UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
When brunch is life, that Sunday AM decision can be a tough one. No worries — from healthy toasts, paleo pancakes, and bottomless mimosas, these are the only spots worthy of your brunch squad.
We're willing to bet you've never had avocado toast quite like the one this local brunch mecca offers. Head to either their Logan Circle or Navy Yard locations and, like every other person in Washington, you'll fall in love with their brunch menu's main attraction: avocado toast topped with pickled shallots, alfalfa sprouts, and goat cheese mousse. For the gluten-free, they also have a breakfast bowl with rice in lieu of bread, and an awesome house-made granola bowl with fresh fruit. But our favorite part? They make their lattes with homemade almond milk — can it get any better?
If you haven’t made the trek up Connecticut Ave. to Little Red Fox, you’re seriously missing out. It’s a healthy foodie’s dream, offering a coffee shop + cafe + market all in one. And the best part? You don’t have to wait for the weekend to get it. Stop by any day before 11am to enjoy a FOXACADO sandwich (yes, the salsa’s made in-house and no, avocado is not extra) or a breakfast burrito. Oh, and feel free to sleep in on the weekends, too. The breakfast menu is hot through 4pm every Saturday and Sunday, meaning you can still get your Little Red Fox fix later in the day. Or, you can catch Fox Loves Taco over in Brookland, open daily 7am - 4pm. Tacos for breakfast? We're not here to tell you what to do.
All of Glen's menus are incredible, but their brunch menu may reign supreme. We love the dishes, but we also love this place's sourcing practices. Their meats come from farms within our very own watershed, eggs are cage-free, and vegetables are sourced at the local level, too. So the next time you order a Grains & Greens breakfast bowl or a breakfast sammy with bacon and egg, thank your local farmer and thank Glen’s for being thoughtful and sustainable providers.
Big Bear Cafe was one of the first neighborhood joints to set up shop in Bloomingdale and is a fan favorite to this day. Their menu is filled with healthy options, and—bonus—the Bloomingdale Farmers Market is right outside their door. Let’s talk about a perfect morning. It could include a Breakfast Farro Bowl with roasted seasonal vegetables, a beef burger over a farm-fresh salad, eggs done just about any way you want, or a variety of salads made with herbs from their very own garden. After you've indulged, you can grab a coffee to go and head on over to the farmers market (reusable bags in hand, of course), and stock up on all the local goods.
With organic flour, cage-free eggs, and an in-house juice bar, a “light brunch” is no longer an oxymoron thanks to Peacock Cafe in Georgetown. We go nuts for The "Ghodsi" quiche (don’t knock a shrimp quiche till you’ve tried it) and Peacock Eggs Chesapeake (made with organic eggs and lump crab meat). And while you can’t go wrong with home fries, our inner health freak appreciates their twist on sides — grilled asparagus, chicken sausage, and sweet potato home fries.
Chef Arthur Ringel worked for some of the most well-known restaurants in DC before opening his own spot on H Street. Committed to offering sustainable dishes and locally-sourced ingredients, DC Harvest is prized for their seasonal menu offerings. You can’t go wrong with their brunch menu, comprised of organic eggs, homemade sauces, and inventive cocktails. Try the Italian Chicken Sausage Hash with roasted sweet potatoes, escarole, two sunny-up organic eggs, and a local greens salad, or if you're plant-based, try the Vegan Tofu Scramble served with a baby mizuna & chickpea salad, heirloom potato home fries, and roasted tomatillo salsa. Fitt Tip: if you happen to have a Friday off work and some extra time, they have a Friday Brunch menu that's completely separate from their weekend one.
If you think Italian is limited to glutinous pasta and cheese bread, you are oh, so sorely mistaken. This farm-to-table restaurant in Barracks Row offers a simple, made-from-scratch menu your foodie soul will love. They whip up vegetarian dishes including Eggs Florentine and an Arugula Omelet with a pine nut pesto that you'll be thinking about long after you've paid your bill and left. Even the die-hard carnivores can find a healthy dish to enjoy, from the House Spicy Italian Sausage Patties to the Smoked Salmon Omelet.
