Ricotta pancakes at Vermilion in Alexandria. Photographer by Leading DC
1120 King St., Alexandria
Old Town’s longstanding seasonal American restaurant recently reopened with fresh talent at the helm: chef Ben Pflaumer, an alum of Michelin-starred Masseria. As with his dinner menu, brunch homes in on local ingredients—some with an Italian twist—with dishes like Maryland crab croquettes; ricotta pancakes with peaches and brown butter; bucatini carbonara; or a BLT with avocado and late-summer tomatoes. The bar pours mimosas and bloodies, but we’re eyeing the Blackberry 75 with sparkling wine and a berry shrub. Details: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 to 2:30.
1250 Ninth St., NW
The phantom burger-and-cheesesteak shop that materialized during the pandemic has morphed into a full-service Shaw restaurant (formerly Espita). Brunch burgers are, of course, plentiful—but there’s also a morning menu with diner-style classics like breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and egg platters with hash browns and breakfast meats (including Maryland favorite, scrapple). Details: Brunch items available Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM.
633 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Punch up your brunch game at the Capitol Hill sandwich bar, where chef Andrew Markert doesn’t hold back on meaty creations. Take the “brisket biscuit” with smoked brisket, pimiento cheese, spicy pickles, and bacon jam on a homemade buttermilk round, or a breakfast burrito loaded with taco meat, Fritos, pico de gallo, scrambled eggs, cheddar, and hot sauce. A riff on an Irish coffee will put you in fighting form with Jameson, local Swings brew, chocolate bitters, and Tang soda-infused foam. Details: Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM to 4 PM.
2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
The team behind Elle in Mt. Pleasant just opened its highly anticipated spot at Foggy Bottom’s Western Market food hall. The Italian-inspired venture, headed by chef Vincent Falcone, includes a daytime cafe serving coffee drinks, boozy canned spritzes, homemade pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches—think eggs with brisket and cheese or a muffaletta—fancy toasts, and grandma-style slices . An all-day restaurant and bar has more sit-down options like fresh pastas and seasonal vegetable plates, with weekend brunch coming soon. Details: Cafe (daily, 8 AM to 5 PM); restaurant and bar (currently weekdays, noon to 9 PM).
2525M St., N.W.
The DC branch of Nobu’s global Japanese chain will serve its first brunch this Sunday. New sushi chef Micheole Dator—an eight-year veteran of Nobu kitchens in Malibu, Lanai, and Kuala Lumpur—helped create the prix-fixe ($65 per person). Brunch begins with a sushi bento box followed by a choice of entrees like salmon-and- ikura Benedict on crispy rice cakes, avocado toast with miso scrambled eggs, and more. For dessert, there’s house-made gelato and sorbet, or splurge on brunch cocktails like a sake-spiked bloody Mary. Details: Sundays only, 11:45 AM to 2:30 PM.
3211 Mount Pleasant St., NW
Snagging a weekend breakfast taco is no guarantee at this Mount Pleasant hotspot, which opened last month with lines down the block (even on weekdays). Get there early for the Texas-style treats: bundles of fluffy eggs, beans, cheese, fried potatoes, and meats like brisket or bacon all wrapped up in homemade flour tortillas. Details: Wednesday through Sunday, 7:30 AM to 1 PM.