13 of the Best Irish Bars and Pubs in Washington, DC

With classic Irish fare, pints of Guinness, and live music, these are the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in DC.

When March 17 rolls around, everyone’s Irish… or at least celebrating like they are. Aside from drinking green beer and wearing “Kiss Me I’m Irish” paraphernalia, there are more fun ways to celebrate the Emerald Isle’s food, drink, and culture any time of year.

In DC and its surrounding areas, plenty of bars offer the complete Irish pub experience with a friendly atmosphere, classic food, lots of live music, and more than a few pints of Guinness. These are DC’s best Irish pubs, whether you’re looking for a place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or any other day of the year. Sláinte!

The Auld Shebeen

Fairfax
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At this Fairfax hangout that is popular with locals and students of nearby George Mason University, the menu features Scotch eggs, Irish sausages and mash, and an Irish burger doused with brown gravy. A range of Irish classics including Guinness and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale make up the draft list, and The Auld Shebeen also has a weekend brunch featuring a hearty Irish breakfast—so the restaurant has you covered with Irish fare any time of day.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

The Celtic House is a classic Irish pub with an old-school setting and a wooden bar that serves Irish fare. Order the beef and Guinness stew, a belly-filling dish of Angus beef, carrots, celery, and onions, all served over mashed potatoes. It tastes best when paired with, you guessed it, a pint of Guinness. Beyond the menu of traditional dishes, the pub offers incredible happy hour deals, plus live music and other events.

Located in a 19th-century building, Daniel O’Connell’s is filled with antiques and bric-a-brac that make the place look straight out of Ireland. The live music is always superb, as is the food—order the lamb stew or chicken pot pie with a Smithwick’s and you’ll be set.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

If it’s tradition and longevity you’re after, pay a visit to The Dubliner for the baked cod and haddock. The pub has been open since 1974 and is so popular that President Barack Obama visited on St. Patricks’ Day in 2012. The menu of Irish and American grub is a perfect soak for the vast selection of Irish whiskeys. Of course, the Guinness is also flowing and you can expect live music most nights, too.

Available for Reservations

Duffy's Irish Pub

H Street Corridor
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Most people know Duffy’s for its popular and incredible wings. But, just as the name suggests, it also happens to be a fantastic Irish bar. Find dishes such as Irish nachos made with potato chips, bacon, corned beef, and melted cheese; breakfast burritos stuffed with corned beef and eggs; and more traditional dishes like shepherd’s pie.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

As the home of Guinness in the US, Guinness Open Gate Brewery is always home to a host of experimental beers and menus inspired by traditional Irish meals. You can stop by for a few brews, tour the facility, or participate in a number of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March. The brewery’s month-long celebration includes beer releases every Thursday of the month, an interactive Irish village on the lawn, live music, and Irish food.
How to book: Via website

Ireland's Four Provinces

Falls Church
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A true gem for all things Irish, this spot serves up authentic Emerald Isle fare including sausage rolls, corned beef and cabbage, Chicken Tullamore, beef stew, and more. The bar is also popular for its expansive Sunday brunch of Irish classics and slate of brews.

Don’t expect too much in the way of atmosphere here, but Irish Channel boasts a selection of Irish food options, live music, plenty of beer, and a patio. It’s a family-owned tavern run by Tom Stack, a certified chef from Ireland, set in a hotel, and is a good spot to pregame before concerts and sports events since it’s conveniently located near the Capital One Arena.

The Irish Inn

Glen Echo
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At this neighborhood tavern, you can find all the old Irish standbys like fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and a popular beef stew made with Ireland’s favorite beer, Guinness. Hearty comfort food makes this spot a top choice in colder months, while traditional Irish music and a patio draw crowds in warmer weather.

Kelly's Irish Times

Union Station
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More than 100 years of Irish history covers the walls of this lively Irish pub, including unopened beer bottles from the 1800s, 1930s police patches from Dublin, and other random knick-knacks. Cold pints, lots of Irish whiskey, and a boisterous crowd are big draws.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Kirwan’s is a casual Irish pub that has waterside seating and a cozy bar and indoor dining room. Multiple bars make up the space and host a range of whiskeys, beers, and plenty of Irish-inspired cocktails that add to the fun. The food menu is a mix of Irish and American pub food, like bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie, which will keep you going through the night.

Available for Reservations

McGinty's Public House

Silver Spring
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This Silver Spring watering hole has a fun Irish pub atmosphere, a solid beer list, and a friendly crowd of regulars. Guinness on tap, a full brunch menu, and a section of Irish classics such as Irish boxty (potato pancake), beef stew, or colcannon keep the vibe authentic.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, this lively Irish pub has been open since 1978 and is the spot to enjoy a hearty meal such as Irish stew with soda bread, nightly Irish entertainment, and a Guinness or two.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Aparna Krishnamoorthy is a freelance food and travel writer based in Washington DC. Always willing to eat biryani, pizza, fried chicken, and chocolate cake. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more dining and wanderlust adventures.