Over 21? Under 21? At these places, it doesn't matter.
Adams Morgan's Tryst caters to all your "I'm only 20 but want to look cool" vibes Sunday through Thursday (it's 21+ after 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) by transforming from an expansive, comfy coffee joint to a lively dinner spot at night. You can pop in for some late-night caffeine or an acoustic set without getting the dreaded black X on your hand while your older friends enjoy a beer or two. 2459 18th St. NW. www.trystdc.com. Open until midnight Sunday-Thursday and until 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Thanks to its legendary sound system, U Street Music Hall is considered sacred ground by many members of the international DJ community. Advance tickets are required for 18- to 20-year-olds on Friday and Saturday nights, but it's worth it to see DJ sets from such acts as J. Phlip (Saturday), Lee Foss (June 20) and Goldroom (June 26). 1115 U St. NW. www.ustreetmusichall.com.
The Black Cat's music lineup is one of the most diverse in town, with Latin dance nights scheduled alongside indie nights and concerts from the likes of Asgeir (June 16), Veruca Salt (July 21) and DIIV (July 25). In addition, keep an eye out for aptly named dance nights like Cryfest (June 14), which welcomes DJs looking to remix the Cure and the Smiths, and Mr. Brightside (June 21), a 2000s alt-pop dance night. 1811 14th St. NW. www.blackcatdc.com.
Busboys and Poets is where to go with your friends for a more cultured night, with such events as spoken-word slams, author talks, open-mike poetry and film screenings. It's not the cheapest option for food and drink, but the atmosphere and company make up the difference. Busboys & Poets has expanded to four locations in the District, Maryland and Virginia, but the most lively is just north of U Street at 2021 14th St. NW. www.busboysandpoets.com.
For interns looking for a more underground punk feel, head to the Rock & Roll Hotel on H Street NE to see gigs by the Jezabels (June 18), F----- Up (July 3) and Ex Hex (July 24) play for $15 or less. The venue's DJ lounge and rooftop deck are only for ages 21 and older. 1353 H St. NE. www.rockandrollhoteldc.com.