Food & Drink

Where to Eat Brunch, According to 10 DC-Area Chefs

Published On 03/02/2015 Published On 03/02/2015
Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Want to eat brunch like an expert? We thought so. That’s why we asked 10 DC-area chefs to dish on where they throw down food come Saturday and Sunday morning. The big takeaway? Chefs love dim sum. But if that's not your thing, there are plenty more chef-approved morning-eats to be had.

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley/The Arsenal

His pick: Estadio (address and info)
Logan Circle
Come the weekend, Kyle Bailey is "throwing down tomato bread" at Estadio. We don’t blame him -- a slice or two is the perfect way to start a Sunday. Drink-wise, he starts with a slushito (a recent recipe featured cranberry, rye, and fernet). Another high point for the chef is the Spanish restaurant’s soft scrambled eggs. They’re served with goat cheese, mushrooms, and scallions -- a surprisingly light pick for someone who lives for pork. 

Brasserie Beck

Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery

His pick: Brasserie Beck (address and info)
McPherson Square
The king of PorKorn and Louisiana hospitality heads to Brasserie Beck for brunch, especially during patio season, because the outside area has that rare European breed of charm. David Guas is ordering their 8oz hanger steak served with scrambled eggs and Belgian frites, claiming it’s perfectly marinated. Also, don’t forget about the crab cakes Benedict (pictured). There’s something balls-to-the-wall about their Béarnaise.

Michael J. Colella

Chef Scott Drewno of The Source

His pick: Bombay Club (address and info)
DC’s dean of dumplings hits up Bombay Club’s Sunday brunch buffet on the regular. "About $25 [$27.95] gets you all-you-can-drink sparkling wine, crazy good food, and there’s a piano player," he tells us. Brunch is available from 11:30am-2:30pm, and you can expect to dip into seven main-course dishes, plus rice and naan.

His other pick: Hong Kong Pearl Seafood Restaurant (address and info)
Falls Church, VA
In case you’re wondering, when Scott’s not the one serving dim sum at The Source’s Saturday dim sum brunch, he likes Hong Kong Pearl Seafood Restaurant in Seven Corners. 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Amy Brandwein of Centrolina

Her pick: Del Campo (address and info)
Penn Quarter
Amy Brandwein, of the forthcoming Centrolina (going into CityCenterDC this spring), digs Del Campo for brunch. "The flavors are just something you can’t find anywhere else," she says. It happens to be the perfect brunch place if you like to get the meat sweats going in the morning. Case in point, Amy is ordering the omelette, laced with provolone, pork chicharrones, sweet potatoes, and spring onions. Her second pick? The polenta with morcilla, poached egg, manchego cheese, and salsa verde.

Oriental East

Chef Nathan Beauchamp of The Fainting Goat

His pick: Oriental East (address and info)
Silver Spring, MD
Oddly enough, Nathan Beauchamp doesn’t love breakfast food. So, it’s all about dim sum, and his pick is Oriental East in Silver Spring. He snatches chicken feet, turnip cakes, and dumplings of all kinds off the roving carts. "Lots of Tsingtao and chrysanthemum tea" are also in order. Oriental East serves dim sum daily from 11am-3pm, but for cart-action you have to visit on the weekend (or holidays). 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo

His pick: Mintwood Place (address and info)
Adams Morgan
Mintwood Place is Victor Albisu’s pick because it can swing both ways -- casual enough to bring the fam, or a solid special-occasion selection. He’s ordering the breakfast sandwich with ham and scrambled eggs on a croissant, or Chef Cedric Maupillier’s epic creation: the bacon and onion flammekueche (pictured). During brunch, you can get an egg on top for bonus excitement. It’s basically a thin pizza, flavor-blasted with bacon. "I order both because it’s a tough choice," Victor says. You should, too. 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Danny Lee of Mandu

His pick: Sok Jip (address and info)
Annandale, VA
"The heat and spice clears you up and makes you sweat," Danny Lee says. He’s talking about the Daegoo Maewuntang at To Sok Jip in Annandale. The spicy codfish stew is served in a hot pot.

His other pick: The Source (address and info)
Penn Quarter
When he’s not blasting his belly with fire in the suburbs, he’s headed to The Source. Danny says the dim sum brunch is particularly memorable because of the bao buns and creative Bloody Mary cocktails.   

