We love brunch. You love brunch. We love you. We present a combination of those loves: The BYT-approved D.C. brunch list of perennial favorites, bottomless options (drink up!), cool menus, parent-approved locations (Happy Mother’s Day! Coming May 12, 2019), and more. Let’s dig in! (Feel free to cross-reference this guide with our OUTDOOR EATING/DRINKING guide for maximum pleasure for your belly and an overall sense of well-being this spring/summer.)
IMPORTANT LINKS TO PERUSE BEFORE DIGGING IN TOO:
- BYT & RAMMYS Brunch Passport – Vote for best brunches in DC and win tickets to the RAMMYs.
- BEST BREAKFASTS IN DC – Because sometimes you’re in the mood for BREAKFAST, NOT BRUNCH.
- Check out our FOOD SECTION for general food news and hot tips.
Let’s dive right in.
Bold and italicized updated for 2019
For those morning where you need a little extra hair of the dog.
Bar Charley – There’s nothing quite like bottomless brunch on a Monday. Every Saturday and Sunday – or Mondays when the government is closed – Bar Charley hosts it’s “famous” brunch, as described by its website. Going bottomless for $24.99 will get you unlimited bloodies, mimosas, and “gansett tallboys” PLUS an entree on the menu. Stick with a classic hangover burger on the side of a Narragansett or mix it up with leek and blue cheese or bacon and onion quiche. Don’t forget to snag an order of Charley’s signature cinnamon roll with a vanilla bourbon glaze before they sell out for the day! -C.P.
Bar Pilar – Check out the always delicious Bar Pilar with $15 bottomless specialty cocktails (with $1 for each additional cocktail). Their food menu changes fairly often but we promise, you can’t go wrong with any of it. -S.L.
Beuchert’s Saloon – With all this gorgeous spring weather we can’t help but turn our taste buds toward the freshest ingredients possible. Fortunately for us, Beuchert’s brunch sources nearly all produce (as well as meat and some dairy) from its own family farm in Maryland; trust us, we’ve been there ourselves. Stop by for bottomless mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, then order some delectable dishes like the chicken and waffles (with crispy fried chicken breast, pecan butter, maple syrup, bacon jam) or the Breakfast Sammie (with roasted pork, cheddar, fried egg and latkes). We might just see you there. -S.L.
Bistro Cacao – Picture yourself on a beautiful Capitol Hill row house patio, drinking mimosas that still bubble minutes after they are poured into your champagne flute. Bistro Cacao’s weekend brunch is one of the best ways to keep your brunch bougie and budget friendly. Their bottomless deal is only $10 for unlimited mimosas made from quality champagne. And if you’re lucky, they’ll leave a carafe on the table. You can’t go wrong with a seat inside Bistro Cacao’s gorgeous interior bedecked with French antiques and tables surrounded by red curtains that you have the option to close for added privacy or shenanigans. Or if the weather is right, opt for a seat out front and watch the happenings of Massachusetts Avenue while you drink a glass of mimosa that never seems to end. -C.P.
Commissary – A Logan’s Circle favorite, this is a great brunch date spot. For $55, you can get two coffees, two breakfast entrees, and a pitcher of Bloody Marys or Mimosas. They also have some great vegetarian options, such as potato pancakes, or gluten free pancakes. If the Monday blues has got you down, head over to Commissary for $15 Bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas from 8 a.m. to p.m. -J.H.
Declaration – Declaration has two locations, one in Shaw and one in Nats Park. Their menus are not exactly the same, but they have the same brunch highlights. First: brunchtime pizza. I’m a big fan of their margherita pizza, available at both locations. It’s simple but delicious, with melted cheese, a bright, sweet and savory tomato sauce, and lots of fresh basil. The Nats Park location also has brunch-themed pizzas like the truffle eggs pizza, with eggs, mushrooms and goat cheese. The second brunch highlight on their menus is their sweet dishes. In the Shaw location, there are pumpkin donuts with caramel sauce and calvados pancakes, while the Nats Park venue has French toast bites, lemon pancakes and freshly baked biscuits with jam. Start with a pizza and move on to the pancakes – its brunchtime carb heaven like you wouldn’t believe. -P.K.
Dino’s Grotto – Head over to Dino’s Grotto on Sundays to enjoy a two-course meal with bottomless drinks included for only $29. Start with an antipasti like burrata or lobster deviled eggs then move over to the second course with offerings like a breakfast bread pudding or duck bolognese with spinach and ricotta cannelloni. If you’re looking to stay on the healthy side of brunch, opt for raab sprouts or ceviche to start and round out the meal with a grilled veggie frittata. And don’t forget the bottomless mimosas, local white peach bellinis, and spicy bloody marys that are included in the price. Now that’s something to cheers to. -C.P.
District Commons – Go for the $16 dollars for bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, (as long as you purchase an entree) and stay for the local salami and American ham board.
Due South – This Navy Yard southern spot does a bustling brunch. They’re so popular they’ve even opened up a spot down the boardwalk, closer to Nats Park called Due South Dockside to capitalize on the pre-and post-ballgame crowd. Hopefully the second location will help crowds get a table easier on Sundays because you will not find a better biscuit in town. This is not the time for that virtuous, healthy brunch. Get your grits on with a menu that offers hot honey fried chicken as a brunch “snack.” There’s no better way to cool off from the hot chicken than Due South’s signature frose (frozen rose). If frosty Millenial pink drinks aren’t your bag, they also do a very reasonable $16 bottomless mimosa and a Bloody Mary with pickled okra. Sounds like true southern comfort. -D.M.
Duke’s Grocery – As far as Dupont Circle’s brunch scene goes, Duke’s Grocery is a classic. Their brunchie burger is a work of art in itself – and tastes like one as well. If you’ve never experienced the wonders of a traditional English breakfast with rashers and banger sausage – and yes, black pudding – run over to Duke’s for their proper English brekkie. As if Duke’s food menu weren’t enough, they also boast bottomless mimosas and bloody marys for only $16 during brunch. Their picnic tables out front – and a couple rounds of bottomless drinks – are the perfect way to kick off the weekend. -C.P.
Firefly – Stop at this staple for $3 mimosas and $4 Bloody Marys all brunch long. Dreams coming true all over the place.
Medium Rare – In a city with new steakhouses opening on a regular basis, it’s easy to forget about Medium Rare. Their $25 bottomless Bloody Mary, Screwdrivers, Mimosas with Steak Frites (or Steak and Eggs if you need eggs at brunch (or a non steak option but that seems silly at a steak restaurant)) is an incredibly good economical deal in a city with very few of those. -B.W.
Red Rocks – $20 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, or you can grab a carafe of delicious sangria for $30. Go for their breakfast pizzas; you won’t be sorry.
Ris – There’s a sweet prix fixe menu and the specialty mimosas come bottomless for $18 (think flavors like orange-ginger-honey and raspberry-pomegranate). Bonus: outdoor seating.
