Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in DC

Updated On 05/03/2017 at 05:26PM EST Updated On 05/03/2017 at 05:26PM EST
Whaley's
Whaley's | Whaley's

Range

Chevy Chase

The menu at Bryan Voltaggio’s Chevy Chase restaurant has a truly impressive, pardon the pun, range. It has salads, shellfish over ice, bakery selections, terrines and pates, cheeses, wood oven pizzas, sandwiches, and, of course, brunch staples. Go savory with the avocado and pepper jack egg sandwich, or mix sweet and spicy with the honey buttermilk biscuits covered in pepper jelly. Then, rinse it all down with a crisp Bellini or tart gin fizz.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11:30am-4pm

Whaley's

Whaley’s

Navy Yard

If you like seafood, head down to Whaley’s, which is dominating the seafood brunch game in the burgeoning Navy Yard. It features a raw bar with oysters, mussels, and scallops alongside pancakes and cocktails in a lofty space reminiscent of an old riverboat in Yards Park. If indulgent seafood towers and the waterfront scenery isn’t enough to tempt you, feel good that all of the used oyster shells go to Oyster Recovery Partnership, a nonprofit that helps improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay -- every half shell put back into the water can house 10 baby oysters, to keep the ecosystem (and restaurants) flush.

Brunch hours: Sun 11am-3pm

L’Enfant Café

Downtown

Relocated from its original Adams Morgan home to its new “play palace,” the La Boum Brunch has a seriously sexy reputation. Restricted to a 21-and-over crowd, it’s one of the most unique Saturday afternoon experiences in DC, and will have you dancing on top of tables with strangers in your skivvies in no time. Brunch comes first to fuel you up for a full afternoon of debauchery, dimmed lights, drawn shades, DJs, burlesque, and pretty much anything naughty, and will leave you stumbling bleary-eyed back into the sun wondering how it’s still daytime. Note that reservations are required -- and remember to wear your party underoos.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 12-4pm

Iron Gate Restaurant

Iron Gate

Logan Circle

This swanky Logan Circle spot offers mouthwatering Italian and Greek small plates alongside baked hen eggs, ricotta pancakes, and many other twists on traditional brunch dishes. The menu is seasonal, but if you can get your mits on some orange blossom donuts, don’t leave without them, and definitely enjoy a well-crafted cocktail on the intimate patio and courtyard.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11am-2pm

Open City

Woodley Park

Open City is the motherland of brunch, open from early morning to midnight (or later) seven days a week. If that wasn’t enough, the patio is sunlit and charming, and the food is super-comforting with lots of vegan and vegetarian options. Go with crunchy hash browns, cheesy grits, or the popular California omelette, and enjoy the tasty espresso drinks in this little slice of heaven.

Brunch hours: Sun-Thur 6am-12am; Fri-Sat 6am-1am

DC Harvest

DC Harvest

H Street NE

We drool a little just thinking about DC Harvest, a locally sourced wonderland with a farmhouse feel on the H Street Corridor. This place is always bustling and yet the plaid-attired servers never make you feel rushed while serving robust platters of the healthiest, modern-American fare in town. The spelt buttermilk pancakes and tri-tip steak hash will keep you satisfied all day, and you can wash it all down with $20 bottomless mimosas or a seasonal fruit or vegetable cocktail.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun, 11am-2:30pm

Bar Pilar

Bar Pilar

U St/14th St

Hemingway nerds, rejoice! This two-story gastropub’s artsy decor pays homage the the literary titan and serves a fitting mix of American and Spanish cuisine. The mostly European wine selection is terrific, and there are plenty of carbo-loading options from the dreamy pancake sandwiches to the buttery English muffins. If you’ve had a long night you can even opt for the “Hangover Cure,” a seemingly endless bowl of biscuits buried under sausage, gravy, home fries, and cheesy eggs.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11am-4pm

Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen

Brookland

If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen has a modern rustic feel and outdoor patio where everyone can enjoy traditional American fare and comfort food. The eggs Benedict with roast beef is a hearty brunch-time favorite, but Brussels sprouts chips are easily the best thing on the menu.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 10am-3pm

Kafe Leopold & Konditorei

Georgetown

Kafe Leopold is best appreciated if you studied abroad in Austria, or if you love excellent coffee, perfectly crafted chocolate, and sitting on a sunny plaza while a beautiful fountain gurgles nearby. Nestled away in a cobblestone alley in Georgetown, this peaceful retreat is a great place to enjoy a rich, frothy cafe melange and a honeyed waffle. If you don’t get something with chocolate in it here, like the praline mousse, you’re not doing it right.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 8-4pm

