DC’s Shaw neighborhood is exploding with new bars and restaurants, with a new spot opening almost every day. It’s packed with hidden gems and cozy vibes where you can feel like the local that you are. Our picks for Shaw’s top Happy Hours all offer both food and drinks specials (most 7 days a week!), with a variety of cuisine that runs the gamut. Gather your Happy Hour squad and settle in Shaw for some of the happiest hours of the day.
- Espita Mezcaleria | Monday – Friday 2:30-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 2:30-6:00pm | 1250 9th St. NW
Espita Mezcaleria is a Southern Mexican hot spot with an extensive Mezcal selection. What is Mezcal, you ask? Often it’s assimilated to tequila. Technically, tequila is a mezcal. Tequila is and has to be made from one variety of agave– the blue agave plant. Mezcal, however, can be made from many different varieties of agave. The production process for each is also different. A Google search will give you lots of results on the differences. Generally, though, you can think of mezcal like tequila’s smoky cousin.
Head to the Espita Mezcaleria bar 7 days a week during happy hour for discounted tacos and a variety of drink options. Enjoy $2 off draft beers and $7 wines. If you’re looking to experience what Espita really has to offer, try the mezcal. How about a beer + a shot of house espadin mezcal for $8, or if you want to splurge, a 6 oz pour of the house espadin mezcal for $21 (normally $30). My absolute favorites though are the $6 cocktails. There’s the hibiscus margarita—a unique spin off of a traditional margarita– and the happy-hour-only Tepache– a sweet-spicy-smoky cocktail made up of mezcal, pineapple juice, Fresno pepper, & lime. With so many specials, there is surely something for everyone in your happy hour crew.
Thally is the perfect Happy Hour spot. Its brick wall and dim lighting instantly make you feel relaxed as you pull up to a spot at the bar. The bartenders are exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable, while keeping it casual so you feel like a regular. Happy Hour specials include $4 drafts, $6 wines, $8 “Thallytails” aka cocktails, and ½ off small bites. You can’t go wrong with your drink choice, and for bites I’d go with the daily taco and the hushpuppies with remoulade and truffle oil. Order a few more bites and you could even call it dinner for the night.
Takoda offers a base happy hour across the 5 weekdays, plus additional specials Monday – Wednesday to keep you on your toes. During all happy hour hours), you can enjoy specials like $4 beer, $5 wine, and $6 house mules, combined with discounted apps like $6 fried pickles and $8 boneless wings. Plus, if you’re a wino, wine bottles are ½ price all night on Mondays—Like the Rutherford Ranch Sauvy-B for $22 (normally $44). Into beer? On Tuesdays, basic beers are $4 all night (think PBR and bud light) and it’s ½ off rosemary tots. Whiskey aficionado? Head over on Wednesdays for ½ off select whiskeys & wings. Pro top: Take in the sunset on the roof while mulling over your happy hour delights.
- Shaw’s Tavern | Monday- Friday 4:00-7:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 5:00-7:00pm | 520 Florida Avenue NW
Shaw’s Tavern is a local watering hole you can go to and never feel out of place. With a chill vibe and welcoming service, you’ll stick around for that extra drink. Happy Hour is offered 7 days a week and has you covered whether you drink wine, beer, or liquor. Pick your preference from $3 Miller Lite, $4 Sam Adams Seasonal, $5 house wines, and $5 rail cocktails. Plus, half off a selection of appetizers like fried green tomatoes, garlic sticks, and pizzas (the white pizza is one of the most popular). Pro tip: Go on Tuesdays for ½ price burgers and pizzas all the way until 10pm!
Envision yourself on the beach and enjoy the nautical theme and focus on fish at Drift on 7th. The casual bar welcomes you with a brick wall on one side and wooden planks on a sea-blue wall on the other. The Happy Hour menu is simple in the best way—everything on it is $5. The beverage options include beer, wine, rail cocktails, and the maid cocktail, which can be made with rail vodka, tequila, bourbon, or gin. No need to drink on an empty stomach, with Happy Hour noms like fish tacos, sliders, and, my favorite, the tentacles ‘n’ tots– aka calamari and haddock tots with fries. Pro tip: If you’re a wine drinker, swing by on Wednesdays for ½ price bottles all night. Plus stick around on Tuesdays & Thursdays for live jazz music!
So, what are you waiting for!? Round up a friend or two and mosey on over to one of the hottest yet coziest neighborhoods in the District.