Scarlet Oak – It could be easy to overlook Scarlet Oak. It’s a couple of blocks away from the heart of Navy Yard, and it doesn’t have a fancy big-name chef attached to it. But ignore this American-style brunch at your peril, especially during baseball season. The menu has variety – everything from crepes to pizzas to a smoked salmon benedict – and the food is good. Plus, if you can plan ahead a bit, it’s a great place to eat before a Sunday afternoon Nats game: they take reservations, and bottomless mimosas are a much better deal than $9 Bud Lights. Brunch, a mimosa buzz, and baseball are really all you can ask for from a weekend day in DC. -T.B.
SEI – SEI in Penn Quarter serves bottomless mimosas AND Yu Yu Mary’s, an Asian-inspired spin on the Bloody Mary using wasabi and soy, for only $10. As if that wasn’t motivation enough, let me tell you about their wasabi guacamole and 7 pepper tater tots – an excellent hangover cure to accompany the handful of Yu Yu Mary’s you’re about to consume. The best bang for your buck is the $17 poke bento complete with a nice portion of tuna poke, tofu hash with plenty of veggies, hijiki seaweed salad, and, of course, a miso soup. -C.P.
Sospeso – Bottomless mimosas are the name of the game at this H street restaurant, along with Greek-Turkish brunch fare. Kick off your meal with an order of the Greek donuts, which comes soaked in a decadent, sweet honey and orange sauce. For your entrée consider either the shakshouka, where eggs come baked in tomato stew, a dill omelet topped with Greek yogurt, or a French toast. Sides and spreads like za’atar spiced potatoes, hummus with fresh bread and baba ghanoush are great for sharing. An ideal location if you want to eat and imbibe with friends for hours. -P.K.
Vinoteca – $18 bottomless mimosas, bellinis or kir royale? We’re sold. Plus you have not one but TWO patios to choose from, with added bocce option. The menu’s not too shabby either with options like the the Duck Confit Benedict (with Morbier, Hollandaise, Rustic Bread, Frisée, Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette) and the French Toast with housemade preserves.
Wonderland Ballroom – $12 bottles of mimosas, plus some brunch favorites like their A++ huevos rancheros.
Sometimes you want to try everything on the menu, sometimes you need to try everything on the menu.
Agora – Not in the mood for mimosas? $39.99 gets you both a prix-fixe meal AND limitless drinks, and not just brunch themed drinks, ALL DRINKS.
Alba Osteria – Head to Alba Osteria for its food and drink bottomless brunch which includes breakfast pizzas, egg dishes, pancakes and meatballs along with four brunch cocktails. Is your mouth watering yet? No? What if we told you you could order fried eggs with tomato sauce and fried house-made meatballs? Or the poached eggs with burrata cheese, house-cured salmon, green sauce, grilled ciabatta? Maybe the ricotta and raspberry pancakes with with lemon are more your style? Any way you choose, you can’t lose.
Ambar – Those looking for something filling and different can now check out Ambar’s unlimited weekend brunch for $39/person. 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.
Boqueria – $42 gets you both unlimited tapas (hi, Nutella churros!) AND unlimited drinks. The only catch? The deal has to be ordered by the whole table.
Cava Mezze – Unique brunches are hard to come by in D.C. It’s pretty easy to get your standard french toast or chicken and waffles most places, but this homegrown tapas style Greek spot does the mainstays with a twist. Adding pomegranate honey with those chicken and waffles and gyro meat and feta to hash browns takes your brunch to the next level. There are individual prices for all items but it’s all you can eat as long as your whole table is game. They have a pretty great variety of sweet (Nutella waffles) to savory (Green Eggs & Ham with pancetta and green harissa). They also have some solid options for the buzzkill friend who insists on eating healthy, which are also really yummy and won’t be wasted on the whole table—like tasty Greek yogurt with berries and granola and Brussel sprouts Benedict (because putting an egg on it can cure any vegetable blahs). -D.M.
El Centro DF and Masa 14 – Co-owned by the same team and sitting right next to each other on 14th street, these two popular spots both offer a limitless all you can eat/all you can drink choices. At MASA 14 ($39) expect mimosas, lychee bellinis, Bloody Marys, bacon Bloody Marys, and lemon lager. At El Centro ($39) Micheladas, Bloody Marias, seasonal Aqua Fresca cocktails take center stage.
Farmers Fishers Bakers – If you’re looking for one of the most all-inclusive brunch experiences this fine city has to offer, Farmers Fishers Bakers is a smorgasburg. For $32.95 you’ll get slow-roasted Chuck Eye steak, breakfast tacos, a made-to-order eggs station, their incredible honey pot fried chicken, cheese grits, salads (go for the kale), bruleed pink grapefruit, coffee and more. Please note: Alcoholic drinks are not included.
Kennedy Center Roof Terrace – $48 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. Extremely delightful.
Wilson Hardware – If you find yourself in Clarendon with a craving for waffles, eggs and everything brunch, Wilson Hardware is here to take care of you. With a menu jam packed with every brunch small plate you can imagine, their $36 all you can eat deal is worth it if you’re looking to bulk up on good food. Throw in some $.25 cent mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar and you’ll be set all day long. Plus, if you’re a Sporty Spice and want to catch a game while you’re stuffing yourself with egg dishes, their 180-inch HD projector is here for you.
A Little Something Different
Places that are mixing it up in all the right ways.
Bombay Club – When you think of bottomless brunch, Indian cuisine doesn’t usually come to mind – but it totally should. Bombay Club’s Sunday brunch is a rare find in a city with plenty of good bottomless brunch and Indian fare, but where the two rarely intersect. Bombay Club is a classic downtown DC establishment serving traditional Indian food, including a great pre-theatre deal. Their Sunday brunch buffet is another solid option. For $27, you can enjoy a bottomless buffet comprised of seven main dishes, an array of desserts, and all the naan you can consume – all while a piano player plays in the background. Now what brunch would be complete without some bubbles? If you’re feeling boozy, choose the champagne brunch option for $40, which includes the full brunch buffet and unlimited pours of champagne. -C.P.
Brothers and Sisters – The LINE hotel restaurants are seemingly always packed, but the good news is – Erik Bruner Yang’s Brothers and Sisters serves this menu 7 days a week (6:30 a.m. through 11 a.m. only, so this is perfect for early birds among us) so if you don’t want to deal with the weekend crowds, just use it as an excuse to play hookie. Everything on the list is great, but the savory oatmeal with a poached egg on top is going to change your life. Smoked Ocean Trout Crudo is our second pick. Can we have both? LET’S HAVE BOTH. -S.L.
Cuba Libre – Kick it up a notch with Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar’s $22.95 Especial de Brunch on the weekends. Start out with an arrangement of Latin pastries like banana bread, guava cream cheese holjadre, and crispy churros for the table. Next up, you can select three options from a wide variety of brunch options like crab cake benedict croqueta, el cubano sandwich, or french toast a la cubana. If you’re in the mood to check out some Cuban and Latin American cocktails, add on endless drinks like agua frescas and brunch cocktails for $16.75. You know you can’t pass up options like a Havana Hottie, mimosa roja, or lychee mimosa. -C.P.
