73°Partly Cloudy

Friday Question of the Day – Best Breakfast in the District?

by Prince Of Petworth December 12, 2013 at 10:22 pm 101 Comments


Wednesday’s talk about Milk Cult’s breakfast tacos got me thinking about breakfast options. With all the new spots around town, we last spoke about this in 2008, I figured it was about time to revisit. So once again, I’m not necessarily talking best proper brunch in town – rather when you have a hankering for breakfast food – where is your go to spot?

  • Los

    Lincoln Waffle House > Leopold’s Kafe > IHOP >> Le Diplomate

  • kook47797

    Tabard Inn – the donuts, the ambiance
    Original Pancake House – yeah, not in DC proper, but best pancakes around
    Kafe Leopold’s – Great coffee, cool European vibe, good pastries
    McDonald’s – can’t beat the price.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sad to report that the donuts are no more. Tried it recently and they are definitely not the same donuts.

      I know everyone we’ll think we’re gross, but I don’t care. Every once in awhile, a hot sausage biscuit really hits the spot!

      • There are many mornings (usually after very late nights) that I ride the bike to Union Station for a Cajun biscuit with cheese from Bojangles. Growing up in NC that was a breakfast staple before high school many mornings, hard to fight those cravings sometimes!

      • anonymous McDonald’s aficionado

        I am finishing a McDonald’s breakfast even as we speak.

  • Nathan

    As with any food bought from a restaurant in WDC you can either pay premiere prices or standard prices, breakfast is nothing different. Breakfast is by far the cheapest meal for a restaurant to make and the most profitable. Think of how much 2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, and 1 slice of toasted bread would cost a restaurant wholesale. WDC breakfast eaters, of course, still want the small plate fancy experience with fancy “artisan” toppings or hidden ingredients, gluten-free this that or the other, or a plate with a “No GMO” sticker on it. Breakfast restaurants thrive on all those fancy “extra’s” customers want because it makes their already super profitable breakfast meal even more profitable and helps pay for that 14th St address because you pay extra for the words “organic”, “artisan”, “gluten-free”, “No GMO”. If you’re looking for an excellent $20 per person breakfast experience where you will Instagram your plate, I can’t help. If you’re looking for a down-home excellent breakfast experience at true breakfast prices the #1 choice is Lincoln Waffle House #2 is Trio’s and #3 is Florida Avenue Grill.

    • Nathan

      …boy that was winded. I’ve had too much coffee, with my breakfast, already. ( :

      • DMVist

        As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for a number of years I can attest to the liberal use of terms like “organic” and “gluten free.” More than half the time the supposedly organic egg isn’t organic and the supposedly gluten free product contains gluten. As for the term “artisan,” well that’s laughable since its applied to just about anything and everything without any meaning.
        Oh, and those people who like Leopold’s – seriously! Sure the food is ok, but the customers are so obnoxious.

        • Anonymous

          artisan is indeed a foolish term for culinary practices. save it for people that make non-consumables.

        • Anonymous

          That’s really scary for people that can get sick or have an allergic reaction to gluten. :(

    • Anonymous

      Trio? Really?

      • Anonymous

        Agree – Top ten for sure!

      • Anonymous

        All the people who disrespect Trio have probably never eaten there. It’s simply unpretentious diner-style food.

        • Anonymous

          I have breakfast at Trios every Sat. It’s okay for the price. For the quality food/taste, Annie’s is much better – with outstanding Bloody Mary’s.

          • Hrmm, best Bloody Mary sounds like another good question to ask…

    • What restaurant in DC puts “no-GMO” stickers on their plates?

    • Anonymous

      you’re dripping in condescension.

      • The People’s OP

        For good reason. This city’s dining scene has strong whiffs of bullsh#t. Anyone who falls for this crap during breakfast is even a bigger sucker.

        • Anonymous

          anyone who “falls” for Gluten-or GMO free? yeah, okay.

          • GMO-free has about as much science behind it as climate change denial.

        • This is most definitely not a DC exclusive attribute. Perhaps you would enjoy dining more in BFE Montana?

    • Anonymous

      And I just clicked on this comment section to find out where to get a tasty breakfast.

      • anon

        “All I wanted was a Pepsi!”

  • Otis Gal

    D.C. Reynolds

  • monkeyrotica

    Lincoln Waffle House. Anything with scrapple.

    Deli City. Mostly the customers: Metro bus drivers, bluehaired dowagers, folks who wouldn’t be caught dead in a small plates joint.

    Market Lunch. Skip the bluebucks and get The Brick.

    Booeymonger in Georgetown

    MGM Roast Beef

    • Anonymous

      The blue bucks are good, I just wish they had a little more blue in them.

    • Anonymous

      +1 for MGM Roast Beef. They also have great brisket.

      • I was pretty disappointed in MGM. It certainly wasn’t bad, but given the hype from many of my friends I definitely expected more. They did have some pretty solid grits at least.

