Best Brunch In Washington DC: The Definitive Guide

Published by: Bounce28 July, 2022

There are hundreds of reasons to take a trip to Washington DC, and the city’s restaurant scene has been making its case for being at the top of the list. With a huge population of younger residents, brunch in DC has become a weekend institution, with bottomless brunch deals and special menus at bars and restaurants in every neighborhood. Bottomless mimosas, fried chicken and waffles, bloody marys, and eggs benedict (of every sort) are on offer at these brunch spots, and these restaurants turn into a place to see and be seen every weekend. 

Brunch is the perfect meal to have before exploring one of the many amazing DC neighborhoods, visiting a world-class museum, and even getting some shopping done. Here is a definitive guide to finding spots for brunch: 

Boqueria 

Penn Quarter   ꘡  Weekends 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Located near Union Station Washington, Boqueria is the perfect place to grab brunch if you’re on your way in or out of town. This stylish Penn Quarter restaurant serves up Barcelona-style tapas, and they’ve translated this focus to create an amazing brunch menu. 

Their Catalan “Farmer’s Breakfast” has chorizo, ribeye, or torrija with fried eggs. Their Caramelized French Toast with citrus honey will satisfy any sweet tooth. The Huevos Con Chorizo is one of the most popular healthy-ish things on the brunch menu, with salsa verde and patatas bravas making it substantial but not overwhelming. The Tortilla Espanola Platter has a traditional Spanish Omelet, crispy potatoes confit, and grilled veggies. Bottomless Mimosas or Sangria deals are incredibly popular with the younger crowd. 

Boqueria also offers a $49 brunch for two during weekends, making it Washington DC’s best brunch spot for dates. The deal comes with Brunch Paella, served with fried eggs and your choice of meat, breakfast churros, and a pitcher of sangria. It’s the perfect way to start an afternoon. With a fashionable dining room and trendy menu, Boqueria certainly creates an upscale atmosphere without charging an arm and a leg for your brunch.

Makan

Columbia Heights  ꘡  Weekends 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

This Columbia Heights restaurant serves up one of the best brunches in DC, and the Malaysian twist on the meal makes it one of the most interesting in town. With the mix of sweet, sour, funky, and spicy flavors, each meal at Makan feels like a journey. The Chile Sambal and Scrambled Eggs are fiery enough to wake you up in the morning, and you might want to cool down with their Biscuits and Kaya, with a mellow coconut-based custard. If you’re not opposed to noodles in the morning, the Char Kway Teow is served with a sweet sausage and pairs perfectly with sides of pickles, pineapple, and vegetables. The brunch cocktails are no less funky, with Mimosas coming with your choice of fresh fruit juice, passion fruit and grapefruit being standouts, and the Bloody Marys including ingredients like shrimp paste, ginger, lemongrass, galangal, and fresh ginger. If you’re looking for a DC brunch with a twist, Makan is your perfect destination. 

Primrose  

Brookland  ꘡  Weekends 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

This stylish bistro in Brookland offers one of the best brunch offerings in the outer neighborhoods of Washington DC. Their Brioche French Toast comes with Chantilly and maple syrup, and their Caribbean Style Shrimp and Grits come with pork sausage, so there are some hearty options on the menu. The Smoked Salmon Benedict is slightly lighter, depending on how much of the white truffle hollandaise you consume! 

The brunch sandwiches are certainly where Primrose excels. Croque Monsieur and the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich are indulgent options that get a lot of attention among local foodies. The Primrose Burger and Frites might not sound like anything to write home about, but the combination of gruyere and onion jam makes this one of the tastiest and juiciest burgers in DC. Primrose has a relaxed atmosphere, being a neighborhood staple, the energy can always be dialed up with Mimosas served by the carafe.

Founding Farmers 

Foggy Bottom ꘡  Weekends 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Part of the Farmers & Distillers Collective of Washington DC, this hipster-hangout focuses on the local, sustainable ingredients and business practices. It’s the type of place you walk out of feeling better about yourself and the world. And even better, you’ll walk out of Founding Farmers extremely satisfied with your brunch order. Everything is created from scratch, like the French Toast with Grade A Maple Syrup from a family farm in Upstate New York, which you can choose between Bourbon Battered or Vanilla Cream filling. Want something savory? The Crab Cake Benedict (sourced responsibly from the Chesapeake Bay) is a salty, savory treat. The atmosphere is trendy but relaxed, and upscale without being stuffy. There are good reasons why this spot is one of the most popular in Foggy Bottom. 

