What makes an authentic Irish pub? Is it the Guinness and Jameson signs on every wall space? Is it the live music and Harp on tap?
We’ve always found that a true Irish pub is where people gather to eat, drink, and hang out with the people in their town, and agree with a local bartender who said, “Irish pubs are made by the people and the conversation. [we’re} here to give you a beer and be a tour guide to good times.”
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, let us be your tour guide to some of the DMV’s top Irish pubs. Here are 7 of our favorites:
1. Ri Ra
This Georgetown location is on a mission to have everyone who walks through their doors have a great time with fine food and a good dram of whiskey or pint of Guinness. If you’re looking some great food, you have to try their brunch menu with favorites like the Full Irish Breakfast or the Whiskey Maple French Toast. If you go later in the day, grab the amazing Lamb Poutine.
#FrayLife Tip: Make sure to make your way upstairs to check out the Whiskey room and Presidents’ room.
The folks at Fado’s do not mess around when it comes to drinking like an Irishman (or woman). With expansive whiskey and scotch options, Fado’s takes it up a notch with a long list of Guinness floats (some are locally themed) and impressive whiskey flights. On Saturday nights, they have live locals bands making this a great place to hang out and have a drink!
3. The Blaguard
Blaguard is the place to go if you’re looking for drink deals and fun. With crazy specials like extended happy hour until 10pm on Wednesdays and $5 bomb shots on Fridays, the staff at Blaguard know how to make your nights a blast. They’re also a fan favorite as they’ve been voted Best Neighborhood Bar by the Washington City Paper multiple times.
#FrayLife Tip: If you were looking for a new bar to watch all your DC sports teams, this is the place to be.
What makes James Hoban’s so special? Happy Hour! Their happy hour specials are some of the best in the area. The bartenders here know how to pour a great Guinness and if you have a sweet tooth, you should try the Bailey’s Cheesecake or Chocolate Guinness Brownie. For all the rugby fans, this is a great place to watch the games.
If you’re ever looking for something to do, O’Sullivan’s has you covered. In addition to being a great place for food and drinks, they host karaoke, trivia, bar bingo, or live music most nights of the week making them a favorite in Clarendon.
#FrayLife Tip: Their First Friday live music power hour is a great place to check out local bands!
Kirwan’s is a more upscale take on an Irish watering hole. A relatively new bar, Kirwan’s on the Wharf was started by former Guinness employee and Ireland native, Mark Kirwan. They are located right in the middle of the Wharf, so it’s a great place to grab a pint and have some Irish fare while overlooking the waterfront.
Part Irish pub. Part dive bar. Kelly’s Irish Times is always a good time, so no wonder it has been named one of the ‘Best Bars in America’ by Esquire. Whether you come for happy hour or for the real deal Irish grub, you won’t be disappointed….or alone. Despite it’s odd location, Kelly’s seemingly always has a packed house, so you’ll never have a problem finding new friends to take selfies with you in front of Kelly’s iconic wall of patches.
Did your favorite DC Irish bar make the list? If not, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it!
Looking for other awesome spots in DC to grab a drink? Check out these 5 DC speakeasies.
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