        • monkeyrotica

          If there’s a comparable meat roasting joint at their price point, I’m all ears. Because Hodges is long gone and Atrium Cafe only does lunches.

          • In terms of the meat, that was good. Just the rest of the breakfast lacked flavor.

  • Johno

    Florida Ave Grill

    • Anonymous


    • kwame

      Florida Ave has gone downhill the last couple of years. I wonder if they have new ownership.

    • Anonymous

      Do you still reek of grease when you come out of that place? I ate there once and it took forever for my clothes to air out.

      • zach

        Yep. That’s why I love it.

      • The People’s OP

        Agreed. I live around the corner, but have only eaten there twice. Even the eggs and pancakes are dripping with grease. It was too much for me, my belly hurt afterward :(

    • Anonymous

      I think you need to break it down a little bit more than just “best breakfast”. you need sub categories like “greasy spoon diner” “brunch w/ bottomless adult beverages” “southern style breakfast” etc..

      But my vote goes to best bang for the buck, Brookland’s MURRAY and PAUL’S. I recommend the pancake special, 2 pancakes, 2 eggs + meat 5.95 add bottomless coffee = about $7.50. No waiting in line, no crowds just yummy unhealthy diner food.

  • All u can eat!

    During this miserable cold weather, I’m going with my kitchen!!!!!

    • Caroline

      Me too. :) Panettone french toast this weekend!

  • I wouldn’t quite call it the “best”, but when I lived in Logan I found myself biking over to Blind Dog Cafe more frequently than any other place for breakfast. In terms of fancy brunch stuff, I’ve yet to find anything in DC to beat Blue Duck Tavern (the only exception being their chicken and waffles, which I was not a fan of).

    • blahblahblah

      I think Blue Duck’s brunch is the best I’ve had in DC. Off the top of my head, I’m not thinking of anything that’s even come close.

      • Those fresh made pies and ice creams alone are worth it, even if you skip the savory courses!

    • Anonymous

      Home of the $15 egg. You can do much better elsewhere, for the money. And before you ask where, just take your pick of nearly every other recommendation in this thread.

      • I don’t need to ask where, I’ve been plenty of other places. I am not concerned with “for the money” when the question is posed as “best”.

        • Anonymous

          You’ve been [to] plenty of other places, but you probably haven’t been to all of them. There is always room for enlightenment.

          • Given the statement “nearly every other recommendation in this thread”, I would say I’ve gone to about 75% of them and would still call Blue Duck Tavern superior. Everyone has different preferences, and mine happens to be for them. It’s certainly not the only place I eat breakfast, or even most common, as I noted in my OP.

          • Anonymous

            Justin, I’d love to know how much you spend per month on eating out. Not so I can be judgmental, just out of morbid curiosity. :)

          • It varies a lot based on what projects I’ve got going on. I love cooking at home but if it’s a particularly busy month I just can’t justify the time/effort it takes. During an average week though I would say about 3-5 meals per week are “out”. I typically only ever eat breakfast away from home on the weekend, my normal breakfast regimen is pretty strict (protein shake + bar for like 10 years straight now). Quantifying it in terms of actual dollars would be tough because the range of places varies so greatly.

  • kwame

    KBC and Masa 14

  • jim_ed

    Tony’s Place on Kennedy St. $5.50 gets you eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and a pancake in the greasy spoon that time forgot.

    • Anonymous


      but -1, for no sunday hours.

      • Anonymous

        They are open on Sundays now, I think. Their black bean, plantain, and egg breakfast is amazing. And, I think it’s about $4

    • monkeyrotica

      Speaking of Tony, Tony’s Breakfast off H Street does a pretty awesome carryout breakfast. Also: scrapple and fried gizzards, b**ches.


      • Nice to know. I’ve run by this place several times and never noticed them open.

    • Anonymous

      +2, and glad to hear they’re open Sundays now.

  • Anonymous

    French toast at Poste.
    Leopold’s outside during Spring.
    Annie’s on 17th at all hours on weekends.

  • NewtoCityliving

    I haven’t had a chance to try many places, but I’ve eaten at Flip It II at 16th and Rhode Island NE a few times and it’s always been tasty, the coffee is strong, and the staff are friendly.

  • caroline

    Commissary! Really affordable for the food and the outside seating is great on sunny days.

    • Katelynn

      Seconding this! And breakfast all day!

  • Anonymous

    The Coupe. Ted Bulletin.

    • Anonymous

      Food at The Coupe is decent but the service has been awful everytime I’ve gone.

  • Anonymous

    Don Jaime’s

    • MPinDC

      This is my second favorite place for breakfast (favorite place is my kitchen).

    • Shhhh…there aren’t many seats.

