7 of the Best D.C. Pubs for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

Don your greenest attire and raise a glass at these seven pubs

St. Patrick's Day is usually associated with leprechauns and all things green, but at its root, it’s a holiday about celebrating all things Irish. You may not find green beer and shamrocks at all of the establishments below, but you will find tasty Irish food, whiskey, beer and music, giving you the full Irish experience on this fun-loving holiday.

Rí Rá Irish Pub

With an original Victorian-era bar and parts salvaged from buildings dating to the 1800s, Rí Rá takes you to Ireland. Aptly named after the Irish phrase “rí rá agus ruaile buaile” (rowdy fun), the pub offers plenty of good times. The upstairs whiskey room features limited-edition and hard-to-find whiskeys, scotch and bourbons. On the menu, find familiar bar bites such as wings and burgers, plus Irish classics and updates like sausages & mash, shepherd’s pie and Irish porchetta. On St. Patty’s Day, dance to live traditional Irish music starting at 2 pm. 3125 M St. NW, 202.751.2111

The Dubliner

Named after James Joyce’s “Dubliners,” this Capitol Hill mainstay strives to recreate the pub experience in Ireland's capital city. Find over 100 Irish whiskeys and uncommon Irish brews such as Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale. The Dubliner also pours two specialties: The “Dubliner Irish Whiskey” and the “Auld Dubliner Amber Ale.” Pair drinks with filling entrees including rack of lamb, trout almondine, a Guinness burger and corned beef and cabbage. This year, St. Patrick's Day marks the Dubliner’s 45th anniversary. To celebrate, the pub will be pouring 45-cent Guinness from 9 am to 10 am with live Irish music all day. 4 F St. NW, 202.737.3773

Duffy’s Irish Pub

The official bar of the Washington Nationals, D.C. United and the Washington Irish Rugby Football Club, Duffy’s is one of the best places to catch all of the games while enjoying Irish food and drinks. In the dog-friendly outdoor beer garden, dig into fare like wings and chicken tenders as well as Irish fusion dishes like “Irish” nachos and beer-battered fished and chips. Duffy’s even offers vegetarian and vegan options, such as bean and cheese papusas, a portobello Rueben and an avocado sandwich. On St. Patrick’s Day, the first 50 patrons get free Irish breakfast burritos, plus $5 green beer offered all day and live Irish dancing and music. 1016 H St. NE, 202.462.9464

Nanny O’Brien’s

This neighborhood pub is the least-traditional Irish drinking den on this list, but it’s still a great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because of the friendly atmosphere and varied beer and food selection. Find bar staples like wings, chicken tenders and nachos, plus a few traditional Irish dishes like fish and chips and beef stew. You’ll find a build-your-own-burger option including a house-made vegan patty and fun desserts like funnel cake fries and beer floats. Enjoy a rotating selection of craft beer from brewers such as Flying Dog, Founders and New Belgium, and of course, Guinness. 3319 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.686.9189

The Celtic House

On St. Patrick’s Day, The Celtic House starts breakfast service at 9 am and brings on the Irish dancers and live Irish music starting at 3 pm. The menu features traditional fare such as beef and Guinness stew, fish & chips and chicken pot pie, plus burgers, seafood and vegetarian-friendly pasta. Also find a variety of Irish whiskeys, bourbons and scotch. 2500 Columbia Pike, Arlington, Va., 703.746.9644

O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

With two bars, the second of which is dedicated to whiskey, O’Sullivan’s is one of Arlington, Virginia’s quintessential “locals” bars. It’s Irish owned and features over 130 whiskeys and traditional food. In addition to the whiskey selection, drinkers also find draft and bottle beer and whiskey cocktails. On the menu, find “dingle dots”—corned beef, cabbage and potato balls—potato and leek soup and the Dubliner BBQ burger, made with Angus beef. 3207 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.703.812.0939

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub

In Alexandria, Virginia, this pub offers hearty meals like Jameson’s strip steak, Irish meat and potato pie and “Irish” egg rolls, plus sweet treats like Bailey’s Irish chocolate cake, Bailey’s bread pudding and Jameson cake. Beer selections include classics like Guinness, Smithwick’s and Kilkenny, plus bottled beer like PBR. On St. Patrick’s Day, look for live music from 10 am to close, a limited brunch menu until 1 pm and Irish dancing. 713 King St., Alexandria, Va., 703.548.1717

Emily Sisco
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