Da Hong Pao – Everyone’s always looking for the same brunch experience: bottomless mimosas / bloody marys, some bread of some type, eggs you could make at home… Change it up a bit and rock some of the best dim sum in DC proper at Da Hong Pao. Located on 14th St. (basically the hub of the D.C. brunch scene), Da Hong Pao offers damn near 300 traditional Cantonese dishes, including standouts like duck tongue, chicken feet, multiple types of live fish (cooked for you, of course), and numerous preparations of sea cucumber. Listen, you know you’re going to be semi-hungover on a random Saturday or Sunday soon; instead of wolfing down some mediocre sausage hash, get outside your comfort zone and explore another culture’s breakfast traditions. Also (come at me, haters), good rule of thumb: if you walk into a random Chinese restaurant and there are less than five white people, you’re in a good place – that’s the norm here.-L.H.
Espita Mezcaleria – With the plethora of options in the city, I think it’s fair to expect some semblance of character and thoughtful flavor from your brunch; especially if you’re blowing your budget on it. Espita Mezcaleria definitely delivers in that regard, with a slew of dishes that use classic staples as reference points instead of by-the-book directions. Starting with the charred onion & cashew verde with its Pasilla Oaxaca peppers bursting with scant hints of fruit and rich smoky flavor, all the way to the Atole de Maiz Azul savory porridge with a sunny side up egg and chihuahua cheese, the dishes at Espita are as colorful as the place itself. If you’re drinking (and really why wouldn’t you be?), the mezcal-forward Guadalupe bloody maria is a spirited complement to the playful menu. And for those of us who really shouldn’t be making any decisions on a weekend morning, Espita offers a fixed price brunch for a reasonable $22 per person. -R.G.
Estadio – If there was ever a double-edged sword in D.C.’s restaurant world, consistency would most certainly be that. Paired with longevity, consistency year-over-year, dish-over-dish can make a restaurant feel permanent; worst yet, when the discussion in the city is so often about “what’s next?” forgetting about constants becomes an unfortunate by-product. Estadio firmly falls into that category. And after enjoying the vibrant divergent flavors that dip and dive through the RAMMY-nominated brunch, I feel shame for falling for the traps beset by Estadio’s consistency.
I am not a fan of brunch. I don’t get the appeal, and, at the age of 32, I don’t think my opinion is going to shift all that much. But Estadio’s brunch makes a strong case for a re-think. Let’s start with drinks. The Sherry Colada is a slushy light breeze on a D.C. spring day that only happens 2-3 times a year. The distinct full-bodied Amontillado sherry, paired with the flush silk of coconut milk with a tinge of pineapple and lime was Kanye West College Dropout good. The Txakaletro “slushito” with pistachio, gin, and manzanilla was also impressive; a drink of nuance with hints of seriousness buried deep in childish refreshment.
The food. My god. The food. For the sake of not writing 5,000 words about why you should make it a point to come to Estadio just know that everything I had was pleasing from every sense. The roasted baby chorizos were fatty with just the right level of spice that made the aforementioned slushies musts; the dragon fruit smoothie bowl was a chilled refuge of color and acidity; the avocado toast with smoked salmon made me feel unapologetically devilishly basic for all the right reasons; and the torrijas (essentially Spanish french toast) with almond butter was Louis XIV decadent.
Brunch regularly feels like a cash grab devoid of ideas and thought. Estadio’s expansive brunch is anything but that. The flavors are bright, the execution precise, and the choices press every button of personal inclination. Estadio’s brunch reintroduced me to a place that has consistently made food worthy of your money. I won’t forget this time around. -R.G.
Hazel – Because starting your day off with za’tar fries, chick pea pancakes, kuku egg scrambles and blue catfish toast sounds like the best idea. Hazel’s “turk-ish” direction makes for an interesting brunch to say the least. -K.D.
Heat Da Spot – Heat Da Spot has a killer all-you-can-eat, vegetarian friendly Ethiopian buffet for only $12.99. The lovely owners and awesome atmosphere make it feel like you’re visiting family. It might be different than other places in this guide, but it’s a local, cool spot you should consider. And the green sauce they make is out of this world. -A.G.
Ivy City Smokehouse – Go for the smoked fish but don’t be scared by the fish. A large group could enjoy all of the non-fish options and have a good time. But if you want to have a great time order the smoked fish. The Beast Bagel, a bagel served with lox, salmon candy, whitefish salad, tomato, onion, caper, chive cream cheese, horseradish and lemon is enough for two but meant for one. Order it once and it’ll be the item you’re going back for. Also, oysters. Their oysters are great. What a shock. The fish place has good oysters.
That Beast Bagel is still on my mind. I’m going back for all that fish. -B.W.
Maketto – Maketto’s been around now for a minute, which means it often doesn’t get the love it deserves. That’s a shame, because every menu they have crushes – and brunch is no exception. Whether you’re looking for an early morning caffeine station / carb boost (lattes, cappuccinos, niche coffees, breakfast pastries, etc.) or a lunchtime noodle bowl or Cambodian soup, Maketto has you covered. Their brunch is stellar, running the gamut from sweet (croissant French toast, egg custard tarts, and Chinese churros) to hella savory (pork curry, shrimp toast, dumplings, and bao). Toss in a few rounds of their cocktails, especially ones with the house-made drinking vinegars, and your Sunday is off to a great start. Also helpful after a few drinks: an incredible selection of dope shoes, menswear, and grooming products. -L.H.
Mandu – Head over for a Korean take on American brunch classics, like Gim Bap (rice, egg and vegetables wrapped in seaweed in sliced) and Korean omelets made with thin layers of egg fried and stuffed with diced vegetables.
The Mansion On O Street – “Over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors to explore,” plus $75 per person 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.
Mari Vanna – This Russian spot on Connecticut 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. -S.L.
Old Angler’s Inn – Plan yourself a day of hiking at Great Falls then squeeze a meal in at the restaurant where the Kennedys partied in tiny, leopard carpeted rooms.
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). $40 gets you 5 dishes, and $56 gets you 8 (which is plenty for two people, trust me). Only thing to remember: this runs only on Saturdays but not Sundays.
Tiger Fork – Tiger Fork’s dim sum brunch lives up to the hype as an enjoyable, slightly modern American twist on a classic Chinese experience. The portions are pretty generous, and the food is filling; assuming you aren’t famished, I would suggest picking three items per person in your party, and adding on as necessary. Highlights include the house-made congee: it’s warm, perfectly flavored, and incredibly comforting. With a soft-boiled spiced egg and delicate drizzles of chili oil adding subtle notes, the braised shiitake mushrooms gave the dish some nice contrapuntal texture and earthiness. Each spoonful stuck to your ribs in the best way possible – a bowl of this could bring someone back to life from even the most lethal hangover. Pair this with the Chinese Bacon – slices of slow cooked, fatty duck, infused with Chinese five-spice and anise, with a side of pickled radish – and you’ve got all you will need in terms of nourishment for an entire day. If you’re feeling extra extra, order the broccolini: cooked to perfection with just the right amount of give, and smothered in their house-made oyster sauce. My mouth is watering thinking about it. If you’re tired of having eggs and waffles for brunch and want to try something different, adventurous, and delicious, give Tiger Fork a try. -J.L.S.
Unconventional Diner – Another breakfast and lunch (which means BRUNCH) destination this truly beautiful space, manned by Michel Richard’s alum David Deshaies is a perfect civilized-but-not-stuffy weekend hang. We recommend biscuits benedict and the Morrocan grits. -S.L.
