Late-Night Brunch, Southern Small Plates at Arlington’s Tupelo Honey Cafe

The Asheville, North Carolina-based eatery brings indulgent options to Courthouse.

Tupelo Honey Cafe brings creative Southern fare, late-night brunch, and massive bloodies to Arlington. Photography courtesy of Tupelo Honey Cafe.

We’re accustomed to seeing bacon bloody Marys by now. Roasted yellow tomato bloodies packed with ten different garnishes, including pimento-cheese stuffed olives, grilled shrimp, and pickled jalapeño? Not so much. Welcome Tupelo Honey Cafe, an Asheville, North Carolina-based eatery that just debuted in Courthouse. Like the signature Queen Mary, the Southern fare runs creative and comforting, if not all-out indulgent.

The Queen Mary, a ten-garnish bloody.

The Arlington branch is the newest for the Southern chainlet, with nine other locations in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Certain signatures travel across the board, such as fried green tomatoes, crispy buttermilk chicken, a and shrimp n’ goat cheese grits. Arlington’s 202-seat spot boasts several new additions, tailored to the DC market—so yes, happy hour and Southern small plates. On the snacking side you’ll find dishes like Tennessee ham wontons, mini crab cakes, and pulled pork-stuffed Appalachian egg rolls. A few of the plates go for $6 during happy hour, alongside $3 drafts, and “Ode to Eleanor Roosevelt” sparkling sangria on tap—more of a nod to the restaurant’s Washington location than ER’s love for sangria and/or kegged cocktails (we pegged her as a barrel-aged Negroni gal).

Night owls will be partial to “moonrise brunch,” served on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 pm to 1 am. The kitchen plans to serve more small plates of the breakfast variety, such bacon-biscuit sliders, chorizo-egg tacos, and pain perdue. Drinkers will find sparkling cocktails and DIY Old Fashioneds. Should you need a hangover-cure brunch after late-night brunch, the “shoo mercy cheesy grill” should do the trick—a monster sourdough grilled cheese stuffed with melty havarti and pimento, caramelized onions, maple-pepper bacon, smoked ham, and fried green tomatoes. The dish is served with a mug of soup, because, you know, fries would be over the top.

Look for lunch and dinner at Tupelo alongside the two brunches, as well as a kid’s menu for all hours.

Tupelo Honey Cafe. 1616 N. Troy St., Arlington; 703-253-8140. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday, 11 to 11; Friday and Saturday 11 to 1; Sunday 11 to 10. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday, 9 to 3. Happy hour Monday through Thursday, 4 to 7. Reservations accepted, and free parking after 6.

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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.