Morgan Baskin

Where: Dino’s Grotto, 1914 9th St. NW; (202) 686-2966; dinosgrotto.com

Hours: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday; all day Sunday; and all night Monday

Drink specials: $8 signature drinks and negronis; $6 wine, bellinis, and spritzes; and $4 drafts

Food specials: $5 antipasti, $10 charcuterie boards, and rotating reduced-price food specials including mussels, burgers, lasagne, burrata, and meatballs ($7-$12.50)

Pros: Every day of the week Dino’s offers a different, steeply discounted (and delicious) entrée, on top of a standard list of drink and food specials that apply during every happy hour service. See if you can find a more filling happy hour meal in the District than the bar’s duck bolognese lasagne—a generous slice of glazed noodles served nestled in a cast-iron skillet. The bar stools are more like bar benches—wide, comfortable, and sturdy—and the sweet strings of Christmas lights are cheery year-round.  

Cons: Happy hour specials are only available at the downstairs bar, which is closed on Wednesdays. The breadth of dishes available and limited seating may leave you with a crippling fear that, one day, it’ll be too crowded for an impromptu dinner at the bar.