The hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the weekend are a sacred time for restaurants serving brunch. A flood of people rush in for the not-quite-breakfast and not-quite-lunch style of food, the warm cups of coffee and, of course, the bottomless mimosas. Restaurant patrons are decked out in their weekend best, discussing last night’s events with family and friends, and shaking off sleepiness with a good, hearty meal.
Although it’s the ideal meal for college students who are often just waking up at brunch hours, finding an affordable place with available tables can be difficult. Check out this guide to a few restaurants that serve delicious and affordable brunch in the District, and make sure to book your table as soon as possible!Busboys and Poets
Busboys and Poets is not just the perfect cozy date spot. Roll out of bed the morning after a late night, and grab some brunch food with a few friends. Along with an awesome little bookstore tucked in the back of the restaurant, the comfortable couches and cushiony chairs make for a cozy coffee-shop vibe. But fear not — despite the coffee shop feel, the menu is far from the usual coffee shop choices. Enjoy Busboys and Poets’ signature French Toast served with seasonal fruit for only $10. “I love Busboys’ Egg Wrap,” says Eloise Wilks, a George Washington University student. “It’s cheesy, peppery goodness.” Wilks also says she loves how lively Busboys and Poets is on weekend mornings.Granville Moore’s
Opened in 2007, Granville Moore is a beer bar and brunch hot spot on H Street. With brunch menu items like The Good Doctor (scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, avocado and chipotle mayo on a potato kaiser roll served with fries) for $12 or Chicken and Muffin (fried chicken breast, an English muffin, sausage gravy and fried eggs served with french fries) for $13, the restaurant draws a crowd on Saturdays and Sundays. “My favorite drink on the menu is the seasonal mimosas,” says Howard University senior James Carpenter. “Last time, I had pineapple.”
The Tap and Parlor Lounge
Located right above the legendary Bohemian Caverns, the Tap and Parlor Lounge offers variety of brunch classics, including Belgian waffles, shrimp and grits, and omelets, as well as Bloody Marys for $6 and bottomless mimosas for only $7. The cozy couches and chairs make for a family-dinner style atmosphere. Reservations are not required, but are recommended for a party of eight or more.
If you’re looking for a brunch to splurge on, consider 14th Street’s Masa 14. Pay $39 for unlimited brunch menu items and popular brunch cocktails such as Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Bellini’s. Taking on an Asian-Latin twist, brunch options include dishes like Grilled Chorizo Sausage (chorizo sausage, poached egg, salsa Mexicano and chipotle grits) and Smoked Chicken Hash (chicken, caramelized onions, chili, chipotle hollandaise sauce, yucca and a poached egg). With wooden furniture and sultry red lighting, Masa 14’s warm modern theme is perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch.The Grill From Ipanema
Along with a witty name, The Grill From Ipanema offers a three-course Brazilian-style brunch with a complimentary mimosa or champagne for only $19. If it’s a bottomless mimosa kind of Sunday, pay an additional $10 for your choice of mimosas. With Brazilian dishes such as Moqueca De Sururu A Baiana (a stew of half-shell mussels in a spicy blend of vegetables and scallions served with pirao and rice) and Feijoda (a stew of black beans, pork, sausage and smoked meats served with collard greens, farofa, orange slices and rice), patrons can enjoy a hearty brunch and leave with a serious case of the “itis.” Alexis Gonçalves, an American University sophomore, says: “I’m used to Brazilian food since my family’s from Brazil, and The Grill is not watered-down Brazilian food. It’s authentic. It reminds me of home.”Le Diplomate
Located on 14th Street, this French Café-style restaurant has garnered a lot of positive reviews. George Washington University junior Erin Mulholm and her friends “go to Le Diplomate as much as we can afford it,” she says. “If you can get past the difficult-to-understand menu and avoid some of the pricier items, you can have a super classy and tasteful time without pledging to Broke Phi Broke.” With classic French items including Steak Frites and Beef Bourguingnon, as well as traditional American breakfast items like buttermilk pancakes and Eggs Benedict, patrons can settle for an authentic French breakfast or go for a more traditional American brunch.
