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DC's 10 Must-Try New Brunches

By Rina Rapuano
March 24, 2014

You've hibernated long enough, Washingtonians. It's time to get out of the house, embrace spring and try all those restaurants that opened up while you were hunkered in front of the TV binge-watching Netflix. (Plus, it's never too early to start planning for Mother's Day.) Here are 10 brand-new brunches for you to check out:

  • Photo by: Stacy Z. Goldberg

    Alba Osteria

    Why It's Hot: This space, shot through with splashes of vivid orange, live jazz music and a showpiece pizza oven, makes for a cheerful way to start any day.
    Must-Order: Any of the outstanding pizzas ($8.95-$13.95); Nonna's eggs and meatballs ($13); the Bloody Mary, which features prosciutto-infused vodka ($8 each; $18 for bottomless brunch cocktails)
    Insider Tips: Guests can opt for an all-you-can-eat selection of breakfast pizzas, egg dishes, pancakes and meatballs along with four brunch cocktails for $29.95 per person (tax and gratuity excluded). 
    Hit It Up: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM-3 PM; 425 I St. NW; 202-733-4454

  • Photo by: Ryan Lavine

    City Tap House

    Why It's Hot: Among the many fancy new options, it's nice to have a casual spot where you can grab a beer from a thoughtfully curated selection of brews and some upscale pub grub - and just relax. 
    Must-Order: Maple-sherry-glazed pork collar with cheddar grits, poached egg and mustard greens ($12); spiced apple French toast with vanilla mascarpone and marcona almonds ($12); chicken and waffles with honey-thyme butter, coffee stout syrup and red pepper jam ($19)
    Insider Tip: The bottomless brunch bar includes endless Bloody Marys, mimosas and beer-mosas for $18 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM-3 PM; 901 Ninth St. NW; 202-733-5333

  • Duke’s Grocery

    Why It's Hot: British cuisine seems to be having (another) moment. Here, the funky industrial space, the eastern Dupont location and the patio add to the heat.
    Must-Order: Full veggie eggs with potato-chive boxty ($15); porridge with maple, double cream and housemade strawberry cardamom jam ($10); the Proper Pimm's Cup made with a ginger-chile syrup, citrus juices and Pimm's No. 1 ($10)
    Insider Tip: If you're not a morning - or even afternoon person, Duke's also serves brunch Sunday nights from 5:30-10 PM.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM-3 PM, and again on Sundays from 5:30-10 PM; 1513 17th St. NW; 202-733-5623

  • Photo by: Christopher Anderson

    Fiola Mare

    Why It's Hot: Stunning views of the Potomac River, a kitchen helmed by one of the city's most well-regarded chefs and several gorgeous dining spaces combine to make this an ultradreamy brunch spot.
    Must-Order: Baked eggs with creamy mushrooms ($16); steak and eggs with New York strip loin, olive-oil poached duck egg and Parmesan creme ($28); lemon mascarpone pancakes with apple butter and candied almonds ($16)
    Insider Tip: Save room for one of pastry chef Tom Wellings' light yet luxurious desserts. (Yes, brunch dessert is a thing. Get on board.)
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 AM-2:45 PM; 3050 K St. NW; 202-628-0065

  • Malmaison

    Why It's Hot: We seem to have a lot of Italian, British and American brunches coming onto the scene, but not as many new French options. Here's one for the Francophiles.
    Must-Order: Eggs Benedict with turkey or smoked salmon, duck-fat potatoes and asparagus ($12.95); croque monsieur "a la Paris" with salad or fruit ($12.95); and the crêpe with a ragout of onion, pepper, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes ($12.95)
    Insider Tips: Brunch cocktails are super creative and playful here, like the Bubbly Bun made of cinnamon-infused whiskey, maple syrup, champagne and flamed orange; bottomless champagne cocktails are available for $22; and live music and seats near open garage doors will soon be a bonus.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM-3 PM; 3401 K St. NW; 202-817-3340

