Madhatter

Bar / Restaurant
Madhatter As if the name Madhatter weren't enough, the big eponymous figure of the character from Alice in Wonderland in the front window is about as subtle as a caterpillar smoking a hookah. Washington, DC United States 38.907931 -77.042017
3.26 14
Madhatter - Bar | Restaurant in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review As if the name Madhatter weren’t enough, the big eponymous figure of the character from Alice in Wonderland in the front window is about as subtle as a caterpillar smoking a hookah. True, no potion has to be drunk to get... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–Th 11:30am–2am, F 11:30am–3am, Sa 10am–3am, Su 10am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Madhatter Review

The Scene

As if the name Madhatter weren't enough, the big eponymous figure of the character from Alice in Wonderland in the front window is about as subtle as a caterpillar smoking a hookah.

As if the name Madhatter weren’t enough, the big eponymous figure of the character from Alice in Wonderland in the front window is about as subtle as a caterpillar smoking a hookah.

True, no potion has to be drunk to get through the door, but the blotto college kids and preppy young professionals flooding the bar during Happy Hour certainly drink something – and enough of it to make getting back out the door an adventure in itself.

Although typically relaxed prior to the after-work crush, when families and office types settle into the high-ceilinged dining room for $7 lunch specials, the tables disappear down the rabbit hole Thursdays through Saturdays as a Top 40 DJ packs the newly-cleared dance floor.

Fighting their way through the gyrating throngs, over-served students and eager interns make their way to the massive dark wood bar, overseen along the way by a giant tin Hatter’s hat and storybook prints of Wonderland characters.

Those who want to escape the lower level lunacy can escape to the Upside Down Room – so named for the faux banquet spread hanging from the ceiling – while sports fans can catch the game on several TVs behind a pair of additional bars on the second floor.

Although hearty weekend brunches see the dining room return to normal at Madhatter, it’s only a matter of time before sanity wears off.

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Tip from Emma:

Head to Madhatter on a Thursday night for $1 beers from 8pm on, and then head back on Sunday for a $7 bottomless mimosas!

  • Crowd

    Mostly college students, post-grads, interns, and young professionals, with a slightly older office crowd and families during lunch, early 20s to 30s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJ spins a mix of Top 40 and dance music Thursdays and Saturdays from 8pm on and Fridays from 6pm on. Trivia night on Mondays. Frequent special events and themed drinking parties. Check website for details.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Menu features a mix of low- and high-end bar food, including burgers, pasta, seafood, and sandwiches. Brunch served Sa–Su till 3pm. Seasonal outdoor patio. Four private rooms available for rental on the second floor. Happy Hour M–F 4–8pm.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $6–$13, appetizers $6–$13, salads and sandwiches $6–$15, entrées $8–$26, power lunches $7. Beer $4.50–$7, cocktails $7–$8, bottle service $120–$350 (groups of 15+ only, two bottle minimum).

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Smart casual to business attire: polo shirts, comfortable dresses, nice t-shirts, jeans, shoes to dance in.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday through Saturday nights for a crowded club-like scene.

  • Close By

    Sign of the Whale (1825 M Street NW) has been satisfying sports fans and dance hounds for more than fifty years.

