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D.C.’s 15 Essential Brunch Spots

Narrow the field in a city that’s crazy about leisurely weekend meals.

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Brunch is huge in D.C. Since so many restaurants now offer some variation of it, choosing the right place to catch up with friends, family members, and significant others over a midday meal can be overwhelming.

This elite list of spots is worth the investment and time whether your tastes lean toward buckwheat blueberry pancakes, Sunday dim sum, or grits and merguez sausage.

—Updated by Tierney Plumb

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Buena Vida Restaurant

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3324, 8407 Ramsey Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 755-6132
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At $35 per person from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can feast on endless Mexican dishes like Yucatan guacamole, huevos rancheros, or a breakfast quesadilla made with house-cured bacon, eggs, poblano pepper, and Oaxaca cheese. Items are also available a la carte with prices ranging from $2.50 to $12. 

Chilaquiles with fried egg at Buena Vida.
Buena Vida/official photo

2. Casolare Ristorante + Bar

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2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 625-5400
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Carb lovers are lured to Glover Park for pastry chef Alex Levin’s“basket of goodies” served at the Jewish Roman brunch — along with homemade bagels and challah French toast —on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Patrick Curran also offers a classic reuben, crispy potato latkes, and fried zucchini. Build your own mimosas with a $25 bottle of bubbles and your choice of juice.

3. The Smith (Multiple locations)

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1314 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 250-3900
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The Smith, a huge brunch destination in New York City, has become a packed morning-after pick on weekends in D.C. Its U Street NW site offers complimentary brunch cocktails — including a bloody mary and a French 75 slushie — with purchase of a brunch entree. Other dishes include three types of Benedicts, massive salads, egg scrambles, and avocado toast.

The Smith’s breakfast pot pie with sweet sausage, bacon, cremini mushrooms, cheddar biscuit top and eggs.
The Smith/official photo

4. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 332-3333
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Diners can lounge at the modern brasserie and sidewalk cafe for a long time; Le Diplomate serves brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Check out the raw bar selections, French toast, and the popular "Burger Americain.” Guests also come flocking for its “Les Oeufs” section of nine egg dishes. Go with the eggs vol-au-vent, served with chanterelle mushrooms, creamed cippolini onions and creme fraiche.

.

Le Diplomate’s duck sarladaise dish. 
Sam Cora/Le Diplomate

5. Iron Gate

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1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 524-5202
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Chef Tony Chittum marries local ingredients and Mediterranean fare at this transportive Dupont Circle restaurant. Whether eating at the bar, inside the rustic-looking main dining room, or on the gorgeous enclosed patio, brunch patrons are privy to dishes ranging from seasonal doughnuts and ricotta pancakes topped with candied hazelnuts to savory baked egg dishes.

Sesame-crusted feta at Iron Gate.
Iron Gate/Facebook

6. Unconventional Diner

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1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-0122
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Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends at this sprawling modern diner full of pop art inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Marcel Richard protege David Deshaies adds a twist on creamy grits with Moroccan spices, lamb merguez, charred broccolini, radish sticks, and a sunny egg. A heaping bowl corned-beef hash doubles down on unctuous flavors with roasted onions and black pepper gravy.

Merguez and grits
Unconventional Diner/Facebook

7. Blue Duck Tavern

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1201 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 419-6755
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Flooded with natural light and furnished with rustic wooden decor, locals have long flocked to this Michelin-starred West End eatery for brunch items like harvest grain porridge, pecan sticky buns, and sorbet mimosas. Blue Duck's seasonal menu changes frequently to incorporate local ingredients into classic dishes. Brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. all weekend. The restaurant's also a strong (if pricey) destination for holiday brunches.

8. District Commons

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2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 587-8277
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One of the best brunch deals in town, chef/owner Jeff Tunks' brassy American tavern whips up dishes ranging from gourmet pancakes and classic Benedicts to shrimp and grits or crawfish-filled omelets. Bottomless drinks can be added to the purchase of any entree for $16.

9. Fiola Mare

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3050 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 628-0065
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See and be seen brunching at Fiola Mare's swanky Georgetown waterfront location. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends, expect classics such as lemon ricotta pancakes, mussels, and lobster rolls along with seasonal a la carte dishes. There’s a $30 charge for bottomless drinks. A Sunday roast special starting at 1 p.m. includes a spice-crusted 14-oz. prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, smoked crushed potatoes, and salad ($65).

