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20 Essential Breakfast Spots in D.C.

Where to find egg and cheese sandwiches, bagels, breakfast tacos, and more

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If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then Washington, D.C., is a great place to be. While political strivers and decision-makers will gravitate towards hotels for power breakfasts, options for everyday people include no-frills diners like Murry & Paul’s, Lincoln Waffle Shop, and Steak-n-Egg. People with harder-to-please palates will gravitate to the high-level pastries from Ellē’s bakery in Mount Pleasant or the wood-fired bagel sandwiches filled with farmer’s market produce at Call Your Mother. More recently, the Takoma neighborhood has seen folks line up for the airy vegan doughnuts at Donut Run. Most options on this map are concentrated in D.C. proper, but a few iconic suburban breakfast joints are highlighted here as well.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mark's Kitchen

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7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-1884
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Mark Choe’s Korean-American diner fits health-conscious Takoma Park to a T. Just across the District line, customers can find egg plates, Belgian waffles, and brioche French toast alongside savory mung bean pancakes or kimchi and steak omelets. Add a cup of fresh juice or order from a long menu of coffees, teas, milkshakes, malts, and New York-style egg creams. — Gabe Hiatt

The Washington Post The Washington Post via Getty Images

2. Donut Run

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6904 4th St NW
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 506-3264
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This vegan doughnut shop has been an instant hit since opening in January — with a line to prove it. There are usually several people waiting down the block for a first pick at the light, yeasty confections ahead of its 7 a.m. opening time. Be sure to check Instagram for the list of daily flavors, with options like mango-coconut, Boston cream, and glazed donut holes.

A cookies & cream doughnut from Donut run
A cookies & cream doughnut from Donut run
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

3. Tony's Place (Multiple Locations)

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622 Kennedy St NW
Washington, D.C. 20011
(202) 829-0721
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Meaty breakfast platters, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches can all be found at this D.C. breakfast spot, with two other locations on H Street and in Anacostia. The generous breakfast platter offers two eggs, toast, home fries or grits, and a choice of bacon, ham, sausage, turkey bacon, turkey links, or scrapple, all for under $5.

4. Steak-n-Egg

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4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 686-1201
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This small, 24/7 diner in Tenleytown offers plenty of space at the counter and long outdoor tables, ready with country-fried steak and gravy, potato hash formed into perfect patties, and surprises like funnel cake fries.

5. Bread Furst

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4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 765-1200
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James Beard Award-winning baker Mark Furstenberg’s tiny cafe in Van Ness is one of the city's best places to buy baguettes, chocolate croissants, and English muffins. It opens at 8 a.m., and has built out an impressive retail market during the pandemic, offering access to wholesalers for high-quality coffee and olive oil.

6. Murry & Paul's Restaurant

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3513 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 529-4078

This Brookland greasy spoon, with sign saying it’s served the neighborhood since 1964, is a no-nonsense option for grabbing a table or ordering at the bar. Throwback prices make the giant flapjacks and French toast even sweeter.

7. The Coupe

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3415 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 290-3342
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Tryst Trading Company’s sun-filled spot in Columbia Heights opens every day at 8 a.m. with a lineup of all-day breakfast plates fit for a lumberjack. That includes a flapjack stack — pick from plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip — and the fried chicken and biscuit topped with bacon, sausage gravy, and one egg any style.

The Coupe for the First Bite column Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

8. Ellē

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3221 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 652-0040
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Mount Pleasant’s ultimate neighborhood cafe serves a simple breakfast menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. features an egg sandwich showcasing superlative brisket. The counter offers savory quiches and sweet pastries — to tempt customers from inside a case. There are also baklava lattes, guava turnovers, biscuit sandwiches, and a host of other treats to consider.

A pastrami breakfast sandwich from Ellē
Ellē’s breakfast sandwich
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

9. Call Your Mother Deli (Multiple locations)

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3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

This wood-fired bagel shop fills its signature product with a handful of unexpected combos — think candied salmon cream cheese or bacon, jalapenos, and potato chips. The fried potato latkes are on point, and chocolate babka muffins go well with a cup of a custom coffee blend from Lost Sock Roasters. Call Your Mother is also recently added doughnuts to the mix, and continues to expand quickly, with future locations coming to Alexandria, Virginia, and North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose.

