Food & Drink

29 Boozy Brunches in DC: A hood-by-hood guide

Published On 04/23/2014 Published On 04/23/2014
M Cafe
Hank's Oyster Bar
Cuba Libre
Flickr User John of Austin
Acre 121
Lincoln
GBD
Scott Suchman
El Centro D.F.
Masa 14
Shaw's Tavern
Hank's Oyster Bar
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1. Cafe Saint-Ex 1847 14th Street NW , Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Named for aviator/ author of The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Cafe Saint-Ex also holds a dual identity. Upstairs is a classy cafe where you can enjoy delicious offerings like Sriracha Chicken Liver Mousse or Slow Roasted Pork Belly, while downstairs a dance party awaits your full-stomached dancing (wait 30 minutes!).

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2. Drafting Table 1529 14th Street, NW, , washington, dc, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

Named for and full of the tables employed by modern-day architects and 19th-century rich guys who had "studies", the 14th Street booze den nonetheless eschews rich mahogany for rawness like salvaged bus depot stoplights that flash its address (1, 5, 2, 9).

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3. M Cafe & Bar 1634 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

Legit Italian grub in a ritzy space that doesn't match the less-than-skyhigh prices.

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4. Masa 14 1825 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

The culinary lovechild of chefs Kaz Okochi (Kaz's Sushi Bistro) and Richard Sandoval (Zengo), Masa fuses the talents of both into a pleasing array of Latin/Asian small plates, in a handsome, open-kitchen 100-seater.

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5. Beuchert's Saloon 623 Pennsylvania Ave SE , Washington, DC , DC 20003 (Eastern Market)

A reborn western saloon with the upscale hipness of Eastern Market, Beuchert’s takes “farm-to-table” fare to the next level. Everything on the market-driven menu is sourced from local coops and farms, resulting in an abundance of fresh flavors. We suggest you sip on a specialty cocktail and order the roasted bone marrow -- a verdant combination of pickled pistachios and mustard seed, served with a parsley salad -- to fit in with the local herd, providing the taxidermy Buffalo (mounted above the cherry wood bar with lifelike expressions) haven’t done so already.

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6. Cuba Libre 801A 9th Street NW, Washington, DC, DC 20001 (Penn Quarter)

The 200+ seat Libre's menu is designed around "what Cuba's cuisine would be like today, if it had continued to flourish beyond the golden era of the 1950s," though its decor's decidedly pre-Castro Old Havana: bubble street lights and colorful '50's era building facades, architecture now missing in actual Cuba -- thanks oddball combo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence!

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7. NoPa Kitchen + Bar 800 F St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

The chef helming this Penn Quarter brasserie comes from Manhattan's Japanese/Peruvian Nobu 57, so you know you're getting more than your go-to American or French cuisine here. Chef Matt Kuhn puts an Asian twist on staples with dishes like carrot-infused spaghetti, farro and black quinoa risotto, chilean sea bass, and pork shoulder cassoulet, all served in a chic, industrial setting with whitewashed brick and dark wood walls, plush red velvet chairs, and comfortable leather booths.

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8. Poste 555 8th St, NW , Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

Poste has you covered for delicious local beers and craft cocktails ON TAP, like the "That Ginger is a Peach" -- made with bourbon, peach nectar, and Osterwies Hard Ginger Beer.

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9. Ardeo + Bardeo 3311 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Cleveland Park)

Combining the two adjoining Cleveland Park heavy hitters, Ardeo + Bardeo's the aptly named meal-merger from nationally hailed Ashok Bajaj, with an extensive brunch and dinner menu, and a million-dollar facelift.

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10. Ripple 3417 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Cleveland Park)

Boasting a linen-lined, curtained rear dining room and a 40ft tiled bar backed by huge mirrors and flower-patterned lightboxes up front, Ripple's a casually airy, beige-walled winer n' diner.

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11. Acre 121 1400 Irving St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Columbia Heights)

A reference to the 121-acre neighborhood that went nameless before becoming Columbia Heights,121 has turned the recently vacant Commonwealth space into a low-country BBQ joint, keeping things rustic with copper light fixtures illuminating a small stage, vintage prints of of the neighborhood, and bronzed mirrors, meaning Boehner must've accidentally pressed up against them while fixing a contact or something.

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12. Georgia Brown's 950 15th St NW, Washington, 20005 (Downtown)

They do Southern fare right at GB's, which such fine foods such as ham, shrimp, grits, bacon, home fries, and more, which are all available in their delectable buffet.

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13. Lincoln 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 (K Street)

Lincoln reps the former head-of-state not only in name, but in taste as well, spotlighting some of his favorite eats, which apparently included oysters and gingerbread. Lincoln's small plate menu focuses on contemporary American cuisine sourced locally from farmers and fishermen in the region. Nothing says 'merica like infused bourbons and a full list of moonshines approved by honest Abe.

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14. DGS Delicatessen 1317 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

DGS Delicatessen takes the idea from your old Jewish grandmother's kitchen and elevates it with a modern and creative spin that gives this authentic deli-bar new flavor and energy with a homestyle base. Styled after the turn-of-the-century grocery stores, DGS Delicatessen house cures and smokes their all meats and fish as well as crafts their own duck fat matzo balls.

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15. GBD 1323 Connecticut Ave NW , Washington, DC , DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

GBD, or "Golden Brown Delicious", is really a misnomer, as their food is actually way sweeter than even Betty White and Rue McClanahan combined. That's thanks to the crew from Birch & Barley, who're frying birds & doughnuts in this skinny Dupont spot split into three sections: counter-service in the front, bar in the middle, and pin-cushion booth seating (lit by fryer baskets!) in the back.

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16. Teddy & The Bully Bar 1200 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

Teddy & The Bully Bar is the second prez-themed bar from the Lincoln folks, w/ this Roughrider going all “robust masculinity”: animal heads, rifle lights, and a menu showcasing wild game.

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17. District Commons 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037 (Foggy Bottom)

Upscale dining with an American tavern inspiration, District Commons elevates comfort food with a fresh raw bar, hearth-fired flatbreads, and a carving board slicing local and sustainable meats. Come in for the rotating pre-fixe family meal served nightly at 10p or just sample one of the 99 beers on the wall.

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18. Smith Commons 1245 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

There's something to please everyone at Smith Commons: a sweet, exposed-brick, vintage atmosphere and 3rd floor roof deck, delicious offerings like short rib tacos and Sous Vide Moulard Duck Breast, and a craft beer list full of drafts from nine different states.

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19. Vendetta 1212 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

Located in the old Red Palace, Vendetta is an Italian spot on H Street with two oyster shell/gravel bocce courts.

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20. Shaw's Tavern 520 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

A massive neighborhood watering hole where lanterns light exposed brick walls and an outdoor patio, Shaw's wood-burning oven cooks up fare like roasted branzino (with clams in a warm shellfish vinaigrette), and Granny Smith-topped Vermont pizza. The cocktails are highlighted by an amped-up Bloody garnished with a house-pickled carrot, called the "Pickle Mary" -- good enough to produce a "Jesus!".

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21. Table 903 N St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20001 (Mount Vernon Sq)

Run by the chef behind Smith Commons, Table boasts a menu of "classic European sensibilities" served in an old Mt Vernon auto body shop now jacked-up with a minimalist open kitchen, long banquettes, and two outdoor seating areas, or as they call them in Europe, "lifts".

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