D.C. Ramblings: Dupont Circle

Whether you’re looking for a new favorite restaurant, a good laugh or a different crowd than what you’ll find in Georgetown’s bars, the Dupont Circle area is a breath of fresh air. Literally. I hate to admit, but Dupont Circle is one of the areas of the city I know the least about. I’ve always viewed it as a stepping-stone to other parts of the city, especially since the GUTS bus conveniently drops off right by the metro. I also used to think that besides restaurants, there really wasn’t much to do there. However, if you’re looking for some lively nightlife, Dupont actually may be one of your best bets in the city, and it’s only a twenty-minute walk (crazy right?).

I have to give a shout out to my editor for this little dive bar, but Café Japone located on P St. before the circle, is one of the most fun Karaoke spots I’ve ever been too. It has an extensive song selection; I leafed through the book for about an hour while the place was packed with people from all walks of life having a good time, and didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book. The best part is, the sake bombs were incredibly cheap. The first time I went it was around fifteen dollars for three Sapporo’s and a decanter of warm sake. Three of us were able to squeeze out about ten drinks. This place is great for groups, and if you start the night out here, you’re close to a lot of other great bars, even Adams Morgan if you so felt compelled.

The next stop, past the circle and down Connecticut Ave, The Big Hunt (near N St.), is one of the cooler bars in the city, especially if you would classify yourself as edgy, hip, modern or you wear non-prescription thick-rimmed glasses and think pocket squares should have never gone out of style. This “hipster bar” (I use the term lovingly, I love pocket squares) has four floors chock full of eclectic memorabilia, a great deck for outdoor drinking in the warmer months and boasts itself to be one of the oldest “beer” bars in D.C. Suit vests also seem to be very effective here.

Farther down Connecticut Avenue is one of my favorite places in the city, D.C. Improv. I like this place so much that I’ve mentioned it twice on 4E (once before in a Best Bets post). The first time I went here I saw Flip Orley hypnotize a guy on stage who became so enthralled with the hair of the woman sitting next to him, that he asked her if he could “pet” her. Not to mention that smiling and laughing make you live longer, so at the least, check this place out for your health. It’s a great first date option, guys, and you don’t even have to be funny to get her to laugh.

Two words: Shake Shack. This new sensation is gradually working its way up to D.C. superstardom, soon to be as highly sought after as mumbo sauce (some people also call it mambo sauce – there’s even a go-go band that shares the name) and Jumbo Slice. Last time I checked, Five Guys doesn’t have milkshakes, and Good Stuff Eatery is all the way out in Capitol Hill (until it opens up in Georgetown) so check out this burger joint.

I haven’t even covered half of the great places you can go in Dupont Circle, but these are a start. Go check it out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Photo: http://douglasdevelopment.com/projects/shake-shack

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