Food

9 Great Brunch Spots for DC Winter Restaurant Week

Restaurants dish up three courses for $22, plus drink deals
Pickled shishito peppers cut the richness of Estadio’s tiny, aioli-slathered pork-belly sandwiches. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Brunch is often a great deal for DC Winter Restaurant Week, with three courses going for $22. Mimosas and such will jack up the price, but a few eateries include drink specials as well. Looking for more RW recs? Here are our top picks.

Arroz

901 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Head to restaurateur Mike Isabella’s airy Spanish restaurant for brunch dishes like an heirloom-beet salad with tahini aioli and harissa-spiced shrimp and grits with a poached egg.

Del Mar 

791 Wharf St., SW

Brunch on the riverfront at chef Fabio Trabocchi’s sleek Spanish spot at the Wharf (#3 on this year’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list). The Restaurant Week menu includes two appetizers, a choice of an entree like grilled branzino or wild calamari, and dessert (including one of our favorites: Maria’s flan). We’d also happily brunch at sister Italian restaurant Fiola Mare on the Georgetown waterfront.

Whaley’s

301 Water St., SE

Instead of dessert, guests at Whaley’s are treated to a brunch cocktail like a mimosa or bloody Mary. Seafood is the specialty of this Navy Yard eatery, so we’d go for items like oysters or blue-catfish toast with pickled chilies.

Whaley’s serves its signature oysters for Restaurant Week. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Ghibellina

1610 14th St., NW

Try dishes beyond pizza at this buzzy 14th Street Italian restaurant, which dishes up plates like grilled head-on shrimp over polenta and eggs in spicy tomato sauce. If you’re really craving a pie, their $10 pizza happy hour deal is great, too.

Espita Mezcaleria

1250 9th St., NW

It’s Restaurant Week every weekend at this modern Mexican eatery in Shaw, which offers a three-course menu for $22 on a regular basis. Pick an appetizer like avocado tostadas, and a brunch entree or three-taco plate (dessert is chocolate mousse). Add bottomless drinks for $16.

Estadio 

1520 14th St., NW

Estadio is a bit underrated as a brunch spot, but we’re longtime fans. Try tapas such as jamon croquetas with pickled cucumber or soft-scrambled eggs with goat cheese. Restaurant Week drinks include $7 sangria.

Mediterranean dips and spreads at Kapnos. Photograph by Greg Powers

Kapnos/Kapnos Kouzina/Kapnos Taverna

14th Street, Arlington, Bethesda, College Park

All four locations of Mike Isabella’s Mediterranean restaurants serve Restaurant Week brunch. Menus vary by branch, but look for dishes like Greek dips and spreads with warm flatbreads, breakfast gyros, and coffee-spiked waffles.

Rasika West End 

1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW

Indian fare might not be your first thought for brunch, but we’ve loved chef Vikram Sunderam’s daytime options on Sundays. The eclectic menu includes curries, masala omelets, and vegetarian thali plates—plus that addictive crispy spinach.

Bar Pilar

1833 14th St., NW

Looking for a laid-back brunch on 14th Street? Pilar is a great place. The “hangover cure,” a cheesy, gravy-smothered plate of biscuits and eggs, can fix what ails ya. Go for the “multi-baller” special ($15 first drink, $1 refills) to get back on the horse.

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Anna Spiegel
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.