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DC Brunch Guide 2013
May 8, 2013 | 8:59AM

We love brunch. We love you. So herewith, a combination of that love: the BYT approved list of perennial favorites, bottomless brunches (drink up), cool menus, parent approved locations (Happy Almost Mother’s Day!), and more. Lets dig in (also-feel free to cross reference this with our OUTDOOR EATING/DRINKING Guide for maximum pleasure effect on your belly and overall sense of well being this Spring/Summer).

Best Drink Deals

  • MASA 14 and EL CENTRO DF - co-owned by the same team and sitting right next to each other on 14th street these two popular spots both offer $35 limitless all you can eat/all you can drink choices. At MASA 14 expect mimosas, lychee bellinis, Bloody Marys, bacon Bloody Marys, and lemon lager. At El Centro Micheladas, Bloody Marias, seasonal Aqua Fresca cocktails take center stage.
  • IRISH WHISKEY – pretty simple: with any $10 entree purchase, you get $1 bottle of champagne.
  • ROCK’N'ROLL HOTEL- every Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm, $13 bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, plus $3 tall boy PBRs if you’re NOT in the bottomless mimosas and bloody mary mood.
  • VERANDA – looking for a place in Logan Circle that is NOT always packed for brunch and with $13 bottomless mimosas? Well, you found it.
  • RED ROCKS – $10 bottomless mimosas, $6 bottomless bloody marys (which, yes, we know sounds almost too good to be true)

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  • DISTRICT COMMONS – $11 for bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, as long as you purchase an entree
  • WONDERLAND – $11 bottles of mimosas
  • VINOTECA - $15 bottomless Champagne cocktails, glass mimosas, bellinis or kir royale.
  • POSTE - $16 bottomless mimosas in a place that really doesn’t seem like it would serve anything bottomless (so-if you need to seem like you’re taking your Mother somewhere super nice but need to squeeze some serious drinks in without seeming suspicious, this would be our #1 picks of this round for a good Mother’s Day Brunch)
  • FIREFLY – Stop at this staple for $2 mimosas all brunch long. (Dreams coming true all over the place.)
  • AGORA – not in the mood for mimosas? $29.95 gets you both a prix-fixe meal AND limitless drinks (and not just brunch themed drinks, ALL DRINKS)
  • RIS - food is done tapas style, and the specialty mimosas come bottomless for $18 (think flavors like Rhubarb Ginger and Pomegranate Spice). Bonus: outdoor seating. (photo: Jeff Martin)

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Prixe Fixe

  • ARDEO+BARDEO – The Cleveland Park Ashok Bajaj mainstay offers a great $28 deal: two-course menu and bottomless mimosas or Champagne. (please note there may be some changes to this on Mother’s day specifically)
  • BOQUERIA - $39 gets you both unlimited tapas (hi nutella churros!) AND unlimited drinks. The only catch? The deal has to be ordered by the whole table.
  • FARMERS FISHERS BAKERS – $29.99 gets you access to a bevvy of buffet offerings including the Gardenenr’s table, Butcher’s table and Farmer’s table, plus fluffy biscuits and warm cinnamon rolls serves at every table, plus complimentary coffee and iced tea. Please note tho: Alcoholic drinks are not included.
  • CUBA LIBRE“Unlimited Piqueos” (small Cuban plates) such as one eyed ropa vieja hash or Tortilla de Huevos a la Cubana for $26 per person (much like at Boqueria-the deal has to be ordered by the whole table). BONUS:  Bottomless morning cocktails such as Cuban Mary (Bloody Mary), Classic Mimosa, Mimosa Rojo with Watermelon Juice, Lychee Mimosa, the Red or White Sangria, as well as the daily beer selection can be added  for another $14 per person
  • BOMBAY CLUB - $27.95 bottomless Champagne with Indian food buffet. Bonus: being transported to another place and time (namely the 1920s in the West Indies)
  • KENNEDY CENTER ROOF TERRACE – $39.95 gets you a drink plus unlimited access to house specialties such as prime rib, raw seafood bar, seasonal gourmet salads, as well as traditional breakfast foods, including made-to-order omelets and homemade scones, muffins, and danishes, all served in the chef’s impressive kitchen, as well as a whole separate dessert room.
  • SEQUOIA - $34.95 gets you access to a raw bar and brunch buffet, plus bottomless mimosas (Brunch is served ONLY on Sundays here)
  • MEDIUM RARE - a great overall value (and variety) where $23 gets you one brunch entree and unlimited Bloody Marys, screw drivers, or mimosas