  • Pinstripes

    Why It's Hot: Because bowling, bocce, brunch, $5 Bloody Mary bar. Enough said.
    Must-Order: It's buffet-style ($20 per adult; $12 for kids six-12; free for ages five and younger), so no need to make the tough choice between offerings like Nutella cream waffles, bananas Foster waffles, whole house-smoked salmon, the omelet station or the flatbread bar. 
    Insider Tip: Since the entire restaurant is full-service, guests can do brunch in the restaurant, bowling alley or by the bocce courts - which should be booked in advance if you want to ensure a spot.
    Hit It Up: Sundays from 10 AM-2 PM; The Shops at Georgetown Park, 1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-625-6500

  • Photo by: Scott Suchman

    Republic

    Why It's Hot: Takoma Park has been positively desperate for more dining options for a long time now, and we're guessing the Republic fever will only heighten once the patio opens.
    Must-Order: Duck confit Cubano with country ham, pickles and poblano chiles ($14); Republic burger with smoked bacon and mustard-ale cheese ($13); brioche French toast with pear compote and maple syrup ($11) 
    Insider Tip: This is the place to order a Bloody Mary, which is made with charred tomatoes and a house blend of spices. The standard Bloody Mary ($10) comes with Sobieski vodka; the Bloody Maria ($10) is spiked with Sauza Blanco tequila; and the Rena Maria arrives with Old Bay spiced shrimp ($12).
    Hit It Up: Saturday, 11 AM-2:30 PM; Sunday, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM; 6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-3000

  • Rí Rá Georgetown

    Why It's Hot: DC's pickin's are pretty slim when it comes to Irish pubs, so we appreciate something fresh and new on the somewhat stale scene.  
    Must-Order: Quay’s potato waffle topped with Irish smoked salmon, fried capers and lemon aïoli ($13); Bailey’s brulée French toast ($11); the traditional Irish breakfast with eggs, Irish sausages and rashers, black and white puddings, tomato, mushrooms and toast ($13)
    Insider Tip: Order a Howaya Mary - Rí Rá's version of a Bloody Mary with a celery, pickle and olive garnish and splash of Guinness ($9) - or the Bucks Black Fizz - OJ, Miwadi black currant juice, champagne and fresh blackberries ($7) - while you take in a game on one of the flat-screens.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM-4 PM; 3123-3125 M St. NW; 202-751-2111

  • Photo by: Peter Stepanek

    Urban Butcher

    Why It's Hot: There haven't historically been a lot of brunch options in this area that feel more Downtown DC than Downtown Silver Spring. This one has hit the niche on the head.
    Must-Order: House-cured charcuterie ($5-$7 apiece); steak frites with smoked butter and fried garlic ($18); crispy pig tails with sweet chile sauce ($10)
    Insider Tip: While you're there, you might as well grab a steak to take home from the butcher shop.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 AM-5 PM; 8226 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-585-5800

  • Water & Wall

    Why It's Hot: Chef-owner Tim Ma is a rising star in the NoVa restaurant world, as evidenced by his recent Rammy Award nomination in the category of Rising Culinary Star of the Year.
    Must-Order: Brioche French toast with applewood bacon ($16); short-rib hash with sunny-side-up eggs and brioche toast ($14); and scrambled eggs with kimchi, Chinese sausage, Spam and jasmine rice ($14); the cucumber Bellini - cucumber puree, St. Germain and sparkling wine ($8)
    Insider Tips: Saturdays are less busy than Sundays; the eggs with kimchi is rumored to cure hangovers; and there's free parking in the lot behind the building on weekends. 
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM-2 PM; 3811 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 105, Arlington; 703-294-4949

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Places Mentioned

Malmaison

French • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Water and Wall Restaurant

New American • Arlington

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
City Tap House

NonePenn Quarter/Chinatown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Urban Butcher

American • Silver Spring

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Ri Ra

Irish • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
Alba Osteria

Italian • Mount Vernon Square

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Republic

NoneTakoma Park

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Pinstripes

NoneGeorgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Fiola Mare

Seafood • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
 
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