That sweet, sweet plant based lifestyle
Alta Strada – Brunch at Alta Strada is great because you have lunch and brunch items. There is a veggie frittata that is fresh and flavorful, full of just the right amount of veggies and seasoning. Housemade pasta is another highlight; spaghetti is tossed in a gorgeous, garlicky, slight spicy Pomodoro sauce. On the sweet side there is French toast and bombolini fritters. Best of all: bottomless mimosas and bellinis are just $22 a person. -P.K.
Busboys and Poets – Everyone’s favorite progressive bookstore/restaurant has brunch options for everyone, meat eater and veg head alike. For vegans, choose from various salads or go the other route and get a vegan scramble with home fries and vegan sausage. If you’re vegetarian, enjoy their range of omelets, French toast, oatmeal, and pancakes. Let’s now take a moment to appreciate that mimosas are (usually) animal product free and $5 at Busboys. But don’t let brunch be the only thing you indulge in there, grab a social and political movement themed book on your way out. -A.S.
Cedar – At Cedar, it’s the vegan brunch items that make the restaurant such an awesome spot for brunch. The vegan benedict, with purple potato cakes and a super rich and creamy almond cashew hollandaise sauce is one of my favorite brunch dishes in town. A benedict is defined by the flavor of its hollandaise and this one is divine. Their rift on eggs and bacon, tofu scrambled with tempeh, is a healthy but hearty version of the original. A host of herbs and spices makes the dish super flavorful. Grilled bread comes on the side. A tempeh BLT is also available if you want something more lunchesque. -P.K.
Chloe – The brunch menu at Chloe borrows from a variety of cultures, making for tasty and unusual brunch dining experience. Sample Spanish churros, Mediterranean-inspired crispy cauliflower cooked with tahini and parsley and pine nuts, an Asian noodle bowl, sweet almond croissants, and fresh Southern scallion biscuits. The dishes are offered as small plates, but are big enough for sharing if you are dining with a couple of other people. Prices are around $13-14 a dish; you’re going to want to get at least two per person. A mimosa carafe, offered for $30, is also ideal for a group brunch. -P.K.
Equinox – At brunch, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet for a mere $35 per person. Sadly, the buffet does not include beverages, which are available a la carte, but it is chock full of some seriously good food. The menu changes all the time, but it always includes a tofu scramble station, a huge bread display with spreads, a dessert table and an array of soups, salads, pasta, pancakes, and more. Be prepared to stuff your face. -P.K.
Fare Well – I really, really love brunch at Fare Well and I think it’s because the menu has all of the items I wanted to eat at brunch as a child. Fluffy cookie dough pancakes with cookie dough butter. Carrot cake pancakes with velvety cream cheese frosting. Baked challah French toast, seitan and waffles and decadent milkshakes the size of my head. And after all that, you can pick out a slice of cake from their twirling cake display. There’s sweet and savory and even more sweet. Head to brunch at Fare Well this weekend. Your inner child will thank you. Prices are incredibly reasonable ($10 for an entrée) and portions are huge. -P.K.
Olivia – Olivia was once Nopa which was once Zola. Olivia is my favorite version because it serves fresh, vegetable forward Mediterranean food. At Sunday brunch, this means dishes like green chickpea hummus, lentils and rice topped with a 63 egg, and French toast spiced with ras el hanout, a heady Moroccan spice blend comprised of over 30 spices, including cumin, ginger, cardamom, and turmeric. The Olivia frittata is great for something super savory, it is chock full of peppers, tangy feta cheese, and olives, while the charred cauliflower is more of a lunch entrée if you are not an egg person. -P.K.
The Pub & The People – More places should be both brunch and dog friendly. The Pub and the People is both and they happen to have the best veggie burger in the city, making it also good for vegetarians. -E.L.
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farms – It may be in the middle of nowhere, but the food at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farms is worth the long drive. The menu is “earth to table” where every ingredient has been foraged by the dedicated chefs of the restaurant. The menu changes often but the last time I went I sampled savory, cream-infused cantaloupe soup that tasted and looked like liquid gold. Poured over diced cantaloupe and crunchy pistachios, it was a great opening to a fabulous meal. Crumbly corn muffins, served with house-made jam and freshly churned butter were impeccable and brunch entrees like the okra griddle cakes showcased the kitchen’s creativity. Never in my life did I think I would eat okra pancakes, and never in my life did I think I would find them to be the best pancakes I have ever enjoyed. The fluffy pancakes were topped with sweet creamed corn and smoked parmesan; a sweet and savory dish where the okra and corn are bizarre compliments of each other. Cocktails utilize the farm’s bounty as well; the summer interlude combined lemon and rye and ginger beer for a refreshing beverage, while the days of heaven used housemade huckleberry syrup to make a gin and sparkling wine concoction. This venue is ideal for a special occasion brunch. But than again, every weekend is a special occasion. -P.K.
Smoke and Barrel – Anywhere that has donuts as a brunch appetizer is a winner already, but vegan sweet potato donuts? Sign me up. Smoke and Barrel has some of the best and most varied vegan brunch options in the city, something you wouldn’t expect from a BBQ joint which makes it all the more special. Their vegan offerings include smoked wings, French toast, a sweet potato and oat burger, chili cheese tofu scramble, home fries, chipotle pesto grits, and Texas toast. With options like these, truly anyone can enjoy brunch together there. -A.S.
Supra – Georgian food may provide the most tempting option of all for brunch: khachapuri. Bread is stuffed with heaps of cheese, baked and then topped with a golden egg, making for a rich, luscious brunch dish to be shared by everyone at your table. There is nothing quite as satisfying as tearing off hunks of the doughy bread and watching the melted cheese stretch all the way to your plate (or directly to your mouth!). With the khachapuri be sure to order the garlic and fenugreek spiced potatoes, one of their fresh salads, and a moonshine mimosa: apple moonshine topped with sparkling wine. A winning brunch, to say the least. -P.K.
True Food Kitchen – This healthy, farm to table restaurant is a chain (finally landing in Bethesda) that feels like an original. With an open kitchen, TFK is all about cooking transparency and healthy eating without sacrificing taste. With a menu that really caters to the health food crowd, it’s the ideal place to take vegetarians and vegans who want more than a fruit salad for brunch. In fact, their brunch menu is almost entirely meat free. But not to fear, this menu is super flavorful while also allowing you to not feel like a full on glutton. Their Sunrise Bowl with sunny side eggs, avocado, sweet potato, various grains and seeds, and a pesto is aces for your diet and palate paired with one of their delicious juice varieties. They also do yummy mimosas and a scratch Bloody Mary with ingredients that taste super fresh and allow you to convince your friends that day drinking is good for your health. -D.M.
The Diner Spectrum
From bougie, to slightly less bougie, to not bougie at all.
