Harold Black

4.7
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551 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Harold Black is a warm, intimate bar that is quiet enough to hear your conversation yet lively enough to keep you talking. A list of house cocktails gives you a range of options, additionally, the bartenders are at the ready to work their magic if you have something else in mind. Harold Black serves a light-fare menu till 10pm as well as a late-night menu with a selection of cured meats, cheeses and desserts.

Please be aware of a few house rules:

1. We look forward to having you join us and are happy to hold your table for up to fifteen minutes. To contact us with a special request, please email reservations@haroldblackdc.com
2. Your booking reserves your seats for 2 hours.
3. Due to our small size we cannot guarantee booth seating.
4. Our maximum party size is six people, no exceptions, and unfortunately we cannot book multiple tables for one group. To book Harold Black for a private event, please email events@haroldblackdc.com.
What 551 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.9
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Just a very chill vibe. Relaxed. Great cocktails.

D
Raleigh
13 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

This is a great speakeasy for a date-night. The menu isn't extensive, but the execution is solid and they don't skimp on you. We got the cheese plate, meatballs, and brussel sprouts and were quite satisfied. The cocktails we tried were also really nice. One thing to keep in mind is that the music is kept fairly loud even when the restaurant is not very full, which may not be the vibe you're looking for.

B
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Cool speakeasy venue. Stairway dark. Cool hidden bathrooms Fun atmosphere. Limit food choices. Pricey. Won’t take cash

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual HB delivered great atmosphere and wonderful drinks!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent ambiance, service and people! Perfect for a date

M
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun speakeasy in Eastern Market. The third time we've been there and we bring different friends each time. The drinks are great, and to really take advantage of their mixology skills you need to give them a few hints and let them create something for you. We didn't get any food this time. It is expensive but the experience is worth it.

JB
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best speakeasy bars in the city! Loved the drinks and the ambiance.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

Terrible service. Sat there for two hours and was only served two drinks

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Fantastic ambiance! Cocktails were fine but honestly nothing special special about them. Service was “meh”.

Worth it for the ambiance though!

JH
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, absolutely amazing experience. Great service and talented bartenders.

CK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 5

Unfortunately one of the bigger disappointments I’ve had in DC. Wonderful atmosphere and decor, but the worst bar tending experience I’ve had. The bartender asked order, made several drinks in front of us, and then after 15min, asked our order again. 15min later, she asked us again. Then after another 10 she brought us one drink (there were two is us) that wasn’t remotely what we ordered. So 45min after we first ordered we got our drinks. There were only about 12-15 of us in the entire bar so it was rather surprising.

Throughout the night the bartender also repeatedly spilled iced on the bar and therefore us. Heard so much about this bar, but unfortunately this wasn’t its night.

T
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great speak easy with an old world vibe. Walk in a secret entrance and knock on an unmarked door to enter a candle lit, quiet, rustic bar.

J
Washington DC
47 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food service 2ambience 4

Service was not great, as usual, there and in Aqua al Due, its owner. Hoping it will improve soon.

R
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Harold Black is a great “speakeasy.” Exceptionally good cocktails, fine bar snacks, and super service. To illustrate: the bar snack we ordered was a bit too highly seasoned for my companion. So the server arranged for the kitchen to produce another version of the dish without the spice! Amazing! I shall return to Harold Black!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Very cool speakeasy, enjoyed myself thoroughly and it was a huge plus for my date (who is a bartender) who said that she loved it. Earned me bonus points for finding such a cool bar.

KC
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome cocktails, delicious lemon-artichoke hummus (I’ll be back for the chocolate cake) and flawless service. The bartendress was very engaging and made us feel most welcome. We had such a great time that we had to reminded to leave after 3 hours to let the next reservation come in ;)

OI
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great date spot.

M
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The place is pretty sweet and has the speakeasy vibe. The drinks are great and the menu is small but the food is good. The service is odd because there is only one bartender servicing the entire restaurant.

N
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

I've dined downstairs at Aqua al 2 many times and was really excited to try Harold Black, finally getting a reservation after trying on several different occasions. I had a party of 4 and we were seated in a small booth, which was uncomfortable for 2 of the individuals with me. I noticed there was an empty large round circular table. I went to ask the host politely if we could change to a different table. He responded saying that it wouldn't be possible, there already was a reservation. I would have been fine with this until he responded with "There's 4 of you, correct? You'll be fine" in a very rude tone. In about 30 more minutes, guess who was sitting at the large table - a party of 4! Super disappointed I spent my money here, my guests and I only stayed for 1 round as opposed to a few.

KK
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated early for our reservation, the bartender was very nice and an excellent mixologist. Great evening, and we definitely plan to return with friends.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Drinks! Spectacularly crafted cocktails in perfect ambiance. Great music and great staff.

