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D.C. Best & Worst Brunches of 2014

Best and Worst Brunches
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What a year! We launched in New York and geared up for Chicago. We debuted an online shop, even new fashion columns and a travel section.

But it’s the brunches that keep our world spinning. Those so-real-it-hurts honest reviews of the District’s best and worst spots for your weekend binges—and believe it or not, we had more than a hundred of them in 2014.

But, we couldn’t have conquered this year without the support of the tremendous businesses we’re lucky to call our partners. Much gratitude goes to VIDA Fitness and Aura Spa, the EatWell Group, UrbanStems, True Currency, Lavagna, Beasley Real Estate, Wooden Nickel Bar Company, Whispering Angel Rose,  Nail Saloon, PRESS Juice Bar, Pacers, Casa Oaxaca, Michel Richard’s Central, Medium Rare, Piola and LaTomate Bistro.

Drum roll, please! Here are the best and worst brunches of 2014. And don’t forget to click here to see the Best Brunch Bites of the year, too.

The Best

Best Overall
While we gave a handful of As this year, both of us agree, Fiola Mare is a truly classy gem with phenomenal cuisine and warm service on the Georgetown waterfront. We have to say, it’s our favorite brunch of the year.

FiolaMare 29

Best Bottomless Brunch
It’s a tie. Cori Sue loved Bar Charley, a chill space and vibe, really good food, and a hard-to-beat bottomless deal. Becca loved the solid bottomless brunch at Alba Osteria—plus the eggs options on the menu were tremendous.

Alba Osteria Brunch

Best Affordable Brunch
Commissary got an A for being the neighborhood classic, a quick, inexpensive, and good brunch. A solid, trusty standby for a frigid day if you’re in the neighborhood.

Commissary Brunch

Best New Brunch
It was hard to get a table for dinner at Mike Isabella’s Kapnos when it opened up earlier this year, and the Greek brunch turned out to be equally as unique and delicious as the dinner menu.

kapnos6

Best Bang For Your Buck
Michel Richard’s Central is a solid fancy-pants brunch with non-fancy-pants prices. We love the bottomless three-course prix fixe and the great service.

Central Brunch

Best International Brunch
Maybe we’re biased, but we love a good Argentine steakhouse. Rural Society is an over-looked, upscale spot downtown that improved from its previous ownership and is a great place to go for a celebratory brunch.

Rural Society Brunch 52

Best Ambiance
Alphonse has a delightful atmosphere with comforting Italian food that would make for a great spot for many occasions, from a casual brunch to an intimate date night.

Alphonse Italian Market Brunch

Best Décor
Macon Bistro & Larder is a splendid setting for brunch with craft cocktails and gourmet Southern comfort cuisine with a twist.

Macon Bistro Brunch 38

Best Party Brunch
STK threw an epic one-time party brunch over the summer, and the restaurant has promised a series of more. The DJ, free-flowing champagne, and space to dance makes this a great spot for a classy daytime dance party.

STK Red, White and Booze Brunch

Best Yoga Brunch
The Riz-Carlton Georgetown Yoga Brunch offers amazing cuisine in a lovely setting with an outdoor yoga class prior. A wonderful way to spend a summer Saturday.

Ritz Carlton Georgetown Brunch 14

Best Patio
Given our love of Spanish cuisine and stunning patios, we had a feeling brunch at Bar Barcelona would be lovely. We were right.

Bar Barcelona Brunch 11

Best Mexican
Brunch at Casa Oaxaca provides a great value and top-notch service for food that is consistently delicious.

Casa Oaxaca Brunch

Best for a Brunch Date
Gorgeously romantic, Iron Gate has great service, brilliantly flavorful brunch dishes, and a striking back patio.

Iron Gate Brunch 16

Most Reliable
It’s a tie. The Heights brunch has something fresh and natural for everyone in a great, friendly environment, always. Circa at Clarendon always has good service, quality food and cocktails, and comfortable environment.

The Heights Pig Roast Brunch

Best Diner
Satellite Room has an awesome vibe, great gourmet junk food as well as healthy options, and a killer patio, rain or shine. The service knocked it down a notch.

Satellite Room Brunch 20

Best Chill Brunch
Red Rocks is a solid, laid-back, not-too-many-frills brunch with bottomless mimosas and friendly accommodating staff.

RedRocks_MushroomPizza

Best Family Brunch
We’re not typically fans of buffet brunches, but Pinstripes is great for a buffet. The mimosas flow constantly, and there’s bocce, bowling and plenty of amusement for the kiddos.

Pinstripes Brunch

Best Reason to Go South
Copperwood Tavern is brunch perfection in Virginia. It’s just enough of everything for a big group of hard-to-please Bitches.

Copperwood Tavern Brunch 38

Best for Brunch Events
A successful baby shower and other large events are made possible by the gorgeous space, delicious food, and friendly staff at Rustico.

Rustico Brunch

Best Brunch for the Seafood Lover
Eat the Rich has unique dishes, great wine, cocktails, and mimosas, and delicious, fresh seafood. We wish there were a few more menu options, is all.

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Best Brunch for the Meat Lover
From the ambiance to the service to the top-notch grub, Urban Butcher’s brunch can’t be beat. Carnivore or vegetarian, there are options for everyone.

