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Duffy’s stands out among DC’s myriad of Irish pubs. Nestled between two row houses on Vermont Avenue right across the street from the 9:30 Club, this dive bar “feels more like a friend’s tricked-out garage than an insta-pub,” according to Playboy. The game room boasts a flat-screen TV, dartboards, Buck Hunter, pool tables, and foosball. The decor: Irish maps and beer logo–adorned mirrors.
Thirty-five bucks at Duffy’s goes a long way, especially when you’re getting it for only $15. The drinks are cheap, meaning the one Groupon per table you’re allowed will cover a reasonable tab. Duffy’s happy hour was selected the Best DC Happy Hour by Playboy’s Nightlife Guide and runner-up for the City Paper’s Best of DC. Think $2 domestic cans and half-priced drafts weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturday nights, Duffy’s offers the same specials during a late-night happy hour from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Check out the daily specials for a full list of the different drink and grub discounts featured every day of the week. If you use your Groupon during happy hour, you may want to bring a couple friends along to help you finish $35 of happy-hour-discounted booze—unless you’re planning on playing Groupon Roxanne, the drinking game where everyone has to drink a Groupon’s worth of Duffy’s drinks every time Sting says Roxanne in “Roxanne.”
Duffy’s offers more than just drinks. The place fries up premier bar cuisine, too. Try the fish and chips, Duffy’s guacamole-topped nachos, or any other munchie-satisfying item on the menu. The food is so tasty, City Paper readers have granted it the title of the Best Wings of DC two years in a row (2008 and 2009). And though it’s not on the menu, if you are persistent enough, Duffy’s will serve you its specialty Irish delicacy: clover tempura. So grab your Groupon and treat your crew to a great night of spirits and classic pub fun.
Don’t take our word for it. Duffy’s has plenty of feathers in its cap from media and user reviews. Not only has it earned the previously mentioned Best of DC Awards, the place is also a Washington Post Editors’ Pick: > * Perfectly positioned to be the place you meet your friends before heading over for a show at the 9:30… This is really a case where you’ve nothing to lose, and the neighborhood has everything to gain. – Fritz Hahn, Washington Post
From user reviews, Duffy’s has earned five stars on Insider Pages, 4.5 stars on MenuPages, and 3.5 stars on Yelp. > * I must say that for a dive bar, Duffy’s is pretty darn nice! It’s a surprisingly spacious bar, low-key with a friendly staff that seems to have a great sense of humor! – elsa K., Yelp > * Duffy’s Irish Restaurant & Pub features a very creative menu with Irish standards like Shepards Pie, Fish & Chips and Corned Beef & Cabbage, plus the very creative Irish Burrito. Really worth stopping by. Try Duffy’s once and you’ll become a regular. – Eli B., Insider Pages > * ENORMOUS portions of batter-dipped fish, fresh cut fries fried properly, and a nice pint. Delicious. – monkeyrotica, MenuPages
Certificate of Irish Authenticity
With Irish pubs seemingly popping up left and right (there are currently 6.9 Irish pubs per citizen), it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Ireland to inspect each pub and authenticate its Irishness. The process is tedious: authentic Irish people are shipped across the Atlantic on an Irish ferry, after which they endure a grueling one-month pub inspection class before inspecting an Irish pub using the following criteria:
- Can happy hour be happier? Or worse, is happy hour too happy?
- Does the bartender properly pour Guinness by allowing it to cascade off his bare chest into the glass?
- Are the tables and chairs made with Irish oak trees that were cut down with Irish machetes?
Many inauthentic Irish pubs fail this intensive certification, but Duffy’s Irish Restaurant & Pub easily passed, thanks to its tasty food, bevy of beer options, and a happy hour that has just the right amount of happiness.
Duffy's Irish Restaurant & Pub
In lieu of buns, Duffy's Irish Restaurant & Pub's Monster Burger earns its name by piling bacon, grilled onions, and a half-pound burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The Washington Post profiled the beastly eat and its “calories-be-damned goodness” in its This Thing You Should Try series. Those with tamer appetites assemble less daunting burgers with a beef or homemade black bean patty served on a white or whole grain Kaiser roll. Along with burgers, Duffy's culinary team crafts casual dishes such as mushrooms fried in peanut oil, vegan pasta tossed with homemade tomato sauce, and seven wing varieties voted the city's best in 2012 by readers of Washington City Paper.
Along with the menu of daily grub, Duffy's staff supplies discounted drinks and quesadillas at weekday happy hours and hosts brain-teasing pub trivia challenges every Wednesday night. 12 flat-screen TVs throughout the bar stay tuned to the latest Florida Gators and Green Bay Packers games, a more thrilling alternative to watching looped footage of an actual gator attacking a defenseless cheese wheel. In addition to front of the house entertainment, Duffy's accommodates private soirees with a back room equipped with more flat-screens, skeeball, darts, and an internet jukebox.
U Street - Cardozo
2106 Vermont Ave Nw
Washington, District of Columbia 20001Get Directions