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D.C. Hot Spots II- Brunch, Steak, & Cocktails

If you are looking for bottomless mimosas and the best DJ for your next brunch, then this blog isn't for you. I am not sure if it is my age showing, but I prefer a more relaxed vibe, while enjoying my eggs and sipping my Bloody Mary. Call me strange, but I actually like to hear what my friends are saying at the table and I don't want to feel like I'm in the hottest club trying to compete with the music. Below is a list of great brunch spots where it is all about the amazing food and not the extra hype.

Brunch Around Town...

  • Le Diplomate French bistro- my go to brunch spot and everyone else's! (Logan Circle)

  • Residents Cafe & Bar It's never too early for their famous Espresso Martini (Dupont)

  • Dauphine's New Orleans brunch with live jazz on Sunday! (Midtown)

  • Unconventional Diner Fried chicken & biscuits or Caribbean shrimp & grits! (Shaw)

  • Shilling Canning Company $35 three course, prix fix menu (Navy Yard)

  • Farmers Fishers Bakers Buffet Brunch (Georgetown Waterfront)

  • ilili Restaurant Lebanese fare- try the spicy, egg-topped shakshuka. (Wharf)

  • The Pembroke Lobster Benedict or Brioche French Toast hard to choose! (Dupont)

  • Compass Rose $30 food tour and dine alfresco in a train car. (Logan Circle)

  • Maiz 64 Modern homage to authentic Mexican cuisine, but if you want to keep the party going checkout the Mezcal Room. (Logan Circle)

Casual Cafes I Love...

  • Tatte Bakery & Cafe Boston based cafe (West End/ Dupont)

  • Blue Stone Lane An Australian inspired coffee shop & cafe (West End location)

  • Baker's Daughter Michelin-starred Gravitas chef Matt Baker’s all-day cafe (Ivy City)

  • Call Your Mother Inventive bagel sandwiches beside Mercy Me (West End location)

  • A Baked Joint Carbs galore & all-day breakfast sandwiches (Mt Vernon Triangle)

  • Commissary Something for everybody: Pancakes, eggs, smoothies, & cocktails (Logan Circle)

I felt I could't talk about the food scene here in D.C. and not mention the many steak houses that are filled with political power players sipping great wine and savoring delicious steaks. I have to admit I am not a steak lover, but my husband is, so we frequently find ourselves on a Friday night in one of these establishment and to all my pescatarians, I do love all the amazing fish options.


As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Off the Record at the Hay Adams is considered an iconic historical bar which serves great cocktails. However, there are several other hidden gems in the city and some you might not even notice.

Speak Easies & Cocktail Bars-

  • Silver Lyan Famed London-based bartender, Ryan Chetiyawardana, "Mr Lyan" serves innovative cocktails at Riggs Hotel in the former bank's building vault. (Penn Quarter)

  • Denson Liquor Bar Art Deco Lovers? Head down the stairs across from the fire station to be transported back to 1920 and enjoy this hidden gem. (Penn Quarter- 6th & F)

  • The Setting Surrounded by Alice in Wonderland-esque clocks and an LED hologram floor experience 5 cocktails accompanied by a 10 course pairing curated by chef John Snyder from José Andrés' minibar. (West End)

  • L'Annexe Another neighborhood favorite... serving a signature spin on the classic cocktail and great bites. I promise it will be hard to choose!(Georgetown)

  • Serenata- Inside La Cosecha Market are two of D.C.'s most celebrated drink connoisseurs, Daniella Senior of Michelin-starred restaurant Bresca and Juan Coronado, José Andrés' “cocktail innovator (Union Market)

  • Allegory hidden behind a nondescript door in the hotel Eaton's Radical Library. Not just blending craft cocktails, but art, literature, and social justice. (Downtown)

  • Kaimaki Chef Stefanelli's wine/cocktail and mezze bar adjacent to Philotimo.

  • ĀKĒDO Make your way to the back of SHŌTŌ for this speakeasy lounge, serving cocktails and bottle service while the DJ sets the mood. (Midtown)

  • Smoke & Mirrors Newest rooftop bar with unobstructed views of the Capitol. (Navy Yard)

Smaller & Very Hidden

  • Out of Office Step away from your desk and travel the world with this global inspired cocktail menu. Upstairs from Manifest (Adams Morgan)

  • The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speakeasy A cozy hidden bar at The Graham, offers live Jazz on Thursdays! Head upstairs for their Rooftop bar (Georgetown)

  • The Gibson Elegant candle-lit bar with classic cocktails (U & 14th St)

  • Left Door Like the name implies, choose the door on the left to find this intimate space with amazing drinks (14th and S)

  • The Mirror Retro craft cocktails hidden down a secret passage behind a glass mirror. (Downtown)

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