  • Nicky

    1)Ted’s Bulletin
    2) Room 11 (bacon, egg, and cheese jalapeño biscuit sandwich is rediculous)

  • Topp

    The Brick at Market Lunch in Eastern Market

  • Jason

    Anyone who answers “Ted’s Bulletin” gets banned for life.

    • anon

      Ted’s Bulletin

    • Anonymous

      Ted’s Bulletin.

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t even been there, but it’s definitely Ted’s Bulletin.

      • Anonymous

        i’m looking forward to trying it! it’s my favorite place too!

    • Banned from what?

      • Your Daddy’s Money

        Banned for life!

  • Anonymous

    -Kafe Leopold’s.
    -The bagels at Firehook, surprisingly good.
    -The Diner.
    -Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse.

  • Anonymous

    Cooking breakfast yourself is so incredibly easy that I just can’t really bring myself to go out to a restaurant. Unless I’m incredibly hung over, in which case taste is sort of irrelevant.

    • Anonymous

      so is making your own coffee, yet people go out for coffee all the time.

      • Anonymous

        Which is why I wasn’t generalizing about people but speaking solely about myself. :-)

        • Caroline

          I feel that way about dining out in general. But it’s good to get out every once in a while.

  • Anon


    • Anonymous


  • Eric

    Where’s the love for Jimmy T’s Place on the hill? Breakfast comes with a side of sass.

    • monkeyrotica

      I stopped going to Jimmy T’s years ago when I discovered Pete’s Diner.


      • lmfb

        Overall Winner: DGS Deli–whatever you get, make sure it’s on a Montreal Bagel
        Greasy Spoon Winner: Jimmy T’s, aka Not Pete’s
        Fancy Pants Winner: Le Diplomat–sure it falls into the froofy pretentious category, but sometimes all you want in life is a basket of artesan non-GMO double-gluten baked treats
        Bottomless Everything Winner: Boqueria–tasty Spanish bottomless brunch, and I don’t know if it was just the weather, but last time I went there, there was plenty of room for our big group.
        Ambiance Winner: Union Market–get a bagel at the deli, a coffee at peregrin, walk around, do the things, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t been there in years, but the original Clyde’s in Georgetown used to do a terrific breakfast. The fresh biscuits were especially good. I’ve had dinner at a couple of the other locations recently, and they had gone noticeably downhill, so I’m wondering if the breakfast/brunch are worth it these days.

  • anon

    not one shout out for Busboys and Poets? I think it’s pretty average, but it’s at least as average as most of what’s rec’d above. I will give them points for vegan options.

    • maria

      I agree. Food and service are way better than the Coupe or some of the other places being mentioned at this price point.

  • dcreal

    Anywhere that servers bottomless mimos..
    Though I’d kill for a Westville(NYC) to open up int DC,.

  • Keck

    Especially in the winter, I love Tryst.

  • Edgar

    I’m a new fan of Blind Dog Cafe, but just a couple blocks over on Georgia is Torries, where you can get a real Southern breakfast with lots of food and drink for around $10. Think: Old DC–and none of this small plate/organic/craft BS. And nothing beats the sausage biscuit from Mcdonalds.

    • Real Southern breakfast? Would that possibly entail biscuits with sausage gravy..???

      • Edgar

        You bet!

    • Anonymous

      Biscuit eater from above. This sounds wonderful! However, I’m confused by the whole pop up thing. How long will it be there?

  • The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire

    I had a decent breakfast in Brookland last weekend. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it is owned by the owner of Fusion and the Hitching Post.

  • Anonymous

    White Corner on MD/DC line on Southern Ave

  • Tad

    Took family to Ted’s Bulletin on 14th over the holidays for brunch. Was amazed how mediocre it was. Pretty sure they were cooking with instant eggs.

    • Anonymous

      You go there for the ambiance, not the food. Even their dinner entrees are pretty sub-par.

      • monkeyrotica

        On the plus side, they did manage to switch from sirloin to chuck for their chicken fried steak. I guess the cook finally tasted it and realized that beating the $h!t out of sirloin makes it taste like shoe.

  • Timmyp

    Senart’s on 8th SE is the consensus favorite of my wife and myself. I’m sure that was grammatically incorrect but what can you do.? Seriously though the crushes are great and the scrambles as well as everything we’ve had there are excellent. The dinner is nothing to write home about but the brunch opens at ten which is an hour earlier than most places I’ve found and it’s not crowded. Go you won’t regret it.
    Also, if you have 3 hours to wait for a meal Domku’s breakfast is pretty good. The apelskeivers (no idea how to spell it) are awesome. I won’t go for dinner anymore because it’s mediocre and takes so so so long to get the bad server to get the cooks to saunter back to the kitchen and cook something. When you have time though brunch is not cheap but usually worth it.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve only gone to Senart’s for oysters and the $20 Prime Rib dinner on Tuesday (both of which are excellent).
      Need to try them for breakfast some day.


Subscribe to our mailing list