Harold Black

4.6
478 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Cosy
  • Quiet Conversation
Harold Black is a warm, intimate bar that is quiet enough to hear your conversation yet lively enough to keep you talking. A list of house cocktails gives you a range of options, additionally, the bartenders are at the ready to work their magic if you have something else in mind. Harold Black serves a light-fare menu till 10pm as well as a late-night menu with a selection of cured meats, cheeses and desserts.

Please be aware of a few house rules:

1. We look forward to having you join us and are happy to hold your table for up to fifteen minutes. To contact us with a special request, please email reservations@haroldblackdc.com
2. Your booking reserves your seats for 2 hours.
3. Due to our small size we cannot guarantee booth seating.
4. Our maximum party size is six people, no exceptions, and unfortunately we cannot book multiple tables for one group. To book Harold Black for a private event, please email events@haroldblackdc.com.
What 478 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 4 hours ago
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Our Bartender and server Franz and Rodrigo were exceptional! They were extremely friendly, hospitable and very courteous. We had a great time and shall be returning again.

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I
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Very tasty cocktails and outstanding service by the very amicable staff.

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OT
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The drinks are always good here but the volume level has steadily ticked up here over the past few times we were there and it was hard to hear each other this time. Apparently the volume was unable to be turned down at all.

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MS
1 review
Dined on 13 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was impeccable! I would definitely recommend for birthdays or anniversaries. It’s good for small groups! I would definitely go again.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Making a reservation and always getting seated at the bar while EVERYONE else gets a table sucks. So does being told to leave after 2’hours.

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CG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been to Harold Black many times. It's our go to place for out of town company and they always love it. The service is friendly, the ambiance is super cozy, and the drinks/food are amazing. I highly recommend!

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place!! Great for special occasions, anniversary, highly recommeded!!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 January 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Picture it. New Years 2018.

We arrived at 11:25 for our 11:30 reservation.

We were not served until we flagged down someone who would get a server to take out order. We finally got our drinks just before midnight, let’s say 11:57.

We wished each other happy new year.

Then, at 12:15, they told us no more drinks were being served and we had to close out and leave because they close at 12:30.

The drinks were fine. They ranged from “what I’d expect” to “not what I’d expect,” but not in a good way. The mezcal drink is too spicy. It’s too bad because I was really looking forward to a fun, relaxed New Years evening full of nice cocktails.

On a positive note, ambiance is really cool. It really makes you feel like you’re drinking during the prohibition era.

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Nashville
1 review
Dined on 1 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New Years..Lindsey and Frans were amazing bartenders

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K
Miami
1 review
Dined on 27 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Expensive drinks for nothing special or creative at all. Place is crazy small & ambience is lesa than average.

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LR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Harold Black is fantastic speakeasy hidden in Eastern Market. The feel is genuine and very comfortable.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Harold Black always makes the evening wonderful!

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Denver
2 reviews
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing! First time and I will definitely be back.

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MK
1 review
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Shhhhhhhhh. Speak Easy. A perfect throwback to an earlier time. Great drinks, fantastic bartenders. Nice little snack and dessert menu for light late night bites. Make reservations or you most likely will not get in. This is our favorite bar in DC.

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I
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Ordered dirty martini and for a spot that focuses on alcohol, I was surprised to receive it in a wine glass and it was not that great either.

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Richmond
1 review
Dined on 18 November 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Service was extremely slow. Waited around 15 minutes to order first drinks. And around 20-30 minutes to order small plates, calling the server each time to grab his attention. The food was delicious, but for a party of 4 who ordered a couple of drinks pp and 5 small app. ended up paying around $400. Very overpriced for the quantity of food provided. Cocktails were also on the smaller size. Good but pricey.

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KF
1 review
Dined on 18 November 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 5

We have been to Harold Black five times now and up until our last visit counted it among our favorite neighborhood restaurants. On this last visit we had to beg for any service at all. No drinks, no menus, no appetizers, no flatware, nothing was offered until we physically stopped an employee and directly asked for it. This was true of everyone in the restaurant that night, not just our table. I understand sometimes you are short staffed or have other problems. A quick “so sorry we are not up to our normal service but we will do everything we can” and I would have been fine. The staff was polite but did not seem the least bit concerned when told we had been sitting there for 30 minutes with no menus or drink orders. There were at least 4 on staff that night, not sure what their problem was.

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J
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 15 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Popped in here for after dinner drinks for the gfs birthday. service and drinks were perfect. this is a must check out

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M
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on 14 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic drinks and food.
Seating setup was a little odd and felt kinda cramped but it didn’t make it any worse or any better

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k
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere! Very interesting, even my 21 year old son loved it, and has already made a reservation for when his gf is in town! Great staff!!

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TO
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We arrived for our 12:30am reservation shortly before the time after a quiet dinner in Old Town. There was four of us, who are all very respectful and professional people in our early 30’s. After a half hour had passed the doorman came out and insisted that we leave and they could not serve us in the fear that we were too intoxicated. I, of course, questioned this and then a bartender came to the door and informed us that that entry was upon there discretion, which of course is their right. I was just absolutely blown away by this as we had had very little to drink prior and was not at all being disruptive. Soon after, we left and ended up having a much more enjoyable, relaxed, and less expensive time downstairs. If you’re a stiff this place may be for you-if not give this spot a pass.

