Best bars without televisions photo
(Andrea Bruce Woodall)

Best bars without televisions

Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 09/22/2011

You want to go out and have a drink and gossip with your friends or meet a date for a cocktail, but most of the places you're thinking of will be packed with people watching sports or, worse, political coverage. Here's where to go instead.

 

Birreria Paradiso

Washington, DC

The basement-level beer bar has 16 microbrew drafts and 300 selections in bottles -- including a number you've never heard of -- plus a fireplace and fantastic pizza.

 

Bistrot Lepic

Washington, DC

Above Georgetown's Bistrot Lepic is a cozy, dimly lighted wine bar that's perfect for a date, with dozens of choices by the glass or half-bottle. Stop by at happy hour on Tuesday for a free wine tasting.

 

Black Cat

Washington, DC

Even if you're not going to see a concert at D.C.'s premiere club for independent bands, the Red Room bar is a great place to hang out. There's pinball, pool, a jukebox and plenty of people-watching.

 

The Gibson

Washington, DC

Flickering candles, quiet booths and a great soundtrack set a romantic scene at this two-story temple of the retro cocktail, where expert bartenders handcraft cocktails. Just remember to make a reservation.

 

Grapeseed

Bethesda, MD

The inviting wine bar offers 50 different tastes by the glass and eight themed flights that rotate often. Try to grab a seat during happy hour -- 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays -- to save $2 off glasses and $5 off flights.

 

The Passenger

Washington, DC

Well-known bartending brothers Derek Brown (formerly of the Gibson) and Tom Brown (formerly of Cork) run this cozy neighborhood bar and lounge. There's no cocktail menu; customers are encouraged to discuss their drink preferences with a mixologist before ordering.

 

Pharmacy Bar

Washington, DC

With one of the city's best jukeboxes and a picture window that looks out on the 18th Street action, this Rx-themed bar has no need for a TV. Bored? Go play a couple games of Big Buck Hunter, pal.

 

PX

Alexandria, VA

There's no sign outside, but when the pirate flag flies and the blue light is on, the "speakeasy" above Eamonn's restaurant is hopping with folks enjoying exquisite and imaginative cocktails.

 

Room 11

Washington, DC

A small corner bar offers wines by the glass, charcuterie, desserts and a large patio -- well, a patio with more room than the interior.

 

The Saloon

Washington, DC

A sign on the door at this U Street fixture reads "No TV." The owners don't allow customers to stand at the bar, and they refuse to make martinis. But the great beer selection, comfortable crowd and quirky atmosphere -- don't think about saving that seat -- keep people coming back.

 

The Wonderland Ballroom

Washington, DC

Between the jukebox, DJs, trivia, swing dancing and outdoor beer garden, there's never a lack of real-life entertainment in this mecca for Columbia Heights hipsters.

 

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