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Friday Question of the Day – What is DC’s Best Brunch Bargain? (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth April 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm 71 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Dear PoPville,

Thanks for posting the “Where’s Your Favorite Chill Brunch Spot?” as last week’s Friday Question. To be honest, though, I can’t afford many of these places. So I wanted to suggest a follow up for readers like me: What is DC’s Best Brunch Bargain? My hope is that readers will highlight places with enjoyable flavors, service, and atmosphere that don’t get the $$$ rating on yelp.

I’m gonna stick with my original answer for favorite chill spot and say Red Derby. Where’s your favorite brunch bargain in town?

  • It’s hard to say without knowing a specific dollar budget, but the $18 Sunday roast that Queen Vic puts out would satisfy many couples, let alone a single person.

    Locolat’s pretty inexpensive for a good meal, with most items being under $10.

    I actually found myself going to Commissary quite a lot for a typical no frills brunch when I lived in Logan. The menu is just barely over diner pricing and the quality is always above average. Their blueberry pancakes will fill you for almost an entire day.

    Level One is relatively on the low end too, most stuff under $12, and you get an interesting show during disco brunch.

    • Amelia

      I still, every time, read that place’s name as LOLcat.

  • Yeah, commissary is pretty reasonably priced. Probably the most affordable brunch option in the Logan Circle area.

    Also agree with PoP about Red Derby. Looking Glass is also a cheap option for brunch.

  • Highlands in 16th St Heights is delicious and a steal. I’ve never spent more than $8 there. Also, Open Kitchen on Upshur has cheap, tasty greasy spoon food. The staff is super nice, though they were still working out some kinks when I last went.

    • +1 Highlands is the best deal for breakfast/brunch around. A hidden gem, and the food has always been great.

      • ++1 – A hidden gem in my hood.

      • petwurf

        yes, having Highlands (and Ruff ‘n Ready!) a block away is truly pretty sweet.

    • Anonymous

      Highlands is THE BEST for a weekend brunch. And a neighborhood high point – a nice mixing point in a city where people move in very different circles.

  • B squared

    Smoke and Barrel in Adams Mogan has all you can eat for $14 (if I recall the price correctly). Includes BBQ pork, brisket, eggs, hash, smoked salmon, grits, greens, and bacon among other things. I say it can’t be beat. There are some vegetarian and vegan options too.

    • Anonymous

      I second the Smoke and Barrel. It’s a great Buffet, I honestly don’t know how they manage to do it for that price.

      • saf

        They are still doing brunch, but it is no longer a buffet.

  • It isn’t technically a brunch, but Steak and Egg is great and cheap.

  • Anonymous

    Tune Inn on Cap Hill. Best value in town!

  • new

    I think Rustik in Bloomingdale is tremendous value. Its not open on Sundays but MGM Roast Beef does a great breakfast and it is super cheap.

    • Anonymous

      you sure its not open on sundays? I think its open for brunch both days on the weekend

    • ShawMolly

      +1 Rustik. Bottomless mimosas, outdoro patio. I’m addicted to the cheddar grit cakes but the cornmeal pancakes with mascarpone and pork belly are insanely good too.

  • It hits the $$$ level on Yelp, but Ardeo in Cleveland Park has a killer brunch special. $27 for a 2 course brunch and all you can drink champagne or mimosas and the food is really tasty. They do a bacon and egg risotto with a 63 degree egg that’s to die for.

    • Anonymous

      $$$ on yelp or $27 for brunch brings us back to the previous post, not this one.

      • Greg

        A “bargain” can be any price as it reflects cost relative to value.

  • My fave brunch spot is Bistro La Bonne on U street – $3 cocktails and most brunch entrees are around $10.

    • Anonymous

      i second this. it’s really chill and has an honest French menu

    • Anonymous

      I love that place! I had a birthday brunch there a few years ago.

  • FYI, Rustik is def open on Sundays and the quality is very good–my favorite is the chorizo hash, but there are a lot of other tempting items on the menu

    • Anonymous

      Sunday closure was about MGM Roast Beef.

    • Anonymous

      That Chorizo Hash is amazing!

  • JinMVT

    Tel’Veh is good – $30 all you can eat (full menu) and drink (mimosas & B-Mary’s) for 2 hours. Whole table must do the all you can eat & drink though.

    Great for large groups too.

    • Anonymous

      You think of $30 for brunch, even with drinks, to be a bargain?

      Are people not reading the actual question in the post, or do they really have budgets where $30 for brunch is considered cheap?

  • Decatur

    It’s a bit younger of a crowd, 21-25, but Local 16 is by far the best deal if you look at food+drink. 18 bucks gets you a decently sized entree and then all you can drink mimosas or bloodies. Sidenote- I really only go to brunches where unlimited drinking is provided, so this fits the build, for me atleast

  • monkeyrotica

    Put on a business suit, grab some luggage, and head into any Embassy or Hampton Inn. Make straight for the free breakfast bar. You’ll have about 45 minutes before the staff get suspicious. Fill your pants with waffles, yogurt, and fresh fruit. You’re welcome.

    • Anonymous

      it bothers me that people don’t acknowledge this as stealing.

      • Anonymous

        You must be new here. Monkeyrotica rarely posts anything serious on any blog.

        • Anonymous

          “Rarely” is giving him too much credit, although there is usually a sliver of truth in whatever he’s joking about.

        • Anonymous

          he rarely posts anything that doesn’t involved bodily discharges.

          i feel sorry for his stomach.

      • It bothers me you have no sense of humor.

