Best Bar You Didn't Know Had Live Music

Best: The Wonderland Ballroom
1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (202) 232-5263
2nd Best: Solly’s U Street Tavern
With its few tables and homey red-brick façade, Solly’s U Street Tavern appears to be just your average friendly neighborhood pub—a good little place to drop in for a $3 beer, wings, and SportsCenter. In fact, that’s exactly what it is, but tucked behind the bar is a narrow flight of stairs that leads to another bar, a storage space, and a small stage. In addition to Solly’s regular trivia and karaoke nights, the upstairs hosts local bar bands—rock ’n’ roll, bluegrass, and even hip-hop draw a lively crowd. Still, Solly’s stage manages to remain an out-of-the-way venue despite being in the middle of one of the city’s liveliest corridors; it’s not on the big lists of U Street bars, restaurants, and clubs that present live music, or even as widely known as the upstairs at Wonderland Ballroom (the first best bar you didn’t know had live music). And that’s the best thing about it.