Washington DC’s brunch scene is just as diverse and exciting as the capital city itself. With a wide range of brunching options such as seafood, tapas, southern fare, and bottomless breakfast, it can be hard to know where to find the best brunch in DC.
Where to Find the Best Brunch in DC
Lucky for you, we’ve done the leg work (and stomach work) to find the most delicious brunch in DC, testing out the most beloved places and discovering all the best new spots. Our guide to the best brunch in DC guarantees your mornings will never leave you hungry or disappointed while visiting the nation’s capital.
17. Lyon Hall
If you ask the Arlington locals where to find the best brunch in DC, they will undoubtedly mention Lyon Hall, a charming French brasserie located just across the street from the Clarendon metro. Here, you’ll find a good variety of French-inspired items on the menu, along with our favorite dish—the Maine lobster and scrambled eggs with hollandaise. We guarantee a brunch at Lyon Hall will be a brunch you won’t soon forget.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly brunch spot in Washington DC, head to Surfside for quality seafood with a “fresh-mex” twist. Known for their tacos and burritos, Surfside has an awesome crowd-pleasing menu (and a kids menu!). But the best and most underrated section of the menu is their “for the table” section. This is where you’ll find Surfside’s street corn and queso. Do.not.miss. these two items. The street corn is covered in a creamy chipotle mayo and topped with cotija cheese. We love the cheesy kick! And the queso? It’s our all-time favorite white queso. Ever. You will be tempted to drink it, and honestly, we wouldn’t blame you.
15. Medium Rare
Medium Rare has the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) well covered with locations in Cleveland Park, Bethesda, and Arlington. This casual restaurant with great vibes offers a reasonably priced bottomless weekend brunch (including drinks!), so you can indulge without breaking the bank. We highly recommend you get an order of Medium Rare’s famous steak frites with poached eggs, which is served with their dreamy secret sauce. Steak is what they are known for, and it’s also why Medium Rare has earned a spot on our guide to the best brunch in DC.
14. Stomping Ground
Not only is Stomping Ground home to some of the best brunch in DC, but their biscuits just might be the best in the DMV. We’re talking perfect biscuits. They’re crumbly, have that slightly tangy taste, and are light and fluffy. They literally melt in your mouth. Stomping Ground is a casual little spot in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. You won’t find any tourists here, just locals getting breakfast after visiting the nearby farmers market. Come and dine on the patio, or grab a biscuit to go. Our favorite menu item here is the classic-style fried chicken sandwich. It comes with fried chicken, pimento cheese, and housemade pickles. Simple, but amazing. Oh, and if their biscuit French toast special is being offered, order it and thank us later.
Agora is a Mediterranean tapas restaurant that serves up some of the best brunch in DC in the form of bottomless brunch for $40 per person or la carte options. Whichever way you choose to brunch, the spreads here are not to be missed. The baba ganouj (smoked eggplant with tahini), labneh (strained yogurt, garlic, and zaatar) and htipiti (roasted red pepper, feta, thyme) are all ah-mazing and we highly suggest ordering all three. We love how authentic and delicious these spreads are, and we especially love the fact that they come with warm housemade pita bread for dipping. For your main dish, the showstopper here is the flatbread. Our favorite flatbread is the Sucuklu Pide, which has spicy Turkish beef sausage, mozzarella, and pesto. The bread on these things is unbelievable—so chewy and soft. Your dining experience at Agora is guaranteed to be equal parts unique and tasty.
12. Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hank’s Oyster Bar keeps us coming back for more with their always-great seafood brunch. They have fresh and local oysters on the menu, seasonal fish, and best of all, an amazing crab cake. We love this place for any meal of the day, but it absolutely delivers as one of the best brunch spots in DC. Female Foodie favorites include the Crab Cake Benedict and the Fried Fish Sandwich. Come here if you’re craving authentic local seafood and a casual vibe.
11. Ted’s Bulletin
From the moment you walk into Ted’s Bulletin, it’s clear you’re about to enjoy some of the best brunch in DC. This classic family diner has something to satisfy every brunch craving you might have, and better yet, they serve it all day, every day! Hungry appetites should order the Big Mark breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, toast, and one of their celebrated Ted’s pop tarts (we love strawberry). Their breakfast burrito is huge and always hits the spot if that’s more your thing, and if you want to order on the lighter side, their avocado toast is perfect. No matter what you order, you should definitely start with a Cinnamon Roll as Big as ya Head for the table to share. With five locations in the DMV, you’re bound to find one close to you.
10. The Smith
The Smith conveniently has two locations in DC—one in Penn Quarter and one on U Street. Their brunch has been a local favorite for years, and their expertly crafted food has landed them on our guide to the best brunch in DC. For starters, the homemade potato chips with a blue cheese fondue can’t be beat. For entrees, we love their benedict Johnny with jalapeño cheddar grits, shrimp, and poached eggs, topped with hollandaise and crispy shoestring fries. Their famous burger features bacon shallot jam, crispy onions, and house pickles, all on a delectable brioche bun. The Smith has plenty of great indoor and outdoor dining, but make a reservation as their weekend brunch is very popular.
Succotash is a darling restaurant serving up swoonworthy southern dishes and some of the best brunch in DC. If you love southern food like we do, it is going to be nearly impossible to select something from their mouthwatering menu. Allow us to help. Start with their jalapeño poppers and pecan sticky buns. Move on to the fried chicken and waffles or the lobster benedict with Old Bay hollandaise. And it wouldn’t be a southern brunch without an order of shrimp and grits or a juicy pimento cheeseburger on the table. But no matter what you order, don’t miss out on their fried green tomato salad with arugula, radishes, buttermilk dressing, and goat cheese. It’s our favorite thing on their entire menu (and that’s saying a lot). They have two locations—one in National Harbor and one located inside a gorgeous old bank in Penn Quarter.