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Seasonal specials / New to the Game Options

  • AMBAR – Those looking for something new AND different can now check out Ambar’s unlimited weekend brunch for $35/person. (Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4.) For a touch of Balkan culture, try some classics with a twist like the Eggs Benedict with Ajvar, prosciutto and Kajmak sauce or the Cinnamon Sweet Sourdough with a choice of Nutella or homemade jam.
  • MARI VANNA - the new Russian spot on Connecticut Ave offers a menu of such Eastern European comfort favorites as Borsht, Blinis and every pickled vegetable known to man. Bonus: THE PLACE IS EXTREMELY ADORABLE and there are LIMITLESS mimosas for ladies and LIMITLESS ice cream for kids. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)
  • -1GBD – fried chicken and donuts. And while they still call it a “BREAKFAST” the presence of a full bar and the fact that it is served 10am to 2pm on a weekend is making us consider this a brunch and there is NOTHING anyone can do about it.
  • TABLE – If ever there was a new brunch we were excited about, it’d be Table’s. Frederik de Pue’s new restaurant kicks off brunch with a $34 prix fixe including French pastries for the table, a starter course–smoked salmon with crème fraîche, capers and brioche or some warm duck salad, anyone?– and a delectable list of main dishes like buckwheat crepes with caramelized pears walnuts, goat cheese and truffle honey, glazed short ribs and eggs, and grilled catfish. Sign. Us. Up. BONUS: There is a new rooftop there that just opened too.

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  • DGS DELICATESSEN – DGS (your new favorite deli) has some delectable spring brunch specials like poached eggs with local ramps and asparagus, crispy pastrami and hollandaise. They’re also new-to-the-game in general so stop by and check ‘em out (their happy hour isn’t bad either).
  • SIXTH ENGINE – When you’re not busy chowing down on their The Duck Confit Scrapple, check out their new seasonal drinks. We could go for the  Sandia Spritzer right about now with Pinot Grigio, watermelon, Cocchi Rose, Aperol, lemon juice and fizz. Mmmmmmm spring…
  • JACK ROSE – your favorite whiskey library, cigar perch, + general excellent hangout spot now has a brunch menu. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

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Mother’s Day / Impress Your Family Approved

  • SEASONS (AT THE FOUR SEASONS) – One of my favorite memories ever, was waking up somewhat early on New Year’s Day this year, grabbing a group of my favorite dude friends and heading to the all you can eat brunch buffet at the Four Seasons.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not your average buffet — with everything from Jamaican Jerk Quail with Curry Mango Chutney to Grilled Lamb Chops with Pistachio Mint Pesto this is definitely a “TREAT YO’SELF” kind of meal.  The best part? A jovial omelet chef who’ll make your eggs any way you want ‘em and the never ending exceptional service (especially when it comes to refilling your Mimosa glass).
  • BLUE DUCK TAVERN – the Mother’s Day brunch is a $95 prix fixe but the menu does look spectacular (duck confit hash with fried egg, green peas, chanterelles, and romaine hearts, anyone?), and Blue Duck still serves some of the finest desserts in town. Moms love desserts. Easy walking distance to Georgetown for after brunch shopping is an added bonus.

