Let's Do Brunch! Leisurely Spots Abound in Washington, D.C.
By Gina Gallucci White
Washington Local Expert
After late nights on Friday and/or Saturday, the idea of getting up early to catch breakfast at your favorite Washington, D.C. venue is unthinkable. Your bed is much too warm and cozy! Thankfully many local restaurants offer brunch menus later in the day featuring breakfast must-have dishes like pancakes, waffles and eggs and lunch items favorites including sandwiches, pastas and salads. So sleep in, get some rest and let head to these 10Best Brunch picks in the nation's capital.
If you crave an elegant setting, you can't go wrong with making reservations at Fiola Mare which over looks the Potomac River and showcases a daily changing menu based on seasonal and local fare. The Hay Adams is one of the best luxury hotels in the district so it should come as no surprise that their restaurant The Lafayette gives diners a first-class food and beverage experience.
Looking for some entertainment to go with your meal? SAX Washington, D.C. puts on a burlesque performance during its brunch while Perrys offers a drag show that usually has guests lining up an hour before show time just to get one of the first seatings.
Whatever time you decide to roll out of bed, the district has a place to fit your every brunch need.
This classic American diner with a 1920s/1930s vibe offers patrons multiple comfort food dishes to chose from all day long. Buttermilk chicken fried steak, the walk of shame breakfast burrito, the Ty Cobb salad and Ted's famous grilled cheese and tomato soup are among the favorites. They even make their own pop tarts! You will want to save room for their milkshake offerings including standard favorites (vanilla, chocolate) and more daring choices (PBJ or s'mores anyone?). They also have an adult milkshake menu featuring white Russian and key lime pie. METRO: Eastern Market or U Street. (202-544-8337)
Tabard Inn Restaurant
Dubbing itself a European-style oasis on American soil, this venue offers both a charming place to sleep and a restaurant featuring a seasonal dish menu. Located inside three townhomes dating back to the late 19th century, the Inn has 40 individually designed rooms. Note that sine rooms have a private bath while others are shared. When dining at the restaurant, note the menu changes every day and is inspired by local, fresh and seasonal offerings. A sample brunch menu could include freshly fried donuts, war shore oysters, and house made charcuterie. Live jazz music is played in the bar and lounge every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. METRO: Dupont Circle. (202-331-8528)
For a taste of France right here in Washington, D.C., head to this bistro which offers an incredible comfort food menu for brunch, après midi and dinner. Brunch options include breakfast favorites like steak and eggs and spinach omelet and entrée choices include lamb sandwich and trout amandine. Dinner offers succulent hors d'oeuvres, tasty entrees and a full wine and dessert menu. Try to grab a seat outside to enjoy conversations with friends and people-watch. You may even see well-known political figures. First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have all been spotted here. and METRO: U Street (202-332-3333)
Looking for a casual place to take in brunch? Head to Commissary, a neighborhood hangout that encompasses café, bar and coffeehouse crowds. They serve breakfast all day but their brunch is always a crowd pleaser. Brunch Benedicts including the classic egg meal along with other items like chorizo with poblano hollandaise and home fries and pulled pork and cornbread. Grab a designated driver because you will want several rounds of their creative cocktails that come in 16 or 55 oz. servings. Try the mega mimosa, a smoked, spicy, or bootlegger bloody may or your choice of juice dressed up with St. Germain. Grab a seat in the lounge or just outside the café. (2022990018)
You may not think of a bar as a great brunch spot but your opinion will change after coming to this Dupont Circle eatery. Opened in 2013, this restaurant's modern bistro menu focuses on imaginative yet affordable food and drink. Brunch offerings include yogurt, flapjacks, hangover burger and farm egg omelet. Take your time choosing the right cocktail to go with your meal because there are so many you will want to try like the mimosa, Irish coffee, orange crush and corpse reviver. For those who bring a huge appetite to the eatery, go for the Bottomless Charley Brunch for $23.95 which will get you an unlimited number of select drinks and a choice of several delicious dishes. METRO: Dupont Circle (202-672-2183)
Brunch can be a 'drag' if you pick the wrong spot but you won't go wrong choosing Perrys. Every Sunday, the venue hosts a drag brunch show featuring queens and a continuous performance. If you are celebrating something special, be sure to tell the ladies when they ask and be ready to talk to them. The buffet features a number of items including six different salads, muffins, breads, scrambled eggs, sushi, fruit and egg rolls. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. The doors open at 10 a.m. and the line usually starts to form around 9 a.m. METRO: Woodley Park/Zoo (202-234-6218)
Want some entertainment to go with your brunch? Then head on over to SAX Washington, D.C. which is a restaurant/bar that's also a burlesque. 'The Cirque Brunch' promises a Friday night experience on a Sunday afternoon with performances starting at 11:30 a.m. Sip on bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys but know you have a two-hour limit. The main menu features Kobe sliders and fries, lobster Benedict and bacon cheddar frittata. This venue, which strongly recommends reservations, tends to be dark so don't use the flash on your camera phone while a performance is underway. Be sure to wear fashionable clothing with a sense of style. You don't want the doorman to turn you away because you wore jeans and flip flops. METRO: Metro Center. (202-737-0101)
Taking his inspiration from Greek cuisine, Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella's eatery features two-wood fire grills with rotating spits that roast lamb, goat, duck, chicken and suckling pig all day. Always a hot reservation to land, the venue is known for its dinner offerings but brunch selections are top-notch as well. Try one of their spreads like tzatziki, pikilia or favosalata, served with flatbread. Dig into a selection of sandwiches, salads and pies including lamb gyro, farm house vegetable salad or wild mushroom phyllo. Be sure to save room for the main dishes like stone oven baked eggs, Greek coffee waffles and baklava French toast. Wash down your selections with coffee, tea, fresh juice or cocktails.METRO: U Street (202-234-5000)
The Hay-Adams is one of the finest hotel's in the nation's capital so it's no surprise that they also feature an elegant, first-class restaurant in The Lafayette. Begin your brunch experience by visiting the appetizer buffet for your choice of starters and salads which change based on seasonal and local selections. Complete the introduction to your experience by choosing a beverage -- perhaps the Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, a bloody Mary or a strawberry orange mimosa. Continue your meal by selecting from the entrée menu featuring Maryland crab cakes, pumpkin pancakes, truffle scrambled eggs and butternut squash ravioli. Bring the meal to a satisfying closure by indulging in a dessert of your choice. METRO: McPherson Square or Faragut West. (202-638-2570)
With gorgeous views of the Potomac River and a seafood market counter to evoke a Mediterranean feel, this restaurant will make you want to get out of bed to catch it's top-notch brunch menu. Using the finest, freshest ingredients, the menu changes daily so be sure to check their website before you go. A recent summer offering included a choice of bottomless cocktail, mocktail or coffee service along with brunch favorites like lemon ricotta pancakes, pane bello French toast and Uova in camicia. Opening in early 2014, this is the third restaurant Chef Fabio Trabocchi has opened in the district and continues to be must-go destination for foodies. (202-628-0065)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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