Nocturne

4.6
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172 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Cocktail Bar
Innovative cocktail bar offering unique cocktails in a secluded, intimate space below Sugar Shack Donuts. Located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC.
What 172 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
71% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved everything about this hidden gem. Def will be back againa and again!

MS
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is awesome . I can’t wait to come back .

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely place and a really cool experience. An excellent date night joint. The cocktails were fantastic and the bartenders were friendly and very helpful. Looking forward to the new menu!

f
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

My friend and I made last minute reservations at Nocturne and I am so glad we did. Nocturne is located in the basement of Sugar Shack Donuts. We arrived a little early and they were able to seat us right away. Nocturne has a cool, intimate atmosphere with only 17 seats. We both ordered the regional trio for $45. I was really torn on which trio to try, but explained my preferences to Hakim and he pointed me in the right direction. I do want to note that you really can't go wrong with all of the wonderful options listed. I ended up ordering the Pacific Rim and my friend ordered Appalachia. We enjoyed our drinks so much that we each ordered a fourth drink. It is clear that Hakim and Dan are passionate about what they do and the drinks they are creating. I believe they mentioned that they are updating the menu in two weeks so I am excited to see all the new additions!

K
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We were visiting DC for the day and wanted to check out some cool bars. Overall, this was our least favorite - a little overrated and overpriced. We LOVE fancy cocktails and are willing to pay the price for them - but we also enjoy the experience of watching them made. We were stuck in the far corner away from everyone else and could not see the bartenders make the drinks. They were definitely tasty but we had drinks next door at Service Bar which were much better, cost less, and we enjoyed watching them made.

AB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nocturne was a very unique experience. I love that you have to text when you get to the location to have someone let you into the shop. The fact that the bar is underneath a donuts shop is even more appealing. My boyfriend and I were celebrating his 30th Birthday and wanted to try out custom cocktails before heading to dinner. We were the first to arrive for reservations in general. Going down to the bar once you walk in the room transforms the environment. Its super sexy and intimate. We had the pleasure of having Javier be our bartender. He was very knowledgeable about the menu. We loved that there were several regions that the menu geared to. Middle East, Pacific Rim, Scandinavia, America Peruana and Appalachia. We went with the region trios. My boyfriend getting the America Peruana and myself getting the Pacific Rim. Javier also recommended we try the Tafaha cocktail as well as the Fra Skogen. Each cocktail we tried had a different story for how they created the beverage and the presentation was spectacular. Each vessel the cocktail came in looked as if it was specially picked out to match the drink as well as the story behind it. Javier held great conversation educating us on the drinks as well engaged us with our many questions. His customer service was outstanding!! We would go back just to get to try the new menus they are prepping and have Javier as our bartender again. I can not say enough how wonderful the staff was and how creative this team is. It take truly complicated, beautiful minds to produce the cocktails they have created. We will definitely return soon. Thank you for wonderful memories we will never forget.

TA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every drink was a journey. Great conversation. Beautiful set up. Will be back for sure.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

This bar will not disappoint with regard to drinks. There cocktails were fantastic and the presentation was first rate. Don't come expecting much in the way of food. We happened to be there on one of the last nights of their menu before changing over to another, so they were out of a few things. That said, we left totally happy and would go back in a heartbeat.

GD
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Drinks were really good. And the bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable. Javier's playlist was dope too. No cell phone service so great place to have distraction-less conversation. Be sure to get a reservation.

W
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic experience from the atmosphere to cocktail creation. Do the regional flight, you won't be disappointed.

F
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Overrated, overpriced, and condescending bartenders (not mixologists) who make basic cocktails with presumed cheap liquor. This place is "exclusive" because they require a credit card to make a reservation but overall it's a dingy basement with tacky decorations. There are much better speakeasy's in DC that don't require upfront commitment and can guarantee a truly unique cocktail experience.

A
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drinks and amazing atmosphere for a date, but if you’re hungry - eat something before going here.

DC
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Terrible service and overpriced drinks. The vibe was definitely as if they were trying too hard. Just was not what I expected

JA
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I had a lot of hope for this bar. The ambience is nice, dark, gleaming bar, cozy, quiet. But there was a faint smell of either bleach cleaner or something musty. To be fair, my friend didn't smell anything. The drinks were pretty expensive for the small amount we got. I asked for a drink that was not very sweet and got something very sweet. I asked the bartender for something else and clarified again what I was looking for. He served me something sugary sweet again. They make a lot of ingredients in house. There's a molecular feel to the ingredients and bar decor. But I just didn't think the drinks were that good compared to what we paid.

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 5

Service was awful. The bartender who served us was a complete, pompous jerk. We will never go back.

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

Hakim and Daniel are the real deal. Super nice and down to Earth.

Their drinks are out of this world!

CH
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Nocturne was cool for a few hours out, and the cocktails were very good. Just not really my type of place...it felt somewhat intimidating, and I didn't love the fact that it seems to be a set menu. I wasn't sure they'd make anything that wasn't on the menu. A cool experience for every now and then.

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

Great Ambiance, Stellar Service, Very Friendly Bartenders , Awesome Cocktails and An Intimate Setting.

