Cairo Wine & Liquor

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Cairo Wine & LiquorCairo Wine & Liquor
15 Ratings
Cairo Wine & LiquorCairo Wine & Liquor

Type: Store

1618 17th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20009-2404
United States

(202) 387-1500 | map

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Added by Jason

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Ratings: 15 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of Squire
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of italianstallion
3.29/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Photo of N17shelfside
3.36/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%

Good prices. Decent selection. Unfortunate customer service. You can find seasonals here that usually leave the shelf sooner at other locations. You may not get much help finding the beer you want from the staff but at least you have a chance of finding it.

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Photo of DCVoyager
3.29/5  rDev -6%

Photo of threedaggers
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of jtladner
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of imbibehour
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

At first this looks like a typical DC rundown store. You enter and it doesn't look like anything special.

However, once you start looking around two things stand out beer wise for this Dupont area business. One there is some decent selections of beer, some even by the bottle and the prices for the neighborhood are actually really good.

Here there was still a bottle of Nightstalker and it was only 10 dollars. For DC that is a stupid bargain.

There are also items on here that have been sitting, but some of those sitting items are real finds, which I haven't seen anywhere else. Some are quite dusty also.

Service is a little surly. Also I noticed you can buy single 12oz bottles here, but you have to ask if they have a broken pack somewhere. I grabbed one and found it listed as a single price on the sheet, then went to the counter who was some other guy and then he said no you can't buy that you have to buy a sixer.

Uh okay... it's listed and your other guy who was nice and said we'll get this for you said it was fine. No only bottles that are already out and labelled.


I grabbed a real obscure bottle of Raison D'Extra and left.

I'll admit this is probably a good place to go to find something real obscure and cheap.

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Photo of shivtim
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%

Cairo Liquors is right across from the Safeway on 17th.
It's a small little store, and there's no specific beer section. It's kind of all crammed in different places among the wine.
The selection is actually halfway decent. There is a good variety of six packs, but fewer bottles/bombers except for some over-priced Belgians and Stones. The refrigerated six packs seemed fine, but I noticed a lot of the shelved beers were really dusty and had obviously been sitting there for quite some time.

I didn't ask for help and didn't receive any. I did notice there were three employees, even though it was 10AM on a Saturday. At least they're not understaffed.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%

Cairo Liquors is a little dive-looking liquor store at the corner of 17th Street and Corcoran, NW, just a bit northeast of Dupont Circle. It's easy to miss if you're not really paying attention or looking for it. But when you step inside it's somewhat of a sight to behold.

I'm sure there are other liquor stores that sell just as much, if not more, booze than Cairo, but I seriously doubt they're able to do it in as small a space as this. Seriously. The gang at Cairo have really crammed a lot of beer, wine, and spirits into this corner store. And it's a lot of fun to poke around and see what they have. Just be sure you're not standing in someone else's way while you peruse; traffic jams form easily in this place.

The beer selection is good, not great. They have more of a selection than your typical liquor store, that's for sure, but you'll find overall better selections at both Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits as well as Norm's (in McLean, VA). But still, the selection here is nice, with a solid contribution to American craft breweries. Both west coast and east coast breweries are represented well here. And don't worry, they have plenty of imports as well.

The staff at Cairo can be a bit abrasive at times. Other times, it seems like they have no idea what's going on at all. And if you're going there to buy beer, be sure you know what you want in advance, because the staff doesn't seem all that knowledgeable about beer at all. But on the whole, the service is good. I tend to purchase all the pony-kegs and sixtels for my kegerator there and they always come through (although a mis-order has occured once or twice, it's never really bothered me). Ask for Howie if you want to place a keg order. He'll hook you up.

Like I said, Cairo isn't the best beer store in town, but it's better than most. And it's especially nice if you want to pick up an obscure bottle of booze, like Lillette or Chartreuse, because they likely have that in stock too. If you're in the neighborhood, check it out. You'll be hard-pressed to walk out empty-handed.

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Photo of timtim
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%

an easy to miss spot that i've slept on for a long time. i grew up in the neighborhood and i've been drinking craft beer for about 15 years. although i've been away for a while, i'm in dc a lot and i never knew this place existed. a decent amount of quality beer and some relatively hard to find stuff crammed into a little space. the service can range from good to unprofessional. i witnessed an argument between employees and management in the store and they don't seem super knowlegeable. nevertheless, the have some great beer and good prices. the one downfall was that i happened to buy a few bottles on different ocassions that were spoiled, so beware. if you're in the neighborhood, and can't get anywhere else, this is the place to go.

