Derek Brown of The Passenger and The Columbia Room
"The Raven is one of the oldest continuously operated liquor licenses in Washington, D.C., opening some time after Prohibition, and oozes both history and soul. Despite being called a grill and advertising cocktails with a neon sign out front, they serve neither food nor cocktails. They do have chips and Natty Boh. The clientele ranges from retired musicians to local intelligentsia and caters to just about every group in the multicultural neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant where it's located. It feels like the real D.C."
3125 Mt Pleasant Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20010 (map) 202-387-8411
Favorite Cocktail Bar: The Tabard Inn
"When I order a Sazerac and Gumbo at the Tabard Inn, I feel transported to New Orleans. But the Tabard also has its own identity, being the oldest continuously operated Inn in the District, with quirky paintings, nautical touches and delicious original cocktails like the Tabard Cocktail made with Tequila, Drambuie, Amontillado Sherry and orange bitters. It feels Old World but also very now. During the summer, grab a Pimm's Cup on the patio; during the winter, grab a Hot Buttered Rum and sit by the fireplace. The bartenders are among the best in the city."
Favorite Bar for Beer/Wine: 2Amys
"With a quirky list of small-production Italian wine and beer, 2Amys is a place where you're advised to deviate from the norm. It's not just brands you won't be familiar with, but varietals and regions too. Sparkling Asprinio from Campania or a Belgian-style Saison from Parma. Every time I go, I find something both inexpensive and adventurous. It feels like you're on vacation."
Greg Engert of ChurchKey
Favorite Dive Bar: The Big Hunt"I have been drinking here for about a decade now, and it is still my go-to for post-work pints. The vibe and energy in the place never seems to change, but the beer list seems to get better and better."
Favorite Cocktail Bar: Room 11
"My friend Dan Searing's watering hole serves up inventive and unpretentious cocktails accompanied by some impressive grub and if you can snag a seat around the firepit outside it's pretty hard to beat."
Favorite Spot for Beer/Wine: Adour
"I love hanging out at Adour's bar where my friend and Wine Director Brent Kroll offers up some unbelievable wines with astonishingly affordable prices. He knows how to make his stacked and formidable list totally approachable."
Rachel Sergi of Jack Rose Dining Saloon
"Lil Pub on Capitol Hill at Eastern Market. It has year-round Xmas lights, Rolling Rock and jello shots. Nuff said."
655 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 (map) 202-543-5526
Favorite Cocktail Bar: The Passenger
"I walk in and they hand me a perfectly made Negroni. Great staff and owners. They rock."
Favorite Bar for Beer/Wine: Virtue and ChurchKey/Veritas and Vinoteca
"Well, I actually cross the river for this category. For beer I like Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria. Gorgeous spot. Knowledgeable staff. But, if I have to stick to DC, then it would be ChurchKey. Undeniably beer geek central and I LOVE sour beers. For wine, Vertitas or Vinoteca (definitely a tie). Both great by the glass programs."
Taha Ismail of Graffiato
"Great canned beer selection and atmosphere—very chill and inviting. The rooftop is also pretty nice on the cooler summer nights. They have over 40 canned beers from all over. They are a great late night spot for industry people to grab a drink and relax."
Favorite Cocktail Bar: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
"It has a great cocktail program. Rachel Sergi is an innovative mixologist and their list of whiskey is outstanding. I go there for inspiration and some good Scotch and whiskey tasting."
Favorite Beer Bar: ChurchKey
"They have an awesome beer selection on tap and the food lends itself to some interesting beer pairings. I like to go there for their charcuterie selection and it's a perfect place to watch sports games."
Jason Wiles of Poste Moderne Brasserie
Favorite Dive Bar: The Looking Glass Lounge"Well, my favorite dive bar has gotta be The Looking Glass Lounge in the up-and-coming Petworth neighborhood. Upstairs you might sometimes see some live music or maybe just some loud music. Downstairs, there's another bar with a patio just off to the side. They've got the best beer and shot combo in the city. $5 for a Boh and a Beam (National Bohemian beer and Jim Beam). Just remember to leave your high end cocktails behind and settle into a hard night of drinking at this neighborhood dive."
Favorite Cocktail Bar: Room 11"My favorite cocktail bar/lounge is right down the street from me and it's called Room 11. It's a tiny place with maybe only 8 barstools or so, and this is the one place in the city that I find myself trying their cocktails every time I go in. The drinks are good, the staff is friendly, and the small plates are tasty. An added bonus is a nice outdoor patio for the DC nights when it's not 100 degrees."
Favorite Wine Bar: Vinoteca
"This place has a great selection of wine, good food, and incredible happy hour deals (roughly 10 to 15 glasses available for happy hour). What seals the deal is the outdoor bar and patio that houses a full size clay Bocce ball court. I stumbled across this gem a few months back and have since become a regular. I actually just held my last birthday here! There aren't too many better ways to spend your day than drinking wine and playing Bocce."
Jamie MacBain of Bourbon Steak
"I've known one of their bartenders for over 10 years. Larissa Hill and I worked together in Atlanta. Small world. They have a great beer selection and for dive bar food, it is really good."
Favorite Cocktail Bar: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
"I am a huge whisky person so with their 1200+ selections I can be satiated for a long time. But if I happen to not be in the mood for whisky, I also have the option of heading upstairs for the outside bar or to the back for the "tiki bar". I really respect Rachel Sergi's knowledge and love for the craft and any time I get a chance to absorb her knowledge, I take advantage of it. As a bonus, one of Rachel's bartenders, Amy Russell, used to work with me at The Passenger."
Favorite Bars for Beer and Wine: Thunder Burger and Proof
"For beer, I head to Thunder Burger. Their beer selection is fantastic. It's the bar I head to after working a long shift at Bourbon Steak. For wine, I head to Proof. The selection is incredible and always changing. As an added bonus, their food is some of the best in the city. I also love the ambiance."