Located in the U Street Corridor, Vinoteca offers a rustic, warm setup, as well as delicious brunch food starting at $10. Ché Nembhard, a Howard University senior, says “I got a really good Huevos Racheros, which is eggs with fried tortilla, black beans and cheese.” Nembhard also says the bottomless mimosas for $15 are a nice addition to the meal.Creme Restaurant & Bar
Creme Restaurant & Bar, located in both Washington and Baltimore, was created in the District in 2004 on U Street. Recently moved to 14th Street, Creme offers a variety of brunch options, including the Chesapeake (a poached egg over Maryland jumbo crab meat hash, Old Bay hollandaise sauce and an English muffin) and a classic Belgian waffle with Creme’s homemade syrup. “Not only is the food yummy, but the vibe is so cool — particularly during the holiday season when the lights are put up,” American University sophomore Saundra Russem says. “I also really love how it’s owned by an African-American man. I always want to support black business — particularly when they’re well-run.”
Serving patrons in the District for over 30 years, Madhatter offers a variety of American cuisine favorites including mini crab cakes, Philly cheese steak sandwich and fried chicken. But beyond the deliciously classic American menu, patrons can enjoy the Dupont Circle restaurant’s bottomless mimosas, offered at only $10. But Jessica Ross, a Georgetown University senior , says that it’s more than the inexpensive bottomless mimosas that makes the restaurant a weekend favorite. “The bottomless mimosas are awesome, but it’s the make-your-own Bloody Mary station that’s so cool,” Ross says. “[Bloody Mary’s are] a brunch classic so it’s perfect to go with your food.”Ris
L Street’s Ris serves breakfast favorites including corned beef hash, Belgian waffles and Eggs Benedict. Along with the breakfast classics, Ris also gives patrons a variety of not-so-classic brunch options, including Scallop Margarita (lime marinated scallops with chiles, orange, avocado and tequila ice) and Oatmeal Creme Brûlée (steel cut oatmeal layered with vanilla custard, raspberries and caramelized sugar). Kendra Thomas, a Georgetown University junior, says that, surprisingly, her favorite drink from Ris is not a cocktail. “The lemonade mixed with strawberries and sage is amazing,” Thomas says. “It’s so refreshing, and it’s a nice twist to plain lemonade.”
If you’re looking for a dose of character in Washington, check out this popular dive bar on H Street. Not only does The Pug offer a wall full of interesting posters, a laid-back vibe, reasonable prices and free cheese balls, it also offers bottomless mimosas for only $10. This is the perfect restaurant to chat with friends, drink and be merry.The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse, located in The Jefferson Hotel on 16th Street, is perfect for a tasteful weekend splurge. With a beautifully classic architecture, including the hotel’s original skylight built in 1923, patrons can feel like royalty on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Among the brunch menu options, there is Martin’s Angus Sirloin Burger, Lobster Eggs Benedict, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and a variety of house-made smoothies made from fresh fruit and low-fat yogurts. The Greenhouse also offers Afternoon Tea on weekends between 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for any later brunchers.
Founding Farmers, one of the more well-known restaurants in the District, is a personal favorite for many students. “The best thing on the menu is a brunch must-have: chicken and waffles,” Remy Marshall, a Howard University junior, says. “Their chicken is perfectly seasoned and their waffles are perfection. I always like to get a side of macaroni and cheese, too!” Along with the usual brunch menu suspects, like buttermilk pancakes and Eggs Benedict, Founding Farmers also offers a variety of cocktails, freshly squeezed juice and house-made sodas.
American City Diner
American City Diner, fashioned after a 1950s diner, has a long history in Washington. Founded by native Washingtonian Jeffrey Gildenhorn in 1988, American City Diner is a small but very popular restaurant located on Connecticut Avenue. Not only does the Diner have jukeboxes filled with both older and newer songs at nearly every table, but patrons are also able to view classic movies, such as “Casablanca” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” on the Diner’s Movie Deck in the spring and summer. “The [American City] Diner serves breakfast all day, so after church, my friends and I just swing by and grab some brunch,” Audrianna Hayl, a George Washington senior, says. “They have all the breakfast classics, and the vibe is so cute.”