    • Anonymous

      About an hour later you will again fill your pants with waffles, yogurt, and fresh fruit.

      • Anonymous

        I can’t recall the last time a comment on here made me laugh, but this one certainly did.

  • Diana

    Wonderland–Big portions & really delicious skillets. Reasonably priced bottomless mimosas.

    • newintown

      They’ve gotten rid of the bottomless mimosas. Their food is still delicious, though.

  • bb

    Puplo is $25 all you can eat and drink

  • I love DC Reynolds too — tasty food, and ten bucks for bottomless simple mimosas/bloodys.
    KBC allows one to have pastrami for with johnnycakes for breakfast, so that’s some kind of wonderful.

  • Tabaq on U St is a great deal. Yummy food, fun enclosed rooftop patio. Really reasonable prices.

    • Anonymous

      +1 here, good food and great ambiance/view from the roof. Surprisingly affordable!

    • Anonymous

      Came here to post “Tabaq” but you beat me to it. :)

  • jes

    Gotta mention Station 4 in SW… 25 bucks gets you your pick of entrees (including my personal favorite, steak & eggs with duck fat fries), plus bottomless Mimosas or Bloodies. I believe they let you mix and match between the two drinks as well.

  • sherndon

    Middle Eastern Cuisine in Takoma is great – buffet (hummus, shakshuka, bacon/sausage, haloumi, falafel, etc.) + 2 eggs any way or an omelette + pancakes or waffle for about $11. Also, their iced tea is great. Perfect after the farmers’ market, and *never* as crowded as Mark’s Kitchen next door.

  • Best deal is the brunch at Twist in the Carlyle Suites Hotel. Though not cheap at $29.99, it is an all you can eat brunch buffet with a waffle and omlette bar and all you can drink champagne and vodka drinks!

  • This is not really brunch, but I do like going downtown to the Lincoln Waffle Shop on the weekends. If you can handle fighting past the tourists to get there, its a pretty good deal, tasty waffles, and they get you in and out of there nice and quick.

    I would really like to know if anyone can reccomend baby-friendly brunch spots nearby. I would consider a place baby friendly if they have highchairs and either a kids menu, or changing table in the bathroom. The later two options not manditory.

    • Caroline

      Ted’s Bulletin. I’m not 100% sure if they have changing tables, but I’m betting they do. The only downside is that they don’t take reservations and the wait can be hours on a nice weekend morning. Get there early and be prepared to wander around Eastern Market if you have to wait a while.

    • I went with a couple friends and their 2 year old to Busboys a couple weeks ago. No kids menu, but they had a high chair, had a cup specifically for young kds (ie with a lid, and child sized) and were very accomodating. I was impressed.

  • Anonymous

    When I wonder out to the suburbs, I sometimes hit up Linda’s Cafe on Lee Highway. Old greasy spoon diner, big portions, inexpensive – the type of place where you can still sit on swivel chairs at the counter and watch the cook. Not champagne or bloodies, however.

    • Anonymous


  • Caroline

    Tortilla Cafe is a good inexpensive brunch option if you don’t need to drink. I usually get the Salvadoran Breakfast ($4.95), a plate of plantains, refried beans, scrambled eggs, and tortillas. It goes great with the sweet fruit juices they sell. You can grab a table outside (assign someone to do this while you stand in line to order) and watch the Eastern Market activity.

  • Chris

    Bistro Cacao near Union Station is where we always go. Great food, lots of options. $16 gets you any one of a long list of higher end brunch entrees, an additional side and a croissant basket that is TO DIE FOR.

    Also, you can sit on one of the most pleasant patios in the city.

    • Anonymous

      +1!!! Our bill usually climbs after coffee and/or a cocktail, but the basket of pastries is generous and delicious!! the entrees are spot-on (try the sausage!) the staff is friendly and efficient. it’s really a gem of a brunch place.

  • Huma

    Bistro La Bonne on 14th and U. Best French Toast in the District.

  • Forgot to mention Blind Dog Cafe in my original post. The prices there are super reasonable and the food always feels fresh and somewhat healthy. The only difficulty on the weekend is actually finding a seat, since so many are taken by people who just sit on their laptops all day drinking coffee.

  • Anonymous

    LOL Lets say by “budget” we mean around $10 or less per person? k?

    • Caroline

      That’s how I answered the question. $15-20 for brunch is ok but it’s not what I’d consider a bargain.

  • H Streeter

    H.R. 57’s Jazz Brunch on H Street, Saturday & Sunday is not only yummy & cheap, but you get some great Jazz music too.

    I payed $11 + tax & tip for a curried fruit waffle (yes, curried fruit – delish!! and the have other toppings), 2 sides of bacon and cup of tea.

    • Caroline

      Ooh, thanks for the recommendation. I never would have considered that place for brunch!

  • Daniel


  • Irish Whiskey Public House in DuPont has a really good brunch with $1 bottles of champagne (a whole bottle!) and entrees around $10-$14

  • Alex

    If you’re not really in the mood to drink and you want down-and-dirty, delicious greasy food, try Wonderland – you can easily get brunch for like $10. No bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys, but they have $0.99 bottomless Maxwell House coffee.

  • Front Page. Cheap. If cheap is what you want…. Bloody Mary bar helps.

  • Since no one’s said it yet, I would say dim sum — it might not be a bargain at trendy places like ping pong, but many chinese restaurants that offer dim sum have prices that allow a small group to have a feast for less than $15/person.

  • roy

    Two Pear Cafe in Kensington Md

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised no one said Keren on 18th & U… Ful w/ 2 eggs is the best brunch in the city.


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