Feature

The 11 Hottest New Brunches in DC

By Rina Rapuano  |  September 29, 2014
Credit: Michael Schlow/Tico

Remember that gangbuster period of restaurant openings all summer long? Well, many of those places have now settled in — and that means it's time to add brunch. Here are 11 new weekend spots for you to check out, with a few of them — such as Rural Society and STK — only a few weeks into their brunches:

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  • America Eats Tavern

    Why It's Hot: A José Andrés restaurant is reason enough to drive to the hinterlands of Tysons Corner, but now you can take Metro's Silver Line and give new meaning to the term "boozy brunch."
    Must-Order: Fried chicken with "cold slaw" ($23); vermicelli mac 'n' cheese ($9) — go wild and add king crab ($19); breakfast casserole ($14); donuts with blackberry jam ($7).
    Insider Tip: If you're in a hurry or prefer something lighter, order the brunch table ($25; $12 for children) for an unlimited selection of breads, pastries, fruit, salmon and other cold offerings.
    Hit It Up: 11:30 AM-2:30 PM Saturday and Sunday

    1700 Tysons Blvd., Tysons Corner; 703-744-3999

  • Credit: Laura Hayes

    Brookland Pint

    Why It's Hot: This neighborhood is blowing up at the moment, with new reasons to explore this part of Northeast emerging all the time. 
    Must-Order: Breakfast mofongo, which can be made vegan ($9), vegetarian ($10) or with bacon ($13); cinnamon rolls ($2.50-$3); Cajun eggs Benedict ($19).
    Insider Tip: As with its sister restaurants, Smoke & Barrel and Meridian Pint, this place is very vegan- and vegetarian-friendly and thoughtfully notes the gluten-free options on the menu. 
    Hit It Up: 10 AM-3 PM Saturday and Sunday

    716 Monroe St. NE; 202-758-2757

  • Central

    Why It's Hot: Michel Richard may not have fared well in New York City, but he still gets plenty of love from Washingtonians who appreciate his mastery of technique blended with whimsy. 
    Must-Order: The prix fixe menu makes it simple — $25 gets you three courses with such choices as "pancrepes," waffles, shrimp and grits and chicken schnitzel, with Central's mind-blowing sorbet serving as the final course. 
    Insider Tip: Add bottomless drinks — including mimosas, Bellinis, Bloody Marys, coffee and juice — for an additional $15.
    Hit It Up: 11 AM-2:30 PM Sundays

    1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-626-0015

  • DC Harvest

    Why It's Hot: Since H Street Northeast is the place where DC likes to tie one on, it seems only fitting that those with regrets (or just great stories to tell over the hair of the dog) should return to the scene of the crime.
    Must-Order: The organic egg scramble with housemade spicy lamb sausage ($14); the grilled lamb burger ($15); bottomless mimosas ($15). 
    Insider Tip: Health-food fans will like that there are health-conscious options, such as the spelt buttermilk pancakes with sorghum syrup ($13) and steel-cut oats with fruit and flax ($9). 
    Hit It Up: 11 AM-2:30 PM Saturdays and Sundays

    517 H St. NE; 202-629-3296

  • Dino’s Grotto

    Why It's Hot: Dino in Cleveland Park had quite the following for its brunch, so, of course, this new incarnation is an instant weekend hot spot — perhaps even more so because it's a good value and located in the hotter neighborhood of Shaw. 
    Must-Order: Eggs Benedict with prosciutto and orange-rosemary hollandaise ($12); Nutella-Mascarpone-stuffed French toast ($10); bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys ($12).
    Insider Tip: There's a bottomless brunch deal for $27 that includes unlimited Mimosas, Bellinis or Bloodys plus a choice of starter and entree.
    Hit It Up: Noon-4 PM Sundays

    1914 Ninth St. NW; 202-686-2966

  • Credit: Ken Goodman

    Gypsy Soul

    Why It's Hot: Of all the newly minted Mosaic District spots, this one is the brainchild of well-known Downtown chef RJ Cooper. It serves casual, Southern-inspired cuisine with a rock 'n' roll edge and a biker attitude. 
    Must-Order: Oyster pan-roast ($18); hen eggs at 63° with bay crab ($22); corned beef cheek hash ($18).
    Insider Tip: There are no less than seven types of Bloody Marys on the menu, as well as five plays on the mimosa. 
    Hit It Up: 11 AM-3 PM Saturdays and Sundays

    8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax; 703-992-0933

  • Macon Bistro & Larder

    Why It's Hot: The biscuits here have had people talking from day one. And who doesn't want biscuits for brunch? Plus, it's the first place with a downtown feel in this stretch of Chevy Chase. 
    Must-Order: Deviled eggs ($6); Essie's biscuits with bacon gravy and poached eggs ($16); pluckin' buns ($7).
    Insider Tip: The restaurant has committed to donating 5% of its Sunday brunch proceeds to Brainfood through the end of the year, so you can feel slightly virtuous even after eating a ridiculously decadent brunch. 
    Hit It Up: 10 AM-2 PM Sundays

    5520 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-248-7807

  • Rural Society

    Why It's Hot: Philadelphia restaurateur Jose Garces just debuted brunch at this South American steakhouse that boasts one of the prettiest new dining rooms to open in DC this year.  
    Must-Order: Roast beets with orange-coriandar vinaigrette ($10); dulce de leche waffles ($15); a brunch pizza topped with eggs and rosemary/pine nut escabeche ($14).
    Insider Tip: There's a two-course prix fixe brunch option that runs $25 per person and includes a bread basket and a choice of orange juice, coffee or tea. 
    Hit It Up: 10 AM-3 PM Saturdays and Sundays

    1177 15th St. NW; 202-587-2629

  • STK

    Why It's Hot: Whether you buy into the lady steakhouse concept or not, the place does cultivate a fun vibe, shake some great cocktails and put out some winning dishes. 
    Must-Order: Braised short rib with a fried duck egg over jalapeño grits ($24); tuna tartare ($18); buttermilk pancakes with macerated berries ($15).
    Insider Tip: Brunches here will occasionally be themed, such as the '80s back-to-school brunch. Also, there's a two-hour limit on the $18 bottomless brunch cocktails, but you can choose from mimosas, Bloodys, Bellinis and Prosecco.
    Hit It Up: 11:30 AM-6 PM Sundays

    1250 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-296-1880

  • The Pursuit Wine Bar

    Why It's Hot: Because it's in the Atlas District, there aren't an overwhelming number of choices and the wine flows freely.
    Must-Order: The menu is very tight, offering build-your-own breakfast sandwiches ($9), loaded waffles ($12), loaded French toast ($13) and shrimp and grits ($7-$11).
    Insider Tip: If bottomless mimosas are your thing, here they are a steal at $8 with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich or entree.
    Hit It Up: 11 AM-3 PM Saturdays and Sundays

    1421 H St. NE; 202-758-2139

  • Tico

    Why It's Hot: Location — it's at the intersection of 14th and U, two of the hottest streets in the city — combined with outstanding cooking, a buzzy, beautiful space and the name recognition of Boston restaurateur Michael Schlow lend heat to this newbie.
    Must-Order: Duck confit with green chile hash ($12); Tico mac 'n' cheese ($10); sweet corn with bacon and jalapeño ($9); hibiscus margarita ($10).
    Insider Tips: That hibiscus margarita can also be ordered for $40 per pitcher, and the rosé sangria infused with passion fruit tea goes for $38 per pitcher.
    Hit It Up: 10 AM-3 PM Saturdays and Sundays

    1926 14th St. NW; 202-319-1400