26 Jul Must-Try Black-Owned Happy Hours in the DMV
Happy hours are commonly known as that magical time when the workday comes to an end and the promise of great drinks and delicious bites awaits, but when you’re in the greater Washington, D.C. area, affectionately known as the DMV, you’ll undoubtedly notice aspects unique to only the nation’s capital. Imagine grooving to Afrobeats while sipping a cocktail against the backdrop of the Washington Monument bathed in the golden hues of twilight. You can’t replicate that anywhere else!
Aside from the historical landmarks, what also sets the DMV apart from other metropolitan areas is the prevalence of Black-owned restaurants. Influenced by the diaspora, soul food, Afro-Caribbean delights, and traditional African dishes hold a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Black-owned restaurants in the DMV have increasingly become culinary beacons for celebrating Black history. These establishments incorporate art, music, and decor that reflect and honor cultural icons. The mingling of politics and potables also adds a touch of humor and intrigue, further making DMV happy hours one-of-a-kind. Restaurants create cleverly named food items, satirical drinks, and tongue-in-cheek references to political figures and current events. Don’t believe me? Just ask any local happy hour enthusiast where to go for the best Ciroc Obama!
Happy hours in the DMV often have a strong sense of community, bringing together people from different backgrounds and fostering connections that bridge social divides. It’s certainly not uncommon for a happy hour experience to turn strangers into friends. If you want to experience happy hour like a true local, check out some of these popular Black-owned restaurants.
950 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday from 4-7 pm and Saturday from 12-5 pm
Georgia Brown’s is located in the heart of Washington, just two blocks from the White House and McPherson Square, and offers a delightful blend of Southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails. During their “Southern Comfort” happy hour, be sure to try the Soco Mule, a delightful blend of vodka, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice, or the signature GBR Peach Martini, a luscious creation combining the essence of peach with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. While enjoying your drinks, you can delight in southern classics like their famous Ma Brown’s biscuits, catfish nuggets, deviled eggs and fried green tomatoes.
651 Florida Ave. NW #7, Washington, D.C. 20001
Happy Hour: Monday- Sunday from 5-7 pm
Looking for a spot to savor delectable bites and sip on endless libations? Look no further than Halfsmoke DC’s $30 bottomless happy hour! The local favorite is famous for its innovative take on the beloved comfort food – sausages. Offering a wide variety of handcrafted sausages, from traditional to plant-based, their menu caters to most dietary preferences. Although the sausages are not currently listed on the happy hour menu, the $13 cost for each sausage won’t leave your wallet unhappy. You can’t go wrong with the classic Halfsmoke, a mouthwatering half-pork, half-beef sausage topped with your choice of delectable toppings. Pair this iconic DC staple with happy hour menu items like crab fries, mac n cheese bites, or sweet potato tots for an even more fulfilling meal.
920 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
When you do happy hour at The Park at 14th, prepare to be captivated by resident DJs spinning the latest beats and the extensive selection of craft cocktails, premium wines, and top-shelf spirits. Whether you prefer the popular house punch, a coco loco margarita, or an inventive mix infused with seasonal flavors, the drink menu has something for everyone. The kitchen offers a satisfying selection of small plates and appetizers that blend various culinary influences. From crispy calamari and sweet chili wings to quesadillas and bang bang shrimp, the culinary offerings are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
1812 Library St., Reston, VA 20190
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-6pm
Craft beer enthusiasts rejoice! Maker’s Union is a trendy gastropub providing an impressive selection of local and regional craft beers on tap. From IPAs bursting with hops to smooth stouts and refreshing ales, there’s a brew available to please all beer lovers. If you’re feeling adventurous, the knowledgeable bartenders are more than happy to recommend a brew that perfectly complements your taste. You can indulge in elevated bar staples like nachos, fish tacos, and Nashville hot chicken tenders.
Multiple locations throughout the DMV
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-6pm
For the pizza lovers, Matchbox’s happy hour is an experience not to be missed. In addition to the discounted prices on select artisanal pizzas, the restaurant also offers a wide range of enticing small plates designed to complement their pizzas. Shareable options like crispy fried risotto, sticky pork ribs, and burger sliders are perfect for groups, making happy hour a social affair. Their drink menu includes an extensive wine selection, locally sourced craft beers on tap, and handcrafted cocktails that range from classic concoctions to innovative mixes.
1211 U St NW Washington, D.C. 20009
Available 3-7pm Monday to Friday, Including Holidays | Food 4:30-7pm Saturdays & Sundays
Attached next door to the historic Ben’s Chili Bowl is their comfort food restaurant Ben’s Next Door. If you are looking for a Happy Hour with classic country cooking and signature cocktails, Ben’s Next Door has you covered. They have unique cocktails like the Spicy Mango Casamigos Rita, Tito’s 40 Acre & a Mule or the TY Island Rum Punch to quench your happy hour thirst. Their Frozen Cocktails like the Bacardi Mango Daiquiri, Margarita and the Froze-Aye are also fan favorites. Along side your beautiful drink, have a pick at their delicious happy hour food. The Jumbo Lump Crab Deviled Eggs, BBQ Jerk Salmon Sliders or Buffalo Cauliflower are sure to bring comfort at the end of a long work day.
Beyond just discounted food and drinks, the DMV’s happy hour culture embodies the essence of the nation’s capital – a dynamic, inclusive, and vibrant community where people come together to celebrate life, history, and each other. The Black influence on the DMV’s culinary scene is multi-dimensional and pervasive. It fosters community engagement, supports social causes, celebrates diversity, and reflects the city’s ever-evolving spirit. Take time to support these Black-owned businesses and follow your fork to some of the best happy hours in the area.
Happy hour offerings and timings are subject to change at any restaurant referenced in this article. To obtain the most current information, it is recommended to visit their official website, social media pages, or contact the restaurant directly.