Mackey’s Public House
Popular for office happy hours, this downtown DC Irish pub draws a crowd most weeknights. Young professionals grab a stool at the long wooden bar or squeeze into one of the hidden-away booths for $2.75 and $3.50 beers Monday through Friday from 4 to 7. The back room is large and inviting with a mishmash of wooden tables and leather armchairs, brick walls, and a fireplace. In warm weather, the patio is often packed.
Nanny O’Brien’s is a dying breed—a divey Irish pub that avoids the over-the-top gimmickry found at national chains. Although it lost some charm two years ago when it was sold to Bedrock Companies (which owns Buffalo Billiards, Rocket Bar, Carpool, and a handful of other bars in DC and Virginia), Nanny’s still feels authentic with its sticky floors, bare-bones decor, and occasional Irishman sipping a pint of Guinness at the bar. A jam session every Monday starts at 9 and goes late.
The Old Brogue Irish Pub
This pub sits amid a row of homey shops. Step inside and the bar is in a corner of the restaurant with a couple of booths, some high tables, and a large flat-screen television for sports fans. It’s a family restaurant where photo collages decorate some of the walls and diners eat traditional Irish fare. Nineteen beers are on draft and many of the 39 bottled beers come from England, Belgium, and of course Ireland. There are also several Irish whiskeys available, including Powers and Jameson.
Where are your favorite area Irish pubs? Let us know in the comments below.