In this city, brunch is a verb, not a noun. The act of brunching is the one thing that makes our type-A city slow down, and gets us through the next five days. After all, there is no problem that seven rounds of mimosas can’t solve.
But as your guide to the Fitt-est spots in the city, we took it upon ourselves to find you the healthiest brunch spots in the District. So allow us, to show you the best avocado toasts, locally-sourced eggs, and freshest sides (tater tots not included) this city has to offer.
While you might know Fruitive for their liquid meals—no, sadly not wine—Fruitive’s brunch is on-point. At each DMV location, you’ll find each 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? There’s are loaded with superfoods including quinoa, chia, and flax. They even manage to make their breakfast burritos healthy—loaded with veggies, salsa, and get this: cashew cheese.
From the folks who brought us Logan Tavern, The Pig, and Grillfish; EatWell’s newest restaurant in Mt. Vernon offers a menu so incredible you’ll never believe it’s healthy. Following EatWell’s commitment to offering locally-sourced fruits and vegetables from their own farm in Maryland, The Bird’s sustainable menu focuses on all poultry dishes (surprised?). We’re big fans of their homemade chicken and turkey sausages (gluten-free!), Shakshouka made with duck eggs, Omelet with organic eggs and duck breast—heck, even the Fried Chicken Benedict is made with organic chicken.
Never have you ever seen so many variations of avocado toast, until you walk into Slipstream. Like every other person in Washington, we’re in love with this Logan Circle gem for all the toast variations: Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Goat Cheese, and Chickpea. For the gluten-free, they offer a breakfast bowl with rice in lieu of bread, and an awesome house-made granola. But our favorite part? They make their lattes with homemade almond milk—can things get any better?
We cannot not love a menu which lists the source of each and every dish. At Whaley’s in Navy Yard, the oyster bar + gathering place brings a seafood-centric menu, with most items sourced from the Chesapeake Bay watershed. You can enjoy a full raw bar of oysters, clams, and a heaping portion crudo, an Italian dish with raw fish and spices. If you’re looking for something heartier, bring a group and sample their Seafood Tower, with market selections changing daily.
Sally’s, on H Street, is committed to delivering a healthy menu by partnering with local purveyors. They continuously rotate their menu to offer more greens than you’ve ever seen on a brunch plate before. While the dishes change seasonally (er, daily?), we’re all about their Eggs in a Nest (a combo of greens, carrots, and onions) and their Frittata with Squash and Mushrooms. Plus, they offer some great grain-free dishes like Magic Chicken Hash and New Bay Chicken Drumsticks.
If you’re not a Glen’s fan, we might just have to take a step outside. Their best menu—by far, in our humble opinion—is their brunch menu. Granted, you won’t be taking a ten-person ensemble to their Dupont or Shaw location, but for a small group, brunch can’t get much better. We can’t get enough of their Smoky Veggie Tacos made with spaghetti squash, the Grains & Greens served with salsa verde on multigrain toast, or the Super Nova with smoked lox.
Big Bear Café was one of the first neighborhood joints to set up shop in Bloomingdale, and remains a fan-favorite. Beyond the fact that the Bloomingdale Farmers Market is right outside their door, their menu is filled with healthy options. Their menu isn’t listed online, so we’ll help you out. You can order a beef burger over a farm-fresh salad, scrambled eggs done just about any way you want, and a variety of salads made with herbs from their very own garden.
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 offer vegetarian dishes including Eggs Florentine and an Arugula Omelet with a pine nut pesto. Even the die-hard carnivores can find a healthy dish to enjoy, from their Bacon Risotto (with house-cured bacon) and Smoked Salmon Omelet.
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 known for their seasonal menu offerings. You can’t go wrong with their brunch menu, comprised of organic eggs, homemade bacon and sausages, and cocktails that change by the season (sorry, couldn’t help but mention it). Some of our favorite dishes include Spelt Buttermilk Pancakes, Shrimp and Grits (with stone-ground grits!), and Cremini Mushroom Scramble.
Attention, omnivores everywhere: Head to H Street because the makers of Sticky Fingers opened a diner just for you. Come try all the (https://www.eatfarewell.com/the-diner/#/brunch-1/) brunch treats you’ve been missing—french toast, pancakes (in three flavors!), and even a chickpea-based frittata. Each dish is clearly marked for allergy information, so you’re sure to find something to love.
Never before have you seen so many green things on a brunch menu. Brussels sprouts, zucchini and squash, and collard greens (sans the bacon, of course) are just a few healthy sides you’ll find at this Petworth neighborhood spot. For the main event, try their vegan-friendly breakfast burrito, cinnamon apples, and tofu scramble—so good, even your carnivore friends will love it.
Situated just north of U Street, Kapnos is known for its seemingly endless mezze—which carry over into the brunch menu! You’ll find the small plates you’d expect, but with a breakfast twist (think Greek yogurt parfaits and house-cut lox) over the weekend. Some of our favorite main dishes included marinated lamb chops with a fried egg, shakshouka, and their shrimp frittata. But if you’re keeping it healthy, you might want to skip the baklava french toast.
We give Cedar mega props for hosting a vegan menu—and a three course one at that! Veggie lovers while certainly find something on this Penn Quarter eatery’s brunch menu, from their Roasted Beet Salad to a whole host of side dishes. Other lighter fare options include a Cedar “Cobb” Salad with a farm-fried egg, Hangtown Fry with local oysters, and Omelet of Wild Mushoroms.
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