Morgan Baskin
Morgan Baskin

Where: Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th St. NW; (202) 347-4800;

Hours: Daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to close

Food specials: 50 percent off all oysters.

Pros: The best happy hour is a happy hour that offers you what you would’ve ordered anyway, but cheaper. That’s why Old Ebbitt Grill is the best. I don’t have to pretend to be content with skimpy, pea-sized sliders or bland crudités. I get a platter of joy: a dozen sweet Kusshi oysters if I’m not feeling adventurous, or a mix of Duxbury Selects and Harpswell Flats if I am. It’s a reasonable $17.99 for a dozen, rather than a pricey $32.99 during peak hours.

Old Ebbitt also famously has four bars, so if one (or two) are busy, you still have options. My pick is Grant’s, a semi-secluded gem on the opposite side of Old Ebbitt’s atrium, for a bracing gin martini.

Finally, I am a staunch supporter of extra late-night food options. A midnight order of six oysters will do me just fine, especially after a movie at nearby E Street Cinema. 

Cons: It’s certainly not D.C.’s cheapest happy hour. There aren’t tons of drink specials, and you can expect to pay the same, if not substantially more, than you would for a standard dinner elsewhere. The place tends to fill up pretty fast after 5:00 p.m., so seating during the first daily round of oyster hours might prove tough if you’re looking for a table.