The 12 Best Brunch Spots in Washington, DC

Unconventional Diner
Unconventional Diner.

 Image Courtesy of Unconventional Diner

Washington, D.C. is a city that works hard and plays harder. Brunch is its own spectator sport here, with reservations at top spots hard to come by and waits of an hour or more for stacks of flapjacks and bottomless mimosas not uncommon.

With classic diners and neighborhood coffee shops to Parisian-style brasseries and contemporary Spanish tapas restaurants, the District has a brunch spot in every corner of the city, perfect for fueling up for a day of wandering through the city's Smithsonian museums or soaking up the previous night's festivities. From hearty American classics at Founding Farmers to New York City-style bagels at Call Your Mother Deli, here's where to find the best brunches in Washington, D.C.

01 of 12

Le Diplomate

Exterior of Le Diplomate

Courtesy of Le Diplomate

Address
1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Phone +1 202-332-3333

Snag reservations ahead of time for seats at this Parisian-style brasserie and sidewalk cafe on the 14th Street corridor, where crowds often snake out beyond the front door. The extensive weekend brunch menu features a raw bar, French classics like a croque madame, quiche Florentine, burger Americain, plus several variations on "les ouefs." Order the eggs Norwegian, with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce, which pairs well with the house spritz cocktail (Lillet blanc, sparkling wine, sour orange, and rhubarb root) or sparkling wine by the glass or carafe.

What to Order: Try the duck sarladaise, it comes with a sunny side-up egg, potatoes, and sauce foyot.

02 of 12

Jaleo

Jaleo restaurant with red, tan, and white floor tiles

Courtesy of Jaleo 

Address
480 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Phone +1 202-628-7949

Dine on Spanish-style tapas at chef José Andrés' bright and modern Penn Quarter flagship. The spot's brunch menu includes traditional huevos estrellados with the option to add Iberian ham, as well as smoked salmon on Spanish crystal bread with a hardboiled egg, goat cheese, and capers. Breakfast drinks include freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, house mimosas, and rosé sangria.

What to Order: For something sweet, try the Spanish toast with caramelized bananas and rum-infused whipped cream.

03 of 12

Call Your Mother

dark-skinned pair of hands holding two halves of a bagel sandwich with lettuce, avocado, and cream cheese

Courtesy of Call Your Mother

Address
3301 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA
Phone +1 202-450-5307

With locations in Park View, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, and Bethesda, this self-described "Jew-ish" spot is a go-to for wood-fired bagels and other deli favorites. Choose from 13 assorted bagel flavors ranging from sesame to poppy seed, which also form the basis of the outstanding sandwiches. The colorful, '90s era-themed shops also offer a range of muffins and sweets, plus specialty coffees, teas, and sodas.

What to Order: Opt for the Pastrami Sun City, with bodega-style local eggs, American and cheddar cheese, and spicy honey on an everything bagel.

04 of 12

Old Ebbitt Grill

Marble arched entryway to Old Ebbitt Grill

Courtesy of Old Ebbitt Grill

Address
675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
Phone +1 202-347-4800

While now housed in a historic Beaux-Arts building that was once a theater, this D.C. institution is the city's oldest continuously operating bar. During the week, patrons stream through the glided doors for happy hour, when oyster and shellfish platters are half-price. On the weekends, the draw is brunch, where you can still order oysters on the half shell and seafood platters as well as traditional breakfast fare like chicken and waffles, French toast, and eggs Benedict. The brunch menu also includes the restaurant's regular entrees, including burgers, sandwiches, pasta, steak, and crab cakes. Save room for dessert: the peanut butter pie with peanut-chocolate chip crust, peanut butter mousse, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream, is not to be missed.

What to Order: We recommend the shrimp and grits, which includes delicious cheese grits, andouille sausage, and a crystal-tomato broth.

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05 of 12

Unconventional Diner

Overhead shot of brussel sprouts & fried eggs from Unconventional Diner

Courtesy of Unconventional Diner

Address
1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001-4375, USA
Phone +1 202-847-0122

Located inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Unconventional Diner draws crowds for both its modern comfort food and its colorful, Instagram-worthy pop art. Brunch is served seven days a week, with twists on classic diner fare like a cheddar-chive cornbread waffle with habanero butter and "granny gravy," fried eggs with Brussels sprouts, and Lebanese fried rice with lentils, two fried eggs, yogurt, and almonds. Vegans and vegetarians will find plenty of options here, as will those following gluten-free diets.

What to Order: Their cauliflower & falafel entree is a good vegan and gluten-free option, as it only includes tahini, pickled red onions, and green apples. Meats, such as chicken or salmon, can be added for an additional price.

06 of 12

Estadio

Photo of the Tortilla Espanola at Estadio

Courtesy of Estadio

Address
1520 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005-3722, USA
Phone +1 202-319-1404

This lively Logan Circle spot serving contemporary Spanish tapas is great for large groups, but be sure to arrive early as the restaurant fills up quickly. Opt for shareable starters like artisanal cheese and ham croquettes, or larger plates like grilled hanger steak and eggs with patatas bravas and a housemade croissant sandwich with serrano ham, manchego, and egg. And save room for dessert: the nine manchego cheesecake and churros are both exceptional.

