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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Washington, D.C. Area

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Washington, D.C. Area? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favourite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Dragon Distillery restaurant
5.0
5 (439)
$31 to $50
Distillery
Frederick
About the restaurant
Dragon Distillery and Dragon's Den - Frederick's first distillery and Frederick's premier craft cocktail experience!
Dragon Distillery is a medieval/fantasy themed distillery, with a spirit portfolio of over 20 spirits - including a variety of whiskeys, vodkas, gins, rums, and moonshines.
Our craft cocktail lounge has both indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) seating. We have a craft cocktail menu of over 30 hand-crafted cocktails, along with delicious appetizers, sandwiches, and lite fare. We have a number of board games available to play, and two axe throwing lanes for entertainment.
We offer tours of our production process as well as sample tastings on a space available basis during the weekends.
Top review
larry
Dined 4 days ago
Great service and drinks. We will definitely be back. Thank you very much for a great evening.
A photo of The Alchemist restaurant
5.0
5 (57)
$31 to $50
Cocktail Bar
McPherson Square
About the restaurant
Step into the clandestine world of The Alchemist, an elusive speakeasy where craftsmanship and libation unite. Immerse yourself in a realm of handcrafted cocktails featuring smoke and fire, where we infuse spirits seasonally and boast over 150 carefully selected bourbons, whiskeys, and scotches. Uncover the art of mixology and savor the allure of rare spirits at The Alchemist DC

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 2, 2024
The drinks were amazing! You’ll have the best drinks ever, really! The biggest issue with our party was that we went on a loud night. The space is small and the other customers were very very loud. It was difficult talking to your friends when the other table is louder. Great service too!
A photo of Toryumon Japanese House - Arlington restaurant
4.9
4.9 (49)
$30 and under
Japanese
Rosslyn
About the restaurant
Great sushi is an art and a science. It’s a blend of precision knife skills, an immaculate attention to the quality of rice and a discerning artistic eye. Besides sushi, there are typical Asian cuisine on the menu as well. Years of experimentation and development have created a menu as bold as it is traditional, balancing the best of the modern art of the Sushi craft and Asian cuisine with the best of classical technique. Toryumon offers the finest elements of Japanese hospitality in an elegant setting that stirs the senses. From the moment you enter the toryumon Japanese house arlington, you will be impressed by the architecture, hand selected woods and a magnificent wall of masterpiece
*Sushi , Ramen and Hibachi Entree are Top three Signature dishes on the menu. We offer Dine-in, Take-out, Catering and Private Party ( party room allow up to 28ppl)*
Top review
LucaBvip
Dined on May 30, 2024
A no frill place with great sushi. Many noticed how fresh it was and well prepared. For some hard to understand reasons the pictures of dishes on the menu do not correspond to anything on the menu. Our waiter could not explain any of the main dishes.
A photo of Code Red restaurant
4.9
4.9 (27)
$30 and under
American
Adams Morgan
About the restaurant
CODE RED : We’re a celebration of freedom that transports you back into the Prohibition Era while embracing modernity with classic cocktails, eclectic cuisine, and outstanding service.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 11, 2024
awesome place, very friendly staff and very good food variety -- including healthy options.
A photo of Meze Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (738)
$30 and under
Turkish
Adams Morgan
About the restaurant
we have 2 patio up to 60 people sit ..Saturday & Sunday all you can eat &drink brunch. $45 per person .everyday tapas vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free,Halal. menu.full bar, 16 different mojito .
Mediterranean bounty, beauty and modernity. All around the Eastern We will Mediterranean, “meze” (pronounced “MEH-zay”) are small dishes designed to complement a beverage, tease the tastebuds, and encourage diners to linger around the table for good companionship and conversation. On behalf of the owners and staff at Meze, we extend our heartfelt welcome and encourage you to eat, drink, and relax in the Turkish way of having a good time and enjoying life. Private room. Semi private room. If you group bigger than 10 people call the restaurant we can help large groups up to 50 people , patio or indoor .up to 10 people brunch or dinner fix menu only ....
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 1, 2024
Enjoyed vibe of Adam Morgan, and the Lamb was excellent!
A photo of Boqueria - Penn Quarter restaurant
4.7
4.7 (514)
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
An energetic Barcelona-style tapas bar serving Spanish favorites, seasonal specials, and curated cocktails in a contemporary space steps from DC's Chinatown, Capital One Arena, and near the National Mall.