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OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is as cool a speakeasy as I’ve ever seen, not that I’ve seen a lot but finding the entrance isn’t the easiest if you don’t know where to look as an example. The hallway and stairs leading up to the secret entrance inside is very well painted in distressed motif to match the feel. Knock on the sliding door and wait for it to be opened or your entrance might be interesting. The Bartenders are great, chill and very creative with a basic understanding of the type of cocktail you are thinking, allow them to create it, be adventurous. Didn’t prefer food but I believe it comes from the retaurant downstairs. The ambiance is is dark with button pleated upholstered booths and a cool small bar. They hallway to the restrooms is long and even darker with custom welded sliding doors and pull string toilet flushing, sorry for that detail. Don’t miss this if you can help it. Make a reservation it can get busy.

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NY
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Perfect place for a date or to unwind. Will be back for sure!

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TG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 4 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never fails to impress me on each visit. Cheers!

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ME
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

We love to visit Harold Black, but service this Friday was exceptionally slow. They really should have been better prepared for a busy Saturday -- especially the one just before Halloween. The slow service really ruined the otherwise good experience.

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P
1 review
Dined on 28 October 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Excellent cocktails but the experience was soured by terrible service. After 15 minutes had to beg to be able to order a drink. Waiter was gleefully inept, and spent more time meeting the customers (hand shakes and all) than preparing drinks or in service. Spent two hours there and only managed to get two drinks. On a Saturday night they should have more staff than one waiter and one bartender for a full house.

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AA
1 review
Dined on 27 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was searching around for a place that would set me in the era of the early 1900's vibe since me and a friend had just come from a photo shoot dressed in theme and Harold Black did not disappoint! I'm actually happy the first place I'd found was closed that night because this place was everything I'd been wanting. Soft jazz music played that was a lovely addition, and made conservation easy. The candle lighting was great for the mood, and the place was easier to find than I had worried about. The drinks were yummy and strong and the food was amazing (I loved the Hummus). Staff were all super friendly and polite and a delight to be around- I think by the end of the night everyone working had swung by to chat or introduce themselves which was nice and welcoming. I definitely plan to go back and highly recommend this location.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pretty cool place. Drinks were a little pricey but very tasty. Fish tacos were 10/10.

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JB
1 review
Dined on 21 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We were initially disappointed in our experience with Harold Black because we were used to incredible service, cocktails, and recommendations. However, this time, after arriving for our reservation on time, we were told to go back outside and then waited for another fifteen minutes. When we decided to order cocktails, we wanted the bartender creations/recommendations, and the server seemed clueless in serving anything other than what was listed on the menu. After getting a different server, we were able to order our requests easily. We were grateful to have the evening end well, but we initially were very disappointed in how we were treated when we arrived and initially ordered. Every other time when we have been to Harold Black was nothing short of wonderful. This time was not that, though.

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k
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Harold and Black is one of our favorites! We have been going for a few months now and each time, they exceed our expectations! Whenever we have friends or family in town, we bring them to H&B! The staff/team is amazing and always make it a great time plus the cocktails are on point! Thank you so much for always taking great care of my husband and I!

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P
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience!!! Quiet and a great spot!! Excellent craft cocktails !Will return soon!

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c
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Ambiance was nice, however, service was very slow and two of our waiters not as welcoming or friendly as we expected. Two drinks we tried to order were not available.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 1

VERRRY SLOW SERVICE! We were first reservation and took 45 minutes to get one round of drinks.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for drinks which are always amazing

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MG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Have been to quite a few cocktail bars in DC, and this one ranked very near (if not at) the bottom of the list. One of the more expensive cocktail bars, and drinks didn't live up to the cost. In addition service wasn't great, as all four members of our party had an issue (and they were super slow in general):
1) One member of our party asked them to make a bourbon drink, and they came back with a tequila drink. Yes, she asked for a bartender's choice, but she was very specific about the spirit desired.
2) They poured my and another person's drinks into the wrong glasses. Not the biggest deal, but it did mean that one drink was now over ice when it shouldn't have been (so they had to remake it), and they had the wrong garnishes (and thus accompanying flavors). For a bar that serves cocktails as its bread and butter, this is a mistake that shouldn't happen.
3) The fourth person asked for whiskey neat, and somehow that didn't show up with the rest of our cocktails, despite the fact that was the easiest to "make" - clearly they forgot about it.

Despite all these mistakes, no one offered to comp anything or any other form of apology. For $16/drink I expected better. Would take your money and go get better cocktails for less at the Sheppard, or spend the $16 on far superior drinks at Columbia Room.

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Worst service I’ve experienced in DC. The host was very rude, and our drinks never arrived after more than 20 mins, we decided to leave.

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M
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lamb and fish tacos were delicious!

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b
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot. Great drinks. Great ambiance. Music could be quieter

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NR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a speak-easy, complete with hidden entrance - for quiet conversation, great and creative cocktails, good beer, and nice food. We've been there multiple times since it opened and keep going back - highly recommended for ambiance and good conversation - don't go if you want bustling people watching, obtrusive music, or big portions of food. It is a genuine hidden gem.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Long-time friend get together

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