Best DC Spots to Curl Up with a Book and Cocktail

While we’re all about hitting up hot spots, there’s something to be said for finding the perfect local hangout for bringing a dogeared copy of your favorite bestseller and enjoying a glass of the bartender’s finest concoction. Check out our picks for the top DC locations to enjoy your page-turner and your drink.

Petworth Citizen and Reading Room

This enchanting bar in hipster mecca Petworth features a roster of classy cocktails, like the vermouth-and-orange bitters Hanky Panky, as well as a daily punch bowl. For prime reading time, head to the library located in the back of the bar, where you can sip your drink as you page through either one of your own novels or one of the 3,000 reads stocked in the bar’s packed shelves.


This Adams Morgan haunt is a bohemian coffee shop by day and a bustling bar by night, with a list of sophisticated handcrafted cocktails. Curl up on one of the many comfortable seats and get ready to while your day away. Our favorite of the libations on offer here is the Frere Jerez, made with gin from the local Green Hat distillery, amontillado sherry, and yellow chartreuse. Be sure to check out the nightly specials, which range from Kill the Keg Saturdays, with 50% of tap beers, to Sunday Funday, with happy hour specials going from 4 pm to closing.

Boundary Road

With its exposed brick walls and airy interior, this lofty H Street bar is the perfect neighborhood spot to bring your favorite paperback. The innovative cocktail selection, with picks like a green-grape-perigord- and-rum daiquiri, will keep you satisfied as you page through your reading material. Don’t miss out on the food here, either—you can snack on Mediterranean delights like yogurt-grilled veal sweetbreads to fuel your reading binge.

Chinatown Coffee Company

This Gallery Place coffeeshop pops with bright orange decor, a serious java program, and an absinthe selection to die for. Get ready to see the green fairy at the coffee house’s weekly absinthe happy hour, where you can live out your dreams of joining the Montmartre literary scene.