10. Breakfast Sarnie
Duke's GroceryAddress and Info
Though Duke’s is best known for its Proper Burger, the Sarnie is definitely worth a try. It is gargantuan. Of all the sandwiches we tried, it was easily the largest -- a massive brute, comprised of thick sourdough bread, rashers, arugula, and egg smothered in HP brown sauce, capturing all the flavors of the full English breakfast in a (relatively) smaller vessel. This one's definitely not for the faint of heart.
9. Egg Sandwich & Halfsmoke
Florida Avenue GrillAddress and Info
While the places and storefronts of Old DC are slowly disappearing in Shaw, the Florida Avenue Grill remains, serving old-timers and newcomers to the community alike. This neighborhood institution has been cooking up delicious, no-frills food for over 70 years, doing right by everyone who walks in through its doors. The egg sandwich is served on toasted white bread, with a perfectly cooked and slightly charred halfsmoke sausage cut lengthwise, eggs cooked to order, and a couple slices of cheese. All in all, it has enough flavor to stand up to any of the more gourmet entries on this list, and is proof positive that we’ve had good food in the District way before all the attention.
8. The Smucker Breakfast
Smucker Farms of Lancaster CountyAddress and Info
U Street Corridor
Super-thick Stoltzfus bacon, chive cream cheese, and pepper jelly are the stars of this contender's first few bites, their flavors marrying surprisingly well. The bacon is thick, perfectly salted, and delicious; the egg frittata has a fluffy texture that helps it stand out from the competition, and serves as a nod to the sandwich’s heritage -- RIP Blind Dog Cafe. This sandwich is served on a Bullfrog everything bagel, arguably one the best bagels in town, but we'd recommend requesting a toasted bagel here. Oh, and there’s lettuce and tomato on this bad boy, but they’re really just there to help you feel better about eating this decadent sandwich so early in the day.
7. In Your FACE!
Buffalo & BergenAddress and Info
The mad geniuses at Union Market’s Buffalo & Bergen named this one well: the combination of fried egg, fresh mozzarella, sopressata, and pesto is a major flavor bomb, and the pesto is perfect -- so fresh and richly textured. The sopressata is salty and fatty, which balances out the richness of the mozzarella and egg. It’s a messy, runny, and delightful hangover cure -- get it on an everything bagel to take it up a notch.
6. The Hot Mess
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.Address and Info
There's simply no way to eat this elegantly, but once you bite in, you will not care. The biscuit is fluffy, buttery, and rich, without ever feeling heavy, even though it’s all smothered in a heaping serving of sausage gravy. The bacon is smoky, crispy, and peppery, and comes topped with a fried egg and aioli. This guy may be small, but it packs a punch.
5. Bagel Sandwich
RoyalAddress and Info
This sandwich is super flavorful and filling -- and totally vegetarian. A Firehook Bakery bagel gets topped with a fried egg, tomato, red onion, and the house-made royal cheese spread, which is made up of cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, and peppers, and adds a smoky, spicy element. The bagel comes nicely toasted, which in addition to the crisp red onion creates a pleasant crunch and textural mash-up with the other ingredients.
4. Biscuit Sammie
A Baked JointAddress and Info
Crunchy on the outside, fluffy inside, this perfect biscuit has spicy sausage and cilantro baked into it, but manages to avoid being too salty or overwhelmingly herbaceous. It's served with an organic fried egg, a dab of mayonnaise, and a thick slice of tomato, which is a nice cool change of texture on the inside. The egg is just a shade harder than the usual -- a firm yolk -- without being dry. Really flavorful, and a smart update to a breakfast staple.
3. Buenos Dias
Red Apron ButcherAddress and Info
The light hint of sweetness of the tigelle -- a disc-shaped flatbread baked in a press until golden-crisp -- is complemented by the smokiness and anise in the house-made chorizo patty. Balance these out with cheddar, pickled onion, and sour cream, and this sandwich stands out: the onions cut across the creamy texture of the melted cheddar and sour cream, and play with your taste buds. It's on the smaller side, so you might be convinced to order two at a time -- we won't judge.
2. Fried Chicken Sandwich
Pineapple and PearlsAddress and Info
A modern take on the classic Southern chicken biscuit, this one is a standout: spicy fried chicken covered in sauce and served with pickles, Bibb lettuce, parsley, and red onion on a soft roll. The sauce -- the recipe's a closely guarded secret -- is sweet and tangy, reminiscent of aioli, while the pickles give each bite a little tartness. Do yourself a favor and head to Pineapple and Pearls for this bad boy.
Little Red FoxAddress and Info
OK, this place is kind of a hike, but this sandwich is totally worth it: ciabatta, stuffed with a fried egg, apple butter, gorgonzola spread, arugula, and bacon (you can get it without the bacon, but… why?). The ciabatta is fresh and crusty, and baked perfectly -- you could be happy eating a loaf of this just by itself. The fried egg is served over easy, and balances out the creamy, bold nuttiness of the gorgonzola spread -- this is definitely for folks who enjoy a stinky cheese -- but it's not overwhelming. The arugula's bitter, the apple butter's sweet, and the whole thing comes together just beautifully.