Room 11

Room 11

Columbia Heights

This cozy wine cubby is charming, to say the least, with gourmet grilled cheeses, flaky quiche, sizzling jalapeño biscuits, and even green eggs and ham gracing the menu. There’s also a huge list of wines to wash them down, as well as some specialty cocktails like the bourbon and apple cider concoction, or the Half Smoke with vodka, ginger beer, grapefruit, and house-made chili bitters.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 10am - 3pm

Beuchert’s Saloon

Eastern Market

Although it’s one of the best whiskey bars in town by night, by brunch it’s all about the fruit and sparkling wine. The old-world feel of antiqued wood and marble, glowing under saffron lamps and taxidermied buffalo heads makes this a hipster haven. Its vintage interior opens to an adorable outdoor brick patio that’s the perfect place to enjoy fresh and fluffy beignets balanced by a tangy grapefruit mimosa. The fried green tomato Benedict with pimento cheese mousse is a dream come true.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm

Hazel

Hazel

Shaw

Hazel had us at “crispy tots.” Its smart, inventive, Asian-fusion dishes riff off modern American fare to make this a terrific brunch spot, loading you up on kimchi scramble, duck muffin with a baked egg, and bacon rolls. The artful interior and funky patio give this place an unconventional feel that translates into a very good vibe, and if you have a big enough group, you can order the entire brunch menu for $95.

Brunch hours: 11am - 2pm

Le Diplomate

U St/14th St

Among brunch enthusiasts in DC, one of the most commons refrain is, “Le Dip!” This bustling brasserie serves classic French fare and delicious drinks amid a zinc bar, decorative tile floors, and airy sidewalk cafe. The vanilla French toast gets rave reviews, but you can’t go wrong with the rest of the massive menu, which includes crispy frites, juicy duck sarladaise, croque-madame, and steak tartare with a quail egg.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 9:30am - 3pm

Daikaya - Ramen - Izakaya

Daikaya

Chinatown

Daikaya is split into two spaces: the modern downstairs space focuses on Sapporo-style ramen, while the upstairs whiskey bar serves small plates of Japanese-influenced comfort food like lox and onigiri, or chicken & waffles with wasabi butter and maple syrup. The brunch cocktails and mocktails are fun and bubbly, like the Eisai gin fizz that mixes Cold River gin, matcha powder, egg, and lemon. And who could honestly say no to the French Toast, which is soaked the night before in cream and soy milk, then dusted with kinako powder?

Brunch hours: Sun 11am-3pm

Mintwood Place

Adams Morgan

Mintwood is Franco-American comfort food done just right, in a modern farmhouse-style location complete with wood-burning oven and quaint sidewalk seating. A unique ambience and enticing selections like pear buttered toast, pork hash, and smoked salmon eggs Benedict make this spot a must-visit. Then there’s its take on a hangover special that piles hamburger and onions in with Cheddar, bacon, and a sunny-side-up egg.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 10:30am - 2:30pm

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.

Union Market

NOMA

Union Market has everything. Navigating the bustling neighborhood hub, you’ll likely run into a few people you know, and hopefully you’ll be blessed with good weather so you can eat at one of the picnic tables outside. The hardest part is choosing where to go and what to order: Options include tofu tacos at Takorean, buttery biscuits at Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., a strawberry liege waffle at Saison Wafel Bar, bread pudding at Puddin', or the lambs and clams at Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Make a day out if it, if your stomach can handle it.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 8am - 8pm

Homestead

Petworth

Fairly new to the up-and-exploding Petworth neighborhood, the Homestead is as its namesake suggests -- a welcoming rustic-style rowhouse of exposed brick and reclaimed wood with multiple floors and bars, and a lively roof deck. The family-style Southern pub fare includes meatloaf with Louisiana-style shrimp and grits, but at brunch, you’ll find a variety of egg dishes with lamb bacon, a hash made with pork shoulder, sweet potato and roasted peppers, and an egg-topped burger with pickled onions and garlic aioli.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 10am - 3pm

Scott Suchman

Boundary Stone

Bloomingdale/Eckington

Named for the mile markers that once shaped the city, this warm and friendly neighborhood pub at the heart of Bloomingdale prides itself on being a restful refuge for those who enjoy simple pleasures like $14 bottomless mimosas and bloody marys. Bordering on the edge of being divey, Boundary Stone is an Irish-leaning local watering hole with a tin ceiling, oak bar, and plenty of nooks and crannies for comfortable conversation. Chill in the outdoor seating and dig into the French toast, pork belly and egg sandwich, or maple syrup bacon grits.

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11am - 2pm

Blue Duck Tavern

Foggy Bottom

There’s a reason this place is a Michelin Star restaurant. Its locally sourced delicacies merge rustic and contemporary flavors of American cuisine in a casual chic tavern atmosphere, with an outdoor terrace that’s an urban oasis. The silky short-rib hash is a must-have, but you can’t go wrong with the chicken biscuit, or the raclette burger. And why not accompany any of those with a sorbet mimosa?

Brunch hours: Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm