Food

8 Tropical Brunch Spots for Island Eats and Frozen Drinks

Make it a Mai Tai morning.

Spam fried rice at Coconut Club. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Coconut Club
540 Penn St., NE
Chef Adam Greenberg just started brunch at his bright Hawaiian-style eatery near Union Market. You’ll have a hard time picking between all the brunch cocktails—we have our eye on the Campari and gin-spiked frosé or rum-infused coconut-spiced Hawaiian coffee. Food is broken down into “breakfasty stuff” and “lunchy stuff,” so you’re good to go whether you’re craving loco moco or fish tacos.

Tiki on 18th
2411 18th St., NW
DC’s newest tiki bar opens Saturday in Adams Morgan and serves its first all-day tiki brunch on Sunday (and they mean all day: noon to 8 PM). Classic tikis like Mai Tais and a frosty “Missionary’s Downfall” come courtesy of a team of bar industry vets, while Jo-Jo Valenzuela from The Game below dishes up enchiladas, tostadas, and egg tacos.

The “Owen The Turtle Hater” cocktail. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
The “Owen The Turtle Hater” cocktail at Tiki TNT. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Tiki TNT
1130 Maine Ave., SW
Hit Todd Thrasher’s three-story tiki bar at the Wharf for frosty drinks and water views—especially good from the rooftop if you can take the heat. The brunch menu has group-friendly options like daiquiri pitchers ($25) and beer buckets ($20) alongside island eats like rum buns and “tiki hash” (tater tots, pulled pork, egg, cheese). If you can’t get over on the weekend, the bar just started serving weekday lunch and will do so through Labor Day.

Hula Girl
4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington
Shirlington’s sunny Hawaiian eatery goes all-in on Saturdays, serving an all-you-can-eat menu of island-style small plates like kalua pork, Spam-and-eggs, and macadamia nut bread pudding ($30 adults; $15 kids under 12). An a la carte menu is also available throughout the weekend. For drinks, pick between several styles of bloodies, tropical mimosas, or rum “brunch punch.” 

 

Hula Girl. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Tortuga Caribbean Bar & Grill
514 8th St., SE
Order up a round of rum-coconut-pineapple painkillers on the patio of this colorful Capitol Hill hangout. Brunch dishes give an island spin to the classics such as coconut shrimp and waffles or a Creole Benedict with peppers and crispy bacon.

Colada Shop
1405 T St., NW; 21430 Epicerie Plaza, Sterling
These bright Cuban cafes combines fast-casual service with a leisurely setting. (Go early if you want to guarantee a table, because folks tend to linger.) Grab a cortado coffee or delicious pina colada, tortilla breakfast sandwiches, or an avocado tostada. In DC,  an atmospheric rooftop is also an option.

Colada Shop. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

Port-au-Prince
7912 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
What started as a weekly brunch pop-up has evolved into one of the DC-area’s only full-fledged Haitian restaurants. On Sundays, chef Roberto Massillon serves an all-you-can-eat menu with dishes like soup joumou, oxtail stew, and eggs with vegetables ($25 per person; $17 kids under 13). Bottomless mimosas are an extra $10, or go for cocktails like the house punch or Barbancourt rum mojitos.

El Techo
606 Florida Ave., NW
Tropically flavored frozen margaritas and frosé keep things cool on the lush rooftop of this Shaw spot. In addition to tacos, look for brunch dishes like a tostada tower and breakfast nachos. 

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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.