Location: 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW or 1819 14th St. NW.
Readers’ pick: El Centro
When deciding where to de-stress with a happy hour drink after a long week, there are plenty of options. But El Centro is your best bet for a cheap drink with two locations to choose from that are close to campus.
Both locations run happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday or all day on Monday. With more than 40 tequilas and mezcals on the menu, you’ll have plenty of options for booze to get the best bang for your buck.
El Centro offers traditional Mexican drinks during happy hour like the El Centro margarita ($5) – which is made with tequila and lime and available on the rocks or frozen – along with more inventive margaritas crafted by mixologists like the house-infused margarita ($5), which is infused with seasonal flavors — like watermelon, hibiscus or pineapple — to give a twist to the popular traditional drink. Margaritas typically go for about $10 per glass when it’s not happy hour, making the happy hour deal more than worth it.
If margaritas aren’t your thing, there’s no need to fret. El Centro also offers a bevy of other drinks, like seasonal agua frescas, house red and white wines by the glass and six different beers like Corona Light and Modelo Especial, all for only $5.
If you don’t want to drink on an empty stomach, order a few of the restaurant’s bites with some friends, like its jalapeno beef and chorizo sliders ($7.50) with chihuahua cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeno and seasoned with aji amarillo aioli. Or you can order a typical happy hour snack like nachos ($5.50) with cheese sauce, bean puree, pickled jalapeno and pico de gallo.
While there are other notable happy hours around the District, El Centro’s combination of cheap drinks, food deals and two locations near campus makes the restaurant’s happy hour excel in all areas.