Bread Furst

Chef Cedric Maupillier of Mintwood Place

His pick: Bread Furst (address and info)
Van Ness/Forest Hills
The perfect brunch for Cedric Maupillier means a trip to Bread Furst, the Van Ness bakery that pumps amazing smells out to the street. "We pick up everything to-go and drive to a sunny spot around DC to enjoy a picnic brunch," he says. A typical meal for the chef includes "a nice buttery croissant with crunchy ends, a toasted English muffin with succulent seasonal jam, a couple of those ham and cheese scones, and always a jambon beurre with cornichon." Plus, a cappuccino. 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Barry Koslow of Pinea

His pick: Mark's Duck House (address and info)
Falls Church, VA
"Skip the eggs Benedict and bring on Mark’s Duck House dim sum," Barry Koslow implores. He and his wife try to toss back as much dim sum as they can, and they named Mark’s as their favorite. The Falls Church spot is always jam-packed and bustling with energy. "The food never stops flowing and I’m a sucker for dumplings, any dumplings." As a precursor to an afternoon nap, he also recommends the honey-glazed crispy duck, Chinese broccoli, and noodle soups. They’ve been at it for 20 years, so you can trust them. 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Chef Matt Adler of Osteria Morini 

His pick: The Coupe (address and info)
Columbia Heights
Like Chef Barry Koslow, Matt Adler can’t get enough Mark’s Duck House dim sum. But when he’s not tearing into dumplings, he heads to The Coupe in Columbia Heights for Bloody Marys and hash browns. He admits an amorous advantage -- his wife serves as The Coupe's pastry chef. As a big bonus, brunch there is weekends from 6am-6pm. That’s 12 hours of ordering the hash brown bowl with sautéed onions, mushrooms, bacon, cheddar, jalapeños, and egg.

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Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Estadio 1520 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (U Street)

If you don't order a slushito at Estadio, you're doing it wrong. These frozen boozie slushies are the star of this vibrant spot, and come in two variations: cranberry, ginger, brandy, and cava, or pistachio, manzanilla, sherry, and gin. Be sure to dig into their scrumptious and colorful Spanish tapas and bocadillos (sandwiches), too, like the sautéed chorizo picante.

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2. Brasserie Beck 1101 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005

From noted chef Robert Wiedmaier comes the European-style Brasserie Beck in McPherson Square. Brews include classic Belgian styles like dubbels, tripels, and saisons, while eats count options like a ratatouille crepe, classic steak frites with bearnaise and bordelaise, and Maine lobster pappardelle. Maine is notably not in Belgium, but doesn't that sound damn good?

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3. Bombay Club 815 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

Based off the old clubs of India, The Bombay Club offers top-notch Indian fare in an elegant dining room.

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4. Hong Kong Pearl Seafood Restaurant 6286 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044 (Falls Church)

Deemed one of the best dim sum spots in the DC/Northern Virginia-area, Hong Kong Pearl Seafood offers Chinese brunch every Saturday and Sunday with spectacular dim sum options.

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5. Del Campo 777 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Penn Quarter)

Using a wood-fired grill is one way to cook a steak, and at Del Campo, that smoke helps add another level of flavor to the meat. This upscale Argentinian restaurant in Chinatown is a beautiful tribute to Argentinian grilled meats, all served in an elegantly rustic space outfitted with oak wood floors and leather sling-back barstools- perfect for enjoying the 48oz ribeye on the menu.

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6. Oriental East 1312 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (Silver Spring)

Located in Silver Spring's Blair Park Shopping Center, Oriental East offers some of the DC/Maryland-area's best dim sum. Pro tip: on weekends, arrive by 10:00 or 10:30am to get a spot in a line before the place opens at 11:00am.

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7. Mintwood Place 1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

The Mintwood Place is an American Restaurant that has an "Oregon Trail" vibe thanks to the wagon wheels on the wall, wood on the tables and bars, and cast iron gears. Pull a chair up to the bar for some draft beer or try any of the delectable tastes on the menu, including the cast iron chicken w/ cippolini shepherd's pie.

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8. To Sok Jip 7211 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

This hole-in-the-wall Korean spot in Annandale offers delicious, authentic dishes like Daegoo Maewuntang, a spicy codfish stew served in a hot pot.

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9. The Source 575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Penn Quarter)

The name Wolfgang Puck attached to this Penn Quarter restaurant should tell you two things right off the bat -- this place isn't messing around with its culinary technique, and dinner here isn't going for cheap. The sleek dining area, brightened by cheerful yellow accents and floor-to-ceiling windows, is always full of people (many of whom are tourists, given the location) vying for a taste of Asian-inspired cuisine like chili oil-poached Nordic Cod or soy-marinated lamb chops. On the other side of the restaurant, the bar and lounge are a little bit calmer and offer a slew of classic and specialty cocktails along with, of course, an impressive wine list.

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10. Bread Furst 4434 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Van Ness)

This Van Ness/Forest Hills bakery offers delectable baguettes, buttery croissants, and top-notch ham & cheese scones -- among other must-have baked goods.

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11. Mark's Duck House 6184 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044 (Falls Church)

The Falls Church spot is always jam-packed and bustling with energy. Be sure to try the dumplings, honey-glazed crispy duck, Chinese broccoli, and noodle soups. They’ve been at it for 20 years, so you can trust them.

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12. The Coupe 3415 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Columbia Heights)

Thankfully you can get a pad Thai omelette whenever the hell you want at The Coupe, 'cause it's open 24hrs a day.



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