Denson Liquor Bar

4.7
188 Reviews
$30 and under
American

About

Denson Liquor Bar is a hidden gem in downtown DC. Located on the corner of 6th and F Street in the heart of Penn Quarter, look for the Denson lights, descend the stairs, and discover the warm welcoming glow of Denson. Modeled after a classic 1920’s hotel, this proper liquor bar with it's cozy leather booths and timeless atmosphere provide a welcome civilized reprieve from the hustle and bustle above.
From the bar, you'll find an emphasis on classic cocktails and an expansive but carefully curated selection of spirits that includes known favorites, interesting explorations, and rare and luxurious indulgences.
We accept reservations for just drinks as well as drinks and dining. Each booth reservation is for two hours.
What 188 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.7based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipVolo
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Charming underground lair with seasonally updated cocktails.--it's never the same experience twice so I keep coming back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Great ambiance. Great drink and cocktail selection. Great for an intimate date. Went for my birthday and loved it.

PM
PM18
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall5food1service4ambience5

Definitely a great spot, a hidden gem! I've been back a few times over the years and I love this place, unique and great ambiance!

N
Noosha
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pleasantly surprised by the venue. The drinks were very good, the service outstanding. However it is a little difficult to hear conversations around you as the music is so loud.

CR
CelestinaR
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Denson Liquor Bar. Always a great place for a few drinks with friends or a fun first date.

J
vipJillnancy
Washington DC
105 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Cute place below ground although we had to call to find out how to enter. Menu was just ok. Not much to choose from. Sent I back the artichoke hummus. Service was very slow but we weren’t in a rush. Still an occasional visit by the waiter would have been nice.

XB
XimenaB
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I wish there were 4 short rib tacos - they're so good!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
6 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The wait staff was fantastic! Available but not overly “in your face.” Very attentive!

t
timothy
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Atmosphere was fantastic and we enjoyed the food/drink

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Happy Hour location! The cocktails were robust but delicious. Nice selection of small sharable bites to keep you toasting till last call. Another DC style speakeasy with style and excellent service!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Slow service on a Tuesday night. Cool ambiance and feel but just understaffed. Food isn’t good

P
vipPanko
Washington DC
234 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First visit. Pre-Caps game experience. Big thumbs up. Denson Liquor Bar is literally a hole in the wall. It’s not so easy to find. Once you’re at 600 F Street you’re staring at a corner pizza joint. Walk there; Denson is below ground—just down the stairs—adjacent to the pizza place, directly across from Capital One Arena. Denson is dark and cool. The ambiance is cooler. Small place that packs people in, but strategically rather than like sardines. Leather booths mark the perimeter. Bar seating is plentiful. This is a place for the serious drinker. The list of spirits is eclectic and vast. Plenty of wine and beer selections too. The food menu is interesting. It’s bar food, but upscale. You can tell that the kitchen is manned by people with formal food training. My friend and I had good single malt Scotches (me) and mules (him). We started with raw oysters. Nice presentation; good oysters. He had a “pot pie” with chicken and sausage. I had a grilled cheese/mushroom sandwich. We both loved our dishes. Service was excellent. Very attentive. Lindsey was our server. Solid A. A booth reservation is good for two hours. You’re paced well here. It’s really a solid pre-game joint. Going back next game.

AB
AlisonB
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Really fun. Busy on Friday night, but service was great!

p
peep
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful space and delicious cocktails. Great little hideaway from the commercial character-less area above.

PM
vipPatM
Indiana
38 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great find! Excellent service. Cool vibe, food and drinks were very good. A little pricey, but a small intimate speakeasy that is well worth the time!

BW
BryanW
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to grab a cocktail and chill. Music is exceptional. Great service

C
vipChristian
London
8 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Hard to find but worth the hunt, Denson Liquor Bar has all the ambiance you ever wanted from a speakeasy styled bar. Elegant and dimly lit, it’s a fun place to just be. Also a great spot to meet for a date or a few drinks with friends. The downside - it’s a small place and frankly the service (granted it was a Wednesday) seemed a little disorganized. Everyone was friendly and the drinks were good - but at this price point 30 mins between ordering and getting a drink is just a little much.

KS
KristinS
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Denson's was outstanding! We arrived for our table on time, but our table wasn't ready for us yet. To make up for this, a staff member brought us complimentary champagne to drink while we waited. Our waiter once we got to the table was knowledgeable about the cocktails and ingredients of the food. He made excellent recommendations based on my husband's difficult drink palate, and was easy to talk to. The mood was appropriate for a small thank you dinner to our friends, but could easy be appropriate for a date or celebration as well. We would absolutely recommend this establishment to any friends living or visiting D.C!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

loved our service and the environment!