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  • RASIKA / RASIKA WEST END – In our opinion, Rasika and Rasika West End are always on top of our dinner-with-parents reservations list, SO it only makes sense that taking them here for brunch would do wonders for your “favorite offspring” cred. For Mother’s Day $45 gets you a three course meal, with items like spiced lamb minced with poached eggs and straw potatoes and sweet yogurt, and date tamarind chutney, spiced potato patties with chickpeas already having us water at the mouth.
  • BIRCH & BARLEY - Kyle Bailey’s dishes are what classy yet comforting brunch dreams are made of (house brined hash with duck eggs, kale caesar salads and more) but Tiffany MacIsaac’s pastries are absolutely worth blowing all your and your Mother’s diet resolutions on: the warm brioche sticky buns (see photo by Jeff Martin below) with brown sugar caramel, pecans and cream cheese are in particular to die for.

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  • JALEO, ZAYTINYA or OYAMEL – Parents love Jose Andres, and that is a stone cold fact. Whether they’re in the mood for Spanish, Mexican or Mediterannean small plates, any of these three will do a great job. Plus-the cocktail programs are outstanding. (photo: Greg Powers & Audrey Crewe for Oyamel)

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  • BIBIANA – for Mother’s day enjoy their wonderful Italian dishes at $45 per person.
  • MINTWOOD – Mintwood is just that perfect combination of classy-yet-casual-enough AND very delicious that the parents respond to very well. They recently took the sunchoke soup off the brunch menu, but the rest of the menu is still top notch.
  • TABARD INN – you don’t really need us to explain why parents love Tabard, right?

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In The Mood for Something Different

  • PING PONG DIM SUM - $25 unlimited dim sum, $15 bottomless mimosas, served ALL DAY (11am – 10pm) on Sundays
  • THE MANSION ON O STREET – “over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors to explore”, plus $65 per person  ($85 on Mother’s day) gets you an unlimited brunch buffet and champagne and afterwards you can embark on a self guided tour or one of their many treasure hunts.
  • ANGLER’S INN – plan yourself a day of hiking at the Great Falls park and then squeeze a meal in at the restaurant where the Kennedys used to party in tiny, leopard carpeted rooms. Regularly, the meal is $28 for two courses, but for Mother’s day they are doing a $75 three course prix-fixe.
  • PERRY’S - you know the drill-buffet, drag queens, and more. A brunch everyone should experience at least once.
  • L’Enfant’s LA BOUM - happening sporadically (next one is on May 27th!) this party involves being locked inside L’enfant for 3 hours to eat, drink, dance and pretend like the outside world does not exist. Read our full review of the experience here (photo by Kimberly Cadena)

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  • ODYSSEY CRUISES – set sail for your most important meal of the weekend. For Mother’s day it will set you back $79.90 for adults for a brunch buffet.
  • SAX - bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, plus burlesque performances every 10 minutes.
  • THE HAMILTON - every Sunday, there are 2 seatings for their Gospel Brunch at their downstairs live venue, at 10am and 12:30pm. The meal is a buffet, the price is $30, and it sells out. There is a regular brunch served upstairs too.
  • MANDU – Head to both Dupont or K Street for a Korean take on American brunch classics, like Gim Bap (rice, egg and vegetables wrapped in seaweed in sliced), Korean omelets made with thin layers of egg fried and stuffed with diced vegetables, or Bu Chu Jeon, which is a Korean pancake made with chives and zucchini.
  • TAAN – Ramen Brunch, which comes at a very reasonable $15 prix fixe, and includes ramen of your choice, a terrific little pickle plate (and we know, everyone loves a pickle) and a little potato salad/lettuce taco that you’ll wish was way bigger because it is that delicious ! PLUS: $5 Bloody Marys! Super solid beet ramen vegetarian option.

