Max Frankel

Where: Exiles Bar, 1610 U St. NW; (202) 232-2171; exilesbar.com 

Hours: Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drink Specials: $4.50 house wines, rail drinks, Goose Island IPA, Budweiser bottles, Genesee Cream Ale, and Miller Lite; half price wine bottles on Thursdays

Food Specials: $5.50 cup of beef chili, BBQ pork sliders, chicken poppers, spinach and artichoke dip, deviled eggs; half off burgers on Mondays

Pros: Exiles has the neighborhood bar vibe down pat. Located halfway between the heart of the U Street NW Corridor and the hustle and bustle of Adams Morgan, this is an awesome place to meet a friend for a beer, a burger, or a bottle of wine and actually be able to hear what they’re saying. Plus, since happy hour goes until 8 p.m. during the workweek, there’s no need to rush to the bar from the office.  

Happy hour is offered throughout the bar. Choose from an upstairs spot perfect for a large group, a more traditional bar downstairs, or a patio complete with a smoker, a Doctor Who-themed storage shed, and plenty of shade. The food specials steal the show. The chicken poppers and deviled eggs are great to share, but don’t miss the BBQ pork sliders. Far from your basic pulled pork, these mini sandwiches feature generous hunks of smoky pork that get boosts from mustardy sauce and slaw. Pair them with a cheap bottle of wine or a Genny Cream Ale on the patio. 

Cons: The happy hour beer selections are a bit limited and charging $4.50 for a Bud borders on robbery. They could use some more discounted drink options, unless you have simple taste or don’t mind paying full price for craft beer.