What to Order: Try their classic tortilla española that's topped with a delicious alioli sauce and hot sweet peppers.

07 of 12

Founding Farmers

Two sunny side-up eggs and a small waffle with two pieces of chicken on a plate

 Courtesy of Founding Farmers

Address
1924 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Phone +1 202-822-8783

As its name suggests, this Foggy Bottom institution is majority-owned by farmers. Brunch is served Saturdays, Sundays, and most holiday Mondays, with a menu focused on hearty American classics ranging from French toast, pancakes, and waffles to more savory hashes and scrambles. Don't sleep on the drinks here: the restaurant has an in-house distillery, Founding Spirits, which are used in the restaurant's cocktails.


What to Order
: Feeling indecisive? Order the house breakfast, with two eggs in any style and your choice of meat, bread, and sides like grits or a Farmers' salad.

08 of 12

Cafe Milano

Patio seating and a small clock stand at Cafe Milano

Courtesy of Cafe Milano

Address
3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007-3243, USA
Phone +1 202-333-6183

This Italian-style cafe in Georgetown is the place to see and be seen for local power brokers as well as visiting celebrities like LeBron James. Dine on the sidewalk patio or indoors, where colorful murals celebrating notable Italians are the perfect backdrop for slowly sipping a Bellini or glass of sparkling wine. The Sunday brunch menu features a rotating variety of classics, like a mushroom frittata, an egg-white omelet topped with smoked salmon, and smoked salmon bruschetta with avocado, heirloom tomato, pan-fried eggs, and cheese sauce.

What to Order: Try the delicious bistecca con le uova, which includes beef rib eye, sunny side up eggs, and rosemary potatoes.

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09 of 12

Open City

People eating on the outdoor patio at Open City restaurant at dusk

Courtesy of Open City 

Address
2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008-2622, USA
Phone +1 202-332-2331

Get brunch all day, every day at this coffee shop meets diner in Woodley Park. With an indoor cafe and restaurant as well as outdoor patio seating, there are plenty of places to enjoy Counter Culture coffee, fancy lattes, and hearty breakfast fare like a fried chicken biscuit with sausage gravy, huevos rancheros, and stuffed French toast. For lighter fare, opt for a yogurt parfait, smoothie, or one of several salads.

What to Order: If you have a sweet tooth, try the pecan praline waffle — a buttermilk waffle topped with pecan praline confection and whipped cream.

10 of 12

The Market Lunch

Address
225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003-4323, USA
Phone +1 202-547-8444

Located inside the historic Eastern Market on Capitol Hill, this no-frills, cafeteria-style spot has been dishing up breakfast staples like full stacks of pancakes, eggs, and omelets, and all the sides since 1978. The restaurant also serves lunch all day, with options ranging from sandwiches and burgers to large seafood-focused platters.

What to Order: Your order? "The Brick" breakfast sandwich, stacked with cheddar cheese, potatoes, two eggs, and your choice of bacon, ham, house-made pork sausage, turkey bacon, or Delaware scrapple.

11 of 12

Fiola Mare

seafood tower at Fiola Mare

Courtesy of Fiola Mare

Address
3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Phone +1 202-350-4982

Fiola Mare's waterfront locale in Georgetown is the perfect setting for the restaurant's seasonal, Italian coastal cuisine. The menu is extensive, but start with raw bar favorites like shrimp cocktail or raw oysters or opt for the signature seafood tower, with East and West coast oysters, hamachi, Nova Scotia Lobster, bigeye tuna, king salmon, prawn cocktail, and ceviche. The restaurant's grilled items are also stellar, like Mediterranean branzino and jumbo langoustine. The "sparkling brunch," includes a choice of appetizer, brunch entree, and dessert along with bottomless Prosecco or another brunch cocktail as well as a complimentary pastry and bread basket. Be mindful of the dress code: athletic wear, flip flops, and torn clothing are not permitted in the dining room or on the patio.

What to Order: Try the smoked salmon scramble with soft scrambled eggs, mascarpone, tigelle modenese, and smoked trout roe.

12 of 12

Ambar Capitol Hill

pink and green accented dining room at Ambar restaurant

 Courtesy of Ambar

Address
523 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
Phone +1 202-813-3039

Come hungry, because you can enjoy all you can eat (and drink) brunch at this Balkan spot on Capitol Hill on the weekends. There's a two-hour limit, and the whole table must participate, but otherwise, the deal gets you unlimited flatbreads, spreads like beet tzatziki and garlic beans, soups, salads, egg scrambles, sliders, and traditional sides like creamed corn and mushroom pilav as well as sweets. Drinks include a Bloody Mary, traditional mimosa, and a peach lavender mimosa featuring Balkan sparkling wine. Pets are welcome on the patio.

What to Order: Order the Sudzuk Beef Flatbread; It comes with smoked beef sausage, sheep's cheese, mozzarella and is drizzled with truffle oil.

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The 12 Best Brunch Spots in Washington, DC