It's been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That's especially true in a busy city like D.C. The options are endless, but that means deciding to venture outside for the first meal of the day can be daunting.
In honor of breakfast week, Eater DC asked local chefs to share their discerning opinions. These recommendations are coming from those who run the kitchens of D.C.’s most successful restaurants, so they're certainly reliable sources.
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial
It doesn’t take Maupillier much time to recall his favorite breakfast place in the area—Bread Furst ( 4434 Connecticut Ave. NW). He like to get a biscuit with ham, butter and jam, something he affectionately calls "the bomb."
Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto and Toki Underground
Bruner-Yang has three favorite places. "Before Maketto opened, my breakfast was always a macchiato and turmeric ginger tea at Peregrine (660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). No food," Bruner-Yang says. "Now that is my breakfast, but at Maketto."
"If I do eat breakfast, only occasionally, I love Tony's Breakfast (1387 H St. NE)," he continues. "I also like a taco place by my house called Fresca (701 H St. NE), which is also on H Street. They have great breakfast tacos."
Ris Lacoste, Ris
Lacoste likes anywhere "casual and funky" like Open City Coffeehouse (2331 Calvert St. NW) in Woodley Park and Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd.) in Arlington, where she enjoys the coffee and freshly-baked pastries. She also likes Kafe Leopold(Cady’s Alley, 3315 M St. NW) in Georgetown for meetings.
Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Ripple & Roofer’s Union
Busboys and Poets (2021 14th St. NW) is the chef's choice because they serve it until 10:30 a.m. everyday. "Seeing as I usually work Saturday and Sunday it's nice to be able to get brunch with a mimosa on a Monday," she says.
Robert Weland, Garrison
On the rare occasion that Weland isn't working, the chef likes to treat himself to an indulgent breakfast at a fancy inn. "One of the hands-down best breakfast experiences in the area is when my wife and I get a chance to get away for the weekend," he says.
Breakfast is included at L'Auberge Provencale (13630 Lord Fairfax Hwy., Boyce, Va.). "It's like having a four-star dinner for breakfast," Weland continues. "Last time I went they served a composed plate – pork tenderloin, a slice of awesome smoked pork belly, a stuffed baby eggplant, a small slice of quiche, fresh frisée salad and au jus sauce." It's all served at tables with white linen and silverware for no extra charge.
Lorenzo Lynch, Red, White and Basil
The chef likes going to Rex Carryout (208 Riggs Rd. NE) in Fort Totten for breakfast, where he usually gets scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage, and grits.
Nora Pouillon, Restaurant Nora
Pouillon likes several Georgetown spots, including the M Street location of Le Pain Quotidien (2815 M St. NW), The Capella Hotel (1050 31st St NW), Leopold’s Kafe(Cady’s Alley, 3315 M St. NW) and the Four Seasons Hotel (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). She’ll usually order yogurt, granola, and tea. "If it’s later, I will go all out," she says. Then she goes for eggs and hash, smoked salmon, or poached eggs on spinach.
Sam Adkins, Sally’s Middle Name
Like his fellow chefs, Adkins digs the morning grub at Jimmy T’s Place and Tony’s Breakfast, but he also likes the Union Market location of Peregrine Espresso (1309 5th St. NE) – especially their teacake and croissants by Frenchie's.
Joel Hatton, 1905
When Hatton has the chance to fully enjoy breakfast, he hits up Jolt ‘N Bolt Coffee & Tea House (1918 18th St. NW) for their BLT sandwich. "It has like eight pieces of bacon on it," he says. He also likes the sweet potato pancakes at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th St. NW), which he occasionally orders on Saturdays before the brunch crowd arrives. After a particularly rough night, he visits Bar Pilar (1833 14th St. NW). "Jesse Miller, the chef, always knocks it out of the park for hangovers," he says.
Matt Heimbauer, Mindful Restaurant Group
This chef is a big fan of Jimmy T’s Place (501 E. Capitol St. SE) on Capitol Hill. He usually keeps it simple and orders the breakfast sandwich.