Best bars near the Verizon Center photo
(Iron Horse Tap Room by Evy Mages)

Best bars near the Verizon Center

Fritz Hahn and Alex Baldinger  |  Updated 01/22/2013

Whether you're attending a Capitals game, a Wizards game or a big concert at the Verizon Center, we suggest stopping into one of these bars for a drink before or after the main events.

 

District ChopHouse & Brewery

Washington, DC

The downstairs of this popular brewpub is high-end Sinatra swagger, with large booths and blaring swing music. Upstairs is the smaller Brewer's Lounge, a secluded spot with soft leather couches. Stop in between 3 and 7 p.m. on weeknights for $3.25 house-made beers.

 

District of Pi

Washington, DC

This St. Louis-based pizzeria, which specializes in decadent deep dish, is about two blocks from Verizon Center's main entrance, but it's far enough off the main strip that the bar doesn't get overrun. That leaves more space to enjoy the beers -- a half-dozen of its 24 taps go to St. Louis's Schlafly brewery -- as well as its happy hour (from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday) of $4 drafts, $6 cocktails and $4 bar snacks, including puck-size meatballs.

 

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

Washington, DC

Plenty of fans can fit inside this cavernous and gorgeous old bank building, making the brewpub a popular pre-game gathering spot. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and starts again at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Look for $5 and $7 appetizers, $1 off all house beers, $2 off wines by the glass and $5 cocktails.

 

Hill Country

Washington, DC

You're covered with Hill Country's two-pronged happy hour, which runs daily from 3 to 7 p.m. and from 10 p.m. until close. Try $3 PBR cans, $5 rail drinks and $20 margarita pitchers to wash down trays of wings, beef sandwiches or the $25 Pitmaster Combo: brisket, chicken, and beef and pork ribs.

 

Iron Horse Tap Room

Washington, DC

Eventually, we all outgrow Rocket Bar. But the Iron Horse Tap Room's ever-changing beer selection and abundant happy hour specials do its rowdier sibling proud -- and without smelling like the couch in the frat house basement. Get $2 off all draft beers from 4 to 8 p.m. every night.

 

The Passenger

Washington, DC

If there's a weekday game and you can duck out a bit early, head to the Passenger for high-end tipple and duck confit nachos. A perfectly mixed Manhattan here costs as much as a watery draft beer inside the arena. It's a few blocks north of the main Penn Quarter drag, so allow 20 minutes to get to your seat for the drop of the puck.

 

R.F.D. Washington

Washington, DC

The beer-centric R.F.D. Washington offers some good happy hour specials, including discounted buckets of microbrew bottles or cask ales. Deals rotate depending on the day of the week, but always include some $4 drafts.

 

Sixth Engine

Washington, DC

You might not think of Fifth Street and Massachusetts Avenue as being near the Verizon Center, but Sixth Engine really is a quick walk from the arena. The weeknight "Locals and Lights" happy hour runs from 4:30 to 7 and features $3 light beers, $4 local beers (Port City, DC Brau, or whatever's available), $5 glasses of wine and $7 cocktails. Ask about rotating food specials.

 

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