best brunches dc

Best Bets for Brunch

Brunch in DC isn’t just a popular pastime – it’s a way of life. We take brunching seriously in the DMV, planning our weekends around the hottest spots to cure our hangovers with inventive comfort food and refreshing cocktails. On Tap’s favorite foodies put together their short list for some of the best brunches around town, divvied up by category to give 33 excellent locations a fair shake. From carnivorous to vegan, boozy to health-conscious, live music to drag show – we’ve got it covered. Read on for our top brunch picks in and around the District.

Bottomless Booze
The Pursuit Wine Bar
There are a lot of obvious bottomless destinations on DC’s brunch scene – but let’s take a look under the radar and spread the love to The Pursuit Wine Bar on H Street, where bottomless mimosas are $10, the wine list is thoughtful, the servers are friendly, and loaded French toast means Nutella and bananas. The Pursuit Wine Bar:1421 H St. NE, DC; www.thepursuitwinebar.com
Urbana
In Dupont, almost anything near Connecticut Avenue with a patio is a no-brainer. But head down P Street and look  for Urbana at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar. I have fond memories of trying to drink this place dry with one of my best friends on a semi-regular basis. The refillable (they’re classy) Bellinis are $16, and bloodies are $18. The best part? The cute little carafes of juices they bring so you can customize your Bellinis. Oh, and the food is reliably high-end hotel quality. Urbana: 2121 P St. NW, DC;www.urbanadc.com

Live Music 
Acadiana
Take a trip to Louisiana without leaving DC at this Cajun-inspired live jazz brunch every Sunday. The music is the perfect backdrop to heavenly Southern fare, where $29 gets you a three-course menu featuring fried green tomatoes, seafood crepe gratin, French market beignets and more. Add on $10 to make your brunch bottomless with spicy Cajun Bloody Marys or blood orange mimosas. Acadiana: 901 New York Ave. NW, DC;www.acadianarestaurant.com

L’Enfant Café
At the request of the owners, I won’t share too much information, so as not to ruin the surprise for patrons. But if you have yet to go to “La Boum” at L’Enfant Café, you are missing out. Plan to make your reservations way in advance, especially if you have a large group, but it is well worth the wait. Once you are inside and your brunch time begins, the blinds are drawn, the champagne flows and the dance party really starts. Choose from a 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. seating on Saturdays and Sundays. The price is $29.50 per person, plus 20 percent gratuity. L’Enfant Café: 2000 18th St. NW, DC;www.lenfantcafe.com

Ragtime
This Sunday brunch is the perfect way to unwind after a long weekend with some talented local musicians. The music level is loud enough to enjoy, but not so much that it overpowers your rehashing of Saturday night. A $13 all-you-can-eat waffle and omelet bar (with bacon, sausage and fruit) means you don’t have to tackle that epic first-world problem – eggs or waffles? Order a pitcher of mimosas or build your own Bloody Mary, and sit back and enjoy the tunes. Ragtime: 1345 N. Courthouse Rd. Arlington, VA;  www.ragtimerestaurant.com
International Fare

Ambar
If you dream of exotic European destinations, go to Ambar and immerse yourself in the Balkans. The “endless selection” is $39 and includes all you could possibly eat or drink off the brunch menu. The Ambar mimosas are made with Balkan sparkling wine and peach and lavender puree, and the menu is a gloriously caloric list of crepes, meat pies, mezza and Nutella. Once you’ve eaten through the menu (it might take a few visits), get on a plane and indulge at its sister restaurant in Belgrade. Or just ogle their Instagram: @ambar_belgrade.  Ambar: 523 8th St. SE, DC; www.ambarrestaurant.com


