Après-ski at Stable
1324 H St., NE
The only Swiss restaurant in DC makes a cozy destination for brunch, especially if you opt for fondue or raclette tables on a cold day. The weekend a la carte menu includes Swiss comforts like warm doughnuts or potato rosti pancakes.
Beef up your brunch at St. Anselm
1250 5th St., NE
Grab a deep booth—or better yet, warm stool by the broilers—at Stephen Starr and Joe Carroll’s retro American tavern by Union Market. A butcher steak n’ eggs is a good way to go on the meaty menu, which also has hearty options like fried oysters with grits and a caveman-esque axe handle ribeye. After brunch you can take shelter at Union Market, sip a warming rum drink at neighboring Cotton & Reed distillery, or catch a flick at the Angelika pop-up.
Spice things up at Pappe
1317 14th St., NW
This modern Indian spot on 14th Street doesn’t shy away from the heat (though the kitchen is happy to adjust the spice per order). The new brunch lineup features Indian spins on classics—think a Goan crab cake Benedict with chili hollandaise or an masala-spiced “Bloody Rassam” cocktail. There’s also a good looking thali platter with egg curry, veggie dishes, rice, naan, sauces, and pickles.
Brunch by the fire at Iron Gate
1734 N St., NW
Chef Anthony Chittum’s snug dining room (formerly a stable house) boasts two wood-burning fires: one in the kitchen and the other amongst the tables. All the better for digging into Mediterranean plates such as an oak-grilled lamb burger.
Go bottomless at Buena Vida
8407 Ramsey Ave., Silver Spring
Ambar restaurateur Ivan Iricanin is the all-you-can-eat master, serving unlimited menus across his hospitality group. His sunny Mexican spot makes a nice escape from the chill, where you can feast on all the tacos, guac, chilaquiles, tortas, and margaritas you want for a mere $35 per person.
Set your mouth on fire at Thip Khao/Padaek
3462 14th St., NW; 6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church
Chef Seng Luangrath’s Laotian restaurants are full of fiery chilies, bright herbs, comforting soups, and curry noodles—basically everything we want on a cold day. The DC location has the benefit of cocktail menu boasting warm libations, including a hot Scotch drink with coconut and spices.
Channel the sun at Kith and Kin
801 Wharf St., SW
Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s Afro-Caribbean menu nods to warmer, sunnier climes (and that Ethiopian hot chicken sandwich is guaranteed to spice up your day). The window-walled dining room overlooking the water gives the feeling of being outside, without, you know, having to go there.
Carb-load at Ellē
3221 Mt Pleasant St., NW
One of the best new restaurants in DC isn’t just a dinner destination. This Mt. Pleasant cafe/bakery opens early for hot coffee drinks and warm, fresh-baked croissants, toasts, muffins, and more. We could happily spend a few hours in the pretty vintage space with the paper and a house-smoked brisket breakfast sandwich.
Get cozy at Mintwood Place
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
This Adams Morgan neighborhood spot is one of the coziest restaurants in town—credit all the warm wood and comforting dishes like French onion soup, superb Benedicts, and the notorious “hangover special.” Snag a deep booth or pillow-laden nook by the window for maximum relaxation.
Hole up at Royal
501 Florida Ave., NW
Whatever you need, this comfy all-day Latin cafe in LeDroit Park has you covered. Look for turmeric lattes and guava pastries in the morning, arepas and spicy hot chocolate in the afternoon, and daily happy hour (including hot cocktails) starting at 3 PM (and noon on Mondays).