Best karaoke photo
(Rock N' Twang Live Band Karaoke; photo by Rebecca D'Angelo for The Washington Post)

Best karaoke

Stephanie Merry and Jess Righthand  |  Updated 04/27/2013

Washington is a serious town, and for good reason -- there are important decisions to be made and issues to lobby, laws to pass and bills to filibuster. But after a full day of taxing contemplation and staid conversation, Washingtonians are equally proficient in the art of unwinding. We don't always take ourselves so seriously, and that's especially obvious with the popularity of one self-deprecating pastime.

We sing, occasionally off-key. Sometimes even in costume.

Every night of the week, there are multiple options for karaoke, such as the karaoke nights with distinctive appeals that we write about below. Whether you like singing old-time tunes or channeling your inner rock star, performing for a small group or crooning to the masses, it's time to find your voice.

 

Muzette Karaoke Studios and Korean Restaurant

Washington, DC

Best for a private party

Want to belt out the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" or Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" without subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of strangers? At Muzette, a Korean restaurant and subterranean karaoke hot spot in the middle of Adams Morgan, patrons rent their own room.

"Norebangs," Korean-style karaoke venues with private rooms, are great for birthday parties, office parties, pregame and postgame gatherings. Muzette has a number of small, medium and large rooms that fit up to 15 people. If you get hungry or thirsty while singing, press the button on the wall and a server will take your order. The Korean food is authentic; the specialty cocktails, such as "Katy Perry's Whipped Cream Bikini," are on the sweet side.

Room rates run from $40 to $80 per hour on weekends. If you're looking to conserve your cash, prices drop to $25 to $45 for happy hour every day before 8 p.m. It's a good idea to reserve a room ahead of time, especially on weekend nights. Book the room for more time than you think you'll need; chances are, you're going to be singing your heart out until the bitter end.

 

Cafe Muse

Annandale, VA

Best for a very, very late night

Karaoke is not the best way to start your night. The urge to sing in public comes later, after dinner and a few glasses of wine. That makes Annandale's Cafe Muse the perfect late night destination; its Korean-style norebang rooms are open until 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

One of the area's oldest and best-known karaoke destinations, Cafe Muse boasts of offering more than 60,000 songs in multiple languages; the selections of Korean and Japanese songs -- K-pop and J-pop -- are especially strong, and Filipino, Thai and Chinese are among the other choices.

Rooms are outfitted with couches, video monitors and large screens that show odd scenes of sailboats or the countryside while you're singing. A small kitchen serves sushi and bibimbap at all hours, and the beer selection doesn't get more exotic than Heineken or Sapporo.

Prices vary based on the time, the day and the size of the room you need: A group of six can expect to pay hourly rates of $30 every day before 8 p.m., $40 on weeknights after 8 p.m. and $50 on Fridays and Saturdays. But when you feel the need to belt out Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" or a favorite TVXQ song before heading home, you'll think it's money well spent.

 

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