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Best Small Plates
Cava Mezze is an affordable, delicious, fill-you-up Mediterranean brunch. We loved everything from pita breads to the carnivorous share plates to the heavenly French toast.

Cava Cocktail Tasting31

Best Traditional Breakfast
The Jefferson is perfect for a traveler or local looking for a simple, classic breakfast in a stunning, calm environment with exemplary service.

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Best Jazz Brunch
The food at Rialto is decent and the baroque decor and upscale ambiance is great for a gals brunch, and the jazz is quite good.

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Best Sustainable Brunch
We love the ambiance and sustainability ethic at Bidwell. We also love the set-up of the substantial menu and the willingness to innovate.

Bidwell Brunch 58

Best Fancy Brunch
Mio is great place to bring the parents, pinky out, but not really a go-to for the bottomless Bitches on spring break.

Mio Brunch

Best Hipster Brunch
Beuchert’s Saloon is super adorable and ready for you and your hipster best.

Beuchert's Brunch

Best Brunch for Dinner
Southern Hospitality is nothing gourmet, but the food is reliable and classic. The drinks are bottomless, and the ambiance super fun.

SoHo Dessert

Best Brunch with Baseball
Brunch at Nationals Park is nothing but fun, food, and Americana festivities. You might even see some fireworks.

Nats Stadium Brunch

The Worst

Worst Overall
CoCo Sala is the Willy Wonka of restaurants, and definitely the place to go for dessert, chocolate, and frou frou cocktail concoctions. For brunch, the non-saccharine cuisine struggles to meet our standards.

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Worst Letdown
The food was hit or miss, perhaps because Creme has lost its “soul” in its new 14th Street spot.

Creme_2

Worst Service
It’s a tie. In the District, Duke’s Grocery had such bad service we could barely stomach the brunch. In Virginia, Vermillion was the same: the service painfully slow, nulling out any hope for the food.

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Worst Décor
The food was excellent and the staff was very friendly at Grillfish, but the décor is a bit too Old World for a lively brunch.

Grillfish Brunch

Worst Ambiance
The ambiance and food presentation is not great at Dino’s Grotto, but Dino knows his ingredients and whips up some pretty amazing dishes under the ancient ambiance.

Dino's Grotto Brunch

Not Worth the Hype
Go to Lupo Verde for a romantic dinner. For brunch, stick with the appetizers and cocktails. But not too many, lest you break the bank.

Lupo Verde Brunch

Worst Disappointment
The unique menu at Carving Room didn’t exactly pan out as promised. The restaurant has a promising bottomless, deal, though, if you’re not that picky about the food.

The Carving Room

Worst Redo
America Eats Tavern lost all its charm in the move to Tysons Corner, but the food we had at brunch was decent.

America Eats Tavern - Tyson's

Worst Bang For Your Buck
Table was a let down this year. We wish the French restaurant would go back to its original brunch menu, or at least make the portions a little bigger and give back a few more options.

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Worst Small Plates
Teddy & The Bully Bar is a solid party brunch but the small plates dishes are hit or miss—and some we felt had been sitting under the heat lamp for far too long.

Teddy & The Bully Bar Brunch

Biggest Fall From Grace
Marvin has steeped in its comfort since its original opening years ago. While the restaurant is a classic, we hope it will pull up its boot-straps and innovate a bit.

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Worst Empty Kitchen
GBD Chicken and Doughnuts makes really delicious fried chicken and biscuits. However, the doughnuts are either seriously delicious, deeply disappointing, or completely missing, which is unacceptable when that’s your restaurant’s niche.

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Most Likely to Improve
The food at Del Campo is hit or miss, with some dishes are delicious and others that are confusing and sad. While the ambiance is upscale and the presentation lovely, the service is terrible. At the end of it all, you’re presented with a steep bill—we’d expect more.

Del Campo Brunch

Worst up North
Miss Shirley’s has a mediocre atmosphere, average food, but awesome service. It just wasn’t everything we wanted it to be.

Miss Shirley's in Annapolis

Worst Brunch Attempt
1905 was rough around the edges, with its clumsy service and dusty decor, and the brunch dishes are hit or miss.

1905 Brunch

Biggest Lack of Creativity
Don’t be lazy, Penn Commons. Adding bottomless and a benedict to an already established menu does not a successful brunch make.

Penn Commons Brunch

Worst Attitude
Cafe Dupont had disappointing service and subpar food. The patio was the only redeeming quality that saved the resto.

Bar Dupont Brunch 24

Least Reliable
Go for appetizers and cocktails at Eatonville if you’re unable to snag a table anywhere else in the neighborhood, which has far better options.

Eatonville Brunch

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13 thoughts on “D.C. Best & Worst Brunches of 2014”

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  1. Great list – lots of things to add to my 2015 brunch agenda! (BTW, Kapnos is Mike Isabella, not Jose Andres.)

  2. Kapnos is me & my man’s new spot! We’ve been there twice in the same week! For brunch & for dinner (date night). We’re in love! Thanks Bitches!! 😉

  3. This post is a life savor! Mom is coming to town for a visit and I now have a list entirely too long of places to take her. Thanks, gals!

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