Brunch is serious business in Washington DC. If you will be here on a weekend, start planning where you want to go first thing. I am serious, once you have your dates, start making your arrangements:
#1) Contact your Senator or Congressman about the White House;
#2) Get your tickets for the Washington Monument;
#3) Make your brunch reservations. In fact, maybe switch #2 and #3. You can only make reservations for the Washington Monument 3 months in advance (but beware they “sell out” within minutes) but a good brunch reservation can be even harder to get. I once tried to make reservations in February for my mom’s visit in July. But I was too late and I had to go with our second choice!
For those that read my blog on DC Happy Hour, I have not put as much effort into finding the perfect brunch. But I have gone once or twice a month for a couple of years, which means I have tried well over 50 establishments. And considering each of those was chosen based on hours of research and personal recommendations, this is a pretty reliable list, and represents those places I have been twice or would go a second time if I didn’t keep trying new spots!
Founding Farmers, on Pennsylvania Ave near Farragut West metro stop is also an easy walk from the White House and the National Mall. Founding Farmers is a farmer owned co-op with delicious comfort food in a charming location. My favorite dishes are the Beignets and the waffles. But I have been half a dozen times, each time with a different group and nobody has ever been unhappy.
Boqueria is a really fun spot for a larger group of family and friends. You want the bottomless brunch which is a never ending array of brunch tapas and bottomless mimosas or sangria.
Georgia Brown’s where you can enjoy a marvelous brunch spread, listen to live Jazz on Sunday’s and take your order to go. In addition to brunch (it will be your only meal that day) you will leave with lunch or dinner (in some cases both) for the following day. It is an immense amount of really great food! It was also voted one of the 100 best brunches in America by Open Table.
I really enjoyed brunch at the Greenhouse in the Jefferson Hotel. Not only was the food both delicious and reasonably priced, the dining room and setting was gorgeous. If it is true that you pay for location and ambiance, then I felt our meal was a bargain at twice the price. And if I haven’t mentioned, I am a tea snob, and the Greenhouse had some of the best tea I’ve had outside of the UK.
Pizza brunch at Piola in Logan Circle. Need I say more? Who doesn’t love Pizza?
Union Market in NE DC is a food market in an old brick warehouse. It is a fun place to just go hang out on a weekend. It is busy and it is loud but it filled with great places for a full meal, just to stop for a snack to go and to wander around shopping for food. They also have regular events so check out their website to see what is going on.
Cooperwood Tavern in Shirlington, VA is my favorite place outside of the city. The food is wonderful and you can usually get a reservation with only a few days’ notice. Shillington has parking available and it is easy to take a walk, sit on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee or catch a movie while in the area.
Southside 815 in Alexandria has amazing southern comfort food. Their fried green tomatoes are outstanding. “Washingtonian Magazine has recognized our efforts by including Southside 815 in Washington’s 100 Very Best Bargain restaurants for ten consecutive years. In addition, Washington Post food critic, Phyllis Richman included us on the list of her 50 favorite Washington area restaurants.” But beware, it can get loud.