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These tasty Northern Virginia area pubs serve up rich, traditional meals that are especially welcome on a chilly day. We love to relax with a pint of Smithwicks or Guinness year round, but pubs are especially cozy in winter. Whether the source is Irish or English, they are sure to offer rich stews and casseroles, and our favorite, fish and chips.
Northern Virginia Area Pubs
Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the Northern Virginia area pubs where we’ve enjoyed a meal and a pint. Happily, there are many more on our list to try (please leave your suggestions in the comments below).
Fiona’s Irish Pub, Alexandria, Virginia
Galway Bay Irish Pub, Annapolis, Maryland
There are some lovely pubs in Annapolis, Maryland, and we highly recommend a stop at Galway Bay for Irish standards, delicious seafood, and a taste of their imported Irish Egg Nog. The restaurant’s cozy, brick interior offers comfortable seating areas and a nice long bar. We especially love the decor in the back room. On our last visit we over-indulged on Crab and Oysters Chesapeake, a filling combination of crabcake and fried oysters with chips. In winter, be sure to try the handcrafted, custom-made Irish eggnog “from the rich pastures of County Cavan near Dublin.” So delicious! Visit Galway Bay’s website for special events and menus.
Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, Virginia
Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill is one of our favorite places to stop after a day trip to Shenandoah National Park. We’ve stopped by for a pint and some chips, and returned for a meal on the deck. The friendly atmosphere, lovely porch and deck area, and beautiful dining room are all comfortable places to dine at this English Pub. They have excellent reviews on Yelp which suggest that some of our favorites, like fish and chips and Shepard’s Pie are worth the drive. And a lovely drive it is. We highly recommend this scenic route through Flint Hill when you are heading to Shenandoah. Visit Griffin Tavern’s website for special events and menus.
Hunter’s Head Tavern, Upperville, Virginia
Hunter’s Head Tavern is another English Pub that we love to visit on a scenic drive through Loudoun County or after a hike at Sky Meadows State Park. The pub’s menu is sourced with organic local farm meats and produce harvested from neighboring Ayrshire Farm (which shares the same owner), so the food is fresh and delicious. We love their fish and chips and fresh salads and veggies. In winter, try to score a table by the fireplace. In summer, we recommend a spot in the lovely courtyard patio. Visit Hunter’s Head Tavern’s website for special events and menus.
The Auld Shebeen, Fairfax
The Old Brogue, Great Falls
We frequent The Old Brogue when cold winter nights call for a steaming bowl of Guinness Beef Pie, or warm spring days prompt a pint on the patio. The enclosed patio out back has two stoves so it’s even welcoming in cooler months. It’s our favorite stop after a hike at Great Falls or Riverbend Park. The Brogue’s fish and chips are delicious, and we’re also fond of the Irish Beef Pie, the Irish Banger Rolls appetizer, and the salmon salad (especially in summer). The pub’s bar is small, but the main room has plenty of booths and tables to host the crowds. If you’re in the area for breakfast, we recommend a visit to Katie’s Coffee Shop next door. Visit The Old Brogue’s website for special events and menus.
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This article was published in 2016 and updated in 2018.