Imperfecto

West End ꘡  Weekends 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Down the street from The National Mall, Imperfecto is the perfect place to start or end a date, as it’s one of the most impressive restaurants in Washington DC that isn’t prohibitively expensive, and the food is both interesting and perfectly executed. The Mediterranean-Latin fusion concept of this restaurant is on full display in their brunch menu. The Spanish Sandwich stuffs cured Mangalitsa ham, foie gras, truffle butter, tomato spread, and arugula generously into a freshly-baked baguette. The Spicy Avocado Toast pairs grilled octopus, smoked jalapeño dressing, and harissa mayonnaise on doughy focaccia. This is elevated comfort food that takes its inspiration from rich culinary histories. 

Ambar (Washington DC)

Capitol Hill  ꘡  Saturday - Sunday  10:00 AM - 3:30 PM 

Having recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, this popular Capitol Hill Balkan restaurant is one of Washington DC’s best brunch spots, especially for outdoor dining. Their famous bottomless brunch option ($39.99 per person) is an onslaught of brunch favorites like potato hash, Salmon or Prosciutto Benefit, and meze platters. With bottomless Bloody Marys and Mango Hibiscus Mimosas on offer, it’s no wonder why the large dining room, patio, and retractable rooftop are packed every weekend. 

Ambar (Arlington, VA)

Clarendon (Arlington, VA)  ꘡  Saturday - Sunday  10:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

If you live on the west side of the Potomac, you’re probably already familiar with the Clarendon location of this popular chain. If you’re taking the Orange or Silver lines out to the neighborhood, you’ll find the trip well worth it. The $34 bottomless small brunch plates deal on weekends will certainly satisfy any craving. The Mascarpone Crepes are a highlight, with cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, and fruit jam. There are also bottomless mimosa and other brunch cocktails on offer, so it's definitely worth taking public transit back to Washington DC.

Muchas Gracias 

Chevy Chase  ꘡  Weekends 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

This Chevy Chase eatery focuses on using the freshest seasonal produce and sourcing the finest ingredients for its menu of traditional Mexican dishes. The menu varies by season, but you can expect favorites like Huevos Rancheros, Chilaquiles Rojos, and the Chorizo Con Huevo Burrito to invoke familiar Mexican flavors in new and interesting ways. The bar is fully stocked with an incredible selection of Mezcal, Tequila, and other regional agave spirits, and a trusty selection of Mexican beers make this a perfect summertime destination. The Mimosas are served by the carafe with the freshest orange juice. 

Because the Muchas Gracias team is obsessed with doing things the right way from start to finish, they have structured their support of nonprofit organizations for the Washington DC immigrant community into their business model. So you can brunch on breakfast burritos for a good cause! 

Nina May

Logan Circle   ꘡  Weekends 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

This stylish restaurant is perfect for a casual and elegant weekend brunch. You can opt for the Chef’s Choice brunch to sample a variety of dishes including Potato Latkes with Pulled Braised Short Rib, or Orange or Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. There are seasonal mimosa flavors and high-end bloody mary options. Logan Circle is one of the nicest neighborhoods in all of Washington DC, and this laid-back cafe fits the location perfectly and serves one of the best brunch menus in Washington DC.

Cuba Libre 

Penn Quarter   ꘡  Weekends 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Penn Quarter is one of the better shopping districts in Washington DC, and they are certainly not short of outstanding brunch spots either. Cuba Libre hasn’t cooked a bad meal in its multi-decade existence, but their Caribbean-inspired menu is one of their specialties. Even better, you can brunch on a budget here, with a $23 per person Brunch menu that allows you to choose from a few combinations. You can add on bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas for only $17 more. There are a few favorites to choose from: Mauros and Corn Hash with a fried egg, Cuban shredded beef brisket (Ropa Vieja), and boniato. 

Things to try from the a la carte menu: Tortilla De Cangrejo, which is an omelet with crabmeat, hollandaise, and shallots. The Brioche French Toast A La Cubana is a vanilla custard-soaked brioche with panela-soaked sweet plantains and whipped cream. Don’t worry, it’s as absolutely delicious as it sounds. The Pollo y Waffle incorporates Cuban flavors into this brunch favorite by adding mango salsa, and rich rum-molasses syrup to their amazing fried chicken. Washington DC's best brunch spots with a Cuban twist? Si, por favor. 

