News & Politics

Eat Your Greens: Where to Find Irish Food on St. Patrick’s Day

Lots of bars and restaurants serve limited menus on St. Patrick’s Day, but you don’t have to go to the end of the rainbow to find great Irish food. Here’s some grub to go with that pub. Unless otherwise noted, all specials and events are on Wednesday, Mar

>> Related: Irish Bars in Washington 

Chef Wesley Morton will serve house-made corned beef and cabbage, Guinness-braised lamb shank with carrots and potatoes, homemade pretzels with spicy mustard, and smoked Scottish salmon with pickled cucumbers. In addition to the bar—which will offer $5 Irish coffees and Old Fashioned cocktails—there’ll be a drink station with $5 drafts of Guinness and Kilkenny. The food menu is available from 5 to 10. The folk-rock duo O’Kane Mutiny will keep the atmosphere festive with traditional Irish songs.

Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier/Brabo Tasting Room

March 17 through 21
In honor of Ireland’s patron saint, pastry chef Kate Baltren will serve a specially prepared Irish cheesecake. A crumbly shortbread crust is topped with a dark-chocolate-and-cream-cheese filling, and it’s finished off with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. The cheesecake will be available for $8 at both the upscale Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier and the more casual Tasting Room next door.

Cupcakes Actually
This Fairfax cupcake boutique will offer two special cupcake flavors. If you’re a whiskey drinker, the Baileys Irish Cream might calm your sugar cravings. If you’re more of a beer fan, indulge in the Guinness Stout. The cupcakes cost $3.50 each.

Duffy’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
March 14 and 17
On March 14, Duffy’s will serve a $10 all-you-can-eat brunch with eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and shepherd’s pie from noon to 4. On St. Patrick’s Day, guests can order from a limited menu, which will include corned-beef and roast-turkey sandwiches. Don’t feel like fighting the crowds? Order a takeout pan of pre-prepared Irish food (corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie)—enough for 15 to 20 people—for $90. Orders must be placed two days in advance, and St. Patrick’s Day orders must be picked up the night before.

Eamonn's Dublin Chipper
Chef/owner Cathal Armstrong is a native of Dublin, so you can trust that he knows how to cook a brisket. He’ll serve miniature house-cured corned-beef sandwiches on brown-bread biscuits ($2.50 each) in addition to the regular roster of dishes influenced by his homeland.

Hello Cupcake
Through March 21
To celebrate the holiday, this gourmet cupcakery is offering a boozy cupcake flavor—Bailey’s Irish Dream. It’s a chocolate-stout cake with a whirl of whiskey-laced frosting. The cupcakes, available through March 21, cost $3 a piece or $33 for a dozen.

Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant
At this popular pub in DC’s Chinatown, you’ll find all the Irish-inspired plates that are on the menu throughout the rest of the year. If you’re looking for something different, try one of the dishes—grilled steak, corned beef, blackened chicken—wrapped in a boxty, a savory potato pancake found in rural parts of Ireland. For dessert, there are black-and-tan brownies, bread pudding, and brown-bread ice cream.

Ireland’s Four Courts

March 14 and 17
Stop by on Sunday for an Irish brunch buffet featuring shepherd’s pie and corned beef and cabbage. It’s available from 10:30 to 2:30. On Wednesday, a traditional Irish lunch menu—lamb stew, beef-and-Guinness stew, shepherd’s pie, and Irish hot dogs—will be served from 10 to 2. Music performances will be held all day in the outdoor main stage and heated tents.

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill
Start the holiday with a hearty Irish breakfast: two scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, a grilled tomato, and sautéed mushrooms. For lunch and dinner, there’s ale-battered grouper with fries, beef-and-Guinness stew, smoked sausage over whipped potatoes, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, spicy fried pickles, and potato chowder. Looking for something sweet? Try the Irish crème mousse cake or Guinness stout cheesecake. 

Jackson 20
This Southern-accented dining room inside Alexandria’s Hotel Monaco is adding two lucky dishes to its menus: At brunch, guests can try a plate of chef Dennis Marron’s corned-beef hash and eggs. At lunch and dinner, corned beef and cabbage is on the menu.

J. Paul’s
Get lucky at this classic Georgetown saloon, where chef Tom Crenshaw will prepare Irish classics such as shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness-braised beef stew.

McGinty’s Public House
A special menu will offer beer-battered haddock with lemon aïoli and fries; corned beef, cabbage, and red potatoes in parsley cream sauce; and lamb stew simmered in rosemary. There’ll be live music and folk dancing at both locations, and the Silver Spring pub promises an appearance by the elusive and always-mischievous leprechaun.

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub
This casual Woodley Park pub decked out in Irish flags and knickknacks will serve its regular menu (corned beef, Irish stew, meat-and-potato pie) until 3 PM. After that, there’ll be an abbreviated menu with an emphasis on sandwiches, soups, and other foods that are easy to eat while standing. Food will be served until last call (1:30 AM).

Ned Devine’s Irish Pub
Enjoy the sounds of traditional folk bands while feasting on corned-beef-and-cabbage spring rolls, potato-leek soup, a malty Guinness beef stew, and scalloped potatoes studded with bacon. Wash it all down with a few pints of green-tinted Miller Lite.

The Old Brogue Irish Pub
This Great Falls gathering place will serve a buffet breakfast ($19.95), lunch, and dinner in its Snuggery Dining Room. The buffet includes all the Irish breakfast staples—from rashers and bangers to black-and-white pudding. For lunch and dinner, patrons can choose among blackened salmon salad, Reuben-stuffed chicken breast, salmon Wellington, Guinness beef pie, and other fare. Lunch ($35) and dinner ($40 to $50) include an appetizer, choice of entrée, tax, and gratuity. Reservations are required.

Old Glory BBQ
March 17 and 24
On St. Patrick’s Day, menu offerings include fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and lamb shank. On March 24, chef Richard Brooks will offer a $50 four-course whiskey/beer menu. On the menu are miniature beer/brat sandwiches fixed up with red-wine sauerkraut; green salad with sweet-pea vinaigrette; Guinness-braised lamb shank; and Irish crème bundt cake for dessert. All courses are paired with Jameson whiskeys. The dinner begins at 6:30. Click here for reservations.

Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own

At this Alexandria haunt, there’ll be plenty of Irish grub to pair with all that free-flowing Guinness, including corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served in the restaurant’s heated outdoor tent. A $10 cover grants you access to the restaurant (standing room only), where singer/guitarist John Longbottom will play all day. Breakfast is at 9; lunch at 11, 1, and 3; and dinner at 5, 7, and 9. Reservations are available for two-hour seatings.

Ram’s Head Tavern Annapolis
Get down to some live music in an outdoor tent all afternoon and night. You’ll need to work up an appetite for the festive food: hearty lamb stew infused with rosemary, char-grilled sausages with mashed potatoes, and slow-cooked corned beef with cabbage and red potatoes.

Trummer’s on Main
This Clifton dining room will celebrate with a special three-course menu ($27). Start with a cup of potato soup, and follow it with a corned-beef short-rib sandwich with pickled cabbage. For dessert, pastry chef Chris Ford will prepare an Irish-car-bomb dessert complete with toasted brioche, Jameson whiskey, Guinness sorbet, and warm Baileys.

Union Jack’s Bethesda
To help you start the holiday, the Bethesda location of this casual hangout is opening its doors an hour early. Arrive between 10 and noon, and you can nosh on (free!) corned beef and cabbage. It’s featured on the menu all day along with Irish soda bread and Guinness-and-Newcastle stew. 

Want more St. Patty's fun? Here's what bars are doing to celebrate.