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Washington, DC’s Coolest Bars

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

Now that I’m 21, I’m looking forward to trying out bars, clubs and lounges in DC that I couldn’t get into before. Here’s a list of my top places to check out. Most of them will have some element of fun and games to them.

H Street Country Club

I pass by H Street County Club every time I take Megabus home. Its astroturf awning and name have sparked my curiosity. This establishment is part Mexican restaurant, part “country club.” The bar is home to an indoor mini-golf course, skeeball machines, shuffleboard tables and video games. Although you have to be 21 to enter, you’re welcome to act like a kid.

The mini-golf course is a unique tribute to Washington. You can try to get a hole-in-one in the Lincoln Memorial, past Marion Barry and around Godzilla climbing on the Washington Monument. The game is free with dinner Mondays and Tuesdays, or $7 every other night.

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

Marion Barry’s “Awakening” at H Street Country Club’s mini-golf course | Photo from the Washington Post

Thomas Foolery

Thomas Foolery is all about unleashing your inner child. Their motto is: Food for little kids. Drinks for big kids. Toys for everyone! Thomas Foolery seems great because of its games, drinks and food.

GAMES: At this bar you can play Mario Kart, Nerf darts, Etch a Sketch and rent out board games for free.. Instead of Happy Hour, Thomas Foolery hosts an Angry Hour (5-7 p.m. daily) in which you can receive $1 off a drink for ordering in your angriest voice (sounds like a good way to relieve stress after class or work). The bar also features fun rules that get you interactive discounts (check them out right here).

DRINKS: What’s a bar without some beverages? Their beer menu is 40-beers deep and was selected by DC locals. The whole establishment was actually crowd-funded by 49 investors. Thomas Foolery also serves 15 specialty sodas, adding to the youthful theme. Play Plinko to price your Smirnoff Ice or do the Wine Taste Test to get a discount on their wine selection.

FOOD: Thomas Foolery’s snacks are made by local food trucks and vendors. If The Big Cheese or Captain Cookie aren’t on campus, you can satisfy your craving at Thomas Foolery. Take yourself back to your elementary school days and indulge in grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&Js, and ice cream — the perfect after-school eats.

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

Playing limbo could get you free candy at Thomas Foolery | Photo from the Thrillist


Guests of this luxe bar and lounge enjoy one of the best views in DC. Located on top of the W hotel, P.O.V. (Point of View) has front row seat to the Washington Monument, the White House and the rest of the District’s unique skyline. At night, guests can eat tapas and sip on unique, seasonal cocktails. Come Sunday morning for brunch on the terrace.

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

POV guests enjoy one of the best views in the city. | Photo from

The Board Room

This Dupont bar encourages its guests to put down their smartphones and interact. Board Room has a vast collection of board games to rent and play. You can play classic favorites like Scrabble and Monopoly or vintage games you’ve never heard of. Rentals costs range from $1-$5. The main beverage at the Board Room is beer, but wine and cocktails are also served.

21st birthday dc bar wishlist

Board Room DC | Photo from the Board Room


U Street’s Brixton will make you feel like you’re in an pub in London. The bar and restaurant serves pub food, English favorites and colonial Indian food like chicken tikka masala, the so-called national dish of England. Come on Sunday for the Brixton’s Sunday Roast and Brunch, where you can have the roast beef or a full English breakfast.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor. On the next level is the Lodge Bar, which essentially looks like a hunting lodge complete with red leather couches, antler chandeliers and fireplaces. For a drink with a view any time of the year, the Brixton has a rooftop bar that is heated and covered during the winter. The Brixton seems like the perfect place to cozy up with friends and grab some food or a drink.

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

Cozy up at the Brixton’s Lodge Bar | Photos by R. Lopez on Eater

Penn Social

Penn Social combines the best of H Street Country Club and the Board Room in one bar. While they don’t have a mini golf course, you can play a game of Boggle, foosball, ping pong, corn hole, shuffleboard, the Simpsons video game or giant Connect Four. You can even gather your frat bros and bring them to Penn Social’s weekly beer pong tournament. If pong isn’t your thing, you can dance the night away on weekends during the DJ-ed Late Night at Penn Social ($10 cover). The venue has hosted some really cool events in the past, so check out their events page regularly to stay in the loop.

As for food and drink, expect lots and lots of beer, and classic bar food like chips, hot dogs and sandwiches.

21st Birthday DC Bar Wishlist

Late Night at Penn Social |Photo from Penn Social

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