From chic cafes to delectable bakeries, start your day at these epic D.C. breakfast destinations
If you think you’re not a morning person, think again. It’s all about finding the right breakfast joint to jumpstart your day. It is the most important meal after all. Whether you’re hunting for fresh-baked bagels, morning mimosas, or vegan options galore, these nine breakfast spots in Washington, D.C., have got you covered.
Mark Furstenberg envisioned a bakery that served traditional European-inspired grain breads. In 2014, he opened Bread Furst in the northeast corner of Washington, D.C., doing exactly that. Now 80, Mark continues to serve D.C. with an organic approach to baking that delivers ancient grains on a rotating weekly schedule. Come for milkbread on Monday, challah on Friday, and chocolate cherry bread on Saturday. Before work, pick up a croissant or cinnamon glazed monkey bread (or both!) with a chai latte or be the office hero and arrive with breakfast boxes for everyone.
David Guas’ Louisiana-inspired restaurant is located across the Potomac in Arlington. Swing by for a taste of southern hospitality. The chef’s New Orleans heritage heavily influenced the menu, so stop in on a weekday for freshly baked buttermilk biscuits or gather your friends for BBQ pork biscuits, Bayou bloody marys, and – of course – beignets. If one visit isn’t enough, double back after work during happy hour weekdays from 4–7 p.m. for half-priced bottles of wine or delight in buy-one-get-one baked goods from 5–7 p.m.
With over 500 bakeries across the world, it’s no surprise that there are seven convenient locations near Washington, D.C., luxury estates. This 130-year-old patisserie was founded in Croix, France, and holds tight to a tradition of excellence that has been crafted over five generations. Bite into a raisin Danish or a chocolate almond croissant for a sweet morning treat, or if you’re not a pastry person, try a Paris ham, egg & and cheese baguette. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to make a croissant run even if you hit the snooze button a time or two.
If you are crunched for time in the morning, a bagel might be your go-to breakfast bite. Bullfrog Bagels serves the D.C. area with three locations, and they pride themselves on serving delicious food with high-quality ingredients. So when you order an everything bagel with pastrami-crusted smoked salmon, you can rest assured that they smoked and seasoned it all in-house. With loads of add-ons available, customers can create the bagelwich of their dreams. Try a turkey, egg, avocado, and cheese on a poppy bagel with extra bacon and tomato, or a cinnamon raisin bagel with honey walnut cream cheese and a bit of their seasonal jam. In a pinch, orders can be made online and will be available for pickup or delivered right to you the next day. No more skipping breakfast in your future!
Juniper is to breakfast restaurants what Madonna is to pop music: iconic and timeless. The one-name restaurant will have you singing its praises in no time. If Maryland crab cakes, grilled octopus, and steak tartare aren’t enough to convince you that this breakfast is worth your while, their two-hour bottomless mimosas and bloody mary bar will. With a courtyard located inside the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown hotel, breakfast opens at 7 a.m. every day and stretches until 11 a.m. Juniper’s focus on togetherness makes this the perfect place for family-style dining.
This corner shop harkens to Viennese bakeries for their delectable pastries and locally roasted coffee. Their specialty pastry is a German “butterkuchen,” which relies on butter for its distinctive texture, but otherwise, their entire pastry menu is vegetarian-friendly, ranging from salty toffee oat cookies to blueberry financiers made with almond flour. Penn Quarter wouldn’t be the same without ham and Gruyere on croissants baked daily. As an independent business, Bakers & Baristas understands the importance of community, so they work closely with their neighbors at Vigilante Coffee Roasters. After work, they host weekly music nights from 7–9 p.m., so don’t be afraid to become a regular.
On the weekend, head over to Le Diplomate for a photograph-worthy Parisian brunch. This chic, French-inspired café can be found right around the corner on 14th Street and looks as if it has simply been cut and pasted straight from Montmartre. The brasserie’s undeniable aesthetic appeal still pales in comparison to their enticing menu. Whether you order a half dozen oysters, traditional onion soup “gratinée,” or duck “sarladaise” from their wide-ranging brunch fares, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that isn’t visually stunning and incredibly delicious. Next Saturday, grab a seat on a sidewalk two top and cut into eggs “vol-au-vent” for a breakfast that will transport you across the Atlantic.
Since 2005, Busboys and Poets has fostered creativity, activism, and delicious scrambled eggs. Langston Hughes-inspired owner Andy Shallal named the restaurant as an homage to Hughes’ legacy. Aside from the delightful vegan-friendly menu, which ranges from “mekhleme” (Iraqi corned beef hash) to gluten-free French toast, all seven of their D.C. locations are gathering spots that celebrate, you guessed it, poetry as well as art, music, and sustainability. The weekly poetry open mic nights encourage poets, both established and emerging, to use their voices. When you stop here for a cinnamon caramel latte and sweet potato pancakes, you’re also feeding your soul.
Michelin-star winner Blue Duck Tavern will not disappoint, whether you’re searching for a lavish weekday breakfast or a decadent weekend brunch. Open daily at 6:30 a.m., the restaurant aims to serve upscale American cuisine that shifts with the seasons in order to provide the freshest produce available. This rustic kitchen features an artisanal approach to the culinary arts that brings familiar yet indulgent dishes to the table, like roasted coffee waffles with Chantilly cream and farmhouse baked eggs. Reservations are recommended at Blue Duck Tavern, so be sure to call ahead or risk missing out on their honey-ginger smoked salmon.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal or toast anymore. These nine restaurants have broken barriers to serve breakfasts that are healthy and heavenly, sweet and savory. If you’ve got a craving for a beautiful home, contact me today and take a bite out of Washington, D.C., real estate.