Rigatoni carbonara topped with a duck egg at Fiola Mare.
Fiola Mare/Facebook

10. Maketto

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1351 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 838-9972
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The H Street NE hotspot runs Dim Sum Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4;30 p.m. In addition to assorted bao buns and steamed dumplings, patrons can also order anchovy peanut brittle, Chinese doughnut sticks, and its famous Taiwanese fried chicken with five spice caramel.

11. Market Lunch

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225 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 547-8444
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For more than 30 years, this counter tucked inside Eastern Market has lured locals with its famous blueberry buckwheat pancakes and crab cakes. Eaters line up at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, for dishes including French toast, soft shell crabs, and specialty omelets. Expect to hunt for a seat at either the small table directly in front of the busy counter or at one of the picnic tables dotting the market. Brunch goes until 3 p.m. all weekend.

Buttermilk pancakes from Market Lunch.
Greg I./Yelp

12. Joselito Casa de Comidas

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660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 930-6955
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This Spanish restaurant caters to Capitol Hill diners by offering brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Featured a la carte offerings range from seafood-studded fisherman’s rice and vegetable omelets with goat cheese to Andalusian-style French toast. Complement any selection with a boozy drink from the companion mimosa, bellini, and bloody mary bar (priced separately).

A brunch offering at Joselito.
Joselito Casa de Comidas/Facebook

13. All-Purpose Riverfront

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79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 629-1894
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The Navy Yard waterfront option draws large crowds for its bottomless drinks and breakfast pies through 2 p.m. on weekends. Along with its full lineup of pizzas, popular orders include a smoked salmon crostini; Sicilian “disco” fries with arugula, Sicilian hot sauce, parm fonduta, and chives; and a smoked bacon and leek frittata.

14. Bastille

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606 N Fayette St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 519-3776
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Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer a three-course prix fixe brunch ($29) at their neighborhood restaurant with appetizers such as a savory rock shrimp beignet and entrees including a poached egg croissant with with smoked salmon, Hollandaise sauce, and duck fat home fries.

Biscuits and chorizo gravy from Bastille.
Bastille/Faceook

15. Brabo

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1600 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 894-3440
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Chef Sebastien Rondier offers a $30 spin on steak frites: an 8-ounce portion of hanger steak or beef Bourguignon comes with two sunny-side-up eggs, Belgian frites, and steak sauce. Every other entree on the brunch — including a Brabo Benedict with pork belly, a Gruyère potato cake, and tomato-chive Hollandaise — is $20 or less. For large groups ready to drink, there’s a French 750 Champagne cocktail for four presented in an absinthe fountain ($90-$150). Brunch is served Sundays from 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Brabo’s large-format French 75 brunch cocktails are served from an absinthe fountain.
Karlin Villondo/Karlin Villondo Photography

1. Buena Vida Restaurant

3324, 8407 Ramsey Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Chilaquiles with fried egg at Buena Vida.
Buena Vida/official photo

At $35 per person from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can feast on endless Mexican dishes like Yucatan guacamole, huevos rancheros, or a breakfast quesadilla made with house-cured bacon, eggs, poblano pepper, and Oaxaca cheese. Items are also available a la carte with prices ranging from $2.50 to $12. 

3324, 8407 Ramsey Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Casolare Ristorante + Bar

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Carb lovers are lured to Glover Park for pastry chef Alex Levin’s“basket of goodies” served at the Jewish Roman brunch — along with homemade bagels and challah French toast —on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Patrick Curran also offers a classic reuben, crispy potato latkes, and fried zucchini. Build your own mimosas with a $25 bottle of bubbles and your choice of juice.

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

3. The Smith (Multiple locations)

1314 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Smith’s breakfast pot pie with sweet sausage, bacon, cremini mushrooms, cheddar biscuit top and eggs.
The Smith/official photo

The Smith, a huge brunch destination in New York City, has become a packed morning-after pick on weekends in D.C. Its U Street NW site offers complimentary brunch cocktails — including a bloody mary and a French 75 slushie — with purchase of a brunch entree. Other dishes include three types of Benedicts, massive salads, egg scrambles, and avocado toast.

1314 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Le Diplomate’s duck sarladaise dish. 
Sam Cora/Le Diplomate

Diners can lounge at the modern brasserie and sidewalk cafe for a long time; Le Diplomate serves brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Check out the raw bar selections, French toast, and the popular "Burger Americain.” Guests also come flocking for its “Les Oeufs” section of nine egg dishes. Go with the eggs vol-au-vent, served with chanterelle mushrooms, creamed cippolini onions and creme fraiche.