1. Duke's Grocery1513 17th St NW, Washington
2. Florida Avenue Grill1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington
3. Smucker Farms of Lancaster Co.2118 14th St NW, Washington
4. Buffalo & Bergen1309 5th St NE, Washington
5. Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.1309 5th St NE, Washington
6. The Royal501 Florida Ave. NW, Washington
7. A Baked Joint440 K St NW, Washington
8. Red Apron Butcher709 D St NW, Washington
9. Pineapple and Pearls715 8th St SE, Washington
10. Little Red Fox5035 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington
"A taste of East London in East Dupont," Duke's small bistro hosts a menu offering different takes on English pub favorites like salt-brined brisket and four-cheese toasted breads, sided by imported craft beers and custom cocktails. The two vastly different sides of the restaurant absolutely nail the Shoreditch aesthetic it was going for -- half of the restaurant is completely whitewashed brick, and the other is covered head-to-toe in recreation of the London neighborhood's famous street art.
When Lacey and Bertha Wilson opened Florida Avenue Grill way back in the 1940s, they envisioned a home-style cafe where you could get a meal any time of the day without selling out big bucks for it. With heaping plates of Southern dinners like smothered fried pork chops and all-day breakfast with options like fish & grits, smoked sausage, eggs, and hotcakes, their vision is still living on past their era of ownership.
This small grocer sourcing produce and other grocery items from Lancaster County farms and artisans hosts a little deli counter slinging sandwiches atop freshly baked breads and every bagel imaginable. Specializing in breakfasts, Smucker makes a mean BLT made for the AM with bacon, egg frittata, chive cream cheese, and more on an everything bagel along other Amish-style delights like dutch potato salad.
Located inside of DC's Union Market, this diner-style spot is specializes in New York-style bagels and everything you can put in-between them. Every kind of bagel imaginable serves as your base for a breakfast or lunch sandwich that you can customize with a selection of meats and flavored cream cheeses. Or you can go for a signature style like the Foxy Loxy (self-explanatory) or something a little more daring like The Bandito with carnitas-style pulled pork and pickled peppers.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. is a Kickstarter-funded outfit of Southern food enthusiasts, bringing seriously crave-worthy fried chicken & biscuits to DC. The biscuits have been known to vanish in a matter of hours, and they offer a wide variety of options -- sweet potato biscuits, ham & jalapeño, garlic & herb, and a few other treats to mix and match. The much-loved buttermilk biscuit is based off one of their grandma's never-written-down biscuit recipe.
Owner Paul Carlson’s Colombian heritage is responsible for the Latin influence found in many of the dishes at this neighborhood spot in LeDroit Park. This cozy cafe offers everything from coffee to arepas -- not to mention a killer cocktail program. It's a great venue for a date, as the spot is spacious enough to talk comfortably.
All drug-related jokes aside, this North Capitol Street bakery makes one hell of a sandwich with the breads they're creating every day. Their fresh focaccia, baguettes, and bolillo rolls make nice, warm homes for fillings like marinated pork and sweet plantains. The biscuits are the real belles of the ball, though, with bacon, cheese, and chive rolled into the dough and baked to a fluffy, crumbly finish while you choose one of dozens of teas to brew.
Start with a quality butcher that's got all the meats and provisions you could ask for, add a delicious menu of specialty breakfast and lunch sandwiches, mix in some coffee from Ceremony, and you've got yourself Red Apron Butcher. Speaking of their breakfast sandwiches, all of them are served on tigelle -- a tasty Italian flatbread reminiscent of an English muffin -- and come in varieties that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in DC, like the Southern Comfort with tasso ham, egg, and spicy pimento cheese.
From Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls is a luxurious dining experience that nods to hospitality and elegance. The Capitol Hill restaurant opened in 2016 and was awarded two Michelin stars soon after, a recognition that should come as no surprise given Silverman's opening mission to reinvent fine dining. The 13-course tasting menu doesn't stick to one theme, instead, it features an array of avant garde courses that bounce between light and heavy. Dinner here comes with a heavy price tag, but there is a casual coffee bar in the front that serves sandwiches, pastries, and coffee during the day.
Husband and wife duo Anne Alfano and Matt Carr opened Little Red Fox to bring the best of Washington's own produce to Chevy Chase with gourmet spins on classic American fare. The “Portlander” with fried egg, house-made apple butter, Gorgonzola spread, arugula, and bacon on ciabatta makes the choice for breakfast pretty easy. Just don't let the mouth-watering sandwich selection distract from the highlight of this cozy café: amazing coffee, made with beans roasted by Coava Coffee.