10. Heat Da Spot Café

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3213 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 836-4719
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This friendly Park View cafe serves all-day breakfast that combines American and Ethiopian comfort foods like cheesy breakfast sandwiches or scrambled eggs with a side of injera. Customers who welcome spice should squirt homemade green hot sauce over everything. — G.H.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Customers socialize in Heat Da Sp Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

11. The Royal

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501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-7777
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This Latin American-leaning all-day cafe in LeDroit Park serves up breakfast arepas, bagel sandwiches, and guava pastries starting at 8 a.m. For a hearty breakfast, go with a fried chicken biscuit packed with pickled fresno chiles and a fried egg.

12. Baker’s Daughter (Multiple locations)

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1402 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 729-6990
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Chef Matt Baker recently announces the opening of his second location of Baker’s Daughter, the casual cafe sibling to Michelin-starred Gravitas. The new Chinatown location (675 Eye Street NW) joins the original spot in Ivy City and focuses on grab-and-go breakfast. Each outpost offers signature breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and pastries.

13. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

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1818 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-8337
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This local chain channels Americana with cinnamon rolls “as big as your head," homemade “Ted’s Tarts,” sausage and gravy plates, and crispy, shredded hashbrowns. Locations in D.C. and the surrounding suburbs include a futuristic addition in Ballston Quarter. Service starts at 7 a.m.

Tag your brunch bae

Posted by Ted's Bulletin on Thursday, February 13, 2020

14. Republic Cantina

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43 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 997-4340
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The gold foil wrapper feels fitting for breakfast tacos ($3.50 to $4.50) worth treasuring at this Tex-Mex cafe in Truxton Circle. Republic Cantina builds them on stretchy, rich flour tortillas that would pass muster in Texas. Go for the smoked brisket, served with fried onions, potatoes, and avocado salsa, or a carne guisada (stewed beef) variety with scallions and crispy tortilla strips. Other options on the cafe menu (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily) include a fruit and granola bowl, chilaquiles, or avocado Texas toast with radishes, cotija cheese, sesame, fried onion, and cilantro oil. — G.H.

15. Unconventional Diner

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1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-0122
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Chef David Deshaies takes diner fare up a notch with European flair. Daily brunch (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and all-day service (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) includes fancy avocado toast and an everything lox bagel.

What came first. . .the steak or the eggs? They're perfect together. . .a diner classic done right! #steakandeggs...

Posted by Unconventional Diner on Sunday, December 17, 2017

16. Kafè Leopold

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3315 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 965-6005
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Located in off-the-path Cady's Alley in Georgetown, Kafe Leopold's serves Eastern European dishes like Frushtuck (eggs with smoked and grilled ham and toast) and yogurt parfaits. Doors open at 8 a.m., and they have a nice patio.

17. Metro 29 Diner

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4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 528-2464
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Find thick challah French toast and “super egg” sandwiches at this no-frills, New York-style diner in Arlington. Both celebrity chef Guy Fieri and President Joe Biden have stopped by since they opened more than a decade ago. It opens at 6 a.m. for early risers.

French toast at Metro 29.
Metro 29 Diner/official photo

18. Lincoln's Waffle Shop

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504 10th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 638-4009
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Not just for tourists, this longtime Penn Quarter fixture keeps everyone pretty, starting at 6 a.m. Naturally, waffles are on the menu. There’s also country-fried steak with a ginger-spiced brown gravy, vegetarian omelets, and frequent coffee refills from a conversational staff.

19. The Market Lunch

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225 7th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 547-8444

Don't let the name fool you — breakfast is the move at this Eastern Market mainstay known for its blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Doors open at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Prepare to wait in line during busy market times.