OT
London
7 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Last minute booking to meet a friend mid week. She’s vegetarian, I’m not - menu had more than enough to satisfy both tastes.

Service was excellent and dining experience overall was first rate.

l
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Harold Black is always a fun time! We loved our drinks-- both the cocktails and wine were excellent.

We were greeting and seated promptly, which was great. But we were seated at the bar, which I didn't expect. So, even with a reservation, bar seating might be where they put you. I guess tables aren't guaranteed. And the crowd there was unusually loud, so it was a less quiet, romantic ambiance than normal.

s
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place for an intimate date!

b
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very cool place to chill with friends or for a cozy date. Bartenders were very knowledgeable and offered exquisite craft cocktails. Definitely a no brainer for return visit.

a
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific! I have a thing for speakeasies and Harold Black's near the top of the list!

WC
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Harold Black is always solid. Dark, intimate, and a bit away from the touristy crowd, it's a great escape in DC. The last few times I went, it seemed that the tourists might have found it, but this time it was mostly locals. Had a quiet drink with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn't get to sit at the bar, which is sad, because watching the bartenders make the cocktails is half the experience. Still, my drink was light and refreshing (if a little sweet), the atmosphere was chill, and I very much enjoyed my experience. Definitely will return.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We booked this for my birthday based on the raving reviews and indicated that on the reservation. We arrived and were greeted ‘sternly’ and assumed it’s part of the Speakeasy experience. Once seated, we noticed how dark the place was and thought it’s also part of the charm.

We were handled two menus and were keen to start as we were famished. There was a candle on the bar stool where we sat but we couldn’t read the menu items. I turned on my phone flashlight and the host who sat us rushed over saying that I should turn it off immediately as it’s disruptive to the experience. I complied and could see why this would be the case. I told him that we still had a problem reading the menus. He then brought another candle. There were two of us and we tried very hard but you couldn’t see the menus. I informed the host that we still were unable to read the menus and asked him for help. Je just went quite and then told me again that we cannot use a flashlight. I agreed fully but said that we still have a problem because we can’t read the items. Is there anything else that can be done ? He basically indicated that there isn’t. When I said that I couldn’t see how this would work out, he opened the exit door for us to leave and went about doing something else.

All in all, terrible experience. Am happy for those who seem to have enjoyed this establishment and given it high ratings. I cannot fathom why but I guess it takes all kinds to make the world. I would never go back or recommend this for anyone. Also, for full disclosure, am considered somewhat of a foodie and enjoy eating in world restaurants almost daily but this is the first such review that I write.

Not to be repeated.

C
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything was amazing! The Brussels are fantastic and the meat and cheese are to die for. One of my favorite places in DC. Only one small thing - would have preferred we were aware of time constraints of having a table. Totally understand it, just would have been nice to know in advance for a bigger group.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great environment for good conversation

M
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cool speakeasy, first time we went. We decided to have a drink here before eating at Acqua Al 2. Reservations highly recommended, there was a line when we left. My wife and I sat at the bar and had drinks that were great - the bartender was fun to watch and very engaging to talk to. My wife told him the types of things she likes and he made an amazing drink. I had one off the menu that was very unusual and tasty. We did not try the food. We will definitely go back and take friends next time.

A
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best places I’ve ever been too. Those lamb chops were amazing too! Wow! Great drinks and award winning service

A
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Love this place - great drinks, great service! My friend and I even got some mixology tips.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere dark and quiet like you’d expect. We only had the cheese board for food, but it was awesome! The mixed drinks are pricey, but worth it. Made with fresh ingredients. Bartenders very friendly and accommodating. Only disappointment was not getting a booth seat with reservation. We sat at bar. To be fair after booking they do tell you no guarantee for table. FYI it’s a cashless establishment.

SB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very cool spot! Will most definitely return and with friends!

BB
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous atmosphere and the drinks lived up to all that i had heard. Wonderful!!

KH
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Intimate setting with low-light creates a relaxed atmosphere. Low-volume music kept overall noise level low. Menu includes note to patrons to avoid using phones which keeps patrons focused on interacting with each other. Loved the creative cocktails plus the menu options. The banquette seating is too low for the tables and needs extra padding. Otherwise, very pleasant experience with great service.

RT
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

It was over priced. I'm an historical lover of the 1920s so I was excited to go but there was no jazz music or dancing. The food was alright but over priced for the little sandwich I got.

OT
Indiana
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

In the past I have really enjoyed Harold Black, the ambiance, the service and the concept. This visit was a bit disappointing because I feel like they have lost the idea of being a “speak easy”. The noise level was way too loud. But the service and drinks were still amazing.

KM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 5

We didn’t have food. The cocktails were on point.

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