The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in DC

By Rina Rapuano | October 22, 2015 By Rina Rapuano  |  October 22, 2015

When you’ve got a city that works as hard as DC does, any opportunity to shed that buttoned-up daytime persona is a welcome change. We’ve rounded up some of the tastiest ways to eat, drink and be scary around town this Halloween. All you need to do is decide which type of Halloween fun suits you best.

Costume Parties

Bluejacket kicks off a Halloween Bash at 9 PM Halloween night, complete with a costume contest — with beer prizes, of course — plus a haunted brewery tour and tunes from DJ Kid Cannibal. A few of the brewery’s vintage kegs will be tapped, including James E. Pepper Bourbon Barrel-Aged Burning Bush and James E. Pepper Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged The Betty, both from 2014. Tour times have been added, and tour slots can be reserved here (300 Tingey St. SE; 202-524-4862). 

Poste hosts a Wicked Garden Party from 8 PM–midnight on its patio, which will feature a heated outdoor lounge, food and drink specials, music from DJ Lu-han, door prizes and a Bobbing for Apples punch. Entry is free and costumes are encouraged (555 Eighth St. NW; 202-783-6060).

Both El Centro D.F. locations will throw parties October 30 and October 31 starting at 9 PM in Georgetown and 10 PM at 14th Street. There will be spooky decorations and a costume and social media contest, with $75 El Centro gift certificates going to each winner. El Centro’s siesta menu offered at the bar includes chicken flautas and the bacon-wrapped El Centro dog with Mexican slaw (pictured above), and blood orange margaritas will go for $10 (1819 14th St. NW, 202-328-3131; 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-4100).

Republic revives its annual party starting at 10 PM on Halloween, when Tony Grasso performs on stage and a Zombie Killer Punch will be poured. The costume contest starts at 11 PM, and prizes will range from $50 to $250 gift certificates (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park.; 301-270-3000).

Spooky Dinners

Costumes not your thing? You can still get a thrill from this murder mystery dinner held at The Grille at Morrison House at 7 PM on Halloween. The ’20s–themed dinner begins with live piano music and cocktails followed by three courses with wine pairings. Dinner costs $100 per person, and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant (116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria; 703-838-8000).

Red Apron’s Beast of the Month dinner at the Mosaic District location evokes Halloween’s gory side with this month’s theme: Ode to Offal & Odd Bits. Chef Nathan Anda’s five-course menu will include such dishes as beef heart tartare with pig-ear frites and pig-foot Parmesan with pig-skin noodles. The dinner, which includes a welcome cocktail and beverage pairings, costs $85 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), and reservations can be made via email. If you’ve still got some kick left after dinner, head next door to B Side for a party with a costume contest (8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax; 703-676-3550).

Halloween in a Glass

Old Town Pour House Gaithersburg has already started running its Halloween drink specials offered through October 31, including a Halloween beer flight ($16) that offers tastes of Warlock by Southern Tier Brewing Co.; Ghouls Night Out from DC Brau Brewing Co.; Dead Guy from Rogue Ales; and The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale Nitro made by Flying Dog Brewery (212 Ellington Blvd., Gaithersburg; 301-963-6281).  

Barrel and its downstairs Elixir Bar trades tiki for Halloween with 13 themed drinks, including one called Old Man Jenkins (Who Runs the Haunted Amusement Park) — a blend of butter-washed Applejack, rye, orange bitters and cardamom syrup — and Burn The Witch made with white rye, chile- and coffee-infused Campari and Cherry Heering (613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-543-3622).

El Camino pours a Camino Corpse Reviver cocktail for two ($26) all weekend, served in a skull bottle (while supplies last) that imbibers can keep. The drink is made with tequila, Cocchi Americano, pineapple syrup, lemon and absinthe. A $5 Dark & Stormy Punch will also be offered (108 Rhode Island Ave. NW; 202-847-0419).

Wine gets in on the act at Off The Record in the Hay-Adams, which will pour Vampire Vineyard’s gold medal–winning 2013 California Cabernet Sauvignon from October 29–31 for  $15 per glass or $55 a bottle (800 16th St. NW; 202-942-7599).

Places Mentioned

Write a review

The Arsenal

American Navy Yard
Food17 Decor24 Service17 Cost$32
Write a review


French Penn Quarter/Chinatown
Food20 Decor21 Service18 Cost$33
Write a review

El Centro D.F.

Mexican Georgetown
Food21 Decor20 Service19 Cost$29
Write a review

El Centro D.F.

Mexican 14th Street Corridor
Food21 Decor20 Service19 Cost$29
Write a review


New American Takoma Park
Food25 Decor25 Service21 Cost$36
Write a review

Morrison House

Quality24 Facilities22 Service25
Write a review

Red Apron Butcher

Food23 Decor19 Service21 Cost$21
Write a review

Old Town Pour House

American Gaithersburg
Food- Decor- Service- CostM
Write a review


Southern American Capitol Hill
Food- Decor- Service- CostM
Write a review

El Camino

Mexican Bloomingdale
Food- Decor- Service- CostI
Write a review

Off the Record

Bar White House/World Bank
Atmo.22 Decor18 Service18 CostM
Write a review

The Hay-Adams

Luxury Hotel White House/World Bank
Quality25 Facilities25 Service26

Recommended on Zagat

comments powered by Disqus