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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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Mark's Kitchen

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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

A breakfast plate with an omelet at Mark’s Kitchen. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Donut Run

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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.

Tony's Place (Multiple Locations)

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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.

Steak-n-Egg

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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.

Bread Furst

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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.

Murry & Paul's Restaurant

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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.

The Coupe

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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

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.

Call Your Mother Deli (Multiple locations)

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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.

Heat Da Spot Café

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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.

Customers socialize in Heat Da Spot. Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Royal

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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.

Baker’s Daughter (Multiple locations)

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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.

Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

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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

Republic Cantina

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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.

Unconventional Diner

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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

Kafè Leopold

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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.

Metro 29 Diner

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

Lincoln's Waffle Shop

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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.

The Market Lunch

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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

Yellow the Cafe

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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

Mark's Kitchen

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

A breakfast plate with an omelet at Mark’s Kitchen. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Donut Run

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.

Tony's Place (Multiple Locations)

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.

Steak-n-Egg

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.

Bread Furst

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.

Murry & Paul's Restaurant

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.

The Coupe

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

Ellē

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.

Call Your Mother Deli (Multiple locations)

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.

Heat Da Spot Café

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.

Customers socialize in Heat Da Spot. Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Royal

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.

Baker’s Daughter (Multiple locations)

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.

Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

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

Republic Cantina

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.

Unconventional Diner

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

Related Maps

Kafè Leopold

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.

Metro 29 Diner

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

Lincoln's Waffle Shop

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.

The Market Lunch

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

Yellow the Cafe

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

Related Maps