.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Iron Gate

1734 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Sesame-crusted feta at Iron Gate.
Iron Gate/Facebook

Chef Tony Chittum marries local ingredients and Mediterranean fare at this transportive Dupont Circle restaurant. Whether eating at the bar, inside the rustic-looking main dining room, or on the gorgeous enclosed patio, brunch patrons are privy to dishes ranging from seasonal doughnuts and ricotta pancakes topped with candied hazelnuts to savory baked egg dishes.

1734 N St NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. Unconventional Diner

1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Merguez and grits
Unconventional Diner/Facebook

Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends at this sprawling modern diner full of pop art inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Marcel Richard protege David Deshaies adds a twist on creamy grits with Moroccan spices, lamb merguez, charred broccolini, radish sticks, and a sunny egg. A heaping bowl corned-beef hash doubles down on unctuous flavors with roasted onions and black pepper gravy.

1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

Flooded with natural light and furnished with rustic wooden decor, locals have long flocked to this Michelin-starred West End eatery for brunch items like harvest grain porridge, pecan sticky buns, and sorbet mimosas. Blue Duck's seasonal menu changes frequently to incorporate local ingredients into classic dishes. Brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. all weekend. The restaurant's also a strong (if pricey) destination for holiday brunches.

1201 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

8. District Commons

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

One of the best brunch deals in town, chef/owner Jeff Tunks' brassy American tavern whips up dishes ranging from gourmet pancakes and classic Benedicts to shrimp and grits or crawfish-filled omelets. Bottomless drinks can be added to the purchase of any entree for $16.

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Fiola Mare

3050 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Rigatoni carbonara topped with a duck egg at Fiola Mare.
Fiola Mare/Facebook

See and be seen brunching at Fiola Mare's swanky Georgetown waterfront location. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends, expect classics such as lemon ricotta pancakes, mussels, and lobster rolls along with seasonal a la carte dishes. There’s a $30 charge for bottomless drinks. A Sunday roast special starting at 1 p.m. includes a spice-crusted 14-oz. prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, smoked crushed potatoes, and salad ($65).

3050 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

10. Maketto

1351 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

The H Street NE hotspot runs Dim Sum Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4;30 p.m. In addition to assorted bao buns and steamed dumplings, patrons can also order anchovy peanut brittle, Chinese doughnut sticks, and its famous Taiwanese fried chicken with five spice caramel.

1351 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

11. Market Lunch

225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Buttermilk pancakes from Market Lunch.
Greg I./Yelp

For more than 30 years, this counter tucked inside Eastern Market has lured locals with its famous blueberry buckwheat pancakes and crab cakes. Eaters line up at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, for dishes including French toast, soft shell crabs, and specialty omelets. Expect to hunt for a seat at either the small table directly in front of the busy counter or at one of the picnic tables dotting the market. Brunch goes until 3 p.m. all weekend.

225 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

12. Joselito Casa de Comidas

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
A brunch offering at Joselito.
Joselito Casa de Comidas/Facebook

This Spanish restaurant caters to Capitol Hill diners by offering brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Featured a la carte offerings range from seafood-studded fisherman’s rice and vegetable omelets with goat cheese to Andalusian-style French toast. Complement any selection with a boozy drink from the companion mimosa, bellini, and bloody mary bar (priced separately).

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

13. All-Purpose Riverfront

79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

The Navy Yard waterfront option draws large crowds for its bottomless drinks and breakfast pies through 2 p.m. on weekends. Along with its full lineup of pizzas, popular orders include a smoked salmon crostini; Sicilian “disco” fries with arugula, Sicilian hot sauce, parm fonduta, and chives; and a smoked bacon and leek frittata.

79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

14. Bastille

606 N Fayette St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Biscuits and chorizo gravy from Bastille.
Bastille/Faceook

Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer a three-course prix fixe brunch ($29) at their neighborhood restaurant with appetizers such as a savory rock shrimp beignet and entrees including a poached egg croissant with with smoked salmon, Hollandaise sauce, and duck fat home fries.

606 N Fayette St
Alexandria, VA 22314

15. Brabo

1600 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Brabo’s large-format French 75 brunch cocktails are served from an absinthe fountain.
Karlin Villondo/Karlin Villondo Photography

Chef Sebastien Rondier offers a $30 spin on steak frites: an 8-ounce portion of hanger steak or beef Bourguignon comes with two sunny-side-up eggs, Belgian frites, and steak sauce. Every other entree on the brunch — including a Brabo Benedict with pork belly, a Gruyère potato cake, and tomato-chive Hollandaise — is $20 or less. For large groups ready to drink, there’s a French 750 Champagne cocktail for four presented in an absinthe fountain ($90-$150). Brunch is served Sundays from 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

1600 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

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