Perfect for a shared meal of small plates, happy hour or lunch with the team, a memorable date night, or weekend brunch!

Let us know if you have any seating requirements when making your booking. Parties of 10 or more will enjoy our Chef's Tasting Menu ($52pp plus beverage, tax and gratuity).

Please note that by making a reservation through OpenTable you are agreeing to receive marketing communications from Boqueria.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 30, 2024
I've been coming to Boqueria for over two years now, and Judah, the bartender/manager, is a big reason why. He's super friendly and professional, which makes every visit great. As a wine lover and foodie, I really appreciate his awesome menu recommendations. Judah always knows the best wines and dishes to try. I always look forward to my visits because I know Judah will take good care of me. Boqueria wouldn't be the same without him!
A photo of The Arsenal at Bluejacket restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1055)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Navy Yard
About the restaurant
The Arsenal is the 200-seat restaurant & bar housed within the brewery, Bluejacket. The menu updates, refines and extends the classic fare of beer halls and public houses by featuring the best locally sourced products available and highlighting reinterpretations of hearty classics such as steamed mussels, artisanal sausages and more. Gourmet sandwiches, seasonal salads & vegetables, alongside approachable bar snacks are the perfect accompaniments to a signature Bluejacket brew.

Top review
ArielK
Dined on Jun 1, 2024
Everything was fantastic! Our server was great and the manager was awesome!
A photo of Haikan restaurant
4.6
4.6 (637)
$30 and under
Ramen
Shaw
About the restaurant
Haikan is our second Sapporo Ramen shop in DC after Daikaya. Haikan means, “pipe works” in Japanese, an ode to Atlantic Plumbing Building where we are located. At Haikan, we focused on creating the taste of ramen from the showa period, the golden age of ramen in Japan. There are over 1000 ramen shops in the city of Sapporo alone, and we are excited to share a completely new line-up of traditional Sapporo style ramen in DC. In addition to ramen, we are serving a playful selection of Japanese-inspired kozara (small plates) to share, or to start with, or to make a whole meal of by picking a few of them. Haikan's bar serves a collection of Japanese-inspired cocktails, and a concentrated selection of Japanese sake, shochu, beer, whisky, and more.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 17, 2024
My favorite ramen spot in dc. I recommend the spicy ramen and adding an egg. So sad to see they took away the crispy pig ears (trust me they were amazing). Still love this place when I need some yummy ramen and a huge mug of ice cold beer.
A photo of Mission Navy Yard restaurant
4.6
4.6 (555)
$30 and under
Tex-Mex
Navy Yard
About the restaurant
Welcome to Mission Navy Yard, a lively bar and restaurant located adjacent to Nationals Park and Audi Field. Known for our vibrant bar scene, daily happy hour, spacious private event and outdoor spaces and delicious Tex-Mex food, we opened in July 2018. Our sister restaurant, Mission Dupont Circle, has been serving strong margaritas and tasty tacos since 2014.

We refuse to believe that a restaurant only has one purpose: we aim to provide a bustling bar scene, comfortable dining and versatile private event spaces that can accommodate groups of all sizes. Our spaces are created to be welcoming for brunch, happy hour, dinner and private events, as well as those looking to rewind in a vibrant weekend late night atmosphere.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 2, 2024
Great restaurant the experience the food ambiance all the above
A photo of Nara-Ya restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1251)
$31 to $50
Japanese (Izakaya)
Southwest Waterfront
About the restaurant
Nestled at the heart of the District Wharf, NaRa-Ya offers traditional Japanese Cuisine with modern inflections. Featuring an elegant a la carte menu and available tasting menus, we take pride in the culinary artistry of the traditional Japanese kitchen while advocating a personal responsibility to environmental demands. It is our practice to source local produce, offer sustainable, farm raised, and wild caught global marine products while maintaining an unparalleled dining experience. NaRa-Ya boasts an extensive sake & Japanese whisky list, including exceptional offerings rarely seen outside of the islands of Japan. Most seats at NaRa-Ya offer breathtaking views of the marina and Potomac River.

We recommend allowing extra time for parking.
Top review
Mbhickmanvip
Dined 3 days ago
The all you care to enjoy brunch is so wonderful! The decor is beautiful and the food is superb. The items you don’t expect to be are some of the best including the Steak & Eggs, Whipped Cottage Cheese Toast, Octopus Takoyaki, and French Toast. I suggest going with a group of 6-8 and order 1 of everything. Don’t both with drinks!
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