7 Brunch Spots Near the National Mall’s Cherry Blossoms

Seafood towers, Benedicts, and mimosas, all within walking distance of the blooms.

Photograph courtesy of

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This post has been updated from an earlier version.

Planning a stroll around the National Mall and Tidal Basin? Here’s where to grab brunch after a morning of blossom-viewing.


Colada Shop

10 Pearl St., SW

The Wharf location of this ever-expanding local chainlet of Cuban/Dominican cafes is a primo spot for a pastry (we go for the guava pastelito) or a pressed breakfast sandwich and a coffee with crema. Rum cocktails go down easy, too. Look for fun specials, like a minty, mojito-inspired cold brew. Note that the Wharf is less than a 15 minute walk from the Tidal Basin, but a bit of a hike from other spots on the National Mall, like the Lincoln Memorial.


Del Mar

791 Wharf St., SW

Feel like splurging? Head to Fabio Trabocchi’s glittery waterfront Spanish restaurant for gorgeous seafood towers, plates of Iberico ham, and a butifarra-topped breakfast paella. Finish with a round of churros.


Hank’s at the Wharf

701 Wharf St., SW

Treat yourself to a hangtown fry (scrambled eggs and fried oysters) or a delicious lobster roll at this Wharf outpost of Hank’s Oyster Bar. A large patio is open in warm weather for sipping mimosas or knocking back oyster shooters by the water. 



480 Seventh St., NW

When Jaleo opened in 1993, tapas-style dining was still a relatively foreign concept in Washington. Even as small-plates restaurants have multiplied to encompass a globe’s-worth of cuisines, José Andrés’s flagship Spanish spot still holds its own. Some of the greatest pleasures are its simplest: a flauta (sandwich) with Ibérico ham and tomato, garlicky sautéed shrimp, or roasted peppers and eggplant dressed with sherry vinegar. Sangría is a tempting way to liven up a meal, but it’s even harder to resist one of a half dozen gin-and-tonics.


Mi Vida

98 District Sq., SW

Mexican spot Mi Vida pours pretty drinks at the Wharf. Photograph by Rey Lopez, courtesy of Mi Vida.

Two outdoor dining areas and ample margaritas make this colorful Mexican spot at the Wharf an attractive brunch option on warm days. In addition to a wide-ranging menu of tacos, Mexican-style seafood towers, and enchiladas, find vibrant cocktails and weekend brunch specials like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.


Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St., NW

Few places feel more “Washington” than this old-school, mahogany-covered saloon neighboring the White House. The American menu includes plenty of easy-pleasers for adults and kids (chicken and waffles, shrimp n’ grits). We like to post up at one of Old Ebbitt’s four—yes, four!—bars for a beer with a crabcake sandwich or a platter of oysters. 



400 Eighth St., NW

Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or are looking to linger, this casual Japanese cafe and tea house is a welcome respite. The vegetarian-friendly menu includes everything from to cilantro-scrambled eggs to noodles, although we’re partial to the roll-your-own-handroll bento box with tea-cured salmon. For a recharge, order a pot of green tea—or a glass of sake. 

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.

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.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.