You guys… I’m going to be totally honest with you… I FRACKEN LOVE BRUNCH! Okay, it’s *basic* or whatever but I truly don’t care. It’s my favorite meal of the day and some of my favorite memories in DC are with my best friend after and during our boozy brunches. If you’re a local trying to decide where to go with your girls this weekend, or you’re a tourist short on time, you want FIRST HAND experience and reviews and I’m here to share with you these gems. These are the best bottomless brunches DC has to offer.
With so many bottomless brunches in DC—truly, it’s astounding—it can be difficult to choose on any given weekend. Thank goodness for you, I’ve tried dozens of them in almost every neighborhood. To be honest, most are lackluster and I find myself saying ‘eh’ after the first bite or sips. BUT! A handful have truly dazzled and I’m here to share them with you. The list is short and sweet because I want to keep it to truly the best of the best. If you want a longer post with just a list of all the spots, there are countless other articles for you to read, but for now, start with these tried and true favorites.
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Must try dishes: Literally all of them!
First on the list and for a bunch of reasons. Ambar is by far, my favorite place to get brunch and the one I keep returning to again and again. If you’re only in DC for a short time and only have 1 day to brunch, make this your pick. Ambar serves Balkan cuisine in a chic setting with spectacular service every time. Ambar’s bottomless brunch is $39 you can enjoy unlimited small plates AND drinks! Yes, you read that correctly! The mixed berry mimosa is my favorite, and the bloody mary is delicious. (It’s oddly hard to find a great bloody mary in DC’s brunch spots!)
Ambar has 2 locations in the DC area with slightly different menus. I prefer the Capitol Hill one’s brunch menu. If you’re looking for dinner, hop over to Arlington for a differently but equally delicious and beautiful experience. Make sure to get the Belgrade Mule!
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Must try dishes: Spicy Lamb Benedict & Cava Home Fries
Next on the list is Cava. A local favorite of almost everyone in the DC area. While their dinner menu is lackluster, in my opinion, the brunch menu WOWS! For $35 you can enjoy unlimited small plates and bottomless drinks. Just make sure everyone wants to do it (though why wouldn’t they!?) because the entire table must participate. If you’re like me and prefer savory over sweets for brunch, Cava’s menu is great. Though, they have some excellent sweets, as well! Check out their menu to start planning your feast ASAP.
Neighborhood: Cleveland Park
Must try dishes: Cookie Butter Dosa & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie
While Cleveland Park is not the most exciting of DC’s neighborhoods, don’t let that stop you from experiencing this amazing brunch. The restaurant is literally right next to the metro station—so it’s easy to get to! Indique’s menu is filled with delicious food and even better drinks. Unlimited brunch plates are $25/person with $12 additional for free flowing brunch cocktails. I cannot recommend the Rum Lassi enough! Make sure to fast beforehand since Indian food is notoriously filling, you’ll want to have room to try a bit of everything. Here’s a link to their menu.
Must try dishes: Beet Tzaziki and the Time to Spare Cocktail
Okay, so this one technically isn’t in DC, but it’s just on the other side of the river in Arlington, VA but trust me, it’s sooooo worth it. Baba is a sort of speakeasy bar hiding in open sight under Ambar’s Clarendon location. At night, the restaurant is dimly lit and full of 20-somethings spending their evening in the popular bar-hopping neighborhood. On weekend days though, it’s a gorgeous venue serving small plates in similar fashion to its big sister upstairs. $29 gets you unlimited small plates and cocktails an additional $0.25 each! This includes made-to-order dishes PLUS a buffet! Can’t beat that. Check out their menu here.
Neighborhood: U St Corridor and Georgetown
Must try dishes: Tomato/Cucumber Salad & the Jalepeno Beef & Chorizo Slider
El Centro has 2 locations, (14th St. being my favorite) both in really fun neighborhoods. At night, El Centro is a latin dance club that I have spent many night dancing in until last call, or my thighs turned to jello–whichever comes first. To recover from that night of debauchery, a mere $39 will get you all you can eat plates and drinks. Make sure you try the churros! What’s better for a hangover than huevos rancheros, margaritas and churros!? You’re absolutely right… NOTHING. Check out their menu to see all their mouth-watering option. Another great place for those who prefer savory items.
Neighborhood: Logan Circle
Cuisine: Latin-Asian Fusion
Must try dishes: Miso Bacon & Chipotle-Bacon BLT
Masa 14 is another one that turns from nightclub to restaurant and another place I’ve danced myself into oblivion. The food is delicious and after you’ve stuffed yourself, Logan Circle is a fun neighborhood to wander around and shop. Make sure to stop by Miss Pixie’s for some antique ‘furnishings & what not’ afterward. $39 will get you bottomless plates and drinks at this unique joint. So come hungry and not TOO hungover. Here’s their full menu.
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
Must try dishes: Huevos Rancheros & Croque Madame
So this one isn’t bottomless but definitely worth checking out nonetheless. The plates are rather large so one will be sufficient. A friend and I discovered they had brunch completely by accident while wandering in Dupont Circle one day. The front is an awesome book shop that is popular with tourists and locals alike. The back is a casual cafe that you’d never suspect serves AMAZING huevos rancheros! Yes, that is the second time I’ve mentioned huevos rancheros in this post. Is it obvious it’s a favorite of mine? Grab a bloody mary as well since theirs are awesome. They also serve lunch and dinner and excellent burgers. Here’s their full menu.
I know this post is short but I wanted to really keep it to my truly favorite spots–The ones I’ve returned to or look forward to returning. Truth be told, I’ve tried DOZENS of bottomless brunches in DC and many disappoint. Either the food is lacking or the service is… Or both. This list though, never disappoints me and I have an excellent meal and experience every time.
If you’d like a post with a longer list with reviews of all the brunch spots I’ve been to, let me know in the comments below! None have been truly horrendous but just fail to live up to this list.