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We love to relax with a pint of Smithwicks or Guinness year round, but these tasty Northern Virginia area pubs serve up rich, traditional meals that are especially welcome on a chilly day. Whether the source is Irish or English, they are sure to offer rich stews and casseroles, and our favorite, fish and chips.
Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the Northern Virginia area pubs we’ve enjoyed recently. Happily, there are many more on our list to try.
Fiona’s Irish Pub, Alexandria, Virginia
Galway Bay Irish Pub, Annapolis, Maryland
Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, Virginia
First, we have to confess that we have only stopped at Griffin Tavern for a pint and some chips, but we are planning to return for a proper meal soon. The friendly atmosphere, lovely porch and deck area, and beautiful dining room definitely made us want 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 at a more relaxed pace.
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.
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. 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 Stew, 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.
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