One of the most important, but often overlooked, aspects of a happy hour is cheap bar food. Nothing fancy and unfulfilling, but not fast food either. You know what I’m talking about – bar food that is just a touch greasy, carb-y, and perfectly paired with a rail cocktail. And, that’s just what I found at Exiles.
Exiles is a little less than a year old and in the heart of the U street corridor, which makes it the perfect starting point if your happy hour is going to be longer than an hour. It replaces another bar, called ‘Stetson’, which had a similar feel. It has a ‘classic’ bar feel, with a weathered tiled floor, lots of glossy wood, and staff with smiling faces.
We arrived a little after 5pm and it was a little empty. This isn’t necessarily a super busy place after work, which means service is quick and easy. Rail drinks are $5, wine is also $5, and beer is between $4-5, which is a pretty good deal. Not to mention, $5 food specials! E opted for a red wine and the pork sliders, whereas I got a lemony Tom Collins and spinach & artichoke dip. We loved the food – it wasn’t anything special, but it was yummy, hot, and still pretty darn good for bar food. However, you can’t share them. We both finished off the apps on our own (oops) but they could be shared with one other person. Just something to keep in mind when ordering! The Happy Hour also lasts until 8pm, which is wonderful for friends who are commuting, walking, or have to work a little late.
Also, the service was great! Our server was so kind and patient, even when we asked for the wifi password 3 times because we kept forgetting.
The atmosphere is very relaxed and welcoming. It does start to fill up around 7pm, but, like I said, this isn’t a wild place. We have been on the weekends and it does fill up a little more then, and, although it was opened when we went there is a patio opening soon, and bottomless brunch being added this spring!
Overall, Exiles has all the makings for a classic neighborhood bar.
1610 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009