Ari’s Diner – Located right in the middle of the no man’s land that is Ivy City, Ari’s Diner is giving you a real reason to hop in a car and drive up New York Avenue. Their menu runs the full spectrum, from classic diner goodies like egg platters and french toast, to more trendy brunch items like avocado toast and boozy milkshakes. The interior design is pure, classic diner, but it’s a little on the smaller side, so get their early to score a booth. Everything I’ve had here has been 100% solid, the burger rocks, the omelettes will satisfy your egg craving and the waffles are huge. Just don’t forget to grab a milkshake before you leave. Whether you add booze or not is your call, but no diner visit is complete without a shake. -K.D.
Crimson Diner – From our review: Crimson Diner, on the ground floor of the building, serves a warm, inviting space where people can congregate, socialize, work, or wind down. The menu is based around Southern comfort food, and is open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight. Anchored by Blanchard’s boutique coffee roasters, this is the type of place that’s great to stop in for a cup of joe and to do some work, meet friends after work for a beer, or dine on good food in relative peace in Chinatown. -L.H.
The Diner – My #1 brunch problem is that I have no clue whether I want something sweet or savory and so I often order two entrees (#noshame). I love the Diner Breakfast Royale because for $13.50 it completely eliminates this stress from my life: pick the way you want your eggs (sunny side up), what meat you want (sausagesss), french toast or pancakes (pancakes), potatoes 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. -S.L.
Jimmy T’s – Similar to Pete’s Diner, Jimmy T’s is a local spot in every sense of the word. From the hand-written menu on the wall of daily specials (sometimes it’s a new French toast, sometimes it’s a smoked salmon eggs Benedict), to the locals you see every time you go in, to the Capitol Hill weekly newspapers lying around when you walk in, Jimmy T’s makes you feel at home, whether you’re a Hill resident or just visiting. The waitresses call you “hon,” the coffee is strong and keeps coming, and the grits can’t be beat. This is a place where you feel at home, and one that makes you order way too much food. (The fact that nothing on the menu is over $10 certainly helps, as well.) -L.H.
Pete’s Diner – A Capitol Hill institution that’s right across the street from the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress, you’re just as likely to see a random low-level staffer here as you are politicians like former House Speaker John Boehner (who was known to eat breakfast here a few days a week). It’s a classic diner in every sense of the word – flapjacks, thin bacon, eggs any way you want them…if you’re looking for bottomless anything or innovative, modern [insert country here] food, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is where you go when you want a quick, solid breakfast for less than six bucks. -L.H.
Silver – No, no I’m not talking about the retro diner on Rockville Pike Silver Diner (which also has delicious breakfast food 24/7), Silver is the brand’s more upscale offshoot with two local locations: Cathedral Heights and Bethesda. Their menu is so extensive that you can either go indulgent (caramel french toast) or keep it on the healthier side (roasted veggie huevos rancheros). It’s a great spot for a group with diverse dining needs: lots of gluten free and vegan options alongside meaty offerings. Silver’s brunch menu is also served all day so you don’t have to feel bad if your hangover doesn’t allow you out of bed until after noon. -D.M.
Brunches to revive your soul.
Boundary Stone – describing itself as a “neighborhood public house”, Boundary Stone has been serving some delicious fare in Bloomingdale for the last few years. Part of the cluster of restaurants on Rhode Island Avenue (alongside El Camino, next door and also on this list), the ambiance is low-key and conducive to attracting repeat clientele. Their Full Stone Breakfast is a highlight, with two eggs any way, house-made breakfast sausage, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, and house made-hash browns – $15 well-spent. The falafel burger isn’t a bad choice either, if you’re looking for lighter/vegetarian fare. I like Boundary Stone because the food is delicious, the coffee is strong, and I’ve never felt judged for walking in there looking like I was hit by a truck. Not much else you can ask for when trying to recover from the night before. -J.L.S.
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 rolls 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. -S.L.
Ghibellina – One of the best things to happen to 14th street this past year is Ghibellina (there, we said it). And adding to the great track record that their happy hour specials and all that dinner deliciousness has left in our hearts, their brunch menu is a refreshing, European take on the genre (though don’t worry, there is still a BREAKFAST AMERICANO for all you eggs and meat lovers). Grab a breakfast pizza, dive into some amazing brunch friendly cocktails all the while perching yourself on those great people watching storefront seats.
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. -S.A.
Slash Run – Welcome to the weirdest brunch in D.C. Slash Run’s brunch menu doesn’t change too much from their regular menu, but they do screen incredibly weird TV shows and movies during brunch and it makes all the difference in the world. The last time I was there, I stuffed my face with burgers and watched the bonkers TV show Freddy’s Nightmare’s. It was magical. -K.D.
Good For Groups
The more the merrier.
Anxo – I’ve expressed this opinion before, but I really don’t care for “brunch” as a concept, generally speaking. It’s boring and overplayed (there’s only so many ways you should do French toast), and I dislike the sense of pressure to partake in aggressively downing cheap mimosas and an overly salty bloody Marys. Anxo is the perfect antidote to all of those concerns. The Basque cider house and small plate restaurant does offer some brunch specialties, but they’re still firmly rooted in Spanish cuisine. However, what’s really appealing to me is the fact that their full pintxos menu is available as available as early as 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. And boy, is it good: the selection of flavorful dishes and delicacies from Northern Spain is outstanding, as is their extensive cider and vermouth list. And yes, they offer a bottomless option for you degenerates, but why would you do that when you can enjoy a glass of their house Atxa vermouth served on the rocks and with soda for just $4? Pair it with some boquerones, patatas bravas, and a plate of serrano ham, and imagine yourself relaxing on the Bay of Biscay. -J.L.S.
Barcelona – As if being super packed all night wasn’t enough for the 14th street wine bar, their brunch menu looks pretty stellar too: from wild boar hash (with carrots, potatoes and a poached egg) to the banana bread pudding (with crema catalan) – there is plenty to look forward to. BONUS: the full meat and cheese menu is available too.
Bluejacket Brewery – While we could bestow upon you the virtues of Bluejacket Brewery all day and night, let’s just keep it simple today: Bluejacket’s brunch is up and running with some absurdly mouthwatering options, not that we’d expect anything less. Stop by for some fresh-baked cinnamon rolls or creme fraiche biscuits or chow down on dishes like Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon and beernaise on a crumpet, or the pulled pork hash with potatoes, pickled peppers, over easy eggs and sour cream.
Casolare – Tucked away just north of Glover Park, Casolare feels like a hidden gem, even though it’s on a major street less than a block from the Welcome to Glover Park sign. Chef Michael Schlow’s Jewish & Roman brunch menu features the kind of dishes that look great on Instagram (Smoked Salmon Bagel Plate) and the ugly delicious dishes that make you want to book a return visit (Pastrami & Jalapeño Hash). Good for families, good for couples, good for groups, good for kids, good for imbibers, good for drivers, OK for public transportation takers (that’s the biggest downside) it’s not surprising it’s up for a RAMMY. If you’re not convinced by the brunch options, the sweets in Alex’s Basket of Goodies should change your mind. They’re worth the visit, regardless of your feelings about eggs. -B.W.
