It’s hard to imagine, but DC wasn’t always a brunch town. Over the past five years, the weekend gathering has become a Big Deal — a way to celebrate, let loose and relax. It's even an acceptable first-date option. Here, we've gathered a list of some of the city's hottest places and what to order while you're there. It's packed with our top picks and maybe even your new favorites.
Our voters universally praised the food at this Park Hyatt farm-to-table restaurant, with such accolades as, “You can go light and delicate or savory and heavy. Both are enjoyable,” and “the food exceeded expectations.” But commenters mentioned a few things they found off-putting, such as the “pricey” dishes and that the dining room can feel “a little stuffy.” Still, there’s “great espresso and sweet rolls” to be had, “great tea service,” as well as grits worth returning for.
What to Order: French toast; eggs Benedict; short-rib hash; biscuits and jam
It seems this “great neighborhood spot” is every bit as beloved for its French-American brunch as it is for dinner, with voters calling it their “favorite brunch in town” and citing its “vibrant, invigorating atmosphere and excellent food.” Adams Morgan families, couples and friends turn up early for the pancakes and eggs Benedicts on the beautiful, relaxing patio, but a spot in the bay window is just as coveted.
What to Order: Burger; eggs Benedict; smoked salmon flammekueche
This waterfront Italian spot in Navy Yard was named number one brunch in our brunch survey last year, with visitors saying they love it for the “superb coffees,” “excellent bacon,” “best pancakes,” desserts and the “peaceful and luxurious feeling.” As one respondent put it, “What's better than being able to eat delicious food with a great view?”
What to Order: Bacon; prosciutto panini; pancakes; scones
Second place in our brunch survey last year went to this ever-popular Logan Circle French favorite, which had voters raving about its perfect blend of “very good food, excellent service,” beautiful patio, the legendary breads — and for just being “lots of fun.” Commenters noted that it’s worth the effort to get in, with its “very consistent food and service” making it the perfect place to impress a girlfriend or celebrate a new job.
What to Order: Eggs Benedict; omelets; breakfast pastries; wild mushroom tart
Mike Isabella’s well-regarded Greek spot on bustling 14th Street delights local brunchers with both its savory and sweet dishes, including what one diner called “the best tzatziki and pita bread that I've ever had.” Others love the patio, the variety of dish sizes, the bottomless mimosas in interesting flavors — and the “truly attentive” servers “who kept the supply flowing,” despite the fact that one voter called dining inside “dark and very noisy.”
What to Order: Waffles; baked eggs with pulled lamb; eggplant spread with flatbread
This Spike Mendelsohn bistro on Capitol Hill is popular for its “good Bloodies,” “great patio” and its “chef's hangover cure” — aka the delicious crispy pig’s feet hash with an egg and the restaurant’s namesake sauce. Diners also love that the staff is “attentive and knowledgeable,” the bottomless mimosas and that the patio is “welcoming to pets and great for people-watching.”
What to Order: Ham and Brie omelet; pig's feet hash; French toast; croque madame
Mintwood Place chef Cedric Maupillier’s new Shaw hot spot is proving every bit as successful at serving a crowd-pleasing brunch as his Adams Morgan original. You’ll find such savories as shrimp and grits and English breakfast, as well as sweets like pancakes, cinnamon buns and biscuits with jam. Healthy options like a quinoa porridge and creative juice blends — like the one featuring beets, apples, tarragon and mint ($9) — also abound. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 AM–2:30 PM, with many of the tables reserved for walk-ins.
What to Order: Full English breakfast; fried chicken and waffles; the seriously mind-blowing apple juice
The ultra-hip Atlas District eatery from chef Erik Bruner-Yang offers dim sum Sundays from 11:30 AM–2:30 PM, with more than two dozen dishes like rice noodle crepes with shrimp and Chinese sausage (pictured), salt and pepper fried oysters, pork steamed bao and egg custard tarts for $4–$25 each. Adventurous eaters might want to try the anchovy peanut brittle or the red bean profiteroles.
What to Order: Taiwanese fried chicken; chive and shrimp cake; wok-fried noodles
This Belgian-leaning Georgetown newcomer from Neighborhood Restaurant Group serves Sunday brunch, with executive chef Peter Smith composing such dishes as a Liege waffle with caraway-juniper sauerkraut, sausage and a poached egg; a choucroute Benedict; and a croque madame. (Plus omelets, waffles and mussels.) Eye openers include 350 Belgian-style beers and a mussel Mary made with Genever and mussel liquor. Brunch runs from 11 AM–3 PM Saturdays and Sundays and is available both in the dining room and the upstairs bar. The full brunch menu can be found here.
What to Order: Mussel Mary; hangover fries; waffles with strawberries and whipped cream
Michael Schlow’s Carlyle Hotel restaurant offers brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM–3 PM. Diners can go light with such dishes as Greek yogurt with berries and granola ($9) or avocado toast with crab ($12). You can also go big with a “morning after” breakfast sandwich filled with prosciutto and eggs ($12), a breakfast burrito ($13), the delicious burger ($16; pictured) or even a seafood plateau ($45). Drink favorites include such classics as the Harvey Wallbanger, the Paloma and the daiquiri. Find the full menu here.
What to Order: Morning-after sandwich; crabmeat hash; pancakes with caramelized bananas