We’ll just get straight to it: Republic Cantina is one of the greatest breakfast and brunch experiences in D.C. We’re confused why more places like this don’t exist. It’s has a dreamy, airy LA vibe around and inside the space that allows for a gorgeous sit, sip, and devour unparalleled by other establishments in the District.
If a Tex-Mex saloon married a Blue Bottle coffee shop, their epically trendy brainchild would be Republic Cantina. Soft wood tones and slightly retro, Western ceramic details create a dessert-like aesthetic. You walk passed a homey outdoor patio into a zestful space to order at the coffee bar. You can choose from an array of standard breakfast bites and, of course, the real reason we came here in the first place: tacos.
We ordered the migas, brisket, egg, and chorizo and egg tacos, plus avocado toast (for good measure). We started with a cappuccino and iced coffee. There are other unique beverage options, like Mexican coke, horchata, and an awesome tequila and mezcal selection, but for this weekday drop-in, we kept it simple. We’ve noticed that with all the incredible boutique coffee shops around town, there’s definitely a lack of TLC in the coffee department of even some of our favorite brunch spots. Republic Cantina hasn’t let its coffee program fall flat. The coffee is strong, buttery, and fruit-forward. We will definitely be back for happy hour and dinner beverages as well.
Okay. Taco time. All the tacos were impressive and worthy of our time and money. Our only trepidation was the oily qualities of the tortilla. The chewiness and undercooked texture were slightly unfavorable, but, seriously, everything else made up for it. The tortillas’ flavor was subtle and slightly acidic, but overall relatively neutral, which is good.
Midwestern Jews everywhere are applauding the grand entrance of brisket in this taco. Moist, salty, and not an unwelcoming amount of fat, the brisket was partnered with perfectly soft-scrambled eggs and shmeared avocado sauce.
The migas taco had scrambled eggs, salsa, cheese, and crumbled crispy tortilla bits. I was definitely least drawn to this taco whilst drooling at the menu, but later felt really guilty for thinking such negative thoughts. It was a salty amalgamation of our favorite nacho toppings, but was unexpectedly light considering they doubled down on the tortilla here.
Chorizo is the Mexican protein we long for. The chorizo breakfast taco was the most spice-forward and flavor-rich of the three tacos. The oily orange, seasoned meat sauced the entire taco, making for juicy bites. This one got a little messy, but we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
This avocado toast was a sexy avocado toast. Served on crispy, whole wheat sourdough from Baked Joint, the avocado was adorned with just enough sass to be funky and interesting, but had all the creamy, salty, acid we want from our routine toasts. The base of the crust was amply buttered and partnered with avocado two ways: mashed and thinly sliced. Topped with some black sesame seeds, baby herbs, and crispy onions, this toast is the best avocado toast in D.C. right now. And for $7.00, it will probably remain that way for awhile.
The Bitches say: five Champagne flutes
If you need me, I’ll be here every week alternating between tacos, toast, and tequila.
Republic Cantina serves breakfast every weekday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.