Busboys and Poets

Cardozo  ꘡  Every Day 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

This unconventional diner is also a bookstore and community space that serves one of the best brunches in Washington DC. The menu has some of the more straightforward but delicious brunch staples like fried chicken and waffles, french toast, or blueberry pancakes, but it’s the specialties and curiosities where Busboys and Poets truly shine. Mekhleme, which is a Middle Eastern dish of ground beef, home fries, and veggies, is a spicy, salty paprika, and cumin-based riff on corned beef hash. It’s the most interesting brunch dish in Washington DC, and it just might be the best. Craving a familiar favorite? The Florentine Benedict comes with shallots, roasted red peppers, and an indulgent hollandaise. If you stick around long enough after brunch, don’t be surprised if open-mic poetry or a book signing breaks out in their dining room. 

SPIN 

Penn Quarter   ꘡  Weekends 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

If The Chainsmokers were to create a brunch restaurant in Penn Quarter, the result would be SPIN. The Washington DC location of the “ping pong social club” offers weekend brunch, including bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas, and an all-day DJ set. If you find the bacon, egg, and cheese brioche sandwich too heavy, you can always work it off with the unlimited all-day ping-pong offer on Saturdays. SPIN is located in the southern part of Penn Quarter, not far from one of DC's best museums, The National Gallery of Art. Pro tip: you might want to visit before your bottomless brunch and not after. 

Compass Rose

Cardozo   ꘡  Sunday  11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Reading through the menu of the Compass Rose, it’s safe to assume the creators enjoy traveling. With brunch cocktails and food inspirations ranging from Mediterranean to Middle Eastern, you can take a culinary world tour through their menu. In terms of brunch, the menu is headlined by the North African Shakshuka, which is comprised of poached eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Spanish flavors from Patatas Bravas are other brunch favorites. There is a rotating prix fixe menu that is extremely popular for their Sunday brunch. 

Barrel 

Capitol Hill  ꘡  Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:45 PM - Sunday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

This popular Capitol Hill bar and fried chicken restaurant brings only the finest Southern flavors to its Washington DC spot. At Barrel, they focus on nailing down the basics and then amping them up with one culinary curiosity or another. The Waffles are topped with whipped cream, apple compote, and candied basil. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Biscuits are served with honey butter (if you’re going for sweet) or Fontal cheese and chipotle mayo (if you’re opting for savory). The Shrimp and Grits are boosted with Calabrian sausage and piquillo peppers. Their Deep Fried French Toast is served with bananas foster and roasted pecans. Their Carnitas Breakfast Burrito will obliterate even the worst hangover, or provide an ample base with which to tackle their Bottomless Bubbles for weekend brunch. This Southern menu is not for the faint of heart. 

Le Diplomate 

Logan Circle   ꘡  Weekends 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM

It’s not easy to get a table at this stylish French bistro in the trendy Logan Circle neighborhood, especially not for weekend brunch. With a raw bar and an upscale menu of luxurious brunch favorites, it’s no wonder why people flock to this restaurant’s impressive sidewalk patio and cafe. Their egg options from the “Les Oeufs” menu are indulgent, to say the least. Poached Eggs Basquaise comes with creamy polenta, and beef prosciutto. Their Eggs Benedict is topped with ham off the bone. Their Eggs Norwegian comes with smoked salmon, and their Gruyere Omelette is another classy option. You can add fresh black truffle for $30 to any of these dishes. While Le Diplomate might not be intended for a Sunday brunch, it’s perfect for special occasions. 

Conclusion

A weekend Brunch outing is a crucial meal for starting an afternoon off the right way. Whether you’re fueling up for your next shopping spree, bar crawl, or are using Sunday brunch for your first date, it’s a fun and social way to turn breakfast into an event. With everything that Washington DC has to offer, going big at weekend brunch is one of the most fun things to do in town. So while a Bounce baggage storage can’t decide on whether you should go with a bloody mary or mimosa or what to put on your avocado toast, we can at least take care of the luggage while you find the best brunch in Washington DC. 

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