To see the rest of our Bar Snacks package, including where to get lobster quesadillas, ham croquetas, and foie gras waffles, click here.
Fried-chicken pancakes and other reasons to grab brunch at a bar.
300 Florida Ave., NW; 202-986-3795
Bar brunches can be rowdy affairs, but the scene at this Spanish-influenced Shaw cider house is airy and serene (despite the fact you can order bottomless sidra). We like to snack on a variety of pintxos such as salt-cod fritters or toasts capped with sour cream, beets, and pine nuts, then share heartier plates such as Basque French toast—or even a killer bone-in rib eye for two.
1833 14th St., NW; 202- 265-1751
Back when 14th Street was without tenants like West Elm and Shinola, Pilar was just a chill spot for locals. Those days are long gone, and at night the place can be a millennial madhouse. Still, you can relax like it’s 2010 during lazy weekend mornings, when a friendly bartender serves up a deliciously potent Bloody Mary plus a mean stack of pancakes laden with fried chicken, pickled jalapeños, and maple syrup.
4866 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 301-312-6160
One of our favorite hangouts in the Maryland burbs dishes up superior sports-bar grub with a side of trivia. (Thanks to one sign tacked on the wall, we now know that in Russia, beer was classified as a soft drink until 2011.) Go for anything crispy—excellent chicken tenders, sweet-potato fries, and brioche French toast battered in Cap’n Crunch.
2017 14th St., NW; 202-450-5757
Order the sourdough pancakes at this cavernous cocktail bar and you’ll get a bottle of warm orange-maple syrup spiked with bourbon. Looking for something stronger? Supersized rum punch or mimosas for groups of four or more can pair with hangover-friendly tater-tot poutine or a fried-chicken sandwich on cheddar-jalapeño waffles.
928 U St., NW; 202-462-7232
Sundays at 2, this bartender-favorite cocktail bar transforms into a faux beach, complete with lawn chairs, an inflatable surfboard, and a deejay playing California-esque tunes. Dig into duck-confit chilaquiles or churros with maple-tamarind cream, and sip on an orange or grapefruit crush—it beats any vodka drink on the Maryland shore.
This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Washingtonian.