Kaye’s Top DC Brunches (part 1)
I love brunch. Even during my little ‘I’m on a budget stint,’ I never refused an invitation to brunch. What is not to like? All at 1 table there is food, alcohol, and friends. At my older and wiser age, I actually prefer brunch to a night of binge drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to get my drink on at night, but for some reason brunching is a more attractive invitation to me for the following reasons:
- Seating. We have all been there — when you get to a bar and end up having to stand with no place to put your jacket or clutch while you get your grind on. At brunch, you have a designated seat. No need to wonder where you are going to stow your jacket. And don’t worry… if grinding is your fave, there are brunch options for that as you will see below!
- Drunk Hunger. No need to stand in line waiting to get at table at IHOP to cure your late night food fix. At brunch, food is a given! Whether you are eating a traditional meal or tapas style, you are at a restaurant so a menu is always available. Say you eat your meal, and continue drinking mimosas, then get hungry again. At brunch you can feel free to order MORE FOOD since hell… you are in a restaurant.
- Conversation. Yes when you are looking to BOMO, brunch may not be the perfect place to find a mate. BUT if you are looking to catch up with girl friends brunch is perfect. You can actually hear each other and catch up, rather than yell over loud music. [DISCLAMER: BOMO can be a reality at brunch. I have seen it happen].
- Healthiness. Mimosas are made out of oranges. Oranges are a fruit. Fruit is healthy. Brunch is healthy.
So now I would like to present you a handful of my favorite DC brunches. I have been to many fabulous brunches in DC, but these are definitely at the top of my list when someone is coming into town and I want to bring them somewhere I know is amazing!
Top DC Brunches (in alphabetical order):
This place is legit. There is no bottomless offering at Founding Farmers, and this place still makes my list. Why? Because the food is amazing (and very affordable for DC)!
Everything is fresh as this is a farm to table restaurant. You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. I cannot get enough of the Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach Pan Scramble. Just thinking about the hash brown side that comes with the Pan Scramble makes my mouth water. Also, the French Press coffee here is amazing.
Photo Credit: Founding Farmers Website
I would recommend this brunch for you if you have a group of friends coming into town who want to do very touristy DC things. This is not because Founding Farmers is touristy. As this brunch is all about the food, not about the mimosas, after brunching your guests will be able to not need to sober up before taking in DC sights. Reservations are definitely recommended if you go here, as this place is a DC staple and is very close to GW, so it is a popular spot for those students.
La Boum at L’Enfant Café
L’efant Café has an event that occurs every Saturday at 2pm call La Boum. Reservations for this are booked for months in advance. When making your reservation you may be questioning yourself saying, ‘Is this place really that good!? How can it be booked up for the next 2 months?’ Friends, I am here to tell you that this brunch is well worth the wait!
Being late to this brunch is NOT AN OPTION. At 2pm the doors of L’efant Café are opened. After all the guests are seated the doors are locked and the blinds are closed. You are then transported back to “prohibition times”. Burlesque dancers come through the dining area with pasties on. Literally strobe lights come on and the DJ starts laying down the jams. You are ENCOURAGED to get up and dance on your chairs. Grinding and BOMOing with strangers is encouraged here. The La Boum website states “ Good idea NOT to bring a date. We will find you one.” The picture of me below partly depicts what my memory of La Boum… a blur of me dancing on my chair. I did not bring that hat, it was passed around the party. Thank goodness I didn’t come home with any lice.
So about the food… the menu is prix fix, and is $29.50 for 3 courses. Eating was not my main priority at this brunch as our table was beside the DJ and I felt the need to request more songs to get my grind on every time 1 song ended. Drinks are not bottomless here, but trust me, just buy a bottle of champagne (or 3 like we did) and a glass of orange juice… then MYOM (Make Your Own Mimosa).
Photo Credit: L’Enfant Cafe Website
Summary: Your bill will be large and you will most likely be blacked out after La Boum. Good thing that L’efant Café is located by Adam’s Morgan so you can just continue to get your drink on after brunch. You will be shocked when the doors and blinds of L’Enfant Café open since it will still be light out. See the picture below, the beau had to put on his sunglasses when the blinds were opened (or maybe he was trying to shield his eyes from the bill). Seriously, this brunch is a MUST DO.
I know I cheated a bit with listing 2 restaurants here. Here me out though, Masa 14 and Zengo have the same owner, Richard Sandoval, and the menus/brunches are very similar. Food here is served tapas style, and everything tastes amazing. Also, this place has BOTTOMLESS options. Ding, ding, ding! I know that that is the magic brunch word for most of you. The tapas and brunch cocktails are bottomless… aka all the food and drinks you could want.
Photo Credit: Masa 14 Website
Seriously, the tapas are amazing. I once went here with a few friends and ordered the whole menu. Then we got seconds and thirds on our favorites. No shame. You cannot go wrong here. Proudly (not embarrassingly) groups that I have been with have been the last table left here. My question is, why would you ever leave somewhere with unlimited tapas and alcohol willingly?
Once again this is a BOTTOMLESS brunch. You can order a la carte here OR you can go for their brunch special. For $30 you order one appetizer or dessert, one entrée, and get bottomless drinks . This option is great for groups since you can get share a couple appetizers and desserts. The appetizers and desserts are full portions so sharing works if your group wants to try a little bit of everything. I have had the frittata, French toast, and Nopa burger for brunch (in 3 different sittings, not all in one meal), and all were delish!
Nopa is a super classy brunch stop. The décor is beautiful. I definitely recommend this stop if you want to get a group together and have a classy DC style brunch. Perhaps come here and get brunch drunk then go drunk shopping in Chinatown. The service and food are spectacular. This place definitely shows off the best of DC.
Of course this is another BOTTOMLESS brunch. One thing that is great about Urbana is that you will never have an empty glass. Why? Because they literally put down a bottle of champagne on your table. Then you bring up your glass to the bar and pour in your favorite juice/puree to make your own mimosas. I love being my own bartender. It means lots of champagne, and a little bit of juice. Literally how do you top that?
The food here is great. But then again, remember, that you are getting whole bottles of champagne left on your table. My recommendation is to order your meal, eat it, then order some plates to share. That way, you will be able to have something to munch on while you down bottle after bottle of champagne.
Photo Credit: Urbana Website
Now now, I know that there are plenty of other great brunches in DC. These handful are definitely at the top of my list though. I also think that they are all very different, so hopefully one (or all) float your boat and this post inspired you to make a reservation! As always feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need other recommendations OR if you need a brunch partner!
*Disclaimer – Once again when I ate brunch at these locations I had not yet created my blog. Good thing these websites had good pics to entertain you all with! I promise that I will take more pictures in the future to have more content for you in my posts!