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Best bars for a 'Mad Men' vibe photo
(Courtesy of AMC)

Best bars for a 'Mad Men' vibe

By Julia Beizer and Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 03/20/2012

Capture the spirit of the AMC show and 1960s Manhattan at these evocatively lighted establishments.


Bourbon Steak

Washington, DC

At night, the tastefully appointed dining room in the Four Seasons glows with a subtle warmth. There's a mid-century feel here with oversize lamps and cushy brown banquettes. But butter-poached steaks and lobster potpies don't come cheap. Find a less-pricey menu and classic cocktails in the dimly lighted lounge.


Daniel O'Connell's

Alexandria, VA

The Old Town pub leans more toward "Cheers" than the AMC show. Focus on architectural features such as dark wood moldings and tucked-away booths, which call to mind the places to which younger Sterling Cooper staffers (think Peggy Olson and her pickup) gravitate in their off-hours.


The Gibson

Washington, DC

The decor is speakeasy cool, but the 14th Street bar oozes that brand of undercover discretion that a man like Don Draper would appreciate. The bartenders here mix drinks with care; sip the potent concoctions at cozy two-tops and candlelit tables.


2100 Prime

Washington, DC

The legendary dining room offers classic dishes such as Caesar salad (tossed tableside), steak tartare and lobster thermidor. Outfitted with equestrian-themed paintings, the dining room brings a country-club feel to Embassy Row.


Morton's, The Steakhouse

Vienna, VA

There's a timeless quality to most steakhouses, and the Morton's chain is no exception. But there's something even more old-school about this particular outpost. In the windowless subterranean space, the white tablecloths and dark-wood bar read as authentic vestiges of a long-ago era.


Old Hickory Steakhouse

Oxon Hill, MD

The grand dining rooms at this National Harbor destination call to mind the kinds of places where the ad agency's principals might meet with prospective clients over dinner. They'd bring their wives, enjoy polite conversation and look out on the picture-perfect view of the Potomac River.


P.J. Clarke's

Washington, DC

From the pressed tin ceiling to the marble mosaic floors, the wood-paneled P.J. Clarke's looks as if it's been at 16th and K streets NW forever, though the stained wood and red-and-white checkered tablecloths have only been in Washington since 2010. The restaurant's New York location has been featured on "Mad Men" several times, including a memorable scene where the Sterling Cooper staffers do the twist. (For a more formal experience, make a reservation for the downstairs Sidecar bar and dining room.)


Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Washington, DC

High ceilings, more than 1,000 bottles of Scotch, note-perfect martinis and huge round booths perfect for sealing all kinds of deals -- we think Don Draper would approve of Jack Rose.



Alexandria, VA

The vibe says neo-speakeasy, but the lux chandeliers, mod tables and deluxe cocktails are more timeless. Also making it perfect a retro night out: The jackets-suggested dress code, which will allow couples to break out the fancy dresses, costume jewelry and skinny ties.


Off the Record

Washington, DC

The Hay-Adams' clubby, gilt-edged basement hideaway, filled with plush little alcoves and a large circular bar, is a bit of old-fashioned Washington. It's formal, but not stuffy, perfect for an office meeting or a romantic date, and the atmosphere is fueled by well-shaken mixed drinks.


The Atlas Room

Washington, DC

Dimly lit, with walls bedecked with rich green curtains and old maps, the Atlas Room is a snug, timeless little restaurant and bar. Bring a friend here to catch up, bring and date and let the magic happen over expertly crafted mai tais, pisco sours and a frothy Clover Club.



Washington, DC

Everything is just so at Quill's comfortable honey-toned bar: The exquisite cocktails, the pianist playing classic jazz and show tunes, the leather bar stools, even the separate rooms that allow for a bit of privacy if needed. The free bar snacks -- including one of the city's best plates of nuts -- are perfect for soaking up martinis.


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