Compass Rose – Brunch at Compass Rose is the best time to sample street food from across the world – while enjoying the perks of bottomless prosecco. This intimate spot right off 14th Street serves their full menu during Sunday brunch, in addition to fun brunch specials like shakshuka, a Middle Eastern classic of poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce. As far as food goes, the khachapuri at Compass Rose is a must. Think of a cheese-filled bread boat with an egg cracked right on top that they mix up for you right at your table. Now imagine that next to $20 bottomless mimosas that you can top with PAMA liquor, grapefruit, and lemon juice. Sounds like an ideal brunch. -C.P.
La Tasca – Sangria. Brunch. are two words that anyone wants to hear. La Tasca’s brunch is an affordable yet fun way to experience authentic Spanish tapas and refreshing sangria options. For $22, you can choose any three tapas from the vegetable, seafood, and meat menus including options like manchego frito or salmon a la plancha. What’s more, each glass of sangria is only $2, or you can opt for a mimosa or bloody mary for the same price. The great thing about tapas is they’re made for sharing with the table so coordinate with your friends and order as many different options as you can – and one of each type of sangria, of course. -C.P.
Right Proper – Right Proper’s brunch is relatively new. For a while, those clamoring for some grub or a pint could only contend with their lunch options. Now they open at 11:30am on weekends, and their brunch menu includes some stellar food. My personal favorite is their steak and eggs, which includes blue cheese butter that you will probably want to smear on everything. Their pulled pork sandwich is obscene in a delightful way, topped with a fried egg. But the best and biggest reason you should visit the Shaw mainstay is that Right Proper does not offer any bottomless deals. It can be fun to have a sloppy brunch, one where there the mimosas are more watered down than the conversation. Most of the time, however, it is better to get on with a meal, as opposed to indulging in it. Don’t worry, though, you’ll still have delicious beer options. -A.Z.
Succotash – There’s a version of Succotash at National Harbor, but since no one who lives in D.C. ever goes to National Harbor, it was great news for all of us when chef Edward Lee brought his Southern Benedict and Fried Chicken and Waffles to a second location in Penn Quarter. There are lots of examples of ways the southern menu is infused with Korean flavor, but my personal favorite is the Gochujang Bloody Mary (to be fair, the Southern Bloody is good as well). If you get a feeling of déjà vu while visiting, it’s a sign that you’re probably above the age of 30: the restaurant is located in the historic Equitable Bank Building, which has mostly been occupied by an assortment of clubs for the last few decades, although the space has been vacant in recent years. The good news is that now that you’re having brunch there, the lighting (and probably your level of sobriety) allow for a deeper appreciation of the gorgeous space than you had ten years ago. At least until you’ve had a few of those bloody marys. – T.B.
Ted’s Bulletin – We’re no strangers to Ted’s Bulletin brunch which, by the by, is served all day and night. We can’t imagine a better hangover cure or all-around hearty brunch option that the T.U.B.S., the Ted’s Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich, with Texas Toast, fried egg, scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, cheddar and hash browns, or the massive Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito (Sirloin steak, scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar, green chile sauce with hash browns).
Make your Mother’s Day reservations now.
A Rake’s Progress – Spike Gjerde’s shrine to Mid-Atlantic cooking features a brunch menu separated into “grains”, “eggs” and “hearth” and includes, as we’ve come to expect, dishes both delicious and charmingly named like “duck, duck (duck_ grits”, “square bread, round hole” and the “its a matter of chicken v egg”. On the drink side, this spring is inevitably going to be made better by an addition of Watermelon Rose Mimosa into your life. Take your visiting mom, treat a best friend to a birthday brunch, or just celebrate A REALLY GOOD morning after with someone you decided is worth it. -S.L.
Blue Duck Tavern – From the brown butter pancakes to the BDT brunch burger, everything here is stupidly good.
Birch & Barley – Churchkey’s older and more refined sibling, Birch & Barley’s brunch menu’s has a little bit of everything. Hit up the meat or cheese board if you really want to go wild, keep it classic with the chicken and waffles or get straight for the lunch part of brunch and load up on pizza and pasta.
Centrolina – Amy Brandwein is low-key the best, and her brunch menu confirms this theory. There are no tired eggs or predictable items here, but what IS there (a PERFECTLY hangover curing straciatella Italian soup, the sweet and sour and zesty lemon ricotta pancakes, orange marmellata & maple syrup, as well as a FULL ON pasta menu before noon) is perfect. Pro tip: while the cocktails are great, the wine list is the way to go here, drinks wise, especially all those very reasonably priced Lambrusco bottles during the warmer months. -S.L.
Chez Billy Sud – Chez Billy Sud consistently makes it onto our Date Guide lists on account of great size, good light, and a not-overtly-complicated menu which still has a little something for everyone. All of which makes their Brunch a PERFECT PLACE to take either a lover or your mother, or BOTH. Stick with the classics: croque monsieur and a little green salad should do the trick and pair it with their Rose Window, which is pretty close to a perfect spring brunch cocktail (sparkling wine, Saint Germaine, rose vermouth, lemon). Follow up with: a movie, or some shopping, or a movie AND shopping. -S.L.
Fiola Mare – Welcome to the the perfect place to enjoy some waterside brunch. Check out our first look and you’ll see that the space is gorgeous and prime for brunch perching, whether you’re in the stunning enclosed patio or that beautiful main dining room. (The back bar and private dining rooms aren’t too shabby, either.) Enjoy brunch specials like Italian shrimp & grits with soft polenta and Wild Tiger prawns or the XXL stack of pancakes with strawberry rhubarb conserva, Nutella and whipped mascarpone.
Iron Gate Restaurant – Fans of the finer things, rejoice; Iron Gate is here to scratch your bougie itch. For those interested in the sweeter side, sink your teeth into got and sheep milk’s yogurt with candied pistachios and local honey, or the ricotta pancakes with candied hazelnuts, banana, powdered sugar and and warm syrup. For those who skew savory, try the baked hen eggs with aged provolone, calabrian chili, and pomodoro, or perhaps the olive-oil fried eggs with crispy fingerling potatoes and salsa verde.
Jaleo, Zaytinya or Oyamel – Parents love José Andrés, and that is a stone cold fact. Whether they’re in the mood for Spanish, Mexican or Mediterranean small plates, any of these three will do a great job. Plus-the cocktail programs are outstanding.
Joselito – From our review: Joselito is a bright, airy, and gorgeous place to get brunch, if you’re nursing a hangover or just want something to make you feel a little more lively, they’ll take good care of you.
Kingbird at the Watergate – If you’re looking for a Sunday brunch at a classic DC establishment, check out Kingbird at the Waterboard for gorgeous interior and even better view of the river. Kingbird serves traditional brunch dishes like eggs benedict and flat iron steak frites or you branch out with lump crab scrambled eggs or a foie gras and chicken liver parfait. If you want to channel the true essence of the building, go for the Watergate Whisky Burger. To make it a boozy brunch, make sure you sign up for their bottomless drink deal: $17 for unlimited mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria…all while looking out at the Potomac. Does it get better than that? -C.P.
Le Diplomate – We’ve long been obsessed with Stephen Starr’s Le Diplomate. The classic French cuisine is reliably well-executed, bright, and fresh, and the ambiance is thoroughly adorable (See our full review here.) Brunch, then, is a clear time to visit; the brunch cocktails are bubbly and clean and as you sip on one, you’re surrounded by natural light and decor that will, in essence, transport your mind to Paris. The menu is full of eggs–creative and classic–as well as sandwiches (try the lamb), tartines, and freshly baked breakfast pastries.
