Oh glorious Adams Morgan, you ugly stepsister to Dupont Circle with your dirty dive bars and your cheap drunken edibles, what would we do without you on Thursday nights? Where else would we go when the rest of the city has gone home to sleep off the remnants of happy hours or prepare for the last day of work? Where would we go to get a piece of pizza that could feed a small family for almost a week (if you were thinking Tuscany, stop), or Falafel worthy of a sultan or a Sheikh? Oh Adams Morgan, I’ve often wondered why on Thursday nights Georgetown seems so dead, and I finally know why – you’ve lured them away, you’ve enticed all of D.C. with your promise of something different, of something strange and exotic.
I’ve always loved Adams Morgan for precisely that strangeness. Even though I’m a creature of habit and frequent the same bars and the same late hour pizza haunts, I still experience something different every time I make the trek out to Adams Morgan (which isn’t even that far). From the Dupont Metro station it’s less than a mile away (a straight shot up 18th), and if you really want to earn those drinks, walking from the front gate to the base of Adams Morgan’s bar strip at Kalorama and 18th, you’re looking at a pleasant two-mile stroll (give or take a few tenths of a mile). With weather like this, you have no excuse to not at least walk from Dupont.
This first place in Adams Morgan is one of my favorites. Soussi, situated on the corner of 18th and Kalorama, is hands down the coolest hookah bar I’ve ever been too, and the food is superb. The wait staff is incredibly friendly and it has a great screened-in seating area that’s perfect for people watching (who does that?). One of the best things about this place is that every day from 5-7:30 all drinks in the house are half off (yes, even top shelf).
If hookah isn’t your style but you’re still looking for a good bar, you can’t go wrong with Brass Monkey, Bourbon or the Black Squirrel. But if you really want a bang for your buck, Dan’s Cafe (2315 18th St NW) is a must see. For $20 you can choose from any of the numerous types of liquor lining the back of the bar and a mixer, all of which is presented to you in a clear plastic squeeze bottle, with shot glasses on the side. This place is the epitome of a dive bar: it’s dirty and worn down, but the culture is tons of fun.
This next place known only as The Diner (located next to Pizza Boli on 18th Street) is one of the few 24-hour establishments in town. It also boasts a full bar but they do have a last call, which I found out the hard way at three in the morning. So if you missed the last metro, like I do frequently, and are dying for classic American food or want to hang out with like-minded drunks who don’t want to go home yet, check this place out. Other great late night snack stops include Amerstdam Falafel and Pizza Mart (Jumbo Slice). Some people will try to tell you that Pizza Boli is the original Jumbo slice, and who knows, maybe its a conspiracy, but if I’m in Adams Morgan, Jumbo Slice (Pizza Mart) is at the top of my priorities.