K
Katie
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Had a lovely time after an afternoon show. Quaint spot. Attentive waitstaff.
Great quick bites and drinks.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The drinks and the service were great. Very cool atmosphere!

EC
ElizabethC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall4food4service3ambience5

only complaint is the service was almost slow. We would've had another round or two if the server had come around more quickly! this seems to happen in a lot of DC cocktail bars.

SR
vipSoonerRico
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The meat and cheese boards were great. Particularly liked the truffle cheese and spicy capicola ham. Loved the zucchini carpaccio also.
Happy hour pricing on oysters and wine made for a pleasant surprise.
Will go again

N
Nick
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall5food1service5ambience5

OpenTable forced me to rate Denson for their food. I did not eat there.

c
chelsea
Denver
14 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been to Denson's Liquor Bar both on a quiet weeknight and on a very busy weekend. I highly recommend advance reservations to secure one of the booths. They're comfortable and swanky. Bar atmosphere is fantastic, though the crowds on the weekend definitely put a damper on enjoying the ambience. That's not the fault of Denson's, but rather just a caution that if you want to enjoy the full experience, I'd pick a weekday evening.

JT
JayT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Cocktails and food were okay. Overall good vibe for the place. Prices on par with similar spots in the city.

AK
AmyK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall5food4service4ambience5

If you are coming here on a date, reserve one of the cozy, private booths ahead of time. They are perfect for a romantic evening and to actually hold (and hear) a conversation. Cocktails were great, but the food was only so-so. We will definitely be back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic! Will return! Great ambiance, service, cocktails and food.

LT
LoveToEat
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great place to duck in before the Caps game or to relax with friends. Tasty cocktails!

NR
vipNneyaR
New York Area
122 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall5food3service4ambience4

Great cocktails. Good spot for a date and definitely will be heading here again.

MM
vipMorehouseMan
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Per usual the Denson was amazing! Took some friends for the first time and they loved it! Frank was incredibly professional and welcoming! Thank you!!

KD
vipKellyD
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Old Fashion, would highly recommend for someone who's looking for a hole in the wall, classy, bar

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The doorman, host and wait staff were all excellent. It was extremely busy after a show at Capital One Arenas, yet they handled it very well.

MD
vipMDvadc
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall3food2service3ambience3

This was my second visit to Denson, to celebrate my birthday. I was excited to return but was disappointed. Their cocktail menu seemed limited, the crowd was unusually rowdy and service was poor. I don’t anticipate on returning again.

JB
JamesBeam
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are the type of person who thinks they love craft cocktails, but not well enough to know exactly what you want - this place is for you. The bartenders are extremely friendly and knowledgeable about all sorts of liquor and craft cocktails. They mix them right, and take pride in their work.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I was searching for a place that had a very grown and sexy ambience as I continued to celebrate my 30th birthday. Good music, good drinks, good vibes, good crowd, etc. This place did not disappoint. Very intimate vibe, with a great music soundtrack, and awesome drinks. My interactions with the staff were short but they everyone was professional . Our waiter went out of his to take pictures of my significant other and I as well.

I also thought it was accommodating of them to allow me to change my reservation time at a last minutes notice from 10:30pm to 11:00pm. I was running late from my birthday dinner, so I appreciated that. My only con is that drinks can be a little more on the expensive side but they are worth it and it is DC so I get it. The ice cube in your drink allows the drink to last longer so you can sip and enjoy the quality of your drink and your company. Thanks Denson!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Waitress was a bit rude.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Total hidden gem. The staff is lovely. Very knowledgable and creative without being pretentious. Recommend offering the server or bartender your spirit base and flavor profile to create a custom cocktail. They're also good at the classics.

The space itself has a cool 30's hotel decor, but a completely modern vibe. It's a super small space, but they're very accommodating. We'll be back!

I
vipIntelqubed
Washington DC
119 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Made a reservation here, not knowing what I would find. It is a little hidden as you have to walk down a flight of stairs on the side of the building to enter. I will say, I do like this place and want to get back to it. We were seated at one of the tables and it is a dimly lit place that gives it a great late night feel. There are hand crafted cocktails and they do know what they are doing. They also have small bites and their grilled cheeses are good, particularly the mushroom. Definitely a great find!

EJ
ErinJ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I took my boyfriend here on a date for his birthday! Absolutely loved it, had great drinks and got a few appetizers. It was a little dark in our booth as the night went on, but overall great atmosphere and was perfect for a date night.

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Denson Liquor Bar is rated 4.7 stars by 188 OpenTable diners.

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