R. Lopez/Eater DC

20. Yellow the Cafe

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1346 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 921-9592
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Located inside Levantine hot spot Albi, Yellow melds French patisserie classics with Arabic flavors in morning sweets such as labneh croissants dusted in za’atar or an olive oil basbousa (Lebanese semolina cake). Owner Michael Rafidi also makes sfeeha (meat pies) for the morning crowd, and his superlative pitas form a soft shell for breakfast sandwiches full of scrambled egg, labneh, chopped salad, and kefta (for a surcharge). Specialty lattes include a smoked dirty chai. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. — G.H.

Dining Review - Yellow Cafe The Washington Post via Getty Images

1. Mark's Kitchen

7006 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
The Washington Post The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mark Choe’s Korean-American diner fits health-conscious Takoma Park to a T. Just across the District line, customers can find egg plates, Belgian waffles, and brioche French toast alongside savory mung bean pancakes or kimchi and steak omelets. Add a cup of fresh juice or order from a long menu of coffees, teas, milkshakes, malts, and New York-style egg creams. — Gabe Hiatt

7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

2. Donut Run

6904 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20012
A cookies & cream doughnut from Donut run
A cookies & cream doughnut from Donut run
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This vegan doughnut shop has been an instant hit since opening in January — with a line to prove it. There are usually several people waiting down the block for a first pick at the light, yeasty confections ahead of its 7 a.m. opening time. Be sure to check Instagram for the list of daily flavors, with options like mango-coconut, Boston cream, and glazed donut holes.

6904 4th St NW
Washington, DC 20012

3. Tony's Place (Multiple Locations)

622 Kennedy St NW, Washington, D.C. 20011

Meaty breakfast platters, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches can all be found at this D.C. breakfast spot, with two other locations on H Street and in Anacostia. The generous breakfast platter offers two eggs, toast, home fries or grits, and a choice of bacon, ham, sausage, turkey bacon, turkey links, or scrapple, all for under $5.

622 Kennedy St NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

4. Steak-n-Egg

4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

This small, 24/7 diner in Tenleytown offers plenty of space at the counter and long outdoor tables, ready with country-fried steak and gravy, potato hash formed into perfect patties, and surprises like funnel cake fries.

4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

5. Bread Furst

4434 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

James Beard Award-winning baker Mark Furstenberg’s tiny cafe in Van Ness is one of the city's best places to buy baguettes, chocolate croissants, and English muffins. It opens at 8 a.m., and has built out an impressive retail market during the pandemic, offering access to wholesalers for high-quality coffee and olive oil.

4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

6. Murry & Paul's Restaurant

3513 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20017

This Brookland greasy spoon, with sign saying it’s served the neighborhood since 1964, is a no-nonsense option for grabbing a table or ordering at the bar. Throwback prices make the giant flapjacks and French toast even sweeter.

3513 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017

7. The Coupe

3415 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
The Coupe for the First Bite column Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Tryst Trading Company’s sun-filled spot in Columbia Heights opens every day at 8 a.m. with a lineup of all-day breakfast plates fit for a lumberjack. That includes a flapjack stack — pick from plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip — and the fried chicken and biscuit topped with bacon, sausage gravy, and one egg any style.

3415 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

8. Ellē

3221 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
A pastrami breakfast sandwich from Ellē
Ellē’s breakfast sandwich
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Mount Pleasant’s ultimate neighborhood cafe serves a simple breakfast menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. features an egg sandwich showcasing superlative brisket. The counter offers savory quiches and sweet pastries — to tempt customers from inside a case. There are also baklava lattes, guava turnovers, biscuit sandwiches, and a host of other treats to consider.

3221 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

9. Call Your Mother Deli (Multiple locations)

3301 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

This wood-fired bagel shop fills its signature product with a handful of unexpected combos — think candied salmon cream cheese or bacon, jalapenos, and potato chips. The fried potato latkes are on point, and chocolate babka muffins go well with a cup of a custom coffee blend from Lost Sock Roasters. Call Your Mother is also recently added doughnuts to the mix, and continues to expand quickly, with future locations coming to Alexandria, Virginia, and North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose.