BYT Forever Favorites

Svetlana’s Picks:

  • CASHION’S – One of the classiest brunches around. Not cheap per se but a great value through sheer serenity and relaxation. I recommend sitting at the bar, ordering an aperol spritzer (or 3) and digging into the hash.
  • 2 AMYS – the pro tip when it comes to brunching at 2Amys is to show up right at noon, walk past the family masses vying for the main dining room and park yourself in the bar area. Order pizza yes, but also order the insane burrata, the egg and anchovy salad and indulge in their very fine beers.
  • CORK - I love CORK any time of the day but I may actually like it a little more for brunch. Here are a few reasons why: they serve you these tiny cinnamon buns in hot little skillets that are the single tastiest, richest thing you’ll put in your mouth before noon. The avocado toast is still on the menu in the morning. There are mimosa flights. EVERYTHING IS DELICIOUS and somehow, even if you over-order, it turns out not to be that pricy.

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  • THE DINER- My #1 brunch problem is that I have no clue whether I want something sweet or savory and so I often order 2 entrees (#noshame). I love the Diner Breakfast Royale because for $12.95 it completely eliminates this stress from my life: pick the way you want your eggs (sunny side up), what meat you want (sausagesssssssss), french toast or pancakes (pancakes), potatos or grits (grits, with extra butter on the side), and what type of toast you want (wheat, with some more extra butter on the side) and you’re all set.
  • THE SOURCE – the dim sum brunch is one of the best deals and finest meals in town (and I love it so much I don’t even care that sentence cheesily rhymed). $30 gets you 5 dishes, and $40 gets you 8 (which is plenty for two people, trust me) and you can read our full review/fawning adoration of it right here. In addition to fantastic dim sum, they also have four different kinds of Bloody Marys such as the District Mary with a housemade half-smoke garnish, the Chesapeake Mary with crab garnish, my favorite, the spicy Shanghai Mary with pickled Szechuan chili and the Classic Mary with an Old Bay rim

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Shauna’s Picks:

  • NAPOLEON BISTRO - Located close to everything, Napoleon is not just a dirty dancing stomping ground. In fact, it’s a beautiful tucked away oasis of brunch heaven on the weekend, especially if the weather is right and you can get one of their patio spots (people watching over eggs? yes please!). The food is divine, specializing in french influences on classic American breakfast options (try the any of the savory crepes, apple beignets , the Bison Sausage with Eggs and a Blood Orange Mimosa — yum!).  The best part however is the incredible selection of coffees, espressos, teas and lattes they have at their disposal.  Definitely an old favorite and just far enough off the AdMo strip to not make me want to roll my eyes at Frat boys.

  • 1905 - Another rooftop staple with an amazing selection of breakfast goods, 1905 is like the classier older brother of Red Derby. Go here on a morning-after date (only if you like the person enough) or go because the view and food are both impeccable. Bottomless alcoholic breakfast drinks will run you a cheap $15. Plus the Truffled Grits and Pork Belly are literally the breakfast foods of dreams.

  • RED DERBY – No frills and no fuss! Red Derby is the exact place you want to brunch if you have the hangover from hell.  The options are basic, but delicious and most definitely the cheapest of any recommendation on this list.  Get their a little bit earlier than your fellow party comrades and you could score yourself a most excellent rooftop view.  Plus every entree is served with Tater Tots, which makes this place a forever winner in my book.

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Stephanie’s Picks:

  • GRANVILLE MOORE’S – I’m a sucker for a perfect breakfast sandwich and Granville’s struck gold with The Good Doctor–scrambled eggs, choice of house made pork or veggie sausage, smoked salmon or applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, chipotle mayo on potato kaiser roll served with home-frites. It is, essentially, everything you could ever want and then some, piled high and just waiting to cure your hunger/hangover. (ProTip: order their housemade sausage and get a side of truffle aioli for those homefries; you won’t regret it.) Plus, the whole restaurant is fairly low-lit so if you are indeed nursing a hangover, this is fairly ideal all around.
  • BRIXTON – On the very rare occasion I’m craving something sweet for brunch, I’m all about Brixton’s Sticky Toffee French Toast. It’s sweet and creamy, topped with even more toffee sauce and a variety of toasted nuts. It’s salty, it’s sweet, it’s textured and it’s filling, all somehow without being too rich. Plus, if you’re looking for ambiance, Brixton’s clearly got it. The ground floor feels like a British pub, the second floor a hunting lodge, and the roof deck is fantastic.
  • BOUNDARY STONE – An oldie but a goodie, Boundary Stone is one of my favorite spots for unpretentious weekend relaxing with friends (but not too many friends; the space is intimate, remember). They’ve got bottomless drinks for cheap and multiple fun takes on the Bloody Mary, plus or minus their full menu at any given point of the day. So if you’re not into the chorizo, egg and cheese sandwich (again with the breakfast sandwiches), their burgers are melt-in-your-mouth good and they’ve got an ever-changing board of specials. (Plus, you know, their beer selection isn’t too shabby either.)

