Five Great DC Brunch Spots for Pancakes

Hint: IHOb isn't on the list.
Five Great DC Brunch Spots for Pancakes
Pancakes from Le Diplomate. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

You’ve probably heard by now that IHOP is rebranding as IHOb, swapping “pancakes” in its name for “burgers.” We don’t appreciate that pancakes are being shortchanged, so here are five other great brunch spots in DC where you can get them:

Bar Pilar

1833 14th St., NW

This no-fuss 14th Street bar serves some of the best hangover food around. The pancake is no exception. It comes topped with buttermilk-fried chicken, maple roasted pork belly, and pickled jalapenos. If you have more of a sweet tooth, opt for the lemon-ricotta and blueberry version with maple syrup and berry preserves.

Ari’s Diner

2003 Fenwick St., NE

Let’s be real: pancakes don’t need to be fancy. At this Ivy City diner, it’s just the basics. No gourmet preserves or toppings—just butter and good ol’ fashioned maple syrup. Get a small stack (two pancakes) for only $5 or a large stack (four) for $8. If you do want to get decorative, blueberries, chocolate chips, and bananas are an extra buck each.

The Riggsby

1731 New Hampshire Ave., NW

Michael Schlow’s hotel eatery is full of nostalgic American classics. The pancakes, though, are an upgrade from what mom used to make. The fluffy buttermilk rounds are dressed up with caramelized bananas, orange zest, and crushed hazelnuts.

The Market Lunch

225 Seventh St., SE

Brave the lines at this Southern comfort food institution inside Eastern Market for the blueberry buckwheat pancakes, a weekend-only special. If berries aren’t your speed, try the gluten-free Johnny cakes, pancakes made with corn flour. Keep in mind it’s cash-only.

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Le Diplomate

1601 14th St., NW

Stephen Starr’s ritzy brasserie on 14th Street serves up one of our favorite comfort foods: a feather-light pancake spiked with honey and vanilla that has all the comfort of a stack you’d make in your pajamas. Ask nicely and the kitchen can top them with blueberries or chocolate chips.


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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Web Fellow

Helen joined Washingtonian in January 2018. She studied Journalism and International Relations at the University of Southern California. She recently won an Online News Award for her work on a project about the effects of the Salton Sea, California’s greatest burgeoning environmental disaster, on a Native American tribe whose ancestral lands are on its shores. Before joining the magazine, Helen worked in Memphis covering education for Chalkbeat. Her work has appeared in USA Today, The Desert Sun, Chalkbeat Tennessee, Sunset Magazine, Indiewire, and others.