Madhatter User Reviews

Average rating:
Club/Restaurant/Sports Bar/Happy Hour ALL in ONE!
Chelsea D. Aug 24, 2013
I would like to dub this place "50 shades of cray". I am pretty sure the Mad Hatter never closes as it offers a wide range of activities meeting the equally wide ranging needs of their clientele of recent college graduates, young professionals, and interns. I have been here for late night dancing, afternoon brunch, happy hour, March Madness and had a blast every time. I would definitely be all right with calling it my "go to" when I lived in D.C. This bar is located right off the Dupont Circle fountain and is one in a series of three locations owned by the same individual, falling under the theme of "Alice and Wonderland". The other two are called The Wonderland Ballroom and The Looking Glass Lounge. The food and drinks are well priced. Brunch offers bottomless mimosas and make your own bloody mary's. The restaurant on the first floor clears out at night for dancing while the upstairs is reserved for parties, the D.J. and people looking to mingle/network.
Table Cloth By Night, Strobe Lighting By Early Morning
Nate S. Aug 9, 2013
Bottom Line Pros: Fun, Transformable, Inexpensive, Solid food and drink Cons: Congested and awkward lavatory employees Madhatter is quite the dichotomous...well I'm not quite sure what it is. It's part sit-down brunch, lunch, and dinner, but then full throttle strobe light dance floor make out club. Let's break it up below. Brunch - If you're looking for the hair of the dog from Friday's night/early morning escapades, presumably from Madhatter, come right back in the morning for their brunch. With unlimited mimosas and a fairly extensive menu selection it's a sure cure to nurse that pounding headache. Lunch and Dinner - Table cloth and OpenTable reservable, Madhatter delivers again with a diversified menu including some scrumptious mac and cheese dishes as well as their delicious burgers and entrees. Into the Night - Tables cleared. Bar is packed. Dance floor opens. Madhatters transforms into an all out dance party with strobe lighting and club anthem jams. Although not entirely what I would call a "huge dance floor" the patrons clearly do not seem to mind. At times the place can be a bit muggy due to the volume of people, but reluctantly there is a second story reservable for parties and as a getaway.
The bartendresses are angels descended from heaven
Caitlin L. Aug 8, 2013
I've only had a few short-lived encounters at Mad Hatter. Both times, I was in dire need of a drink. The fist was after a particularly brutal staff meeting at my underpaid ... actually let's call it indentured servitude. Me and my co-intern were both riding a wave of an existential breakdown, spiraling into hysterics and, yes, PRE-NOON ANGST DRINKING. We ordered some burgers, which I honestly wasn't expecting to be blown away by. HOWEVER, the burger was delicious and huge, and just what I needed to eat my feelings. My co-intern, saying fuck it to the universe/humanity, in a rare moment of clarity turned to me and said "daytime tequila shots on me". Here's what I'm talking about with the bartendresses. They are perhaps guardian angels to lost alcoholic souls who just can't seem to find hope in the world. The woman serving us turned to us with laughed slightly, and smirked conspiratorially and said "You're the second set we've had today." As we fumbled to produce our IDs (we both look on the upward end of prepubescence) I realized I had forgotten mine. LIKE GUYS I WAS LITERALLY ABOUT TO CRY MY DAY HAD BEEN SO BEYOND MISERY. I NEEDED this shot. DESPERATELY. Yet, in my hour of need she quickly delivered shots to us and winked at me, saying "Now you can say you've met the nicest bartender in DC." I've had several similar experiences at Madhatter where I've felt the bartenders are genuinely looking out for me, and anytime I happen to be in the Dupont area I'll stop in for a pick me up.
UNLIMITED MIMOSAS! BRUNCH! And did I mention MIMOSAS!
Tiara J. Jun 9, 2013
What can I say the service is great and some of the most fun waiters I've ever met, ask for Jose! The mimosas are delicious and in no way watered down. And the food is delicious and reasonably priced. No need to be Daddy Warbucks here. Located in Dupont Circle, I would definitely suggest taking the metro, but it isn't impossible to find a park less than a mile away. I had a blast here and will definitely go back!
This Will Change Your Brunch Life
Jennifer B. Apr 15, 2013
If you love brunch, and I think you do because you're reading this, you have to put Madhatter on your list of places to go. Located in Dupont Circle and metro accessible for all the city types like me who refuse to drive, Madhatter is amazing. As you guessed by the name, Madhatter has an Alice in Wonderland theme, but you won't be hearing the Queen of Hearts yell off with your head. Instead what you'll find is a charming atmosphere with a brunch menu that is both reasonably priced and delicious. More importantly, the best bottomless mimosas you will ever find, from the best servers ever. If Blair is still there tell her to drop a few rhymes it always makes brunch better. And if you are into Bloody Marys Madhatter has a Bloody Mary bar complete with a variety of hot sauces for any aficionado. With the summer months approaching their back patio with outdoor seating will surely put the feather in your cap as you begin your brunch day. Overall you'll be getting a satisfying brunch without breaking the bank which in my book is the only way to do brunch.
