The Scene: A lively two-level Latin lounge that throbs to salsa and international club music on weekends, Cafe Citron is also a top happy hour destination in Dupont Circle. The see-and-be-seen section is in a tiny mezzanine level; the dimly lit basement, where the walls are lined with seats, has more room for dancing. While not as pretentious as some other bars in the neighborhood, it can be just as crowded at prime time -- you may feel like a sardine -- and there can be extended waits at the bar.
In Your Glass: Some of the best mojitos in Washington are poured here, including variations like the sweet, fruity mango mojito. Pitchers of frozen margaritas are popular with groups.
Need to Know: Lines can get startlingly long on weekends, with dozens of people in designer fashions waiting on Connecticut Avenue to enter the packed lounge. If you're going on a Friday or Saturday, try to arrive before 10 to beat the crush, and dress to impress to make it past the doorman. Also, chairs are removed to create more room around the bar; get there even earlier if you need (or just want) a seat.
Nice to Know: Every Monday night, flamenco dancers perform on a small stage, accompanied by live music. Shows begin at 8 and 9 p.m.
Price Points: Beers and cocktails are discounted at happy hour (4 to 7:30 Monday through Friday), meaning $3 for a Sagres beer from Portugal or $5 for a mango mojito. Expect to pay $8 to $10 for a mojito at other times, or $30 for a pitcher.
-- Fritz Hahn (June 2006)