We give Cedar mega props for hosting a vegan menu — and a three course one at that! Veggie-lovers will certainly find something on this Penn Quarter eatery’s brunch menu. We suggest the Vegan Benedict featuring a purple potato cake and almond cashew hollandaise. Other lighter fare options include a Cedar “Cobb” Salad with a farm-fried egg and an Omelet of Wild Mushrooms. You may want to make a reservation for this one.
Centered right in Cathedral Heights, Silver offers a healthier weekend brunch for all types of eaters. Try the Roasted Veggie Huevos Rancheros (with cage-free eggs coming in from Lancaster, PA), the Power Breakfast, or the vegan Beyond Sausage Scrambler. And if you're in the sharing mood, order the Cauliflower Mezze for the table. Fitt Tip: pay close attention to the icons on their menu — they’ll tell you which are vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, or under 600 calories.
While this might get an eye-roll from Washingtonians who lived here for decades, we couldn’t leave this classic off the list. The first Silver Diner opened in Rockville in the '80s and kept their commitment to locally-sourced, way-too-good-to-be-healthy breakfast throughout each of their locations. Ask for a gluten-free menu and you’ll be handed one on the spot, and order your go-to omelette (we’re partial to the Baby Spinach, Feta & Cremini Mushroom) with farm-fresh eggs. But if you're really feeling pancakes, they offer Quinoa Coconut Pancakes that you don't have to feel guilty about. Extra plus: if you have an extremely sensitive food allergy, this is your place. They have an allergen index for ALL menu items right on the site.
Never before have you seen so many better-for-you alternatives to your classic brunch items on a single menu. Wheat- and soy-free waffles, pancakes, and omelets are just a few healthy dishes you’ll find at this Petworth neighborhood spot (with another location at Howard University's Black Burn Center). For the main event, try their vegan-friendly breakfast burrito, cinnamon apples, and tofu scramble — so good, even your meat-loving friends will be cool with spending Sunday morning here.
While you might know Fruitive for their liquid meals—no, sadly not wine—their brunch is on-point. At each location, you’ll find that every plant-based dish is loaded with nutrients, even those you’d expect to be unhealthy. Craving waffles? Fruitive makes theirs with buckwheat flour (good news to those gluten-free). Tired of oatmeal loaded with brown sugar? These bowls are loaded with superfoods including quinoa, chia, and flax. They even manage to make their breakfast burritos healthy — with veggies galore, salsa, and get this: cashew cheese.
Blue Duck Tavern on 24th St. NW claims a spot at the top of just about every DC foodie’s list, and for good reason. But they’re more than just a dinner destination. Their brunch menu has a whole category dedicated to cereal, seed, and grain, making it possible to satisfy your inner-child with an adult spin on pudding and oatmeal. (We are in love with their Harvest Grain Porridge with steel-cut oats, farro, and banana!) If you’re looking for something savory, good luck choosing between the BDT Omelet, Pork Belly Benedict (Banh Mi-style), and the Farm House Baked Eggs.
With three thriving locations in bustling DC neighborhoods, it was a solid move to open a booth at Union Market, too. Teaism, contrary to their namesake, goes beyond tea and does it really well — especially when it comes to their breakfast menu, served daily with extended afternoon hours on the weekend. Their Cilantro Scrambled Eggs are sure to brighten up your morning and their house-made chai is hands-down one of the best in the city. They even have take a healthy spin on pancakes, made with buckwheat and hemp heart, so you can feel more than okay about the extra helping of organic pure maple syrup, right? Right.
Located inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Unconventional Diner serves a brunch menu that straddles classic comfort with healthy touches. Keep it sweet with the Quinoa-Chia Oatmeal, complete with coconut milk custard, caramelized pineapple, and pecans, or savor every bite of the Brussels Sprouts & Fried Eggs (with masala, cabbage, and carmelized onions). There’s something for every taste, so grab a bar stool or get comfy in the booths with your buds for a delicious brunch any day of the week, 9am–2:30pm.
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