Karaoke gets a bad rap, as if it’s just some unwelcome surprise that pops up while you’re enjoying yourself at an otherwise laid-back watering hole. When you know what you’re getting into, it can be an incredible time, whether you prefer the comfort of a private room of just you and a few friends or if you’re ready to rip it up fronting a live band at a packed club. We’ve picked five of the best karaoke spots in D.C. that are worth checking out.
One of the only private room karaoke joints in D.C., AdMo’s Muzette is the perfect spot for small to medium sized groups to gather and have total control of the karaoke system and the spotlight. With three room sizes (the largest holds up to 15 people) and a library of over 70,000 songs in a variety of languages, this is the perfect spot to test out your karaoke skills in a supportive room of friends without the fear of embarrassing yourself in front of a bunch of strangers. In between songs, be sure to grab a bite from their surprisingly robust menu of Korean dishes! $30-90/hr; 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 2305 18th St NW, DC; muzette.com // @muzettekaraoke
Union District Oyster Bar & Lounge
If you’ve ever fantasized about fronting a rock band, singing your heart out to a bar full of strangers, get yourself to Union District on a Wednesday and live your best life. Their live band karaoke, backed by The Experience Band, puts you at center stage, fronting a real live band, performing one of any number of songs from their surprisingly deep catalog. Free; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Wednesdays; 501 Morse St NE, DC; uniondistrictoysterbarlounge.com // @unionoysterbardc
Friday nights at this acclaimed Navy Yard ramen/cocktail joint have everything you want from a late night hang spot: late night happy hour drink specials, a quality food menu, and, of course, raucous karaoke performances. What else do you need? Free; 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays; 300 Tingey St #170 SE, DC; hatobadc.com // @hatobadc
The late night karaoke sessions upstairs at this Shaw sushi spot are known to get pretty rambunctious, with well-fed and slightly (or fully) buzzed performers tearing it up. If you’re looking for an enthusiastic, supportive crowd to help you live out your dreams of pop stardom, this is the place to do it. Most nights inevitably devolve into drunken group singalongs, so get ready to hit those high notes in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” $25 per person food & beverage minimum; 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Thursday through Saturday; 1544 9th St NW, DC; zeppelindc.com // @zeppelindc
Hill Country’s live band karaoke has become something of a DC institution since it began back in 2010. The HariKaraoke Band is a capable and enthusiastic group of musicians ready to help you sing your heart out to a passionate audience of fellow karaoke lovers. $6; 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesdays; 410 7th St NW, DC; hillcountry.com // @hillcountrybbq
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