Best Breakfast in Washington

Why Sleep In? D.C. Breakfast Spots Will Start Your Day Off Right

As the sun creeps up over the horizon, getting out of your warm, cozy bed may seem like an unthinkable idea but once you have sampled some of the finest Washington, D.C. breakfast spots, you may be out the door before the roosters are awake.

Lines are usually out the door for Market Lunch located at the Eastern Market and you will understand why after sampling their delicious buckwheat blueberry pancakes. With a focus on quality and natural ingredients, Founding Farmers offers vegan and vegetarian dishes for those with dietary restrictions. Their stuffed French toast and poached egg hashes are not to missed.

Diners are always great spots to find delicious breakfast dishes that remind you of mom's cooking. Check out Lincoln's Waffle Shop for chicken wings and waffles and The Diner for a number of tasty early morning dishes. Lincoln's opens at 5:30 a.m. for you early risers and The Diner is open 24/7. For those who start the day later, check out Open City or Ted's Bulletin which serve breakfast all day long because it's never too late to enjoy a pancake, right?

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day so make your stomach happy at these 10Best selections.




Their motto "Serving early birds, night owls and everyone in between" is a good fit for the eatery which stays open 24/7. Breakfast favorites include buttermilk pancakes, southwest frittata, and bread pudding with French toast. Patrons can also sample one of several omelet and egg dishes. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are available and marked on the menu. Lunch and dinner options include salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrees like grilled salmon, Greek pasta and bacon wrapped meatloaf. Whatever your stomach is craving, The Diner is sure to have it. Be sure to check out their happy hour events which run Sunday through Thursday. METRO: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams-Morgan

Recommended for Breakfast because: With a variety of different choices, this venue is could satisfy any palette.

Gina's expert tip: They do not take reservations and seat on a first come, first serve basis.

Read more about The Diner →

Busboys & Poets

This community gathering place, which provides an artistic outlet for poetry, art and books, is also a great spot to grab some breakfast which is served daily until 11 a.m. Chow down on some oatmeal, a bagel with lox, organic granola or a western omelette. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. Brunch is quite popular here and is served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Beef chili, Neptune Benedict and sweet potato pancakes are ones to sample. Be sure to check out the food events menu to find out what meal packages are being offered at the time.

Recommended for Breakfast because: A great spot to feed the soul and the body.

Gina's expert tip: The venue's name comes from Langston Hughes who worked as a hotel busboy before becoming a poet.

Read more about Busboys & Poets →

Woodley Park
Open City

What happens when you mix a coffeehouse, a bar/lounge and an American diner? The answer is Open City which can appeal to early risers but also night owls. Breakfast is served all day and features a number of dishes for those with dietary needs including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Be sure to ask the server about the possibility of changing a meal to vegan or gluten-free. Try breakfast favorites including the brioche toast, buttermilk pancakes and chai waffle. If it's not too early for you, check out the 'Breakfast is bloody awesome' menu featuring the OC Bloody Mary, mimosa and bellini blanc. METRO: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams-Morgan

Recommended for Breakfast because: For those who have dietary needs, this venue offers several vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals.

Chris's expert tip: Open City does not take reservations and can be very busy during peak times so plan accordingly.

Read more about Open City →

Photo courtesy of GBD

GBD, which is kitchen speak for golden, brown, delicious, is the rare triple threat – a restaurant that can appease the breakfast, lunch and dinner crowd. Fresh homemade donuts will help you start your day. Choose from traditional favorites like hot vanilla glazed and funfetti or gourmet flavors such as maple bacon bourbon and butterscotch bismark. Besides its donuts, the GBD is also known for its chicken dishes which vary depending on when you come in. Late night offerings include fried chicken by the piece or by the bucket. METRO: Dupont Circle

Recommended for Breakfast because: Doughnuts are a traditional snack to start the day, GBD offers both tasty traditional and mouth watering gourmet flavors.

Gina's expert tip: Check out the website to learn when your favorite flavor doughnut will be available for purchase.

