Celebrating Everyone’s Irish Heritage In and Near Georgetown 

It’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day, “Everyone is a little Irish.” True or not, Georgetown is a great place to celebrate the Emerald Isle’s food, drink and conviviality.

Martin’s Tavern —  There may be no more festive place to honor the Irish than in this iconic pub. Four generations of the Martin family have been hosting all-day celebrations for decades. Its current proud owner Billy Martin revels in the “joyful, unique atmosphere” of the morning-to-nighttime festivities. He decorates to the max and urges everyone to try the Irish lamb stew that is a family specialty.

The party starts at breakfast with bangers and mash or shad roe with scrambled eggs. Guinness flows. Folks wear “ugly” green sweaters, sport green hats and tell Irish jokes. Later, in the day, a bagpiper drowns out the buzz with a mournful wail. Local celebrities rub elbows with visitors. Indeed, Martin recalls famed Washington Post editor Ben Bradley complaining about the bagpipe’s noise. Reservations are recommended. On Friday and over the weekend, festivities continue with a hangover brunch.

The Dupont Circle Hotel — The Irish family-owned Doyle Collection, brings contemporary Ireland to Washington, D.C. for a month-long celebration of its heritage. The buzzy bar-lounge features oysters paired with Guinness. An iconic pairing, general manager Mark Payne explains, because the beer is “malty and subtly sweet, and the cream (almost like ice cream) compliments the brininess” of the bivalves. Specialty cocktails, in this popular gathering spot, showcase Irish whiskey and Guinness. There’s also tableside Irish coffee service.

The hotel’s Pembroke bistro offers a tasty dinner menu that features beef short ribs braised for hours in Guinness with farm-fresh vegetables. Payne remembers the dish from his Irish childhood. The wine pairings for this special menu come from so-called “wine geese” vineyards run by Irish ex-pats. Hearty classics, like black and white puddings imported from Cork, are featured at breakfast and brunch.

1310 Kitchen & Bar  Start the day with a healthy “green” breakfast at this lively Wisconsin Avenue bistro inside the Georgetown Inn. Choices range from a spinach and avocado eggs benedict, to a “super green” breakfast bowl or smoothie. Later in the day, feast on Mulligan beef stew and soda bread or bangers and mash, capped with a Guinness ice-cream float that comes with Jameson buttercream-topped Guinness cake. Specialty cocktails, whiskey and beer enhance the celebration.

Clyde’s — Conviviality also reigns at this Georgetown landmark, with classics like corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread on the menu. There’ll be plenty of beer, plus a bagpiper presiding over the festivities from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Tombs — Double Irish (Irish whisky and Irish cream) along with green beer (for the younger set) will fuel the action at this ever-popular Georgetown rathskeller next to the Georgetown University campus.


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