MD
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I love a cocktail bar with a “speakeasy” setting, but Nocturne was truly original. It’s very small and intimate and the menu was truly unique. 1 of the 2 cocktails I drank was hands down the best I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to go back again.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I proposed to my know Fiancé. Great experience!

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

One of my favorite places I’ve been to, since I’ve moved to D.C love the staff and love the ambiance! The atlas menu is phenomenal can’t wait until the 2.0!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 5

I was really excited when I first got there, when I first reached the ambiance was great. Unfortunately, my excitement turned to frustration as it took an hour to get my first drink. I originally went for the three drink tasting but because it took so long for for my first drink I decided to leave.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience and ambience. Mixologist Hassan talks to you about what you want your drink to be about. Be it visual or taste or trying something completely new! Looking at the bar, there were maybe one or two recognizable liquors amongst maybe 50-75 bottles of liquor you wouldn’t recognize. He plans your drinks based on what you want and delivers them in order of what would best suit your taste. Great experience. Very personalized!

MC
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been to many speakeasies/bars and Nocturne is my favorite. I always have the best time with Hakim, Daniel and Xavier. I’ve hosted an event here that my guests from NYC, MIA, BOS, ATL and SF raved about. I’ve come for dates, to start/end a night out, celebrations, no-reason-at-all, etc. The atmosphere works for all occasions, IMO. The crew is always attentive, friendly and accommodating. They’re passionate about their work; it’s a pleasure to see them in action and chat with them. The cocktails are unique, delicious, well-crafted and they’ll happily help find something you like. The price is appropriate for the quality/size. Make a reservation(!), bring friends, be prepared for constant “Can we go to that cool bar again??”

PE
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best speakeasy in town. Perfect for starting your night or ending it. Very creative and knowledgeable hosts, a perfect place to relax, unwind and try something new. 10/10!!!

TF
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always....best low key spot in town for a sexy cocktail 😜......Made my birthday extra special 😘😘 Thank you and I will be back soon🙌🏾.

JT
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best date night - maybe ever! Setting is perfect for conversation- my cell didn’t even have service. The drinks were beyond good! A surprise with everyone we ordered and the presentations were the best part! Make you reservation soon! We are already planning to go back!

There are just small snacks though - so eat before you go- but the doughnut I ordered from upstairs was delicious!

CK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Terrible experience. Bartenders were rude and condescending and the drinks were not as advertised (i.e. they swapped out ingredients without informing us until after).

MW
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing cocktails, great date spot! Make sure you make a reservation to avoid to awkward wait in the sugar shack.

OT
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nocturne was great, I went here for a date and we agreed to leave the cocktail selection to the bartender. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learned some new things at the same time.

Highly recommended.

OT
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Try the Scandinavian flight.

JK
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Not professional. made reservations and they did not answer the phone or respond to text for almost an hour. Since you only get an hour and a half we were not able to go in because 30 minutes to drink makes no sense.

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

This was great however cheese platters given to us didn’t look that great. Cocktails were great. I found bartenders were stone faced not sure why!! I wish they could be chilled out and strike conversations with patrons. It is a small place and would I go again ... may not as I didn’t find anything exclusive. I really liked the bar emanating light into menu slate. I found few things interesting nothing mind blowing..

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I could come to Nocturne every day and not have the same experience. This is what makes this place so amazing. I love coming here to explore and try new things! #FavoritePlace

ME
St. Louis
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative and inventive mixologists! Can’t wait to go back!

B
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great cocktails, nice quiet spot. Perfect date night or group outing. The mixologist love their craft.

m
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

I'm really torn about my experience at Nocturne. We had a reservation for 9:30 - we arrived at 9:27. Two parties came in after us and were seated before us. The host never even told us are seats were ready. At 9:45 after watching two other couples be seated, we just went down to the bar ourselves. Our seats were available...there were several open seats...not sure why we were waiting to be seated for almost 20 minutes.

One of the bartenders was consistently rude and made us really uncomfortable. The other two were great - especially the guy who took over running things about 9 months ago. He has done an excellent job curating the menu, and we did get to experience some really interesting cocktails. All that being said, between waiting to be sat at a half empty bar to the one bartender that was rude - I don't think we will be back. While I loved the speakeasy vibe and the look of the bar/drink options, I would rather opt for other DC craft cocktails that don't have those downsides.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic cocktails and knowledgeable, approachable bartenders.

EM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Made a reservation for two and arrived on time... was told to wait in the Sugar Shack seating area due to not enough space downstairs. This being our first time, we complied. We saw a couple head straight in and downstairs while we were waiting and they were seated before us without checking in with the Sugar Shack barista. Next time I know to just roll in like they did. We were seated and then asked to move because another party at the same time as us booked 2 reservations for 3 and wanted to sit together. We moved and Hamid brought us complimentary champagne to thank us for moving; a nice touch. Fantastically unique menu of beautiful, interesting drinks. I planned to have 2 and ended up having 3 or 4, I don’t quite remember 🙃 Great experience but I hope we aren’t kept waiting for so long next time!

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

As always, Hakim & his team continue to impress. Unique and creative cocktails with a global culture theme, great ambiance. Highly recommended!

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