The original Millie’s is located on Nantucket, MA and we couldn’t be happier that one opened in DC. Millie’s is one of our all-time favorite restaurants so it had to be on our guide to the best brunch in DC. With its nautical vibe and amazing seafood, Millie’s is the perfect place to come to brunch with girlfriends. Sit on the patio and be sure to try the beloved Steps Beach Quesadilla. Lobster, roasted tomatoes, and zucchini smothered with Monterey Jack cheese and folded up in a crisp tortilla. It is both decadent and delicious. Not into seafood? Don’t worry, Millie’s has something for everyone on their menu, including kids.
7. Due South
Due South has some of the best southern food in DC and their brunch is just plain fantastic. Located in Navy Yard, come here for a delicious brunch and walk it off after on the gorgeous riverfront boardwalk. Due South has amazing biscuits, shrimp and grits, and burgers, but you’ve can’t miss the Due South Benedict. It’s loaded with super smokey and tangy pulled pork (smoked in-house) instead of your traditional eggs-on-ham benedict. Oh, and it’s served on a biscuit. Need we say more? Just in case you aren’t sold, we also have to mention the crispy breakfast potatoes. They are out of this world and we love when a side dish is just as delicious as the main course!
If you’re looking for brunch that is classic and elegant, Convivial is the place for you. This darling little French bistro has a small menu where everything is delicious. A must-order among all the deliciousness? The Instagram-famous cinnamon bun. It comes warm and drenched in the perfect amount of icing with a gooey, soft middle. Another favorite is the quiche. It’s deliciously rich with leeks and gruyere cheese. Come hungry!
Ambar is a unique restaurant that serves up Balkan Cuisine at their two DC locations—Capitol Hill and Cleveland Park (we love their newly updated Capitol Hill location). They have an extensive menu, and you can order as many small plates as you’d like or go all inclusive for $39. Their housemade pita bread comes out hot and is absolutely delicious, as are their various spreads to go with it. Their cheese pie on crispy phyllo dough is dreamy, as is the fried chicken slider with pickled Fresno chilis and apple-wasabi slaw. But our favorite dish of all? Their beef prosciutto benedict served on a handcrafted corn muffin and drenched in a kajmak cheese sauce. If you’re craving the best brunch in DC, be sure to get a reservation for Ambar and invite a few friends so you can sample their entire menu!
If there was an award for the best brunch with a view, Hay-Adams would win hands down. Located on the 9th floor of the Hay-Adams Hotel, this sophisticated restaurant has a stunning view of the White House below. Their incredible a la carte breakfast is available every day of the week, and they have a brunch menu on weekends. Our out-of-this-world menu favorites include the oatmeal soufflé with toasted Georgia Pecans and wild berry sauce, and the brioche French toast with caramelized Anjou pears. Their freshly baked goods are also heavenly—we especially love the ham, green onion, and cheddar scone. If you are visiting DC, or have guests in town you’d like to impress, this is the place to bring them. Even though Hay-Adams has the best view in town, the quality of their food is what earned them a top spot on our guide to the best brunch in DC.
3. The Market Lunch
The Market Lunch is located inside the historic Eastern Market building and not only has some of the best brunch in DC, but is a local institution and must-visit destination. This is a casual, cash-only, breakfast counter where you wait in line (don’t worry, it moves fast) to order and then grab a seat at a picnic table outside at the farmers market or inside at the hightop counter. You cannot go wrong ordering here—every last thing on the menu is delicious—but we always save room for the Blue Buck Pancakes! Delicious and fluffy, with a touch of buckwheat—these pancakes are the best in the city.
2. Unconventional Diner
At Unconventional Diner, you can eat brunch on the daily. And you’re definitely going to want to because their menu has a huge variety of delectable items that are reasonably priced. In the mood for something sweet? Their french toast is topped with apple confit and toasted marshmallows and is served on top of a rich bourbon caramel sauce, while their blueberry pancakes are topped with a scoop of vanilla mascarpone, lavender, candied ginger, and enough juicy blueberries to ensure you will never run out. Their savory game is on point as well, with dishes like Chicken & Waffles (complete with a cheddar-chive cornbread waffle), Lebanese fried rice, and a one-of-a-kind chickpea shakshuka. The dining room is spacious, open, and bright with gorgeous green plants at every turn and there are great outdoor seating options as well. Make it a goal to get to Unconventional Diner ASAP for a top-notch brunch experience.
1. Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate is a charming little French bistro with a gorgeous dining room and the cutest outdoor dining, complete with café tables and green striped wicker chairs. It’s a little piece of Paris on 14th Street, and just happens to have the very best brunch in DC. Why do we love Le Diplomate so much? Let us explain. They start you off right with a basket of three kinds of delicious, freshly baked bread and perfectly soft butter. They have an in-house barista, who can quickly whip up your favorite hot beverage. Their dishes are textbook-French and you really can’t go wrong with ordering anything off their menu. Our personal favorite starters are the yogurt parfait and the mushroom tart. As for entrees, their Burger Américain is one of their most popular menu items (and for good reason), but you simply have to order the lobster omelette, which is topped with Mornay sauce and fine herbs. If you only have time for one brunch outing in DC, make it Le Diplomate—just be sure to make reservations a few weeks ahead.