On the Red Line: Dupont Circle

12 years ago by in Uncategorized Tagged:

The best places for happy hour in Dupont Circle

$ – inexpensive
$$ – moderately priced
$$$ – expensive
$$$$ – very expensive

Cafe Citron encourages it patrons to Sing, dance and wear red lipstick.

Observer photo by Brittany Keil
Mojitos are a traditional Cuban coctail that has fast become a favorite in the U.S. The drink has a sweet, citrus flavor with a hint of mint.

Cafe Citron
1343 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

Metro Proximity: Less than one block from Dupont Circle South

Price Rating: $$

Although Cafe Citron is anything but subtle on the weekend, it becomes a laid back happy hour stop during the week. Altogether, a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a pitcher of mojitos.

Crowd: The dimly lit Latin lounge is a great place to let loose. It appeals to a hip crowd of all ages and nationalities. Singles are much appreciated!

Pick: Cafe Citron accurately boasts some of the best mojitos in DC. They offer a variety of mojito flavors for $25 and pitchers of sangria for $19 from 4 to 7 p.m. Beer and tasty appetizers are also discounted.

Ups: Great for groups. Flamenco dancers perform on Monday nights and Salsa and Merengue bands play on Tuesday’s after 8 p.m. You can also take samba or salsa lessons on Wednesday’s.

Downs: If you don’t want to dance to live international music, don’t go on the weekend. A more exclusive crowd, dressed to impress, lines up outside the lounge only to pack onto the small dance floor.


Pool Party at Buffalo Billiards

Observer photo by Cara Schayer
What goes better with a game of pool than a pint of your favorite beer? Buffalo Billiards has plenty of options to choose from.

Buffalo Billiards
1330 19th St., N.W.

Metro Proximity: Across the street from Dupont Circle South

Price rating – $

Whether you’re looking for a competitive game of pool, a place to watch the game, or just a great spot to hang-out with friends, Buffalo Billiards will satisfy your needs.

The downstairs bar, conveniently located across the street from the Dupont Circle metro, is fully equipped for a casual night out, complete with big screen televisions, comfy leather couches, an expansive patio and 29 pool tables.

Crowd: Mostly young urbanites and sports enthusiasts crowd Buffalo Billiards. There is no dress code, but you might appear out of place in a suit or a skirt. Keep in mind most people are coming here to watch football and play pool; dress accordingly.

Happy hour occurs daily from 4 to 7 p.m. Draft beer and mixed drinks are on special for $3 each.

Pick: While the happy hour doesn’t apply to edibles, there is no reason – in a place as affordable as this – not to enjoy some munchies. The nachos are an especially tempting choice, arriving piping hot and stacked high, a perfect accompaniment to a nice, tall brew.

If nachos aren’t your thing, chicken wings are $6.50.

Ups: Too many to mention: location, value, entertainment… Buffalo Billiards is a reliable choice for a fun and casual evening.

Downs: Buffalo Billiards is so enormous that if you arrive too early you might feel lost and alone – best to arrive during peak hours.


For a mouth-watering (literally) Indian meal, check out the Taj Mahal after you hit Dupont’s happy hour hot-spots.

Observer photo by Robin Bravender
The meal: chicken sag and spicy vegetable vindaloo with nan.

Taj Mahal
1327 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

Metro Proximity: One block from Dupont Circle South

Price Rating: $$

After a long week at work and after sampling Dupont Circle’s wide variety of Friday happy hour specials, climb up to Taj Mahal, a delectable Indian restaurant on Connecticut Avenue. The restaurant is definitely more refined than the bars on the street, and the food is to die for. This is a great place to invite someone you met at Café Citron for a quiet conversation.

Crowd: Taj Mahal was quiet and mellow between 6:30 and 8 p.m., with a variety of patrons, ranging from college students to groups of 40-somethings. Casual attire is perfectly acceptable for this classy but laid-back establishment.

Slant: The staff will encourage you to indulge in several courses, and the food is so delicious that you’ll have a hard time refusing. Expect to spend at least an hour and a half at the Taj Mahal, and make sure you come hungry.

Pick: The veggie samosas were our favorite part of the meal. It was hard not to fill up on these Indian pastries, filled with spiced potatoes and peas and served with two kinds of sweet chutney. Two large samosas were only $3. Other favorites were the Taj Mahaler, a tasty mixture of rum and mango nectar. Be careful, though – the Taj Mahal’s bartender is not skimpy with the rum.

Ups: The service was great and the food was delicious. If you like spicy, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t doubt your waiter when he tells you the vindaloo is HOT, and make sure you have a rum drink to quench your burning taste buds.

Downs: The waitstaff is eager to please you and even more eager to stuff you. Watch out when they bring the dessert tray around to your table; it’s hard to deny the white chocolate mousse when it’s staring you in the face. Before you know it, you may owe the Taj Mahal the wages you worked hard for all week. Dinner for two (with drinks and dessert) ran us about $70.


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