Top DC Foodies Discuss the BEST Brunches in DC

It’s time for another bomb guide, Nomsters.  If you’re looking for new brunch joints in the district, bookmark this post because sh*t’s about to get real delicious.  We’ve asked some of our favorite DC foodies to spill the beans on their go-to places so get your notepads ready, folks.

Bad And Boozy BrunchBarrel

Brunch is a well established hobby in D.C. Each weekend, you’ll find restaurants packed with eager brunchers enjoying classic dishes like chicken ‘n waffles and sipping (okay maybe downing) mimosas.  Take a walk through Eastern Market and you’ll find an essential D.C. Brunch spot: Barrel.  Barrel is a tried and true spot for wonderful cocktails but an even better location for brunch. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am – 3:30pm. Chef Walfer Hernandez has crafted a menu of classic comfort food with a modern twist.

barrel mac and cheese

The Mac n Cheese is the stand out. Creamy yet has that crisp, bread crumb topping.  The fried chicken is a close second. Buttery and crunchy… you’ll want to order this dish again and again.  The Shrimp ‘n Grits are a safe bet and will make any bruncher very content.  What makes Barrel an A+ brunch spot is the “do it yourself” mimosas. For $21 you’re given endless bottles of sparkling wine and fresh seasonal juices. Test your mixology skills for a full 2 hours!

barrel shrimp and grits

After a few hours of indulging in brunch, you’ll most likely find yourself at RUM-DMV, the bar underneath Barrel that keeps the good brunch vibes flowing.  The food, drinks and music make Barrel a wonderful brunch spot and one that won’t disappoint!

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DC NomsterLe Diplomate

Prominently set on DC’s forever busy 14th street, Le Diplomate serves up some of the best French food in the city hands down. Whether you’re dining inside and transported to a Parisian bistro or outside on the patio perfect for people watching, the location has become a landmark in DC. Upon entry, you immediately are greeted by the bread station. Overflowing with baguettes and other breads to fill your need for carbs, servers can be seen cutting into different loaves intoxicating the air with its aroma.

SEE ALSO:  The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches in the United States

french onion soup

Whether you’re there for weekend brunch, dinner service, or even their all-day menu, you’ll have zero difficulty ordering any of the typical French classics you would expect at any French bistro. From cheese-pull nirvana onion soup to croque Madame (better than a monsieur because it is topped with a fried egg [insert drool emoji]), everything on the menu is cooked to perfection.

While everyone has their own opinion on the best burger in the city, the Burger Américain is always high on the list with its double stacked smash burger with special sauce and a heaping pile of frites. So no matter the occasion, whether it’s a birthday, Mother’s Day, or just a brunch with a friend from out of town, Le Diplomate should always be high on your list of places to go for your next brunch!

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District FoodieAmbar

There are so many things to say about Ambar, however to sum it up it’s love!  The bottomless brunch is literally heaven and I’ve never gone there and been disappointed. It is def one of my top brunches in DC. For $39.99, you get unlimited adult beverages and delicious Balkan food. You maybe asking what Balkan food is? It’s food from the Balkan region, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Bosnia.  It is hard to find this food in the city. You can order anything off the menu and as much as you want with as many drinks as you want for $39.99!! Plus you really feel like you are in the Balkan region while dining there as most of the staff call this region their home.

The decor is earthy and floral which is also a delight.  Some of our favorites are the Pita Sa Sirom (cheese pie) and Pita Sa Mesom (meat pie) as well as the Palacinka Sa Sunkom (ham and cheese crepe).  Ambar is located in Eastern Market in DC and has another Clarendon, VA location next to their sister restaurant, Baba.  FYI:  Amber Capitol Hill won the RAMMY for best casual brunch in 2018.

SEE ALSO:  The Game DC: A Local Sports Bar with Filipino Comfort Food

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Eat Drink DCJoselito

joselito brunch

Situated on Pennsylvania Avenue in Eastern Market, the neighborhood restaurant exudes old warm charm – black and white floor tiling, photos lining the walls, a light and bright interior and the sounds of Frank Sinatra welcomes guests as they enter. The brunch menu features a range of traditional Spanish tapas with a modern kick – find their play on a local favorite, the lump crab cake benedict, or opt for more classic items like the Gazpacho Andaluz or Arroz Caldoso de Mariscos (Spanish fisherman’s rice). No brunch would be complete without a cocktail – order a la carte glasses of mimosas, bellinis, bloody marys and sangrias or go all in and opt for an unlimited boozy brunch experience for $20.

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East Coast Contessa:  Duke’s Grocery

The nation’s Capitol is known for many of things: politics, cherry blossoms and national monuments, just to name a few.  But for locals and visitors alike, there’s one perk in particular that has placed Washington, DC on the map {and on countless weekend itineraries} in recent years: brunch.  With hundreds of restaurants serving brunch throughout the District on any given weekend, it’s a safe bet that there’s an option for everyone.

duke's grocery brunch

A tried-and-true brunch favorite is Duke’s Grocery — a DuPont Circle gem serving up East-London inspired dishes and craft cocktails.  White Truffle Mac n’ Cheese, Bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy, and Spicy Aubergine Sliders all make a regular menu appearance, but diners shouldn’t forgo the Elote Loco with Crema and Chili (it’s a foodie favorite).  Duke’s also recently opened it’s second and largest location in Foggy Bottom, while a smaller but equally as satisfying “Duke’s Counter” serves patrons in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.  To see Duke’s full menu and hours of operation at each location, visit http://www.dukescounter.com.

SEE ALSO:  The First Annual REDEYE Night Market in DC

duke's grocery sandwiches

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Nomtastic Foods:  Bluejacket

If you’re looking for a solid brunch experience in DC, head down to Navy Yard stat.  We love everything Chef Marcelle does so we can pretty much guarantee that whatever you get will be delicious.  However, some of our favorites include her cinnamon rolls, fried chicken sandwich, and pulled pork benedict.  We haven’t had a chance to try her pretzel french toast yet, but that sounds bomb as well so add it to your list.

bluejacket chicken sandwich

Bluejacket’s open and flooded with light, and their patio is pet-friendly so make sure you bring your furbabies along with you.  They’re also known for their beer – they have a giant brewery on site – so make sure you try that as well.  They’re available in 4 oz tasters as well with full glass pours so you can get as little or as much as you want.

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The Dining TravelerBlue Duck Tavern

blue duck tavern brunch

This Michelin-starred restaurant at the Park Hyatt DC is one of my favorite places for brunch in Washington, DC. The quality of the food, the impeccable service, and the inventive cocktails are flawless. A must-order is their decadently sweet sticky buns for the table. Also, talk to someone at your table (maybe yourself) into ordering the pancakes. They are one of my favorite dishes in DC, I literally craved them when I was pregnant! Blue Duck Tavern changes their pancake offerings seasonally. Whether it is lemon blueberry pancakes or sweet potato, the flavors are always on point.

Alright guys, that’s it for today’s post!  We hope you enjoyed this roundup.  A huge thanks to our superstar friends for contributing – definitely let us know what you thought of their picks by leaving a comment below.  What are some of your favorite brunch places in the Capitol?


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