At The Bar
Sometimes making new friends (or flames) is as simple as two things: beer and picnic tables. Such is the set-up at H Street's Biergartenhaus, the ideal place to quench your thirst and meet new people without even trying. Seriously, your only problem here will be figuring out how many loves you can handle at one time.
Biergartenhaus, 1355 H Street NE; 301-775-4710.
Comet Ping Pong
Comet Ping Pong is basically heaven for boys (and tomboys). Really, this spot features an endless stock of ping pong tables for your competitive streak, plus drinks and pizza (which, obvi, you eat on the tables). If you're looking for the no-fuss type, this is your spot.
Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-364-0404.
Take heed, singletons of D.C: Go to The Passenger if you want to find a mate who appreciates good alcohol. A Passenger regular is not someone who wants to get drunk as quickly and cheaply as possible (think $2 PBRs or Natty Lights), but rather, for those who work hard for the money and want to spend it on nice whiskey. Can you blame them?
The Passenger, 1021 7th Street NW; 202-393-0220.
Photo: Courtesy of Biergartenhaus
Over A Cup Of Coffee
Though it's not exactly hidden, we think Northside Social is one of the area's most awesome under-the-radar coffee shops — not to mention, there's a wine bar on the second floor. The patrons here appreciate farm-fresh local ingredients and fair-trade coffee and tea — 'cause they could just go to Starbucks, right? With ample outdoor seating for sunny days and the work "social" actually included in the name, you know you won't leave here without a new friend.
Northside Social, 3211 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington; 703-465-0145.
If the name isn't enough of a dead giveaway, we'll spell it out for you: Beyond serving delicious bites and coffees, Tryst's unspoken purpose is to help singles find their matches. It's effortless to meet someone here, thanks to communal seating, signs that encourage you to sit with strangers, and an extra-friendly vibe. Keep an eye out for cute grad-school types and the young, smart, work-from-home crowd.
Tryst, 2459 18th Street NW; 202-232-5500.
Photo: Courtesy of Northside Social
Bonding Over Your Common Love Of Music
Aside from being flat-out small, which naturally facilitates amazing concert experiences (imagine a Matt & Kim show that feels like a house party), the Black Cat is a true Washington institution. The Red Room bar offers up a chill vibe, pool tables, pinball machines, and a jukebox — all guaranteed conversation starters for a flannel-wearing cutie.
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW; 202-667-4490.
U Street Music Hall
This underground venue (literally — it's a basement club) is an intimate spot to catch a variety of off-the-wall shows, from dubstep sets to hardcore female rappers. U Street Music Hall opened in 2010, but has quickly become the hangout for a super-cool crowd of indie DJs. Insider tip: True fans know it as "U-Hall," so if you want to seem like you're a regular, ditch the formality and use the nickname.
U Street Music Hall, 1115A U Street NW; 202-588-1880.
It doesn't get much cooler than the newly opened Fillmore in Silver Spring. It's only the sixth Fillmore venue in the nation; the original being San Francisco's, where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin got their big breaks. Our version of the iconic spot is sexy and warm, with long velvet curtains and crystal chandeliers, and the lineup boasts everything from blues shows to comedy.
The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road Silver Spring; 301-960-9999.
Photo: Courtesy of Black Cat/Shervin Lainez
Surrounded By Great Clothes
Kindling a romance at a clothing store really comes down to common (sartorial) sense: If you're preppy at heart, you probably wouldn't jive with a guy who stocks his wardrobe at a slick Euro boutique, right? But a gent who shops at Jack Spade knows his ish. The brand is the masculine, utilitarian, and crazy-stylish counterpart to Kate Spade, and the clientele and staff at the Georgetown outpost are sharp as hell.
Jack Spade, 1250 Wisconsin Avenue NW; 202-333-1905.
We first stepped into Federal when it opened in October, and the vintage-inspired indie retailer continues to be a no-brainer place to find cute, well-dressed men shopping for new gear. The boutique is connected to the skate shop next door, so you truly get the best of both worlds: skinny jeans on one side, selvage denim on the other.
Federal, 2216 14th Street NW; 202-518-3375.
Photo: Courtesy of Jack Spade
Over Good Food
Marvin has one of the best rooftop bars in the city — even before it expanded and became even more next-level. A go-to for the U Street crowd, you'll find an awesomely diverse set of patrons here, from international businessmen in slick suits and sleek hair to the city's more creative types. One thing is certain, though — they're all cute.
2007 14th Street NW; 202-797-7171.
Good Stuff Eatery
If your inner carnivore is only satisfied by the best burger on the block, you'll probably meet your future D.C. love interest at Good Stuff Eatery — Capitol Hill's holy grail for damn good burgers. It's a hot spot for hungry Hill workers, so bring your current-affairs A-game.
Good Stuff Eatery, 303 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; 202-543-8222.
Photo: Courtesy of Marvin