Irish eyes smile on the nation’s capital each St. Patrick’s Day. Although it is not an official holiday in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is a widely celebrated observance for Washingtonians of Irish decent and those wishing to embrace their inner-leprechaun. These revelers’s flock to the metropolitan area’s abundance of Irish bars who welcome them with open arms and tall glasses of drink. And here are five of the best.
Simply called Nannys by those in the know, Nanny O’Brien’s is a St. Patrick’s Day favorite for residents of the Cleveland Park neighborhood. Each year it opens early to provide its patrons live music and plenty of drink and food specials. Nanny’s beer menu is one of the best in the city, with a great selection of local craft beers and imported Irish favorites, such as Guinness Draught and Harp Lager. As part of this year’s celebration it will be showing the NCAA tournament games starting with the first tip at 12 noon and will have a limited quantity of special St. Patrick’s Day tee shirts.
The Blaguard Irish Pub is much loved — for six of the last eight years, it has won “Best Neighborhood Bar” in the Washington City Paper’s annual Best of D.C. Reader’s Poll. Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, the bar is jammed packed each St. Patrick’s Day. To celebrate it offers drink and food specials throughout the day and into the weekend.
Its names says it all. With more then 50 Irish whiskey brands available, Irish Whisky Public House is the place to be for whiskey enthusiasts on St. Patrick’s Day. Inspired by the authentic public houses of Ireland, it offers three-floors of space to get your green on. Patrons will enjoy day-long drink and food specials, live entertainment and giveaways.
For nearly 40 years, Murphy’s has served as Northern Virginia’s go-to Irish pub. Each St. Patrick’s Day, crowds of people can be seen outside waiting for the opportunity to enjoy its the roaring fireplace, robust Irish-American fare and refreshing drinks. Old Town Alexandria’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade passes right in front of Murphy’s, which opens early to welcome spectators.
Consider by many to be one of the most authentic Irish pubs in the United States, The Dubliner has been in operations since 1974. It has a rich history of bringing top quality Irish drink to Washington, D.C., including The Dubliner Irish Whiskey and Auld Dubliner Amber Ale (made exclusively for its patrons). The Dubliner’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are legendary and have even been attended by former U.S. President Barack Obama. For this year’s celebration it’s doors will open at 9 a.m. to serve $.43 pints of Guinness for the first hour in honor of the pub’s 43rd anniversary. Festivities will continue throughout the day with live music on two stages.