Never Fails to Entertain
Tasha G. Apr 1, 2013
Living up to its namesake's reputation, The Madhatter is the always fun go-to for the under 25 crowd, namely college students and interns. Ridden with pool tables, various games, and plenty of group seating on both floors, this venue turns into quite the impromptu "club" Thursday through Saturday nights: the large open space on the first floor quickly becomes a dance floor, and the beats start to get veryyy serious. Drinks and food are very reasonably priced, hence why it's so popular amongst the lower budget crowd! Although not the most exclusive or chic place in DC for the avid night-goer, it is the "This place is boring, want to just head to madhatter?" reliable option.
A good bar to meet with a friend for happy hour
Jack C. Mar 27, 2013
Located right off the red line, this little bar in Dupont sets the ideal scene for a quick after-work drink with a friend. Their happy house offers Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts for around $4, great for the 20 something on a budget. The bar tenders are attentive, but not intrusive, allowing you and your friend to get your drinks quickly, but still have a good conversation. It has a nice set-up, with a dining room for a sit-down dinner, and a large bar. The name doesn't really match the feel the bar gives off. When my friend took me there I expected a multitude of psychedelic colors and house music, but I walked into a bar reminiscent of a dive bar Jay Gatsby would frequent.
Follow the White Rabbit - To one of DC's Best Theme Bars
Matthew S. Feb 19, 2013
Most bar-hoppers know that a night out in DC can often lead to a journey filled with mischief and whimsy . And what better place to venture "down the rabbit hole" on another spirit-fueled adventure than the Mad Hatter? Named after one of the most memorable characters in Lewis Carroll's 1865 fantasy classic Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter is a perfect place to escape the political maelstrom of Washington DC and lose yourself in a fanciful world of potent libations. The walls are adorned with period correct caricatures from Carroll's vision; vintage illustrations from first edition prints of the Wonderland stories. Adding to the decor is a life-sized sculpture of the Mad-Hatter himself emerging from a giant teapot - a constant surveyor to the wacky antics on the bar floor below. The Mad Hatter ranks high in ambiance, and with a large bar spanning the length of the floor, there is always room to squeeze in and order your next drink. The bar staff is friendly and attentive (with one short blonde bearing an uncanny likeness to Alice herself). If the Mad Hatter falls short in any category, it seems to be with crowd control. On any Friday night, the room is filled with the local yuppies spilling out from the adjourning law offices and lobbying firms to saturate the scene (adding to the fray is the curious case of the over-cramped bathrooms). But the Mad Hatter should certainly be considered a regular venue for weekday happy hours when its quiet enough to actually hear the electro-pop and indie playlist. DC is no stranger to theme bars, and the Mad Hatter is definitely not one to miss, especially if you're a literature geek like myself. A more subtle embellishment is the large mirror spans the wall – perhaps encouraging patrons to cross “Through the Looking Glass” into one of DC’s more capricious hot spots.
Why I'm mad at the Madhatter
Steven W. Jan 17, 2013
This is a difficult bar to rate. If you are involved in Greek Life at GW, or a 30-something young professional who would have been involved in Greek Life at GW, or an older, wealthy foreigner who never had the chance to be involved in Greek Life but certainly enjoys creeping on younger girls who are, then there probably aren't enough stars in the Milky Way for you to properly express your love for this place. But if you're not the type who appreciates the finer points of having Miller Lite spilled on you by screaming frat-guys and a top-40 playlist cranked up loud enough to split your eardrums, then this might not be your kind of place. I'm not sure what Alice in Wonderland has to do with general douchebaggery, but it seems like Madhatter achieves exactly what it is going for--it's just that what it's going for sucks.
Always good but never better than on Thursdays!
Sam S. Jan 8, 2013
You don't go to Madhatter for the food, although it more than acquits itself if you're willing to enjoy bar food. The draw of this bar is it's Thursday night dollar beer specials. Madhatter is located in Dupoint Circle, a relatively well to do area filled with many prominent businesses and organizations. Dupoint is essentially downtown D.C. and so you can guarantee it will get packed on Thursdays so get there early, before 8pm if you can. If you decide it isn't the place for you, or you just want to use it for it's cheap beer (I don't blame you) then there are plenty of other great bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.
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