We like relaxing at a Four Seasons Champagne brunch as much as anyone, but with the government shutdown edging into its second week, purse strings are getting tighter. Browse our list of more affordable options, from truly cheap dishes to deals at fancier restaurants and mimosas galore.
1319-C Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-251-7878
Your tab will depend on the number of dumplings, chili-oil-slicked wontons, and dan-dan noodles you order, but nothing on the Northern-style menu will burn a hole in your wallet—dishes typically run $1 to $6. Even better: Dim sum is a daily affair, meaning you can brunch on a weekday.
Details: Monday through Friday 11:30 to 9 and Saturday and Sunday 10 to 9.
Also check out: Hong Kong Pearl. The Falls Church dim sum house is among the best (and still inexpensive), with standout dumplings and roast pig.
3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-465-9360
Hearty eaters get plenty of bang for their buck at Liberty’s $21 all-you-can-eat spread. The breakfast table is heaped with fluffy scrambled eggs, breakfast meats and pastries, fried chicken, smoked salmon, and more. Drinks will cost you extra, but not much—a Bloody with a beer back is only $6.
Details: Saturday and Sunday 9:30 to 3; $21 for adults, $8.50 for kids.
Also check out: Eventide. The Sunday brunch brings a similar spread in Arlington for $19.
1100 Florida Ave., NW; 202-265-1586
There’s a reason this no-frills diner has been around since 1944. You won’t find crowds milling on the sidewalk, but sometimes brunch is best when it’s hassle-free. Miss Bertha’s breakfast special ($11.95) will do well by big appetites—it includes hotcakes, breakfast meats, two eggs, and grits. A smaller (and cheaper) option: a spicy half-smoke and eggs ($7.25).
Details: The all-day breakfast runs Tuesday through Saturday 8 to 9 and Sunday 8 to 4:30.
Also check out: Ted’s Bulletin. Both the Capitol Hill and 14th Street branches are fancier that the Grill (meaning you can drink mimosas), but the Big Mark Breakfast is still a deal at $13.29 for three eggs, two pieces each of bacon and sausage, hashbrowns, toast, and a house-made pop-tart.
1101 Kenyon St., NW; 202-232-5263
This Columbia Heights neighborhood dive may be a scene on weekend nights, but it’s relaxed come daytime. Post up on the patio in warmer weather and pick between $11 bottomless mimosas—poured from the bottle, not some weak pre-mixed concoction—or unlimited coffee for just $2. Brunch fare is also tasty and affordable, with typically pricey platters like bagels and lox for only $10.79.
Details: Saturday 11 to 3 and Sunday 10 to 2.
Also check out: Irish Whiskey. For those looking to really fall down the rabbit hole, this Dupont Irish bar/restaurant offers a $1 bottle of bubbly for every person purchasing $10 worth of food.
BOTTOMLESS EVERYTHING (No small potatoes, but remember, you won’t really need to eat or drink anything for the rest of the day)
2208 14th St., NW; 202-986-8729
The new 14th Street branch of the international chain just launched “pizza brunch,” where $30.95 gets you all-you-can-eat pizza and all-you-can-drink mimosas, bellinis, and other brunch cocktails. The food and drinks can also be ordered separately for about $15 each. The menu includes classic thin-crust pies and more brunch-specific options, with toppings including bacon and eggs and smoked salmon, as well as a dessert pizza with Nutella and strawberries.
Details: Saturday and Sunday 11 to 3.
Also check out: Richard Sandoval eateries El Centro D.F. (14th Street and Georgetown), Masa 14, and Ambar. They’re only a tad pricier—$35 for a never-ending parade of eclectic small plates and brunch drinks.
3311 Connecticut Avenue, NW; 202-244-6750
Want to impress the parents without breaking the bank? Ashok Bajaj’s buzzy eatery stands out from the pack, pouring unlimited J. Roget Champagne and mimosas with fresh-squeezed juice to accompany a two-course meal, all for $27. (À la carte is also available, but not a particular deal.) Standout dishes in the past have included crispy brussels sprouts, gnocchi, grilled salmon chops, and a burger.
Details: Saturday and Sunday 11 to 3.
Also check out: Farmers Fishers Bakers. Fill up before taking the family around Georgetown at this brunch buffet overlooking the waterfront ($30 per person). It also includes complimentary coffee and is free for kids under six.
What’s your favorite budget brunch spot? Let us know in the comments.