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Photo of Nesued
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%

Was in D.C. attending a business conference and thought, "hey, I'm sure Beerfly has some listings for places".

Sure enough Cairo's was on the list and within walking distance from the Jury's Normandy Inn I was staying at on Wyoming Avenue.

Small establishment that is in the middle of several eaterys. A quick walk from the Dupont Circle Metro stop.

The selection was quite impressive and I spent some time just looking at the offerings. This was Feb when I stopped in and they still had several winter seasonals they were trying to move (Harpoon, etc.). I went looking for Belgians and other stuff I can't get in South Carolina (well..that's pretty much anything....) and did not leave empty-handed. The only limiting factor was the fact that I was flying back....

The Belgian selection included Trappist (Chimay, Orval, and Westmalles), with several de Dolle's, 3 Monts and also a Duvel thrown in as well. Belgian-styles also present from Ommegang (the entire line).

Good selection of American Craft Brews as well with DFH the main draw.

I didn't ask for help and none was offered.

I left with a bottle of Affligem Noel ($6.99, 750ml), one Arrogant Bastard Ale ($5.29, 750ml) and two bottles of Dogfish Head 120min IPA ($9.99 a pop...<shudder>).

Sure hope they survive the flight back to SC....

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Photo of clabaugh
3.85/5  rDev +10%

Rather nondescript establishment. If you're looking for craft beer, and don't know about this place in advance, you're likely to pass it by. Cairo appears to cater to a broad and highly diverse clientele, as they stock everything from wine to high priced spirits to cheap liquor in addition to what I might say is among the District's better beer selections. Solid domestic selection that is replete with DFH, Magic Hat, and Stone. The import selection, however, is comparatively more impressive. One would never expect to find inside the numerous international offerings that Cairo carries by looking at the store from the curb. Several Belgians, including Trappist brews; Sam Smith's in plentiful supply; and much more. They do an excellent job of stocking seasonals as well. The staff usually is very busy, and perhaps stretched too thin, but they always do make an attempt to make sure you can find something to your liking. Great mainstay for DC BAs.

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Photo of jslot38
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%

Was completely thrown off by this place. Went with pbr85 for our weeklyish beer run, and had he not known about the place I wouldn't have expected much more than bud and 40s. Instead they have a great collection of beer. Including a few not so easily found breweries (westmalle, deleriums) and your classics (good rogue, brooklyn, sierra nevada selection). They also had some lindemans, smuttynose, achel, avery, ayinger, and many more. Went there during rush hour on a thursday so it was a bit busy and there was no one around offering help, but they seemed like nice enough folk behind the counter (gave us a box for all our treasures). Twas a bit pricey, but hey, lets face it, this place is right in the city, exactly what you'd expect. Have to recognize that they also had an extensive DFH selection, including world wide stout, pangea, fort, midas, 120minute, and a few others. Now that I look back on it, I shoulda gotten something from that great brewery.
What we did leave with: Rogue Mocha Porter, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock(4), Smuttynose Finest Kind(6), Fullers' ESB(6), and a bottle of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. To give you all an idea, that was a total of $44 and change.

I will certainly be back to this establishment, for those in the area, it falls somewhere in between the whole foods in "george town" and chevy chase wine and spirits. Obviously nothing comparable to the latter, but maybe better than the former. If you want to stay in the city (for transportation reasons) this is the place to go, easily.

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Photo of pbr85
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

I visited this store last week up by Dupont Circle. I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. They have a large selection of beers including winter seasonals (probably carry other seasonals as well) and many imports. There are four or five refridgerators stocked full, domestic brews in two fridges and imports in the rest. Dogfish Head, Rogue, Troegs, Ommegang, Brooklyn, Youngs and many, many more were all in stock. Prices were reasonable and the service was excellent. I couldn't find one beer that I was looking for so I left my number with the owner and he called me back the next morning to tell me that he had some in the back. Its nice to have a small store like this within walking distance of my apartment

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Cairo Wine & Liquor in Washington, DC
Place rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 15 ratings