Brunch is sacred in D.C. With so many restaurants offering 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 top-notch list is full of restaurants that are worth the time and investment whether your tastes lean towards French toast and fried chicken biscuits or eggs served in homemade Malaysian sambal.Read More
15 Essential Brunch Destinations in D.C.
D.C.’s must-try restaurants for next-level avocado toast, seafood towers, khachapuri, bottomless Aperol spritzes, and more
The kaleidoscope of sour, funky, spicy, and sweet flavors at this Malaysian restaurant in Columbia Heights translate well to brunch. Eggs in chef James Wozniuk’s fiery homemade chile sambal are a natural morning dish. People with a sweet tooth might gravitate towards biscuits and kaya — sweet and mellow coconut pandan custard. Char kway teow, a stir-fried flat noodle dish with sweet Chinese sausage, is another crowd-pleaser. Complement everything with acar (pickles) brimming with key lime and prunes, pineapple and ginger, or mixed vegetables and shrimp paste.
The whimsical bistro in Brookland sends out weekend brunch plates of brioche French toast, roasted chicken hash, quiche, and thick-cut bacon to go along with French wines and flutes of French 75 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Primrose opens for indoor or outdoor dining, carryout, and delivery.
Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at Rose Previte’s global plates place off 14th Street NW offers $30 food “tours,” cocktails that range from Mexican to Middle Eastern, and wines sourced from across the Mediterranean. The affordable prix fixe, which comes with a vegetarian option, includes Georgian khachapuri, Greek doughnuts with honey (loukoumades), and North African shakshuka. Customers can also order Spanish patatas bravas or Irish spice bags full of fried chicken thighs from an a la carte section. For visitors who want to eat outside, the restaurant built covered patio on T Street NW with dining nooks dressed up like train cars.
Diners can lounge at Stephen Starr’s ever-busy 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, beef bourguignon, and the popular "Burger Americain.” Guests also come flocking for its “Les Oeufs” section of seven egg dishes. Go with the poached eggs basquaise, served with prosciutto and creamy polenta, or a lobster omelet.
Duke's Grocery (Multiple locations)
The quirky, East London-style pub offers brunch at all three D.C. locations (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), with indoor/patio dining, takeout, and delivery (via DoorDash). There’s one of the best burgers in town — add a runny egg for $2.50 — along with a proper English breakfast, shakshuka, and a fetching presentation of a red beet-cured salmon tartine. Reserve a spot for the buzzy Dupont Circle locale here.
The weekend brunch (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at this hyperlocal American restaurant in Logan Circle has plenty of outdoor seating. Opt for a “chef’s choice” ($35 per person) to sample a variety of dishes, or order takeout on Tock to sample la carte on items like an eggs Benedict with maple ham on toasted milk bread with red pepper hollandaise.
Formerly known as Turkish restaurant Ankara, Ala’s recent makeover reflects a Levantine approach that widens its scope to include cuisines from across the Eastern Mediterranean. A $44 brunch includes bottomless meze, mains, sweets, and drinks, including 10 mimosa flavors at the bar. Attentive servers send out a parade of plates like falafel patties with beet sauce, fried halloumi with pine honey and dukkah, Turkish sausage omelets, and man’oushe with za’atar. Pretty much any of the dips are a safe bet here. A unique wine list that pulls from Georgia, Armenia, and Palestine is worth checking out.
Brunch is served until 4 p.m. every day at the award-winning modern diner full of pop art inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Chef David Deshaies serves sweet potato shakshuka, avocado toast topped with confit egg yolk, and a Caribbean twist on shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, plantains, and pineapple-habanero sauce.
This buzzy Mediterranean-Latin fusion restaurant from Seven Reasons chef Enrique Limardo leans into fine dining with modernist flourishes. The chef’s detailed, spicy avocado toast is one of the most gorgeous — and, at $28, most expensive — versions in the city. Soft focaccia acts as the base for a medley of fresh avocado, grilled octopus, smoked jalapeno dressing, and harissa mayonnaise. Other hits off the a la carte menu includes a flower-shaped carpaccio of smoked Ora King salmon with arugula chili oil. Instead of waffles, fried chicken comes with a delicate corn pancake and a drizzle of guajillo chile sauce that begs to be bottled.
See and be seen brunching at Fiola Mare's swanky Georgetown waterfront location. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends, expect classics such as lemon ricotta pancakes, tagliatelle carbonara, and decadent seafood towers along with seasonal a la carte dishes. A baller three-course option ($95) includes an appetizer, brunch favorites, dessert, a warm pastry, and bottomless bubbly or brunch cocktails, with a 75-minute time limit.
Boqueria (Multiple locations)
This boutique chain of Barcelona-style tapas bars sends out a stylish selection of tapas and egg-topped paella from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday across its handsome Penn Quarter dining room outfitted with sleek wooden tables, glowing banquettes, and oval lanterns. A la carte options include a Catalan “farmer’s breakfast,” built around ribeye and chorizo, and torrija, or caramelized French toast, with citrus honey, as well as the whole tapas menu. A “deluxe” bottomless drink deal features a stream of sangrías, bloody marys, and cava for $45 (90-minute limit). The same options are available at a Dupont Circle location with a front patio at the corner of M and 19th Streets NW.
At this Southern staple on Capitol Hill, chef Walfer Hernandez (Union Pub, The Eastern) designs waffles topped with bourbon whipped cream, apple compote, and basil candy. Two other popular orders are the fried chicken biscuits — available with honey butter or fontal cheese and chipotle mayo — and the shrimp and grits jazzed up with Calabrian sausage and piquillo peppers. Wash down brunch bites with clarified milk punch cocktails or bloody marys with a serrano pepper kick, plus a $26 bottomless bubbly deal to boot. Dine in or order takeout 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday and all the way until 9 p.m. on Sunday for the later brunch set.
Ambar Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill’s resident Balkan restaurant underwent a multi-million dollar renovation during the pandemic but didn’t change a thing about its beloved bottomless brunch ($34.99 per person, plus $8.99 for unlimited drinks). Popular orders that keep coming (for two hours) include potato hash, meze platters, and beef prosciutto or salmon Benedict, all designed to be washed down with bottomless mango hibiscus mimosas and bloody marys. Opt for seating across its expanded patio, indoors, or on a retractable rooftop on the third floor.
Shilling Canning Company
Brunch at chef Reid Shilling’s Chesapeake restaurant in Navy Yard runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Rotating dishes on the $35 three course, prix fixe menu include deviled eggs, buttermilk fried chicken with hot honey and hoe cakes, and coffee cake with vanilla streusel. The solid cocktail list includes mimosa carafes made with preserved local fruit.
This waterfront pizzeria in Navy Yard draws large crowds for its egg-topped pies on weekends. Along with its full lineup of Jersey-style, deck-oven pizzas, popular orders include fiery wings with Calabrian chili honey; Sicilian “disco” fries with ‘nduja sausage, parm fonduta, and chives; and bottomless mimosas and Aperol spritzes for $23. Its Shaw location just brought back brunch this week.