Like most sane folks in the food world, we’re glad the bacon-blasted early aughts are over. But there’s still a time and a place for massive amounts of bacon—in places you’d never expect!—and that time is brunch. Here are a few spots where swine is the star, not the side dish.
Las Gemelas and Espita Mezcaleria
1280 Fourth St., NE; 1250 9th St NW
Bacon is more centerpiece than sidekick at these sister Mexican spots in Shaw and La Cosecha marketplace. A buttery, four-ounce slab is drizzled with achiote-chili honey—enough for two, but you’ll want to keep it to yourself. If you miss brunch, the tocino is also offered at dinner.
Meats and Foods
247 Florida Ave., NW
With a name like this, you know the bacon is bomb. Shaw’s sausage-and-sandwich shop cures and smokes its own pork belly, which you can order tucked into an egg-and-cheese sandwich, in a gluten-free-friendly bowl, or our favorite, in a delicious breakfast burrito (Saturdays only). Don’t forget to grab a pack to fry up at home.
Call Your Mother, Mercy Me, and Timber Pizza
CYM (Multiple DC, MD, and VA locations); Mercy Me (1143 New Hampshire Ave., NW); Timber (809 Upshur St., NW)
Andrew Dana and chef Daniela Moreira’s carb-tastic trifecta of restaurants brings the bacon in many forms. At “sorta-South American” Mercy Me in Foggy Bottom, we’re fans of the bacon-egg-cheese tacos in the morning, and a BLT in the afternoons stacked with Maryland-made Liberty Farms bacon, local tomatoes, and aji verde-spiked mayo. At Timber, the Penelope is your pie with pesto, mozz, mushrooms, and smoky bacon. And at CYM, the order has to to be a local bacon-egg-cheese with spicy honey on everything—though the nacho-jalapeno cream cheese with crispy slices is a close second.
Mattie and Eddie’s
1301 S Joyce St. D-1, Arlington
Chef Cathal Armstrong does right by his Irish roots at this new gastropub, which serves a delicious all-day Irish breakfast platter that doesn’t skimp on the rashers. Diners can also get Irish bacon in an egg-and-cheese sandwich, or for an entree, try a hunk of crispy pork belly with colcannon potatoes and parsley sauce.
1320 14th St., NW
It would be a shame to overlook a restaurant “that celebrates all things pork” on this list. Here, you can drink your craving away in a bacon-washed bloody Mary, eat bacon in bao-style buns, or on a breakfast platter. Surprisingly, there’s no side of bacon. One has to draw the line somewhere?
I Egg You
423 Eighth St., SE
The Capitol Hill location of Chiko’s gooey, weekend-only breakfast sandwiches on milk bread are a cult hit. The “You Bacon Me Crazy” sandwich is a star with a gooey brown butter-cooked egg, fontina cheese, and “lots o’ bacon” on griddled toast. There’s also a tasty BLT with local tomatoes and peppery Kewpie mayo, and loaded breakfast potatoes with cheese, bacon, and candied jalapenos.
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Hank’s Oyster Bar
Locations in Alexandria, the Wharf, and Dupont Circle
Oysters are in the name, but bacon is in the heart of chef Jamie Leeds’s New England-style eateries. Applewood-smoked bacon shines in the “hangtown fry” (crispy oysters and eggs), a towering BLT with buttermilk-horseradish mayo, and smoky shrimp and grits with ranchero sauce. If you’re more in a lunch mood, the bacon-studded oyster Rockefeller pasta will do the trick.
901 New York Ave., NW
This Southern transplant by way of Miami Beach cures and smokes its own pork belly for homemade bacon—beach bods be damned. It’s delicious as is, or try it in a fried green tomato BLT, atop bacon-maple doughnuts, or in the mammoth crispy chicken-and-egg sandwich.
1207 9th St., NW
Brunch is served daily until 4 PM at chef David Deshaies’s Shaw diner, meaning you can get a bacon-stacked “s’eggs’y sandwich” fix on a regular basis (we do). Also tasty: loaded breakfast biscuits with bacon jam, or the double smash-burger with….seitan. Kidding! It’s bacon.