Best Open Mic

Best: HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues
1610 14th St. NW, (202) 667-3700
2nd Best: BloomBars
3222 11th St. NW
Don’t let the name fool you—if you’re looking for beer, conventional “service,” or consistent hours of operation, then BloomBars is not the spot for you. But sign up for its mailing list and wander over to this barely established establishment on an evening when it’s holding a showcase, and you’ll discover one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets. Sure, the lineup may look similar every week—the choir singing for the benefit of the choir, if you will—but it’s always earnest. And when you stumble in from Wonderland during the wee hours to find two women singing the loveliest, most heartbreaking rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” or whispering an African lullaby to a spellbound audience of six, you’ll realize that there’s no place in town quite on the same wavelength.