Brunch Spotlight: Hunter’s Head Tavern

It’s a long weekend, the perfect time for a jaunt to Upperville for eggs Benedict or a killer French dip.

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Hunter’s Head Tavern, home of the irresistible French dip. Photograph courtesy of Hunter’s Head Tavern.

The coffee: Virginia’s own Lexington Coffee Roasters

The mood: Relaxed. This is Virginia hunt country, so amid the local families and weekend visitors, you may find folks fresh off a ride popping into the pub for a Boddingtons.

One of my favorite weekend activities is heading out to Upperville, Virginia—along the farm-and vineyard-lined stretch of John Mosby Highway—for brunch at Hunter’s Head Tavern. In summer, the shady garden at this English-style pub is perfect for sipping local wine and reading a book. With its blazing wood fire, the log-cabin-walled dining room is the place to be during the colder months. Pub fare such as standout crispy fried oysters, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips is always available if you arrive too late for the lunch/brunch menus. But I’d suggest waiting to meander through hunt country until after the meal, and arrive in time to order the French dip sandwich. Eggs Benedict and house-cured bacon are tempting, but I always go for that crunchy roll stuffed with thin-sliced prime rib and served with rich, warm beef jus for dipping. The tavern sources meat and sustainably harvested seafood from neighboring organic Ayrshire Farm—there’s also a farm store in nearby Middleburg—and these fresh ingredients shine in its simple preparations. Pace yourself: The pecan-bourbon bread pudding is another must-try.

Saturday lunch is served 11:30 to 3 at Hunter’s Head Tavern. Brunch is offered each Sunday from 11:30 to 2:30.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.