Mintwood Place – Mintwood is just that perfect combination of classy-yet-casual-enough AND very delicious that the parents respond to very well. Try a variety of breakfast flammekueches or perhaps the Basque-style pork hash with sunny-side-up egg. Regardless of your own brunch preferences, there’s something for everyone. -S.L.
Osteria Morini – Navy Yard’s favorite Italian restaurant features classic brunch dishes infused with Italian flavors, such as Ricotta pancakes with maple mascarpone and blueberry jam, frittata with brussel sprouts, soppressata, taleggio cheese, spinach, kale, radicchio.
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.
Seasons (at the Four Season) – 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 Dry Rub Quail with BBQ Jus, to Charcoal-Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichuri 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).
The Smith – With an expansive brunch menu covering everything from raw bar items to fried chicken, you’d be right to feel a little apprehensive of The Smith. Big menus usually aren’t a good thing and the fact that they’re a New York transplant makes it even worse, especially in a territorial city like D.C. But against all the odds, The Smith delivers a truly killer brunch that anyone can enjoy (no matter their brunch preferences). Go for that raw bar if you’re feeling especially flush with cash, or follow my lead and dive head first into their breakfast pot pie. Who can say no to a cheddar biscuit crust? -K.D.
St. Anselm – There’s nothing the D.C. food press hates more than a steakhouse. Every year, we ask our best food writers about the things they hate (and love) about the District’s food scene and every year someone (or multiple someones) bring up D.C.’s overindulgence of steakhouses. But if any steakhouse was tailor made to woo our city over, it would be this one. Formed by the genius minds of restauranteur Stephen Starr (Le Diplomate), Joe Carroll (owner of the original St. Anselm in NYC) and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley (Smoked & Stacked), St. Anselm can be as fancy or as casual as you want it to be, but no matter what, you’re going to get a damn good meal out of it. Brunch items not to miss include the buttermilk biscuits and pimento cheese (which is hands down one of the best items on the menu) and (of course) the steak and eggs. If you’re going to dine at a steakhouse, you might as well go all the way. -K.D.
Tabard Inn – You don’t really need us to explain why parents love Tabard, right?
Whaley’s – From our review: The Whaley’s brunch menu is for die-hard seafood fans. Each item fits well with the restaurant’s themes, and the refreshing cocktails will have you fending off cabin fever. The menu is far from overwhelming, but there’s a sufficiently modest array of items to choose. In fact, to maximize your enjoyment of the Whaley’s brunch experience, the best approach is to pretend that you’re in a tapas-type place, and order several smaller dishes to share. Alternatively, the shellfish towers–which are crafted at the venue’s front-of-house oyster bar and come in a range of sizes with fixed-prices–are a no-brainier for groups who enjoy uniformity.
Super Casual Brunch
Perfect for awkward dates and for grabbing food on the go.
A Baked Joint – Feast on some of the best bread in D.C. while you down a hot cup of coffee and relax in this bright and beautiful space. Their biscuits are killer, so if you’re not crazy hungry, grab one of those and go to town. It’s by the lovely people behind Baked & Wired, so you know it’s good. -K.D.
Bluestone Lane – If you’ve checked Instagram in the past month, chances are you’ve been awed by beautiful avocado toasts, mint-colored plates and coffee cups, and lattes that truly should be works of art. Bluestone Lane’s brunch has become a haven for bloggers, and for good reason. The decor is enough to draw you in for brunch, but the healthy offerings are why you should stay. Bluestone’s brunch menu is full of fresh veggies offerings and freshly baked bread. You can keep it classic with their signature avocado smash or mix it up with their Bluestone Lane Rainbow Bowl, full of veggies, lentils, a poached egg, and avocado. Whatever you choose, make sure you snap a few shots for the ‘gram. Bonus: Georgetown location just opened too.-C.P.
Elle – We know that the Mt. Pleasant bakery/restaurant (located in the old Heller’s Bakery) doesn’t have a BRUNCH MENU PER SE, but it is still a perfect brunch hang out – because who is to tell you that showing up at noon for a meat pie, a foccacia and a donut doesn’t make a brunch? Coffee is on point too. -S.L.
Fox Loves Taco – From our review: Congratulations, you no longer have to travel all the way out to Georgetown to grab some Instagram worthy vegetarian tacos. Just make your way over to Brookland and feast your eyes on the impeccably designed, Fox Loves Taco. Brought to you by the same people who own Little Red Fox on Connecticut Ave, Fox Loves Taco is a bright and welcoming coffee shop / taco shop specializing in vegetarian and vegan tacos as well as craft coffee, juice and kombucha. There’s a lot going on in the small space, but owners Matt and Jena Carr seem to be balancing everything nicely. From the taco menu, to the coffee offerings, to the design of Fox Loves Taco, everything feels purposeful and well thought out.
Little Red Fox – This little local market and cafe packs a big punch when it comes to brunch. Not only are they well stocked with Bullfrog Bagels and serving up nitro cold brew on tap, but they also have some of the best breakfast burritos in town. With eggs, corn, beans, Tillamook cheddar, smashed potatoes, and their housemade hot sauce it’s a real winner. Pro tip: add avocado and bacon, because why the hell not. Their hot sauce is so top notch, the ideal blend of hot with a smidge of sweetness, that I bought a bottle and proceeded to carry it around in my purse for awhile. Make sure to also grab one of their baked goods featured at the end of the counter. They have the best and most beautiful pies in town. If booze is essential to your brunching, they have an awesome selection of indie microbrews and unique wines by the bottle and can for sale. -D.M.
Red Apron – This “brunch” is, we’ll be honest, the most low-key of brunches but if you’re a fan of breakfast sandwiches, you’re in luck. We already took you inside the Chinatown/Penn Quarter Red Apron Butchery where you’ll find these tasty day-starters every day, but on weekend you can try out their brunch, a mix of breakfast sandwiches and specials. In addition to their mouthwatering tigelle breakfast sandwiches, each Saturday they serve a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread that’s put into a French Toast batter and cooked on panini grill, then topped with fried egg. The Sunday special isn’t a sandwich; it’s country-fried pork drenched in ranch-scented flour, served over Anson Mills cheddar grits and gravy. Can you sense us salivating all over our keyboards?
The Royal – I’m not exaggerating when I say The Royal is one of my favorite places in the city. The drinks are good, the menu is killer, but there’s also something about the light in that space. It doesn’t matter if you’re stopping by first thing in the morning or if you’re dropping in for a quick nightcap, the space always feels comfortable and welcoming. It’s one of those magical in between spots. If you’re keeping it real casual, get an arepa and the honey bourbon latte (or the Royal Fog if you’re a tea drinker). Want to go a little harder? Then fried chicken biscuit and a daiquiri are calling your name. I’d also like to take this time to beg the kitchen to put the shrimp and grits back on the morning menu. Goddamn that stuff was good. -K.D.
We don’t need to explain this one.