Read more about GBD →

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 which changes every day and inspired by local, fresh offerings. A sample breakfast menu could include brioche French toast, a variety of different egg dishes including omelets or huevos rancheros, cereals and breads including a toasted house-made bagel or hot porridge. Save room for the possible breakfast side orders including applewood smoked bacon or sausage, homemade plain yogurt and home fries. If you enjoy breakfast, come back for dinner when live jazz music is played at the bar and lounge every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. METRO: Dupont Circle

Recommended for Breakfast because: A charming hotel that offers a unique breakfast menu for travelers or those who just enjoy a good meal.

Gina's expert tip: If you're a guest at the hotel, breakfast is complimentary.

Read more about Tabard Inn Restaurant →

Lincoln's Waffle Shop
Photo courtesy of Lincoln's Waffle Shop

Opening at 5:30 a.m. every day, this restaurant is perfect for those who love to get an early start to the day. Grab a seat at the counter and get ready to make your stomach happy. This venue offers a breakfast menu all day and when you get a taste of some of the items you will understand why. The combo of chicken wings and waffles is a popular favorite among regulars. Be sure to try the pancakes and take your choice of banana, blueberry or chocolate chip. The venue, which has been serving Washingtonians for more than 20 years, also has a lunch and sandwich menu that is worth a return visit. METRO: Metro Center

Recommended for Breakfast because: Diners usually know how to serve breakfast meals best and this venue is not to be missed.

Gina's expert tip: Side orders like home fries and grits are not to be missed.

Read more about Lincoln's Waffle Shop →

Art and Soul
Photo courtesy of Angela N.

The product of celebrity chef/owner Art Smith and executive chef Wes Morton, Art and Soul serves up Southern comfort dishes with style. Nosh on buttermilk lemon pancakes or a three egg omelet off the breakfast menu. Lunch favorites include free range fried chicken and the 12 hour smoked pork sandwich. Dinner offerings will have you wishing for a bigger stomach with selections such as beef, cheese and sweet potato fritters, shrimp and grits, pork belly confit and sausage braised lamb shank. The restaurant partners with regional farmers to bring fresh ingredients straight to the table. METRO: Judiciary Square

Recommended for Breakfast because: A favorite spot of the Obamas, this restaurant has a number of tasty options to start the day off right.

Gina's expert tip: For those looking for healthy breakfast options, peruse the Art Start Breakfast menu featuring market omelet, steel cut oats and toasted granola.

Read more about Art and Soul →

Stuffed French toast, buttermilk pancakes and poached egg hashes are just a small sample of some of the breakfast menu items at Founding Farmers. With a focus on quality and natural ingredients, the restaurant prepares dishes with sustainably farmed, grown and harvested American foods. Vegan and vegetarian dishes are available. For those who come to lunch or dinner, a bevy of classic cocktails are available plus a plentiful wine selection. Make sure to try one of their made from scratch sodas including the delicious New York egg cream featuring chocolate syrup, milk and soda. If you still have room, the dessert menu offers blue ribbon apple pie, red velvet cake and house churned fresh ice cream. METRO: Farragut West

Recommended for Breakfast because: This eater is a must for those who love to support local and regional farms.

Gina's expert tip: For those in Virginia, a new Founding Farmers opens Feb. 5 in the Tysons II development.

Read more about Founding Farmers →

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.

Recommended for Breakfast because: This eatery serves breakfast all day long so go on ahead and hit the snooze button on your alarm clock.

Gina's expert tip: The eatery's namesake comes from owners Mark and Ty Neal's father who regularly cooked for their neighborhood.

Read more about Ted's Bulletin →

You may ask why a place that has 'Lunch' in its name would be chosen for the best breakfast list. One stop here during the early morning hours will make you understand why we included this eatery. Located at the Eastern Market, Market Lunch regularly has a long line of people waiting to get inside. Don't be deterred! The line moves pretty fast as food comes out quickly. You should not leave here without trying the buckwheat blueberry pancakes. Patrons order at the counter and then find an open seat at a communal table. Be sure to come back for lunch too – their crab cake sandwich is a must! METRO: Eastern Market

Recommended for Breakfast because: The buckwheat blueberry pancakes are one of the best known dishes on their menu for a reason. Try them!

Gina's expert tip: Since you are eating at a communal table, take the opportunity to make some new friends.

Read more about Market Lunch – Capitol Hill →


Meet 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...  More About Gina