China Garden
Brunch doesn’t always have to be about eggs benny and mimosas. Turn your Saturday morning into a destination brunch. Dim sum is my all-time favorite, and in DC there is nothing like China Garden – the fragrant chaos of the carts, the passive-aggressive struggle with the cart ladies trying to pawn off less popular dishes, the victory of scenting a cart laden with your favorite item (char shu bao!) and the thrill of discovering something new. Pro tip: Avoid anything that looks like regular Chinese restaurant food (e.g., trays of fried noodles) and focus on the dumplings. Note: This is not for your vegetarian friends (though a server here once insisted to me that chicken is a vegetable). This is for a large group of your favorite carnivores – the more the merrier, since that means more dumplings. China Garden: 1100 Wilson Blvd. (Mall Level), Rosslyn, VA; www.chinagardenva.com

TooSso Pakistani Kitchen
If East Asia is not your destination of choice, head to the family-owned TooSso (or stuff yourself) Pakistani Kitchen in Potomac Falls (a second location is coming soon to Rockville) for their halwa puri (traditional Pakistani breakfast) of fried bread, halwa and spicy cholay. On weekends, they also serve nihari, a rich beef shank stew (kind of like a Pakistani pho). It does get crowded, so get ready to count bottle caps to pass the time (there are over 22,000 of them affixed to the walls – but how many, exactly?) TooSso Pakistani Kitchen: 20921 Davenport Dr. Potomac Falls, VA; www.toosso.com

On A Budget

Central Michel Richard
Central Michel Richard might seem like a strange choice for the “on a budget” category, but hear me out. This bottomless (mimosas or bloodies), three-course brunch at one of Washington’s great restaurants costs $42 (or $27 without bottomless) – the equivalent at Central for another meal will run far higher. So, this is budget lux brunch. Plus, I heart chocolate pancakes.  Central Michel Richard: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC;  www.centralmichelrichard.com


Medium Rare
At the rate that we brunch in DC, I’m surprised we’re not all broke. When the urge to save money conflicts with my need for brunch, I plunge into the festive din of Medium Rare and spend $25 for two courses and bottomless mimosas, bloodies and coffee. I drool in my sleep for their 24-hour soaked (then fried) French toast (sorry, TMI). You’ll find me at Capitol Hill, but check out their Cleveland Park location as well. Medium Rare: 515 8th St. SE, DC; www.mediumrarerestaurant.com

Quench
Alternatively, head to Rockville. Quench opened with a splash in 2012, serving a creative menu and holding fun cocktail classes. It changed owners in 2014, but it’s still serving the neighborhood – and their $9 bottomless mimosas are solid. Quench: 9712 Traville Gateway Dr. Rockville, MD; www.quenchnation.com

Drag Shows
Perry’s Restaurant
The entertainment does not stop during a Sundays drag brunch at Perry’s Restaurant. Whether you are sitting in the bar or at a reserved table with your group, the queens come around and keep you on your toes. And if you are celebrating something special, definitely be sure to tell one of the queens! Perry’s offers two brunch seatings at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., each lasting two hours. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and show are $25.95 (not including beverage/tax/gratuity), and include an array of delicious salads, eggs, fruit, baked goods and sushi. Brunch sells out quickly, so plan to make your reservations one to two weeks in advance. Perry’s Restaurant: 1811 Columbia Rd. NW, DC; www.perrysam.com

Nellie’s Sports Bar
No shortage of personalities at this brunch, with Shi-Queeta Lee and her divas giving the crowd everyone from Beyonce to Liza Minelli. A $39.85 ticket gets you an unlimited breakfast spread including roast pork, mini empanadas, homemade mini-Nellie cupcakes and more. All taxes and gratuity are included in the price, along with your first mimosa or Zing Zang Bloody Mary. Brunch happens Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite via Nellie’s website. Nellie’s Sports Bar: 900 U St. NW, DC; www.nelliessportsbar.com

