Food

Hate Brunch? Check Out These Great Weekend Lunch Spots

Move over, mimosas (and the annoying people who drink them).
The Messy at Smoked and Stacked. Photograph by Scott Suchman

All-Purpose
1250 9th St., NW; 79 Potomac Ave., SE
Both the original Shaw location and new Navy Yard space dish up tasty pizzas and Italian-American fare like Caesar salads and Italian hoagies for weekend lunch. Head to the latter for prime patio seating and water ice-inspired cocktails.

Smoked and Stacked
1239 9th St., NW
Some of the city’s best pastrami can be found at this Shaw sandwich shop, served on soft, sweet milk-bread buns baked fresh each day. (Try the Reuben-like Messy.) We’re also fans of the the Chicky Chick with smoked chicken, lettuce, and tomato.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
1309 Fifth St., NE
Grab a high-top chair or one of the coveted tables at this Union Market oyster bar for some of the city’s best bivalves, divine oyster stew, and creative seasonal seafood plates.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar serves some of the city’s best bivalves. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Peking Gourmet Inn
6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
While the weekend crowds pack dim sum parlors, we’re happy to dig into founder Eddie Tsui’s peking duck carved-table side at this Falls Church institution (also delicious: shrimp with garlic shoots).

The Royal
501 Florida Ave., NW
LeDroit Park’s neighborhood cafe runs morning through late-night, with tasty Latin-influenced eats and drinks at all hours. After breakfast, the afternoon/evening menu kicks in at noon with arepas, salads, and sandwiches. Daily happy hour starts early at 3 PM (noon on Mondays). 

Etto
1541 14th St., NW
You’ll find a few brunch-y items like baked eggs and breakfast pizzas at this airy 14th Street Italian, but the kitchen still serves plenty of lunch fare. Go heavy on vegetable small plates and split one of their gorgeous pies. The vibe is serene, especially on the patio in nice weather.

best brunch for people who hate brunch
Avant-garde fare for naturalists at Patowmack Farm. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
42461 Lovettsville Rd., Lovettsville, VA
Chef Tarver King’s greenhouse turned dining room is a destination for food lovers/naturalists—a place where ingredients are both grown and foraged on the organic farm. It’s even lovelier in the day with an a la carte menu and views of surrounding fields. Both lunch and brunch options are available, but the latter is a far cry from the usual. Think savory four-grain porridge with duck liver parfait.

Sushiko
5455 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, MD
Sushiko’s generous, bargain-friendly lunch specials are offered on the weekends. There’s a combo for $17 (app and entree), or a four-course option for $30 with signatures like smoked mussel miso soup, hot rock wagyu, and sushi. 

Thip Khao and Padaek
3462 14th St., NW; 6395 Seven Corners Ctr., Falls Church
Wake up your weekend with the fiery, pungent, bright flavors of Lao cooking at these sister restaurants in Columbia Heights and Falls Church.  The core menu still excites—fragrant larb salads, crunchy fried catfish showered in herbs—but stay on the lookout for limited-run specials such as grilled whole fish or mee khati (coconut noodle soup).

Thip Khao serves a bounty of flavor. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Kogiya
4220-A Annandale Road, Annandale
What’s more fun than gathering a bunch of friends and going for Korean barbecue on a weekend day? All-you-can-eat gets a bad rap at most places, but at this KBQ joint, it’s one of the best ways to attack the menu. For $21 at lunch get your fill of spicy pork belly, fatty brisket, and other meats grilled on the table.

Compass Rose
1346 T St., NW
This atmospheric 14th Street restaurant technically serves Sunday brunch, but that just translates to one special egg dish (shakshuka) and a mimosa special. Otherwise the place is open all day serving its regular menu of globe-trotting dishes.

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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.