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Sepie’s Veg-Friendly Picks:

Being vegetarian or vegan in D.C. can certainly be challenging at times. Brunch is overwhelmingly meat-dominated so expect even more slim pickings. Here are a few go-to spots should you opt for the meat-free route:

  • BUSBOYS & POETS - Arguably one of the more vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants in the District. This is a great brunch destination that will appease all parties. I typically will spring at any opportunity for a breakfast burrito whether it’s a tofu or egg-based. Busboy and Poets’ Egg Wrap and Vegan Egg Wrap are no exception here. If you’re looking to get your hollandaise on, the Florentine Benedict is a great vegetarian dish. Keep an eye out for the home fries as a side — they’re epic. 
  • MERIDIAN PINT - Chances are you were here the previous evening and nursing a hangover. I cannot think of a better way to shrug off that headache than to revisit the scene of the crime and grab a great, local beer (enter: hair of the dog) and comparably awesome meal. I am a huge fan of the Curried Tofu Scramble and more often than not, I might just opt to skip the breakfast portion and hop on over to the lunch — after all, “-unch” is in the word “brunch”. When I audible with this maneuver, I spring for the Homemade Lentil-Barley Burger with Sweet Potato Wedges.
  • DOS GRINGOS - Continuing with the theme of breakfast burritos, the clear choice here is the Scrambled Tofu and Plantain. To make a “total fat kid move”, slap on an extra side of plantains. If you’re in Mt. Pleasant and want a more laid back approach to brunch, come here!
  • TORTILLA CAFE - While they do not boast very much in the way of vegan options, Tortilla Cafe in Eastern Market can certainly accommodate vegetarians. The Breakfast Burrito and Eggs Rancheros are the right call here. This Salvadorian/Mexican hole in the wall prominently plays (on repeat) their cameo in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives — so there’s that too. PS – they’re Horchata is AH-MAY-ZING.
  • FOUNDING FARMERS - Founding Farmers in Foggy Bottom is a more traditional DC brunch spot (i.e. requires a reservation or hour long waits). While I do not have much of a sweet tooth, I always order the Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream. Think of this dish as more of a dessert for breakfast meal than anything else. If you’re not feeling 100%, this might just be what you need to get you there.

Feel free to tell us your favorites in the comments.

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  • Angela says:

    Daikaya started Sunday brunch a few months ago – the french toast and chicken and waffles are great, and surprisingly filling. Also, they have great cocktails

  • Daniel says:

    Piola shoul dbe on this list. Best variety of drinks, $30 all you can eat pizza and all you can drink drinks (not just mimosas). Just plain amazing!

  • cheapjapanzdckjoqs says:
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  • Anonymous says:

    So many detail-oriented haters in this comment section. Is this yelp or something? Go enjoy a brunch for chrissake.

  • Anonymous says:

    L’Enfant’s La Boum brunch happens EVERY Saturday, not sporadically. It’s just hard to get a reservation. They are booked out 2-3 months already.

  • Anonymous says:

    Vinoteca up’ed their prices to $15 for bottomless.

  • Kevin says:

    “Boundary Stone – An oldie but a goodie”

    Lol, that place has been open for like a year and a half.

  • Jeff says:

    Wonderland has $11 bottles of mimosa. It doesn’t have bottomless mimosas.