Brunch in an igloo at the Watergate
2650 Virginia Ave., NW
One of the most festive spots for Sunday brunch is in the decked-out igloos at the Watergate hotel. The heated domes, which seat two-to-eight, are filled with twinkly lights, warming blankets, and other cheery touches. Guests can order from Kingbird’s brunch and mimosa menu. Reservations are required (and note there are rental fees and food/beverage minimums).
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 Berliner doughnuts filled with jam or potato rosti pancakes.
Beef up your brunch at St. Anselm
1250 5th St., NE
Grab a deep booth—or better yet, a 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. 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 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 these cozy spots
What’s better than a bennie by the hearth? These spots will warm up your weekend afternoon, whether you’re settling in with your hubby next to the wood-burning hearth at Iron Gate, cuddling under blankets next to a fire pit on Hazel‘s winter patio, or catching up with pals at the Tombs.
Set your mouth on fire at Thip Khao/Padaek/Sen Khao
3462 14th St., NW; 6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church
Chef Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradacith’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 warming libations. At the new fast-casual Tysons food hall location you can fill up on hearty “Laowich” sandwiches.
Channel the sun at Kith and Kin
801 Wharf St., SW
Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s Afro-Caribbean menu nods to warmer, sunnier climes—and the crab jollof rice or goat roti 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
This lovely 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, steamy London fog, and house-smoked brisket breakfast sandwich.
Get comfy at Mintwood Place
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
This Adams Morgan neighborhood spot is one of the coziest restaurants in the winter—credit all the warm wood, holiday decorations, 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.
Go coastal at Anafre
3704 14th St., NW
The newest restaurant from Mezcalero/El Sol chef Alfredo Solis channels the sunshine of coastal Mexico. Sip a mezcal-infused piña colada and dig into dishes from the all-day menu like Yucatan shrimp tostadas, guacamole with crab, and whole snapper Veracruz—all while pretending it’s not below 50 degrees outside.
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 matcha lattes and guava pastries in the morning, warming arepas and rum-coconut-chili cocktails in the afternoon, and daily happy hour starting at 3 PM (and noon on Mondays).
Go from day to night at Woodmont Grill
7715 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda
Is it daytime? You’d never know at this ever-popular Hillstone Restaurant Group spot in Bethesda, where the lighting is always set to a dim glow—perfect for settling into one of the deep booths that surround every table—and the afternoon pours of vino are generous. The brunch-minded can order an omelet but we have a hard time passing up anything with “dip” in the name: the warm spinach-artichoke dip to start followed by a French dip sandwich.