Acadiana, two Metro stops from the finish line, offers Southern brunch dishes such as the Eggs Acadiana with crawfish crabcakes. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant.
The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run (Sunday, April 1, at 7:30 AM) is so popular among locals and visitors that the lottery has been sold out for weeks. Whether you’ll be running the race, cheering on a friend, or just stopping by the course to send encouragement to the masses, your efforts will warrant a hearty brunch. These ten spots are within a couple miles of the race’s finish line, many are Metro accessible, and all can provide your desired combination of breakfast, lunch, and boozy treats.
Acadiana is two Metro stops–Smithsonian to Metro Center on the Orange Line–or about a mile walk from the finish line, and is the place to go for Southern breakfast and lunch staples. The fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, and shrimp and grits highlight a menu of hearty dishes, many of which have a classic Cajun feel. Blood-orange mimosas and Cajun Mary cocktails are just a buck with the prix-fixe brunch, which runs 11 to 2:30.
Birch & Barley offers a range of brunch options for hungry runners, from chicken and waffles and flatbreads to huevos rancheros and a fried-egg BLT. The fresh-made doughnuts are also favorites, and what better day to indulge than race day? The Logan Circle eatery is a few blocks from the McPherson Square Metro (three stops on the Orange Line from Smithsonian, where the race ends) or a 1.4-mile walk from the finish line. Brunch runs from 11 to 3:30.
Cava Mezze has three homes around town, but the Capitol Hill location is just four Metro stops–Smithsonian to Eastern Market on the Orange Line–or a couple miles’ walk from the race’s end. A menu of sizable Greek plates meant for sharing mixes daytime favorites (think souvlaki and dips of eggplant or roasted red pepper and feta, among other things) with Greekified breakfast dishes such as gyro hash and spicy lamb Benedict. Wash them down with mimosas made with house cava, and maybe even snag a seat outside, if the weather cooperates. Brunch runs from 11:30 to 3.
Founding Farmers is four Metro stops–Smithsonian to Farragut West on the Orange Line–or a 1.3-mile walk from the race’s finish line. This downtown spot, owned by a collective of American family farmers, offers standard breakfast items such as French toast and pancakes, but the most noteworthy dishes feature the farm-fresh eggs; we suggest the Benedicts and hashes. As for libations, try a gin fizz or a house-made (non-alcoholic) seasonal soda with your brunch, which runs 9 to 2.
Georgia Brown’s offers a Sunday jazz brunch from 10 to 2:30 just three Metro stops (Smithsonian to McPherson Square on the Orange Line) or a mile walk from the race. Reservations are strongly encouraged for this part buffet, part made-to-order meal, which will leave you full if not overfull of Low Country fare. Beverages are not included in the $41 price, but coffee and cocktails do round out a menu that includes fried catfish, Carolina gumbo, and an omelet bar.
Montmartre offers crepes and mussels that won’t disappoint and a cheesy croque monsieur for the runner in your group. The small French eatery is four Metro stops (Smithsonian to Eastern Market on the Orange Line) or a two-mile walk from the race, and its brunch runs from 10:30 to 3.
Poste has a lengthy brunch menu that includes everything from bành mí to house-made chocolate or lemon doughnuts to our food critic’s favorite Eggs Hussarde, served poached with crispy potato skins, bacon, and a marchand de vin sauce. A build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and a bottomless mimosa option complete a menu that provides nothing if not variety. Just two Metro stops (Smithsonian to Metro Center on the Orange Line) or a mile walk from the finish line, Poste is certainly worth the trip.
Tabard Inn is a popular spot, where it pays to make a reservation, although patio seating is first come, first served. The Sunday brunch runs from 10:30 to 2:30, and the closest Metro stop is DuPont Circle (four stops and a line change from Smithsonian, where the race ends). Highlights include warm cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and strong cocktails, but plenty of heartier options are available.
Ted’s Bulletin serves breakfast all day, every day, beginning at 7. The homemade pop tarts always receive rave reviews, and the menu includes hefty breakfast burritos, which are none too common in Washington. Steps from the Eastern Market Metro (four Metro stops from Smithsonian) or a 2.3-mile walk from the race, Ted’s offers serious portions and reasonable prices that make it a great post-run option.
Zaytinya offers much of the full menu during brunch, which lasts until 2:30, but additions include Lebanese-style French toast with bananas and orange-blossom honey, and a Greek-style pancake served with Greek yogurt. A Bloody Mary made with harissa and various Turkish coffees are interesting twists on the standard brunch beverages. Near Metro Center (two stops from Smithsonian) or about a mile walk, this Mediterranean creation of José Andrés is among the closest great brunch destinations to the race.
See our Cherry Blossom Festival 2012 Guide here.