Archipelago

Washington, D.C.
Bar
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1201 U Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Opened in February 2016
Tue-Thu 5pm-2am
Fri-Sat 5pm-3am
Sun 5pm-2am
closed Mondays
(202) 627-0794

Critiki ratings

Archipelago

7.3

Overall

by 20 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 6.7
Drink Quality 8
Drink Selection 7.8
Food Quality 7.9
Food Selection 6.6
Mood 6
Music 7.5
Service 8.2
Tikiness 7.3
Tilt 7.6
Vibe 6.8

Upcoming Visits

  • LitClique
    visiting on
    Saturday, August 26, 2017
    for the first time
    Coming up for the weekend from Richmond with a group of friends. (Going to Archipelago was the impetus for the visit, if you can believe it.) We'll probably be there somewhere in the 7-9pm window. I would love to meet some DMV 'philes!

Regulars & Visitors

View all 35 Archipelago regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Archipelago opened in Washington, DC in February 2016. The bar's owners collected bits and bobs of Polynesian Pop in preparation for opening the bar, including a shrine to Magnum, PI. The focus is on cocktails, including both classics and modern inventions, but there is a small menu of food, as well. The decor includes a painted mural with palm scenes, and some thatch and lauhala touches.

Comments

June 29, 2017, 6:40 AM
Though a lot of DC craft cocktail bar dabble in classic Tiki drinks, at least seasonably, Archipelago is DC's only Tiki bar. Though purists will find the decor Tiki light, it is decently Tikis and way better than all the other DC places that have NO Tiki save for their drinks.

The mixology at Archipelago is where they shine. All the bartenders are excellent and show a passion for crafting their drinks. A note about the menu. The "main" menu has mostly Archipelago original drinks with a few classics. However, their bartenders are capable of making a wide range of classics if you ask. As of our June visit, they had a clipboard menu that you can ask for which has an excellent curated classic Tiki drink list on a clipboard. The list is organized by decade, starting with the 1930s going forward to the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Each decade is represented by about 6 to 9 classics. Almost a Museum of Tiki Cocktails. Each one our table tried was excellent - this special menu is worth the trip alone.

Music was an excellent and ecclectic mix of Exotica/Lounge and Surf. Food is very good bar food, it is really a bar that serves a limited range of food. Judge it by their excellent drinks, not on a restaurant scale.

The bar has a lot of large storefront type of windows, so during daytime there is so much light that things look washed out. Few Tiki bars look good in bright light, and this is no exception. But as soon as night falls, it takes on a entirely different look. It has a much better vibe at night.

DC used to be a big Tiki town and even once had their own, very famous Trader Vic's. The last true Tiki bar closed 13 years ago. Mahalo and kudos to the owners of Archipelago for bringing Tiki back to DC.
RikiTikiTavi
RikiTikiTavi is a regular at Archipelago, and is usually there Tuesdays, around 6.
June 14, 2017, 4:31 PM
Update! Archipelago has a new "old school tiki" menu, featuring classics from the 1930s-1960s. Fog Cutter, Three Dots and a Dash, Navy Grog, and many more. I still love the originals, but it's great to have classics available. These drinks are on the same menu with the rum list, FYI.
sleazytiki
sleazytiki is a semi-regular at Archipelago.
May 12, 2017, 10:59 AM
Archipelago is the only true tiki bar in the DMV area so it is my go to spot by default. That being said, this place would probably be my go to spot regardless. Even having been to a handful (some more "historied") of establishments, this place still ranks near the top for me. Their drinks are great and they have the best nachos I've ever had which are served in an offensively large portion. The decor and ambiance are on point; I love kitsch so I wouldn't mind if the kitsch level got bumped up. The one down side to Archipelago, which is no fault of their own, is that the bar can get pretty packed at peak times with suits and yuppie types that don't appreciate or "get" it.
View all 9 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
LitClique
visiting on
Saturday, August 26, 2017
for the first time
Coming up for the weekend from Richmond with a group of friends. (Going to Archipelago was the impetus for the visit, if you can believe it.) We'll probably be there somewhere in the 7-9pm window. I would love to meet some DMV 'philes!
Regulars & Visitors
  • RikiTikiTavi
  • BuzDeadwax
  • TikiTravis
  • Kraken007
  • thedrgram
  • sr113
  • Cannibal Ehd
  • tvmikek
  • sleazytiki
  • Trader Mike
  • Victrader
  • xtsnpatx
  • Tiki-D
  • Lindsaylou13
  • pyrothiakit
  • Doctor Ti
View all 35 Archipelago regulars & visitors