Meat Lovers 
Kangaroo Boxing Club
Smoked brisket, pulled pork and heavenly BBQ are the main players at Kangaroo Boxing Club. The popular Columbia Heights eatery offers a cozy atmosphere for a lazy brunch, complete with a juke box and prime-time people-watching spot on the patio. Try the big house breakfast with smoked brisket, sunny-side-up egg, biscuit and pastrami smashed potatoes with sausage gravy. Or go for the addictive tater tot hash with chopped brisket or bacon, eggs and red pepper jam. The pineapple papaya mimosa is a welcome change to the classic beverage, so order up a carafe for the table. Prices range $8 to $14. Kangaroo Boxing Club: 3410 11th St. NW, DC;www.kangaroodc.com

The Partisan
The brunch menu is only a year old, but The Partisan has certainly gained a reputation for offering carnivores their ultimate weekend escape. The Penn Quarter restaurant serves as a meat showcase, if you will, for partner and neighbor Red Apron Butcher, which is all about sourcing local and humane meats. For the ultimate fix, try the triple stack burger, with two beef patties, a breakfast sausage patty, cheese, bacon, a fried egg and maple butter. And you cannot make it through a brunch without ordering a bacon plate and beef fat fries for the table. If your mouth is not watering yet, it should be. Entrees range from $10 to $22.  The Partisan: 709 D St. NW, DC;www.thepartisandc.com

The Pig
The name clearly gives away the premise, but a love of pork and utilizing the whole animal are the focus at popular restaurant The Pig, with brunch being no different. Start off your meal with a heavenly charcuterie and cheese platter (little pig for $23 or big pig for $37), and move on to one of their tasty sandwiches (highly recommend the pork cutlet) or entrees (try the pork hash or waffle with fried chicken thigh). The mac and cheese truffle crust is the perfect sidekick to any of the meat-focused dishes, and be sure to order bacon cinnamon buns for the table. Entrees range $15 to $18. The Pig: 1320 14th St. NW, DC;  www.thepigdc.com
Brunch & Work Out 
Indigo Landing
If you’ve run or biked far enough down the Mount Vernon Trail, you’ve passed the Washington Sailing Marina. What you probably haven’t noticed is the old-school restaurant overlooking the water. On weekends, Indigo Landing puts out an epic brunch buffet (including an omelet station) for $35/person. Try biking there and back – it’s the perfect break halfway through your workout. Indigo Landing: One Marina Dr. Alexandria, VA; www.indigolanding.com
Kafe Leopold
If being out on the water is more your style, start at sunny Kafe Leopold in Georgetown for a light brunch of soft-boiled eggs with toast points and good coffee. Then walk to the Key Bridge Boathouse at the far end of K Street for an afternoon of canoeing or stand-up paddle boarding. Kafe Leopold: 3315 M St. NW, DC;www.kafeleopolds.com

Volt
Brunch is all about indulgence – but sometimes you need to pay for your sins. Make a down payment with a hike up the dog-friendly Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Md. Then head to the 19th-century brownstone mansion that houses Volt from celeb chef Bryan Voltaggio in nearby Fredrick for their seasonal three- or five-course tasting brunch ($35 and $55, respectively).  Volt: 228 N Market St. Frederick, MD; www.voltrestaurant.com
Brunch Cocktails
The Fainting Goat
A creative take on the classics and an inventive approach to ingredients makes The Fainting Goat a must-go for drinks, especially for brunch. The local hotspot prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, from its food to its beverages. Try Brucey’s Cocktail, inspired by the head bartender’s trip to the Amalfi Coast, with house-smoked lemon juice and vodka, and topped with an Averna-glazed and grilled lemon wheel. Brunch libations range from $7 to $11 each, with bottomless mimosas or Bloody Goats available for $17. The Fainting Goat: 1330 U St. NW, DC; www.faintinggoatdc.com

Old Town Pour House
Everyone claims to have the most creative and tasty Bloody Mary, but the Churchill Bloody Mary at Old Town Pour House takes the cake. Described as “bold and unwavering in character, like the British bulldog himself,” this $12 drink is a meal in and of itself. Served in a 21-ounce goblet, the Bloody Mary is crowned with a jumbo grilled shrimp and generously loaded skewer including steak medallions, cubed pepper jack cheese and cherry tomatoes. The drink is capped off with a Slim Jim resting on the seasoned rim. Old Town Pour House: 212 Ellington Blvd. Gaithersburg, MD; www.oldtownpourhouse.com

Farm-to-Table 
Blue Duck Tavern
Can I have a picture of the pig you’re going to serve me? I want to gaze into his eyes before I tuck into brunch. Okay, not really – but who doesn’t want to know where their food grew up? Farm-to-table has moved from trend to staple, but some restaurants do it better than others. Blue Duck Tavern is the gold standard, listing the source of produce and meats for each dish on its menu. The staff is ready with further details about the living conditions of your late chicken. It’s also the gold standard for luxury brunching – it’s been six years since I swooned over a whitefish rillette there, and I still think about it. It tasted like it had lived a good life. Blue Duck Tavern: 1201 24th St. NW, DC; www.blueducktavern.com

Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm
If you want to feel like you’re at the farm table, head to Broadlands, Va., where you’ll find Willow Creek Farm, part of the Clyde’s group of restaurants. The beautifully reconstructed late 18th  century and early 19th century farmhouse buildings are practically a museum to American country life – a museum that also serves locally-grown produce and hormone-free beef. Brunch is officially only served on Sunday, but the Saturday lunch menu also features eggs benny and other brunchy foods.  Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm: 42920 Broadlands Blvd. Broadlands, VA;  www.clydes.com/willow
Ripple
The buzziest farm-to-table brunch in DC right now has to be at Ripple, home of the now-famous Marjorie Meek Bradley (you may have seen her on this season’s Top Chef). Ripple offers an affordable lux experience for brunch via a pastry, an entree and bottomless libations for $30. Farm sources are listed at the bottom of the menu.Ripple: 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.rippledc.com

Vegan & Vegetarian

Equinox
If you want something less messy and with fewer hipsters, head to Equinox for Todd Grey’s market vegan brunch buffet. For $35, you can graze the soft taco station (tofu scramble!), granola-crusted French toast and a wide range of beautifully prepared, plant-based dishes. Equinox: 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.equinoxrestaurant.com
Smoke and Barrel
I could almost be a vegetarian if I could brunch every weekend at Smoke and Barrel. Their vegan spare ribs make carnivores happy, as do the vegan sweet potato donuts. The cocktails are under-the-radar amazing, but they love mimosa purists, too, with their 48-ounce pitcher for $20. Smoke and Barrel: 2471 18th St. NW, DC; www.smokeandbarreldc.com

True Food Kitchen
If you find your vegetarian self in the Mosaic District, head to True Food Kitchen. I can get behind anyone who creates an “anti-inflammatory food pyramid” and puts chocolate at the top. Their extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan options (quinoa Johnny cakes!) are integrated across the menu, since this is where plant-based diets are a legitimate way of life. Me? I’m going for the cocktails. Those are plant-based, right? True Food Kitchen: 2910 District Ave. #170, Fairfax, VA; www.truefoodkitchen.com

All-Day Breakfast

Bob & Edith’s Diner
When the night is slipping into morning and I’m looking to wallow in some hot, greasy hash browns and icy cold milkshakes, I drift to Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike. This is 24/7 old school, a classic – part of the American teenage dream that we all revisit at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday to reassure ourselves that we’re still young (or at least youngish). Bob & Edith’s has added two newer locations, but I’ll stick with the iconic original. Bob & Edith’s Diner: 2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA; www.facebook.com/BobandEdithsDiner


Olivia’s Diner 
Sometimes, brunch needs to happen for dinner. When those moments strike, I head to Olivia’s in Dupont Circle. Nothing complicated, just a diner with good pancakes and eggs, updated for the city – and open until 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Olivia’s Diner: 1120 19th St. NW, DC; www.oliviasdiner.com

Silver
Of course, if you’re in Maryland when late-night omelet cravings strike, head to Silver. This is the modern, posh member of the Silver family of diners – so not just heart-healthy, gluten-free menu options and locally-sourced produce, but also a good list of cocktails and a slightly swank vibe. So go ahead – it’s 6 p.m., and you should totally order that vegetarian banana French toast. Silver: 7150 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD; www.eatatsilver.com

Gluten-Free 
Chef Geoff’s
Chef Geoff’s has always blended its classic American menu with a high level of health awareness – without sacrificing taste. Even bread-lovers will savor the full menu of gluten-free options (more big shrimp and very gouda grits, please!) Other menu items can be prepared without gluten as well. Chef Geoff’s: 8045 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA; www.chefgeoff.com

Pennsylvania 6
The quirkily beautiful Pennsylvania 6 offers a full gluten-free menu, including burgers served on Udi’s gluten-free buns. The celiac’s dream brunch: wild mushroom toastie (red onion jam, Grana Padano, fried egg and Udi gluten-free toast) with a bottle of Veuve. The champagne bar lets you play bartender and customize your bubbles with an array of juices and garnishes. Pennsylvania 6: 1350 I St. NW, DC; www.pennsylvania6dc.com
Trummer’s on Main
The idyllically glam Trummer’s on Main has long been a romantic foodie destination, but it also has a very flexible kitchen, offering to accommodate any dietary request, and even going as far as to urge those with unique allergies to phone ahead so the kitchen can be prepared. We just might be on the all-mimosa diet. Trummer’s on Main: 7134 Main St. Clifton, VA; www.trummersonmain.com

Brunch Index of Advertisers
 
All listings are provided by the brunch venues.  

51st State
Enjoy Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with great food, $5 Bloodies and $25 unlimited mimosas. 51st State: 2512 L St. NW, DC; www.51ststatetavern.com

Agua 301
Agua 301 offers bottomless margaritas, sangria, Bloody Marys and mimosas for customers to enjoy while dining waterside. Enjoy Mexican specialties such as pozole verde, migas and chilaquiles as well as omelets, frittatas and tacos. Agua 301: 301 Water St. SE, DC; www.agua301.com  

Ankara
Enjoy Turkish breakfast specialties, flatbreads and meze during Ankara’s bottomless brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patio seating available. Ankara: 1320 19th St. NW, DC; www.ankaradc.net

Champps
We are not just another sports bar with brunch. We skillfully make scratch-made food every day, and recently re-launched our brunch menu to add some new flavors. Brunch specialties include our apple butter French toast and tex-mex Benedict.Champps: 1201 S Joyce St. Arlington, VA ; www.champps.com

Celtic House
Join us for unlimited helpings of your favorite breakfast plates, complete with both a carving and make-your-own omelet station. Enjoy a traditional Irish country breakfast platter, omelets, French toast, and your favorite Bloody Marys and mimosas. Celtic House: 2500 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA; www.celtichouse.net.com

District ChopHouse
We are featuring a new brunch menu that includes a prime rib Benedict, chicken and waffles, a Benedict flight with three different styles, lemon ricotta Belgian waffles, and more. We also offer a selection of classics from our lunch and dinner menus like our signature pub burger. District ChopHouse: 509 7th St. NW, Washington, DC;www.districtchophouse.com

Earls Kitchen + Bar
Our brunch menu uses premium, homemade ingredients and is enhanced by our signature cocktail, a Canadian twist on a Bloody Mary, and our goat cheese frittata, a light mix of fluffy eggs, goat cheese, pesto and arugula that’s perfect for the patio.Earls Kitchen & Bar: 7902 Tysons One Pl. Tysons, VA; www.earls.ca

Fado Irish Pub
Aside from our traditional Irish breakfast, we have an assortment of plated brunch items from a classic eggs Benedict to our hangover sandwich. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys are always a good start to the day, especially the morning after…well, what happens at Fado stays at Fado. Fado Irish Pub: 808 7th St. NW, Washington, DC: www.fadoirishpub.com

The Fainting Goat
Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas pair wonderfully with our seasonal menu, featuring fresh and local ingredients, and our menu is designed with sharing in mind.The Fainting Goat: 1330 U St. NW, DC; www.faintinggoatdc.com

Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
We serve pancakes, omelets, eggs and more. Our Saturday and Sunday buffet opens at 10 a.m. Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant: 555 23rd St. S. Arlington, VA;www.freddiesbeachbar.com

Howard Theatre
The Howard Theatre’s brunch is unique because of its range of amazing music performances, and its Southern-influenced cuisine will surely leave you with an experience not to be forgotten. We are excited to introduce our new apple pie a la mode with diced apples that are sugar-wrapped in a deep-fried pastry puff and topped with ice cream and house-made caramel sauce. Howard Theatre: 620 T St. NW, DC;www.howardtheatre.com

IOTA Club & Café
We offer excellent Ceremony drip coffee and espresso, and Revolution tea. We serve gourmet breakfast pastries and breakfast sandwiches, and delectable breakfast bread pudding. Ask for our 100 percent real maple syrup. IOTA Club & Café: 2832 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA www.iotaclubandcafe.com  

Le Grenier
On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., enjoy one appetizer and one entrée or one entrée and one dessert with a glass of champagne or a mimosa for $19.95. Le Grenier: 502 H St. NE, DC; www.legrenierdc.com

Mad Fox Brewing Company
The flavors of our award-winning craft beer are blended into our savory brunch specialties. Dig into crispy fried chicken and waffles smothered in Orange Whip IPA maple syrup, or kölsch -battered biscuits and gravy. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

Mad Fox Taproom
We’re shaking up the traditional bottomless mimosas brunch scene with bottomless mead-mosas for just $15, featuring seasonal mead from Charm City Meadworks. Indulge even further with a colossal cinnabomb filled with a gooey brown sugar filling, and topped with a decadent Grand Marnier and cream cheese frosting. Mad Fox Taproom: 2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.madfoxbrewing.com

Park Lane Tavern
Park Lane Tavern offers an array of fresh and original brunch options crafted to perfection. Combine this with our extensive gourmet Bloody Mary bar and flavored mimosas, and we make brunch not just a meal but a true experience. Park Lane Tavern: 3227 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA ; www.facebook.com/PLTClarendon

Sehkraft Brewing
We offer a large, eclectic buffet with a waffle bar, omelet and beer tasting stations, smoked micheladas, butcher shop fare, a traveling dim sum cart and more. Sehkraft Brewing: 925 N Garfield St. Arlington, VA; www.sehkraftbrewing.com

STK Washington DC
Every Sunday you can indulge in our a la carte brunch menu, sip $20 bottomless brunch cocktails and dance the afternoon away to beats by our in-house DJ. We feature themed brunches including a drag brunch hosted by Birdie La Cage and fellow queens once a month. STK Washington DC: 250 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC;www.togrp.com/restaurant/stk-washington-d-c/

Tortoise & Hare
We love to get creative with our menu. Whether it’s our Captain Crunch French toast or individual breakfast pizzas, you’ll love anything you choose at Tortoise & Hare.Tortoise & Hare: 567 23rd St. S. Arlington, VA; www.tortoiseandharebar.com

Tunnicliff’s Tavern
Our brunch menu includes just about every item you can imagine – anything from pancakes, to corned beef hash, to an assortment of omelets, to four different takes on eggs Benedict. Tunnicliff’s Tavern: 222 7th St. SE, DC;www.facebook.com/TunnicliffsTavern/  

Whitlow’s on Wilson
On both Saturday and Sunday, we offer the a la carte menu from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and our buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet includes breakfast standards, an omelet station, crab legs, fried shrimp and plenty of comfort food classics. Drink specials include $14 make your own mimosas with a bottle of champagne, plus a Bloody Mary bar. Whitlow’s on Wilson: 2854 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.whitlows.com