My Top 5 Places to Brunch in D.C. | The Washington Center

My Top 5 Places to Brunch in D.C.

If there is one thing I did completely right during my time in D.C., it’s brunch. Brunch plans are one of the only reasons I will get out of bed on the weekends, so naturally my friends and I spent our Friday nights researching brunch places for our Saturdays. Lame, you say? Well, my stomach during brunch would beg to differ.


Below I’ve listed my favorite brunch locations from my short 10 weeks in D.C. I was not able to brunch every weekend (and I don’t have the most sophisticated taste palates), but as an avid bruncher, I recommend the following:


1. Compass Rose ($$)

1346 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This place was PHENOMENAL. I’m actually very upset that I found it so late in the summer. This distinct restaurant is cozily located in what seems to be a townhouse. They serve international dishes from all over the world in one single restaurant, so you can choose which country’s dish you want to try. Keep an eye out for their daily brunch specials!


2. Old Engine 12 ($$)

1626 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001

This building was a firehouse (built in 1895) that has now been converted to a restaurant. Their food? Fantastic. Their risotto is absolutely phenomenal and their Smokey Cheese Guac and Chips are to die for. I’ve been here twice—once for brunch and once for dinner. Both menus are simply great.


Old Engine 12

Courtesy of Old Engine 12


3. Bantam King ($)

501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003

When you’re craving some good ramen, Bantam King is the place to go. I know a restaurant is good when I don’t have second thoughts about returning to a place. The interior is designed with trays and actual pages of comic books. Their service is quick and easy—you choose which type of broth you want, what additional toppings you want and then you slurp! I always go for the Shoyu Ramen with an Onsen Egg.


4. Matchbox ($$)

1901 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

521 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

713 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Matchbox is a chain restaurant and they have three locations in D.C. (ten overall). But if you try their food, you’ll know why they have so many locations. Known for their pizza, Matchbox offers a contemporary yet homey brunch spot. Their steak and eggs are exquisite and their cinnamon rolls are unforgettable.


5. Fig & Olive ($$)

934 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

If you’re looking for a relaxing, calm brunch, Fig & Olive is your spot. Again, I know they have other locations, but located right by the luxury shopping hub of D.C., the atmosphere is unparalleled. It’s a great place to go on a Sunday morning to rejuvenate yourself for the next week.


Additional Note 1:

D.C. is an extremely international city. While researching brunch places, I noticed there were some mentions of international cuisines—go try those! Before the first set of interns left, the president of our organization treated us to lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant, and it was the most incredible experience. Hair tied back, all hands (clean, of course) reached into the platter to take injera, Ethiopian bread, and use it to pick up the different side dishes. Ethiopian food was something I never thought to try, but now that I have, I know I’ll be going back for more. These are all part of the larger experience Washington offers!


Additional Note 2:

My TWC alumna-in-residence (and former Spring 2015 TWC student blogger) has her own blog called Breakfast with Bex, where she introduces her healthy breakfast recipes. Not only are they helpful, they’re incredibly fun to read (she’s great at puns). Her story is one that involves beating her own path with her passion as her compass. Her favorite brunch places are Ambar, Cava Mezze and Central Michel Richard. Follow her on Instagram @breakfastwithbex and visit her blogs.


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