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Where to Go for Breakfast in D.C.

And we don't mean brunch — sometimes, you don't need a crabcake benedict.

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Think bottomless mimosas are recipe for a horrible headache? Fed up with hour-long waits for some simple eggs on a weekend morning? Finding a no-frills breakfast proves pretty difficult in this city obsessed with scenester brunches.

There's nothing wrong with people-watching over a glass of bubbly pre-noon on a patio, but some mornings simply require an alternative family-style home cooked meal or greasy spoon. These places provide an alternative to the mimosa scene, whether it be for greasy spoon lovers or breakfast meeting businesspeople.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ben's Chili Bowl

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1213 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 667-0909
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Let’s not forget that Ben’s, open most days at 6 am, offers more than a late-night calorie bomb on U Street. Mornings just feel right starting with a half-smoke cozying up to some scrambled eggs, while sitting at the counter before the normal crowds. And yes, they start serving chili dogs early.

2. Bread Furst

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4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

One of the city's best purveyors for baked goods like chocolate croissants and English muffins opens at 7 a.m.

3. El Rinconcito Cafe

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1129 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 789-4110
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The typical El Salvadorian breakfast is far from typical, with scrambled eggs mixed with tomato, bell peppers and onions. and served with refried beans, fried plantain, sour cream, Salvadoran cheese, avocado and two handmade corn tortillas. Add on the chorizo for even more of an indulgence.

4. Florida Avenue Grill

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1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-1586
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Slinging soul food since 1944, Florida Avenue Grill opened with room for only two counter stools. The Shaw landmark retains its down-to-earth vibe even as the counter now stretches past booths filled with happy customers munching on catfish and grits, epic pancakes and some serious fried chicken. With breakfast served all day you can have it all, complete with a side of Southern hospitality.

5. Founding Farmers

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1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 822-8783
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Usually packed for dinner, the high booths in this DC favorite provides the perfect morning meeting venue. Power up with farm fresh steak and eggs or a roasted vegetable scramble. Or tuck into Uncle Buck’s Beignets with three sauces, or the Peanut Butter Banana toast with marshmallow chocolate.

6. Le Caprice DC Café Bakery

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3460 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 290-3109
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French need not mean fancy. This Columbia Heights bakery lets you enjoy fresh pistachio or almond croissants at casual tables, while watching bakers flaunt their expertise through the window. Try a breakfast sandwich on their buttery croissant.

7. 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 15-year-old joint downtown probably definitely didn’t serve Abraham Lincoln, but keeps everyone else pretty happy starting at 5:30 am. There is a varied menu but stick with the namesake, large, thin waffles topped with fried chicken or bananas.

8. Mark's Kitchen

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7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-1884
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The mix of Korean & American dishes at this Takoma Park restaurant truly finds its own at breakfast. Try the Korean steak and kimchi omelet, ginger scrambled eggs or fish cakes to start the day right. If pancakes are more your thing, all the usual breakfast suspects can be found, with special shoutouts to vegetarians and vegans on the menu. [Photo: MichaelAngeloD./Yelp]

9. Metro 29 Diner

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4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 528-2464
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Find thick challah bread french toast and “super egg sandwiches” at this no-frills, New York-style Arlington diner. Both Guy Fieri and Vice President Biden stopped by since they opened one decade ago. Definitely save room for dessert following breakfast, with towering slices of homemade cake, rich cheesecake, and other pastries fresh from the on-site bakery.

10. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

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4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 686-1201
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This small spot in Tenleytown offers plenty of space at the counter and long outdoor tables, ready with country fried steak and gravy, potato hash in perfect patties, and surprises like funnel cake fries. The best part is finding them open 24 hours a day, as a diner should be.

11. SUNdeVICH

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1314 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 319-1086
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Any demi-baguette sandwich off their global menu in the Shaw back alley would make a breakfast fit for champions. The cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon Oslo is not an average bagel with lox, and the Mexico City with runny fried eggs, avocado and chipotle mayo spices up the day.

12. Ted's Bulletin

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1818 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-8337
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The peanut butter bacon homemade pop tart on the side of eggs and sausage is the complete package, but other dishes really stack up, like pancakes, the ultimate breakfast sandwich or the cinnamon roll “as big as your head.” And breakfast here is served all day. Multiple locations.

13. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

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331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-2725

This Capitol Hill joint is a dive bar by night and a breakfast joint by day.. Don’t think twice about the corned beef hash, laced with fresh peppers and onions. Luckily they serve breakfast all day, long after the bar is open. [Photo: Edward G./Yelp

14. Zenebech Injera

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608 T St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 667-4700
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Savory breakfast-lovers should switch it up with tibbs and jalapeno scrambled eggs or beef jerky in awaze sauce, all scooped up with spongy, sour injera flatbread. Like a hummus, the Ethiopian clarified butter adds richness to the mashed fava beans. Wash it down with homemade flaxseed or roasted barley flour juice.

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1. Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Let’s not forget that Ben’s, open most days at 6 am, offers more than a late-night calorie bomb on U Street. Mornings just feel right starting with a half-smoke cozying up to some scrambled eggs, while sitting at the counter before the normal crowds. And yes, they start serving chili dogs early.

1213 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

2. Bread Furst

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

One of the city's best purveyors for baked goods like chocolate croissants and English muffins opens at 7 a.m.

4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

3. El Rinconcito Cafe

1129 11th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

The typical El Salvadorian breakfast is far from typical, with scrambled eggs mixed with tomato, bell peppers and onions. and served with refried beans, fried plantain, sour cream, Salvadoran cheese, avocado and two handmade corn tortillas. Add on the chorizo for even more of an indulgence.

1129 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. Florida Avenue Grill

1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Slinging soul food since 1944, Florida Avenue Grill opened with room for only two counter stools. The Shaw landmark retains its down-to-earth vibe even as the counter now stretches past booths filled with happy customers munching on catfish and grits, epic pancakes and some serious fried chicken. With breakfast served all day you can have it all, complete with a side of Southern hospitality.

1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

Usually packed for dinner, the high booths in this DC favorite provides the perfect morning meeting venue. Power up with farm fresh steak and eggs or a roasted vegetable scramble. Or tuck into Uncle Buck’s Beignets with three sauces, or the Peanut Butter Banana toast with marshmallow chocolate.

1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

6. Le Caprice DC Café Bakery

3460 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

French need not mean fancy. This Columbia Heights bakery lets you enjoy fresh pistachio or almond croissants at casual tables, while watching bakers flaunt their expertise through the window. Try a breakfast sandwich on their buttery croissant.

3460 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

7. Lincoln's Waffle Shop

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

Not just for tourists, this 15-year-old joint downtown probably definitely didn’t serve Abraham Lincoln, but keeps everyone else pretty happy starting at 5:30 am. There is a varied menu but stick with the namesake, large, thin waffles topped with fried chicken or bananas.

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

8. Mark's Kitchen

7006 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

The mix of Korean & American dishes at this Takoma Park restaurant truly finds its own at breakfast. Try the Korean steak and kimchi omelet, ginger scrambled eggs or fish cakes to start the day right. If pancakes are more your thing, all the usual breakfast suspects can be found, with special shoutouts to vegetarians and vegans on the menu. [Photo: MichaelAngeloD./Yelp]

7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

9. Metro 29 Diner

4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

Find thick challah bread french toast and “super egg sandwiches” at this no-frills, New York-style Arlington diner. Both Guy Fieri and Vice President Biden stopped by since they opened one decade ago. Definitely save room for dessert following breakfast, with towering slices of homemade cake, rich cheesecake, and other pastries fresh from the on-site bakery.

4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

10. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

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

This small spot in Tenleytown offers plenty of space at the counter and long outdoor tables, ready with country fried steak and gravy, potato hash in perfect patties, and surprises like funnel cake fries. The best part is finding them open 24 hours a day, as a diner should be.

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

11. SUNdeVICH

1314 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Any demi-baguette sandwich off their global menu in the Shaw back alley would make a breakfast fit for champions. The cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon Oslo is not an average bagel with lox, and the Mexico City with runny fried eggs, avocado and chipotle mayo spices up the day.

1314 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Ted's Bulletin

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

The peanut butter bacon homemade pop tart on the side of eggs and sausage is the complete package, but other dishes really stack up, like pancakes, the ultimate breakfast sandwich or the cinnamon roll “as big as your head.” And breakfast here is served all day. Multiple locations.

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

13. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

This Capitol Hill joint is a dive bar by night and a breakfast joint by day.. Don’t think twice about the corned beef hash, laced with fresh peppers and onions. Luckily they serve breakfast all day, long after the bar is open. [Photo: Edward G./Yelp

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

14. Zenebech Injera

608 T St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Savory breakfast-lovers should switch it up with tibbs and jalapeno scrambled eggs or beef jerky in awaze sauce, all scooped up with spongy, sour injera flatbread. Like a hummus, the Ethiopian clarified butter adds richness to the mashed fava beans. Wash it down with homemade flaxseed or roasted barley flour juice.

608 T St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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