Northern Virginia Area Pubs Perfect for a Cozy and Tasty Meal

Updated on January 25, 2024 by Julie McCool

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 when the weather turns cold.

Whether the source is Irish or English, pubs in Northern VA are sure to offer rich stews and casseroles, and our favorite, fish and chips. Local taverns and inns also deliver a cozy pub vibe. Happily, many Virginia pubs have patios that make them a great option for outdoor dining on warmer days.

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Northern Virginia Area Pubs

Below are some of the best pubs in Northern Virginia where you can enjoy a meal and a pint. We have eaten at many of these NoVA pubs while others were recommended by our readers. You'll find even more Irish Pubs in our guide to St Patrick's Day Celebrations in Northern Virginia.

The Old Brogue, Great Falls

Patio fireplace at The Old Brogue in Great Falls VA
Patio fireplace at The Old Brogue in Great Falls VA

We frequent The Old Brogue when cold winter nights call for a steaming bowl of Guinness Beef Pie. Then we return when warm spring and summer days prompt a pint on the patio. The enclosed patio out back has two stoves so it's even welcoming in cooler months. 

The Brogue is our favorite stop close to Great Falls Park and Riverbend Park, perfect for a post-hike meal. Or skip the hike and arrive via a scenic drive on Great Falls Country Roads.

Irish Beef Pie at The Old Brogue in Great Falls VA
Irish Beef Pie at The Old Brogue in Great Falls VA

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, stop in Katie's Coffee Shop next door.

Check out our guide to 25 Tasty Options for Northern Virginia Outdoor Dining for more nice patios.

The Auld Shebeen, Fairfax

Enjoy Irish food and music at The Auld Shebeen in Fairfax Virginia
The Auld Shebeen, Fairfax VA

Located in Old Town Fairfax, The Auld Shebeen offers traditional dishes in a nice Irish Pub setting. Ask for a table in the cozy front seating area, or grab a stool at the long bar. We've enjoyed the Burdock's Fish and Chips and the St. James Gate Beef Stew, along with a pint, of course.

The Auld Shebeen bar
The Auld Shebeen Bar

The restaurant gets very busy (and a little loud) on the weekends when Irish trad music is on offer. But it's a fun vibe if you're ready to clap along. Monday nights are a great time to visit when traditional Irish specials are only $9.95.

Hawk and Griffin British Pub, Vienna

Hawk and Griffin British pub in Vienna Virginia
Hawk and Griffin, Vienna VA

A newer player among Northern Virginia area pubs, Hawk and Griffin occupies a convenient spot on Maple Street in downtown Vienna. Here diners will find a welcoming interior with tables, booths, a bar, and two snugs plus an outdoor patio.

The Hawk and Griffin offers all the traditional British pub favorites, from Scotch Eggs to Steak and Stout Pie. They also have a full bar with an impressive Gin & Tonic selection.

Hawk and Griffin pub fish and chips in Vienna Virginia
Hawk and Griffin Fish and Chips

Co-owner Michael Burgess owns the nearby Pure Pasty Shop, and you'll find his award-winning hand pies on the menu. We highly recommend the Fish and Chips, some of the best we've found in Northern Virginia area pubs.

Hunter's Head Tavern, Upperville, Virginia

Hunters Head Tavern Outdoor Dining in Upperville Virginia
Hunters Head Tavern Patio

Another English Pub we love is Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville Virginia. The tavern is a tasty stop on a scenic drive through Loudoun County or after a hike at Sky Meadows State Park. The new Sweet Run State Park is also a short drive away.

The Hunter's Head pub menu is sourced with organic local farm meats and produce harvested from neighboring Ayrshire Farm, which shares the same owner.

Hunters Head Tavern fish and chips
Hunters Head Tavern Fish and Chips

The food is fresh and delicious, whether you stick to traditional fish and chips or focus on salads and vegetables. In winter, try to score a table by the fireplace. In summer, we recommend a spot in the lovely courtyard patio. Visit the Tavern on a Hunt Country scenic drive.

O'Connell's, Alexandria

Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant and Bar occupies a prime spot near the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. The historic building was built in the 1800s by Colonel Fitzgerald from County Wicklow, Ireland. Today, antiques from throughout Ireland decorate the building and welcome guests.

Christmas decorations at Daniel O'Connells Irish Pub and Restaurant in Alexandria VA
Daniel OConnells, Alexandria

Traditional Irish specials like Bangers and Mash and Lamb Stew share the menu with burgers, sandwiches, and soups. O'Connell's also hosts a popular weekend brunch. During the holiday season, the pub's festive decorations help make Alexandria one of the prettiest Christmas towns in Northern VA.

Murphy's Grand Irish Pub, Alexandria

Head further up King Street to enjoy a meal at Murphy's Grand Irish Pub, another great option in Old Town Alexandria. The pub has been serving all the delicious Irish specials you crave since 1978. And in 2019, Murphy's owners started their own oyster farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Ireland's Four Provinces, Falls Church

With a warm Irish welcome and a tasty menu, Ireland's Four Provinces, aka the 4P's, has built a loyal following. Warm up with Irish Coffee, a great selection of Irish Whiskey, and their delicious Bread Pudding. The 4P's also offer a popular weekend brunch and have bands on weekends and trad music on Tuesdays.

Ireland's Four Courts, Arlington

Arlington's popular pub, Ireland's Four Courts, reopened in 2023 after a year-long recovery from an accident and fire. Loyal fans are happy to have this classic Irish pub back in the mix. Menu updates and event details are coming back, and the pub is once again a go-to for NoVA locals.

Dark Horse Irish Pub, Flint Hill, Virginia

The former Griffin Tavern changed ownership and is now the Dark Horse Irish Pub. The new owners promise the same tasty pub food and beautiful setting.

Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill Virginia is a wonderful British Pub near Shenandoah National Park
Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill Virginia

The tavern in Flint Hill has been one of our favorite places to stop after a day trip to Shenandoah National Park for years. We've dropped in for a quick pint on the porch and returned for a casual burger and fries on the deck. The friendly atmosphere, lovely porch and deck area, and beautiful dining room are all comfortable places to dine.

Favorite dishes like fish and chips and Shepard's Pie are worth the drive as well. And a lovely drive it is. We highly recommend a scenic route through Flint Hill when you are heading to Shenandoah from the DC area. You'll find details of our route in our Shenandoah National Park Day Trip Planner.

More Taverns and Pubs in Northern VA

Here are more NoVA restaurants with a great pub feel. These taverns and pubs were recommended by readers and followers of the Fun in Fairfax VA Facebook Page.

Bonus: Galway Bay Irish Pub, Annapolis, Maryland

Back room at Galway Bay Annapolis
Dining at Galway Bay, Annapolis

If you're ready for a drive, there are some lovely pubs in Annapolis, Maryland's historic downtown. 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!

Looking at all of these pictures has made us hungry! Fortunately, there are many wonderful Northern Virginia area pubs so we won't be getting bored with our fish and chips options anytime soon.

Check out these articles for more great places to eat in Northern Virginia:

Happy dining!

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Northern Virginia Area Pubs perfect for a cozy and tasty meal near Washington DC.
Northern Virginia Area Pubs