3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

10. Heat Da Spot Café

3213 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Customers socialize in Heat Da Sp Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

This friendly Park View cafe serves all-day breakfast that combines American and Ethiopian comfort foods like cheesy breakfast sandwiches or scrambled eggs with a side of injera. Customers who welcome spice should squirt homemade green hot sauce over everything. — G.H.

3213 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

11. The Royal

501 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

This Latin American-leaning all-day cafe in LeDroit Park serves up breakfast arepas, bagel sandwiches, and guava pastries starting at 8 a.m. For a hearty breakfast, go with a fried chicken biscuit packed with pickled fresno chiles and a fried egg.

501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Baker’s Daughter (Multiple locations)

1402 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Chef Matt Baker recently announces the opening of his second location of Baker’s Daughter, the casual cafe sibling to Michelin-starred Gravitas. The new Chinatown location (675 Eye Street NW) joins the original spot in Ivy City and focuses on grab-and-go breakfast. Each outpost offers signature breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and pastries.

1402 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002

13. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

1818 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

This local chain channels Americana with cinnamon rolls “as big as your head," homemade “Ted’s Tarts,” sausage and gravy plates, and crispy, shredded hashbrowns. Locations in D.C. and the surrounding suburbs include a futuristic addition in Ballston Quarter. Service starts at 7 a.m.

1818 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

14. Republic Cantina

43 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001

The gold foil wrapper feels fitting for breakfast tacos ($3.50 to $4.50) worth treasuring at this Tex-Mex cafe in Truxton Circle. Republic Cantina builds them on stretchy, rich flour tortillas that would pass muster in Texas. Go for the smoked brisket, served with fried onions, potatoes, and avocado salsa, or a carne guisada (stewed beef) variety with scallions and crispy tortilla strips. Other options on the cafe menu (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily) include a fruit and granola bowl, chilaquiles, or avocado Texas toast with radishes, cotija cheese, sesame, fried onion, and cilantro oil. — G.H.

43 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001

15. Unconventional Diner

1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Chef David Deshaies takes diner fare up a notch with European flair. Daily brunch (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and all-day service (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) includes fancy avocado toast and an everything lox bagel.

1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

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16. Kafè Leopold

3315 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Located in off-the-path Cady's Alley in Georgetown, Kafe Leopold's serves Eastern European dishes like Frushtuck (eggs with smoked and grilled ham and toast) and yogurt parfaits. Doors open at 8 a.m., and they have a nice patio.

3315 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

17. Metro 29 Diner

4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207
French toast at Metro 29.
Metro 29 Diner/official photo

Find thick challah French toast and “super egg” sandwiches at this no-frills, New York-style diner in Arlington. Both celebrity chef Guy Fieri and President Joe Biden have stopped by since they opened more than a decade ago. It opens at 6 a.m. for early risers.

4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

18. Lincoln's Waffle Shop

504 10th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Not just for tourists, this longtime Penn Quarter fixture keeps everyone pretty, starting at 6 a.m. Naturally, waffles are on the menu. There’s also country-fried steak with a ginger-spiced brown gravy, vegetarian omelets, and frequent coffee refills from a conversational staff.

504 10th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

19. The Market Lunch

225 7th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Don't let the name fool you — breakfast is the move at this Eastern Market mainstay known for its blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Doors open at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Prepare to wait in line during busy market times.

225 7th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

20. Yellow the Cafe

1346 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Dining Review - Yellow Cafe The Washington Post via Getty Images

Located inside Levantine hot spot Albi, Yellow melds French patisserie classics with Arabic flavors in morning sweets such as labneh croissants dusted in za’atar or an olive oil basbousa (Lebanese semolina cake). Owner Michael Rafidi also makes sfeeha (meat pies) for the morning crowd, and his superlative pitas form a soft shell for breakfast sandwiches full of scrambled egg, labneh, chopped salad, and kefta (for a surcharge). Specialty lattes include a smoked dirty chai. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. — G.H.

1346 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Related Maps