code

Turncoat In Maryland

Turncoat, located just over the border in Maryland, offers a unique speakeasy experience for small parties. Known for its blind pig concept, this hidden bar boasts an unassuming entrance that leads to a charming, clandestine space. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed, making it ideal for casual gatherings.

Drink offerings include a mix of classic and house-made cocktails, with a focus on quality and flavor. Turncoat’s approachable yet stylish setting makes it a great choice for those seeking a comfortable and memorable night out.

Decor: Vintage and elegant, with historic-inspired elements

Access: Discreet entry hidden behind another establishment


600T is a beloved speakeasy in the heart of Washington, D.C., known for its intimate and inviting atmosphere. This spot is perfect for small gatherings, offering a cozy environment with a chic, modern twist. The bar is renowned for its well-curated cocktail menu that caters to a variety of tastes.

With its minimalist design and warm ambiance, 600T provides a perfect backdrop for relaxed conversations and quality time with friends. The attentive staff and excellent drinks make it a must-visit for any small party looking to enjoy a night out in D.C.

Style: Cozy neighborhood speakeasy

Ambiance: Intimate and relaxed setting

Experience: Offers a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere

Jane Jane

While Jane Jane is not technically a speakeasy because it lacks a hidden entrance, you still may miss it if you don’t know it is there. This small cocktail bar is a DC cocktail haven with an extensive drink list. 

Popular drinks here are the espresso martini and the red grasshopper. They do have booths as well to accommodate parties of up to 6. 

Style: Cozy neighborhood bar

Reservations: Walk in and put your name down

Speakeasies In DC: Summary

Finding the perfect speakeasy in Washington, DC involves attention to key details. There are plenty of bars in Washington DC but inside real speakeasies, handcrafted cocktails are a must and you will also want some design that gives off prohibition-era vibes. Many speakeasies boast extensive drink lists with unique and clever names. Signature cocktails like the “Lola Sour” offer a modern twist on classic recipes. The design of the space is also very important to convey the right vibe. Speakeasies usually feature dim lighting and elegant decor to create an intimate atmosphere. Some places even host special tasting events to showcase their creativity.

Whether it’s a secret bar with an extensive drink list or a modern venue with a touch of history, Washington, DC offers a selection that caters to various tastes.

For those seeking an extraordinary night out, D.C.’s speakeasy bars provide an unparalleled adventure. With their mysterious atmospheres and expertly crafted drinks, these hidden gems offer a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era while delivering modern delights.

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