Bistro Bohem – The best brunches are the ones where you have to second guess each bite because your entree quite literally tastes too good to be gluten free. Bistro Bohem offers that kind of brunch in an environment where you’d least expect gluten free food. No clearly labelled menu, but the servers typically know what you should and shouldn’t order.
Firefly – They have an entire gluten free brunch menu and if that doesn’t show you there dedication, I don’t know what does.
Founding Farmers – While not as well-labelled as its peers, the vast majority of Founding Farmers’ brunch menu is inherently gluten free if you steer clear of bread-like items. Pan scrambles, cast iron skillets, and farmhouse hashes are your best bets.
Brunch and a Show
Transform your brunch into a full day experience
City Tap House – Get ready for some decadent dishes like gourmet chicken & waffles and shrimp and grits and eggs, in addition to crab cake benedicts and delicious pizzas made in their brick oven. Need a drink? City Tap House has you covered with endless Bloody Marys and mimosas. Nothing not to love. Now with drag brunch.
The Hamilton – If the spirit moves you, head to The Hamilton for an incredible brunch spread with items like benedicts, corned beef hash (house made corned beef, crispy potato cake, baby kale and sunny-side-up duck egg), shrimp and grits (creamy grits, spicy shrimp sauce, andouille sausage, spinach), and shakshuka (with poached eggs, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, feta, cilantro, wheat toast). The space is huge, light, and comfortable, making for a lovely Sunday-morning-into-afternoon spot for perching. BONUS: They also throw the occasional gospel brunch, typically with two separate seatings and a stellar buffet.
Nellie’s Drag Brunch – Add a little spice, and a whole lot of sass, to your brunching over at Nellie’s. Enjoy eggs, waffles, roasted pork loin, homemade desserts and more while you catch the show. There are two seatings,but they fill up fast. Book ASAP.
Perry’s Drag Brunch – You know the drill-buffet, drag queens, and more. A brunch everyone should experience at least once.
Sax – Kick off your Sunday with a sweet all male burlesque show.
Location, Location, Location
These are the neighborhood spots. The kind of joints that you go to when you don’t know where to go anywhere else. The kind of spots where you’ve reached the holy grail, you’re a brunch regular.
Agua 301 – If you’re hoping to swing by Capitol Riverfront but were craving a Mexican brunch, might we suggest Agua 301? Remember when we took you inside for a first look? Well now they’ve got a full brunch with classics like huevos rancheros (fried eggs, refried beans, avocado, ranchero sauce, crispy corn tortilla) and breakfast tacos, as well as sweeter items like pumpkin pancakes served with spiced pepitas, ginger butter, chile infused maple syrup.
B Too – The sister restaurant to Belga on 14th street boasts a sturdy brunch menu (pork cheek and cornbread waffle! Moules frites!) and some truly great brunch cocktails, including a BLOODY BEER.
Bidwell – If you’re headed to Union Market, stop by Bidwell for brunch. Their Modern American spin on the classic grilled cheese–a raclette grilled cheese served with poached egg–is sure to please, as are the omelettes (though we hear the breakfast burrito with chorizo is truly the way to go). Many of the fresh herbs you’ll find in your dishes come straight from Mooney’s rooftop garden, so you know you’re eating local.
Brookland’s Finest – In previous editions of this guide we’ve recommended the breakfast burritos and brunch burgers. Those are still worth ordering but the highlight isn’t a main dish but a side order of biscuits and gravy. They may be the best in the city. If you want to balance it out with something a little lighter, you can’t go wrong with the yogurt, fruit and granola. These two sides are enough for two people.
Brookland’s Finest is in this section because of its address. But the restaurant setup, the outdoor patio, makes it more than just a convenient location but a setting you’d want to spent a few hours in the early afternoon. -B.W.
Hank’s (Dupont) – My favorite sandwich of all time is a Reuben. My favorite breakfast meat of all time is a smoked salmon. Hank’s features a smoked salmon Reuben on their brunch menu. The end. -S.L.
Homestead – Quickly becoming a Petworth classic, Homestead is a great choice for those days when you just want to roll out of bed and want to go somewhere casual and quality. None of the dishes at Homestead are trying to reinvent the wheel, but when they’re all this satisfying, who cares? -K.D.
Kafe Leopold – Kafe Leopold is a bright spot in Georgetown’s dim restaurant scene. Their German / European inspired dishes are simple, but well executed and they taste ten times better when dining outside in their beautiful courtyard. Grab all of the pastries you possibly can and follow it them with the croque monsieur or the croque madame. You know a meal is good if it motivates me to travel to Georgetown on a Saturday morning. -K.D.
Le Grenier – We tasted our way through Le Grenier’s brunch menu and can attest it’s well worth the trek to H Street. Their $20.95 deal gets you two courses and a glass champagne or a mimosa, and with items like Steak du Chef (grilled Angus beef steak served with shallot sauce, mustard drizzle, fries or salad), Crèpe Nutella or lemon-sugar crèpes, eggs benedict (poached eggs with Canadian bacon, toasted English muffins, sautéed spinach, & Hollandaise sauce, served with fries or salad) and more, we promise the only difficulty you’ll find is choosing your meal. (Read our full review here.)
Republic – Make your way to Takoma Park for a killer brunch. To start, feast on appetizers of wood grilled bay oysters and slow-cooked corn grits, then dive into some serious entrees like the french toast with cinnamon apples, or any number of poached farm eggs. Either way, you’re going to leave every full and very happy.
Room 11 – Served only on Sunday, Room 11’s brunch is all about focus and simplicity. You’re not going to find anything crazy on this menu; instead you’ll find a small refined list of dishes you’ve had before. And while that may sound like a tough sell, Room 11 hits all the right spots time-and-time again. My personal favorite is by far the pork belly hash with its overkill combination of fried egg and chimichurri; if this dish doesn’t cure your hangover, then you probably need to stop drinking. The grilled cheese is also tough to pass on especially if you listen to your inner savage and add bacon AND an egg over easy. I’ve been going to Room 11 for about as long as I can remember, and each time I’m surprised how consistent this place has been over the years. The brunch is just one more reason to always return. -R.G.
Slipstream – Slipstream serves brunch for a FULL 7 HOURS EVERY WEEKEND DAY (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). There’s a little something for everyone – whether you’re feeling the effects of the night before (in which case we recommend the healing Yucatan Style Stew -Roasted pork, sweet potato, radish salad, poached egg, toast) or taking it easy (The Breakfast Bowl with short grain white rice, greens, preserved lemon, radish, egg is the closest you can get to a SQIRL vibe in DC), and don’t forget to get a toast or a pastry on the side. -S.L.
Wapa Cafe Boutique – Two words: Breakfast quesadilla. You need it in your life. -K.D.
2 Amys – The pro tip when it comes to brunching at 2 Amys 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. -S.L.
Leave us comments of your favorites AND GODSPEED!
Words by Shauna Alexander, Trisha Brown, Kaylee Dugan, Armando Gallardo, Ruben Gzirian, Logan Hollers, Jessica Hubbard, Priya Konings, Svetlana Legetic, Erik Loften, Jose Lopez-Sanchez, Diana Metzger, Caroline Ponseti, Anna Stevens, Brandon Wetherbee, Alan Zilberman