Let’s cover the important stuff first: how to get free booze. Show up to the Pennsylvania-themed restaurant’s "Stately Affair" Sunday brunch dressed real nice and they'll pour you a free glass of Veuve Clicquot or Dad’s Hat rye. More of a straight-from-yoga bruncher? There’s a "Kale Mary" for that, but you have to pay for it. Food wise, you’re noshing on Bananas Foster French toast, duck leg confit hash, scrapple Benedict, a breakfast burrito, or a foie gras burger to go with that Veuve. Sun, 10am-4pm.
The new Georgetown offshoot of Petworth’s Chez Billy has the kind of South-of-France charm you should save for a first date situation. Make a good impression by ordering the cinnamon roll to start, because it’s covered with Nutella-mocha frosting. Then onto a gooey croque madame; decadent crabcake Benedict; or brioche French toast paired with simple brunch drinks done right. Things can only get better once temps warm up and brunch can be devoured in the restaurant’s courtyard. Sat-Sun, 11am-2pm.
Logan Circle’s beloved corner pizza place finally decided to try its hand at brunch toward the end of 2014. Sure, there are other things on the menu like yogurt and granola, but when it gets down to it, you and your companions are each ordering a bacon & egg pizza as if it was of the personal-pan variety. It’s that good. Wash it down with strong espresso or a Bloody Mary boosted by the flavor of anchovies — the restaurant’s beloved flavor blaster. Sat-Sun, starting at noon.
Dupont Circle & Chinatown
You’re looking at sesame-crusted fried chicken napping on a bed of matcha green tea Belgian waffles coated with lemongrass and ginger. The dish is part of Ping Pong Dim Sum’s recently launched "East West Brunch," which goes way beyond dumplings to offer brunch munchies that fuse Chinese cooking with the classics. The $36 unlimited menu includes egg & cheese breakfast spring rolls with five-spice tonkatsu sauce; Shanghai shrimp and grits; mango black tea French toast; and deconstructed mimosas made with popping pearls that look like they’re from the future. Sucker for traditional dim sum? Don’t worry, carts will roll by, too. Sat-Sun, 11:30am-4pm.
Cashion’s is not new to the brunch game — they’ve been turning out impressive weekend grub for years. What IS new is their approach to brunch beverages. Not everyone is a mimosa or Bloody Mary person, after all. Cashion’s Eat Place recently launched a Craft Beer Brunch at the bar. Try General Manager Dustin Beruta’s rare beer pick alongside any brunch entrée for $20. Recent picks have included Straffe Hendrik's Wild Tripel and Mother Earth Brewing's Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter. Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm, BAR ONLY.
H Street NE
H Street is blowing up, and of course that leads to more brunch options, like DC Harvest. Brunch does tend to lean a little healthy here, so maybe this is your pick if you passed out in a pile of Dangerously Delicious Pies the night before. Scrambles made from organic eggs are your best bet, because they incorporate either spicy lamb sausage, seasonal mushrooms, or smoked bacon. Also try spelt buttermilk pancakes with a seasonal fruit compote and sorghum syrup. Sat-Sun, 11am-2:30pm.
The brunch menu at this new Washington Harbor restaurant is short, simple, and mostly French. Try a savory crepe stuffed with Brie cheese, honey mustard, apricot, fresh greens, and hazelnuts. Or try an elegant omelet with herb cheese and heirloom tomatoes. Mama Rouge is fusion food after all, so you can also snack on scallion & crab pancakes with a fried egg, Sriracha & mint, or a ham & cheese bánh mì. You better believe there’s a Sriracha Bloody Mary waiting for you. Sat-Sun, 11:00am-2:30pm.
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1. Second State1831 M St NW, Washington
2. Chez Billy Sud1039 31st St NW, Washington
3. Etto1541 14th St NW, Washington
4. Ping Pong Dim Sum in Dupont1 Dupont Circle NW, washington
5. Cashion's Eat Place1819 Columbia Rd NW, Washington
6. DC Harvest517 H St NE, Washington
7. Mama Rouge3000 K Street NW, Washington
This Pennsylvania-focused restaurant in the former Mighty Pint space offers a rye-driven cocktail menu, including the Second Statement (with Wigle rye, PA raw honey, Absinthe, and aromatic bitters served on fancy ice). What you won’t find on the menu is beer produced anywhere but Pennsylvania. They’re not kidding about this theme. Bites include a foie gras-topped burger with caramelized onions and banana jam (available at lunch), cheddar pierogies, and a coffee-cocoa-rubbed venison chop. Also heed the sign posted in the bar: Enjoy your food, not your phone.
The Georgetown offshoot of Petworth's Chez Billy has the kind of South of France charm you should save for a wine n' dine kind of date. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Chez Billy Sud puts an upscale and elegant spin on Gallic classics like duck confit, steak frites, and beef bourguignon. Splurge on a bottle of wine, or go for one of the thematically-named cocktails (Champs-Elysees, anyone?).
From the folks behind 2 Amys and Standard, this pizza place is old-fashioned in more than just its name -- Etto is using old-school tools, including a giant, wooden flour mill, to churn out delicious pizzas, breads, and pies. Freshly ground flour really has the effect of making an insanely good crust, slightly sweet and slightly charred. There are usually around 10 pizzas on the menu, but don’t even bother looking at it. They're great, but the pro move here is to go straight for the Daily Special pizza, whatever it is. Designed to highlight local, seasonal produce, the pies feature the freshest ingredients in amazing flavor combinations.
By far the most ping-pongingest restaurant to open in The Circle, the hip dim sum spot's second location has added an outdoor alfresco dining area for 90, and a group-seating small-plates bar serving up classics like char siu buns (honey-roasted barbecue pork) and black prawn dumplings in squid ink pastry, as well as a late-night/weekend bar menu called "Ping Pong After Dark", aka an HBO series that makes the tricks on Cathouse look tame.
Located in Adams Morgan, Cashion's churns out inventive a local dishes from a menu that changes daily. Be sure to check out their Craft Beer Brunch, available at the bar.
For a brunch that's on the healthy-side, check out DC Harvest's scrambles made with organic eggs and either spicy lamb sausage, seasonal mushrooms, or smoked bacon. Also try spelt buttermilk pancakes with a seasonal fruit compote and sorghum syrup.
Mama Rouge is a Southeast Asian Bistro in Georgetown that adds in a dash of classic French fare in a classic bistro environment. The most important thing on Chef/Owner Aulie Bunyarataphan's menu? The croissant brisket bánh mì -- loaded up with layers of smoky, moist meat and veggies that provide the prescribed amount of acidity and crunch. If brisket doesn’t rev your engine, try it with coconut shrimp, crispy pork belly, spicy chicken sausage, or lemongrass pork -- all for less than $10.