5 New DC-Area Breakfast Spots Worth Waking Up For

Get your day started with rice congee or breakfast tacos

Start the day with a coconut latte and fresh doughnut at Little Pearl. Photograph by Anna Meyer, courtesy of Little Pearl

Brunch culture is alive and well in DC, but ambitious new restaurants are giving Washingtonians another reason to get out of bed in the morning: breakfast. Skip the yogurt for something way more interesting—some of the city’s best chefs are dishing up Asian congee, breakfast tacos, and a full steakhouse menu of meats and eggs. 

Little Pearl

921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

We imagine any morning could be bettered by starting at Little Pearl, the casual sibling to chef/owner Aaron Silerverman’s Barracks Row restaurants (Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls). The cafe menu includes treats like a fresh masa breakfast wrap stuffed with eggs, potato, and gruyere or warm vanilla doughnuts (Silverman’s personal favorite). In addition to classic coffee drinks, you’ll find specialty sips like coconut-nutmeg lattes, house-made sesame and hazelnut “milks,” and London fogs brewed with strong Earl Grey tea. Come evening the place turns into a wine bar. Tuesday to Sunday, 8 AM to 2:30 PM.

Brothers and Sisters

1770 Euclid St., NW

Hotel breakfasts often aren’t worth seeking out for non-guests—who wants to pay lobby prices for eggs? But Maketto chef Erik Bruner-Yang is shaking things up at the new Line hotel in Adams Morgan. His restaurant, which specializes in American food prepared through a Taiwanese and Japanese lens, serves an Asian set breakfast for $25 per person. The savory meal includes traditional Asian breakfast foods like cooked seasonal fish, a warm egg custard, and porridge-like congee. Daily, 6:30 to 11 AM.

Rare Steak and Seafood

1595 I St., NW

If steak and eggs is your thing, you’ll want to check out this “Midwest friendly” steakhouse and its new breakfast menu. There’s a full range of cuts, from tenderloin medallions ($27) to a whopping 26-ounce dry-aged T-bone ($75), all served with eggs, hash browns, toast, and the house steak sauce. Not a die-hard carnivore? The morning lineup is pretty big, with healthy options like house granola yogurt ($10), breakfast enchiladas ($16), and for the seafood fans, oysters Rockefeller n’ eggs ($16). Weekdays, 7 to 10 AM in the downstairs tavern.

Nonfiction Coffee at Isabella Eatery

1749 International Drive, Tysons

Restaurateur Mike Isabella’s massive new food hall inside Tysons Galleria serves a wide variety of cuisines (Greek! Sushi!) at all hours. Customers can start the day at his coffee shop. In addition to pour-over brews, fresh pastries, and quiches, look for unusual finds like nutrient-rich keto coffee spiked with butter and coconut oil. (Health nuts love it.) And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are morning cocktails like a fancy white Russian with vodka, coconut milk, and cold brew. Monday through Saturday, 7 AM to 8 PM; Sunday 7 AM to 6 PM.

Taco Bamba DC

777 I St., NW (Inside Del Campo)

The good news is twofold for chef Victor Albisu’s Taco Bamba pop-up inside his fancier South American grill, Del Campo. First: the counter-service taqueria will become a permanent fixture inside the Penn Quarter restaurant. And second: breakfast will launch in the coming weeks. No fixed date has been set, but if the lineup is similar to the three stand-alone Taco Bambas in Virginia, expect morning dishes like chorizo and egg-stuffed breakfast tacos, sopes, enchiladas, and more. Launch date and times TBD.

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.