Dating in the District: 5 Dating Spots to Avoid for First Dates

There are “cool” bars in DC and then there are first date bars in DC. Now, the two often overlap, but they don’t always. So, sometimes we run into a dilemma: we want to pick a cool, interesting place for a first date…but, is it actually good for a first date? We’ve found that these bars are often suggested as first date bars…but, they don’t actually always make the best first date bars.

  1. Kramerbooks: Kramerbooks is your classic “cool bar” scenario. And, well, it is a pretty cool bar. We love Kramers because…who doesn’t love books and booze? But, there are some downsides. If this is a happy hour only bar (something we suggest for first dates), the bar is MINISCULE. I mean, less-than-15-seats small. Not to mention, their selection isn’t huge and it isn’t very cozy because you’re basically sitting on top of each other. And finding a good seat anytime after 6:15 can be a bit of a hassle. So, while we forever love Kramers…it isn’t the best first date spot.
  2. El Centro: El Centro has a legendary happy hour deal – $5 margs in a wide array of flavors. But, this place gets pretty rowdy and crowded with the after-work crowd. While it may start off casual, once the lights go down and the music turns on, conversation gets pretty difficult.
  3. Board Room: Board Room gets accolades – they have cheap drinks and board games. However, the most important thing to remember about a first date, especially a blind first date, is you never really know how it’s going to go. So, heading to a bar where you might pick up a never-ending game of Monopoly or get into an argument about what word counts in Scattergories might not be the best choice. But, it makes a great second date!
  4. American Ice Company: American Ice Company checks a lot of DC boxes – semi-outdoors, full of young professionals, and they serve drinks in mason jars. However, this seems more of like a “group” place. You’ll notice that the seating is all catered towards groups and shared long tables, making intimate conversation difficult as you’re trying to hear each other over the bros downing PBRs
  5. Bar Charley:Β  Bar Charley is a favorite of ours (seriously, we went to brunch there over the winter and it was lovely) but just because it’s a cute favorite place, doesn’t mean it’s a great place to hang out 1:1 for the first time with someone. Like Kramer’s, Bar Charley has a teeny-tiny bar that fills up fast. And, you’re typically sitting on top of another person.


Read more of our Dating in the District Series:

Dating in the District: 4 Completely Unique Things About Dating in DC

Dating in the District: 15 Best Non-Happy Hour Date Spots

Dating in the District: App Red Flags

Dating in the District: 15 Gifs that Sum Up Dating in D.C.